You might be asking, why the asterix?
Queer is a word that has grown to popularity in recent years, servicing to umbrella the myriad spectrum of variant sexualities and genders. Often, there is the use of acronyms that have become increasingly longer to demonstrate the diversity within our community. For example-
And with each addition of a letter to the acronym we make a greater attempt at inclusiveness, whilst inadvertently excluding those that haven’t been added yet. The question often arises, why isn’t the letter representing my identity listed? Am I not welcome?
You might ask yourself- if there is such a convenient umbrella term like “Queer”, why not just use that?
Many persons within the community, however, take umbrage at the term ‘queer’ as it sometimes implies strangeness, deviance and abnormality. Or, simply, the individual does not identify with Queer Theory and feels excluded from the group because of this. Grouping terminologies can be both harmonising and a cause for dissent.
By calling the Department Queer*, we have attempted to acknowledge the need for a single word to encompass all the identities within our jurisdiction, but acknowledge that in no way are we attempting to ascribe a particular set of ideals or teachings onto another’s identity. The * encompasses all the groups that fall within our banner.
These groups may include, but are not limited to:
- Homosexual persons
- Bisexual persons
- Transgendered persons
- Transexual persons
- Transvestite persons
- Other Trans* identities
- Intersex persons
- Sex-Gender Variant persons
- Gender Queer persons
- Asexual persons
- Polysexual persons
- Pansexual persons
- Queer identified persons
We acknowledge that not all identities are listed here. Please do not be offended if an identity you are is not listed. We are all on a learning curve towards equality, and by simply informing the Queer Officers you can make a step in the right direction towards inclusiveness, awareness and, eventually, equality.
Hopefully the Queer* terminology can eradicate exclusion from our university.
Thank you for your understanding.
—The ANU Queer* Department