Emma Collins Staff Writer she/her/hers they/them/theirs
It seems like slurs are being reclaimed all over the place! From my cishet professors calling LGBTQIA+ people the all encompassing term “queer,” to folks self labeling as “dykes” and friends calling each other “fags,” the LGBTQIA+ community seems to be reclaiming words that were once seen as harmful. The thing is, though, these words are still seen as harmful by some. For me, as someone who self identifies as queer, hearing my cishet friends call me queer still makes me cringe. I am just one person and I do not speak for the entire LGBTQIA+ community, so I had 106 LGBTQIA+ identifying University of Michigan students fill out a survey regarding which reclaiming slurs they use, which ones they do not, and their thoughts around these reclaimed slurs.
Growing up, many of us young LGBT+ audience members have struggled to find ourselves represented in mainstream television and movies. In recent years, it has become easier with television shows and movies explicitly having LGBT+ representation like "Love Simon," "Princess Cyd," "POSE," "Brooklyn-Nine-Nine," and more. What did LGBT+ viewers do years ago when the media was not as accepting?