Our Formal events
have gone through a few name changes over the past few years, from the ‘Same Sex Formal’, to the ‘Same Sex and Gender Diverse Formal’ and now – the Queer Formal. So what’s that all about?!
In the lead up to the event we had a lot of discussion around the title, with one of the sticking points being that ‘Same Sex and Gender Diverse’ was getting too clunky. A heap of people told us they wanted to see something a little different. We needed to strike a balance between snappy and inclusive. Inclusive language in our ever growing and always fabulous community is getting trickier and trickier. During these discussions, we asked what word/s we could use instead. One that came up over and over again was ‘Queer’.
“Queer is an identity that’s strong and proud, inclusive and flexible. Queer allows me to navigate the ever growing and shifting elements of who I am with a force field of recognition. Queer doesn't tie me down, but lifts me up” – Mill
“I find Queer is inclusive and allows me to identify myself within a community without necessarily sharing my specific label.” – Lucy
In the past the word ‘queer’ has been used negatively to convey something that is ‘strange or odd’ – but over time this meaning has changed and been adapted by LGBTI+ people everywhere and used as a tool of empowerment. We use it to describe and take control of our identities and come together as a community, proudly declaring we are different, and being totally comfortable with that! There's so much power in reclaiming a word that once caused hurt. When we embrace and own it, negative associations can melt away. Queer to a lot of people is unique, strong, beautiful and powerful.
“Queer is me and it’s us. It’s not aggressive. It’s like a verbal hug to a community I care about” – Chris
We’re using Queer in a way that tries to be an all-inclusive and unifying umbrella term that includes people who are same gender attracted and gender diverse as well as the intersections of people and identities within our community.
We use it as a way to make space for those of us who identify in multiple ways. It’s also a lot simpler to say and remember.
The name isn't set in stone, and we’re constantly changing and evolving our language. We'd love to hear more from you and if you want to get in touch with us directly you can send through more in depth thoughts.
We’re really excited about this event and we can't wait to see you there!