Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Queer Definition:

Commonly, a synonym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons but also an umbrella term for people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, transgender, intersexual or of any other non-heterosexual sexuality, sexual anatomy or gender identity.

Related Terms: Homosexuality, Gay

Also An individual who is sexually or gender non-conforming or non-hetereosexuality.

In a 2011 brief presented to the United Nations' CEDAW Monitoring Committee on New Zealand’s progress in implementing the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women in New Zealand by the Pacific Women's Watch of New Zealand, these words

"Queer is a reclaimed word that represents sexuality and gender diversity, encompassing lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex as well as everyone in between and not sure/curious and questioning."

Similarly, this description in another brief presented to the same United Nations CEDAW:

"Queer is used as an umbrella term for people who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, transgender, intersexual or of any other non-heterosexual sexuality, sexual anatomy or gender identity. It is commonly a synonym for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons."1

In the context of human rights and those human rights related to human sexuality, the term queer is proving to be an elusive legal concept to pin down. In his 2009 Griffith Law Review article, Aleardo Zanghelli wrote:

"Queer is meant to be a broader term than gay and lesbian, or even LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) and that the limits of what or who it may include must - at least in principle - remain open-ended."

REFERENCES:

  • Kepros, Laurie Rose, Queer Theory: Weed or Seed in the Garden of Legal Theory, 9 Law & Sexuality: Rev. Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Legal Issues 279 (1999-2000)
  • NOTE 1: Sayoni, a community of queer Asian women based in Singapore, Report on Discrimination against Women in Singapore Based on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (20 June 2011, for the 49th CEDAW session of 22 July 2011).
  • Zanghellini, Aleardo, Queer, Antinormativity, Counter-Normativity and Abjection, 18 Griffith L. Rev. 1 (2009)

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