How ›Queer‹ Made It into Our Books and Our Publishing House

Why is the word “queer” being used in our books and publishing house?
Why is the word “queer” being used in our books and publishing house?

We all have questions. Or, at least, thoughts. Some themes that have come up are: Who are we? What do we want? What are we doing in this little corner of the internet/world we call Queer Pack? And, finally, why is the word “queer” being used?

Let’s start easy. We’re Katja Ken, Sam, and Gabby. You can read basic bios here. In a nutshell, put us in a blender (please don’t) and you’d get a mix of: enbies, lesbians, feminists, butch, bisexuals, trans, demies, and spoonies. You’d also get book worms, media junkies, cat lovers, beach lovers, sleep lovers, anarchists, and a many-a-dash of other things.

How does this relate to Queer Pack?

We are queers who are all in love with the idea of representation. We know, first hand, how important representation is and the difference it can make, not only to young people seeking answers, but adults. Not only to those being represented, but also to those who live within communities who aren’t exposed to something “other”—something not the norm, for them. Representation provides a reflection for people to see themselves, but also a window for others. This can help foster understanding and take away fear/misunderstanding of the unknown.

Representation. Matters. The end.

So, we created Queer Pack out of sheer will to provide more of just that. We all have some kind of background in publishing, be it as a published author, working in media marketing for a publishing house, as a book lover, as a beta reader. We decided to combine all that together and throw in a lot of pure stubborn will to try provide a platform made by queer people for queer people.

But why the word “queer”?

This is hard to answer politely, but we’ll try. We use the word queer because it functions inclusively. Acronyms can leave people out. Know what doesn’t? Queer. We understand that some people don’t prefer this word. However, some people don’t prefer the acronym, especially as the letter to represent them often gets dropped off completely, or tacked onto the end as if an afterthought.

Queer is a slur? Many things have been used as a slur.

Find queer offensive? Many people find gay for the community offensive, or LGBTQ+. Or, if not offensive, the word can be seen as highlighting one group, and ignoring others.

We settled on queer as all three of us:

  1. love this word, and
  2. find it to be the most inclusive one.

Here is an awesome link as to why queer is a term we use: www.everydayfeminism.com/2016/03/difference-between-gay-queer

We could write multiple blog posts on this, but why do that when some amazing things have already been said? When it comes down to it, what term in the LGBTQIA+ spectrum hasn’t been used as a slur? Who dictates what we can and can not use?

To quote Hari Ziyad, the author of this article: “When I thought myself gay – it was an identity that had everything to do with the gender of whom I was sexually attracted to. But as a queer person, I don’t even know what my gender is. I don’t even know what gender is.”

We’ve chosen a word to make sure ace, aro, enby, trans, demi, intersex, bi, pan, gay, lesbian and questioning people feel included in our space, and see, from our wording choices, that every person in the queer community gets equal space here.

No, but really, WHY queer?

Because we love it. That’s all. And there is a lot of TERF thoughts behind not using queer, and we definitely don’t stand for any of that around here.

But—

Queer stays. We will continue to provide a platform for queer voices to create queer content. That’s our mission statement. If you really don’t agree and see a submission call, and wish to argue against us using the word queer, as some people have, (and this is where it’s hard to not sound polite) then maybe that submission call just isn’t for you?

Anything else?

So many things! Mostly, that we are excited as heck to be back in business. We run this publishing house off volunteered hours by the three of us. We are just getting started—this is, and always will be, something we are doing for the love of it. We have a small budget, but big hearts, and a huge amount of passion for queer literature.

Bring us your queer content!

Because we want it, and we want to give it space to grow. We are new to this. We are human, and fallible. We are working to make a space that is safe and inclusive, and that is more important to us than anything. We are open to feedback and discussion.

Most of all, we are open to your stories.

We really, really want to showcase them.

Find our Submission Guidelines here!

Read more reflections on the word “queer”

Check out this interview explaining the history of the word “queer”:

“Tyler Ford Explains The History Behind the Word ‘Queer’” (Video)

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