Queer joy is a celebration of happiness, resilience, and authenticity within 2SLGBTQ+ communities. It is also a powerful tool in the face of anti-2SlGBTQ+ bullying and prejudice.
It is important to note that queer is a term that can encompass a variety of meanings. The original definition of the word “queer” referred to something that was strange, odd, or unusual. However, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries the term began to be used as a derogatory slur to demean and stigmatize people who didn’t fit into heterosexual and cisgender norms. In recent decades, queer is now being reclaimed as a term of empowerment and solidarity. Queer has been adopted as a political and cultural identity that encompassed a wide range of non-normative sexual orientations, gender identities, and expressions. When we use the term “queer joy” we are talking about the happiness and pleasure we can find in expressing ourselves authentically in resistance to societal conventions around gender, sexuality, and gender expression.
At its core, queer joy is about reclaiming space, visibility, and agency in a world that often seeks to silence or erase LGBTQ+ voices. It is a defiant assertion of worthiness and belonging, rejecting the notion that queer identities and ways of being are inherently less valid or deserving of happiness.