Sunday, June 05, 2022

Cassandra Snow on Reclaiming the Word “Queer”

Since 2009 I’ve shared every year during the month of June (and often into July and August) a series of “Queer Appreciation” posts.

Each series is comprised of a number of informed and insightful writings to mark Gay Pride . . . or, as I’ve preferred to call it since 2011, Queer Appreciation.

I always try to include in each series a diverse range of writers and topics; and, in general, the writings I share are positive, proactive and celebratory.

I start this year’s Queer Appreciation series with wise words from Cassandra Snow, author of Queering the Tarot.


I know that the word Queer isn’t comfortable or right for everyone. This is a word that originally just meant odd (another label I happily claim) but, over time, became a slur lobbed at those who were – or were perceived as – something other than straight, cisgender, or both. It was a word meant to hurt us and other us. It was a word used to make us feel that we were different, not welcome, not safe. Over the past several years, our community has done some brilliant work reclaiming this word that once put us in a limiting box. It is now a word that means out of the box. It’s a word that allows us to take pride in being original, non-conforming, unique, expansive, freeing – all beautiful, wonderful qualities. It has also become a word intended to create community with as many identities and others as possible, as we/ve reclaimed them. The world might think you're different – and maybe they’re right. But we celebrate that here in our community, and we welcome you with open arms.

. . . Queering something means asking what our society has given us and finding our own way, outside of that society’s limits. They put us in a box, and we still find ways to create and prosper and make it the most well-decorated box you’ll see. Queerness erases the narrowness and small-mindedness of normal. It embraces the beauty, the mystery, and the vastness of our differences. It welcomes everyone who needs a safer space, and it takes responsibility for helping those people heal.

– Cassandra Snow
Excerpted from Queering the Tarot
Weiser Books, 2019
pp. 1-2

NEXT: Tian Richards’ Message to Queer Youth:
“Every Part of Your Identity Is a Superpower”

Related Off-site Links:
Queering The Tarot: An Interview With Cassandra Snow – Evvie Marin (Interrobang Tarot, April 8, 2019).
Cassandra Snow’s Official Website

The Wild Reed’s 2021 Queer Appreciation series:
“A Book About Revolutionary People That Feels Revolutionary Itself”
Remembering Dusty Springfield’s “Daring” 1979 Gay-Affirming Song
Zaylore Stout on the Meaning of Emancipation in 2021
Maebe A. Girl: A “Decidedly Progressive Candidate” for Congress
The Art of Tania Rivilis
Lil Nas X, the Latest Face of Pop’s Gay Sexual Revolution
Kuan Yin: “A Mirror of the Queer Experience”

The Wild Reed’s 2020 Queer Appreciation series:
Zaylore Stout on Pride 2020: “What Do We Have to Be Proud Of?”
Francis DeBernardo on the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling on Title VII: “A Reason for All Catholics to Celebrate”
Mia Birdsong on the “Queering of Friendship”
The Distinguished Rhone Fraser: Cultural Critic, Bibliophile, and Dramatist
“To Walk the World Without Masks”
What We Are Hoping and Fighting For

The Wild Reed’s 2019 Queer Appreciation series:
Quote of the Day – May 31, 2019
James Baldwin’s Potent Interweavings of Race, Homoeroticism, and the Spiritual
John Gehring on Why Catholics Should Participate in LGBTQ Pride Parades
A Dance of Queer Love
The Queer Liberation March: Bringing Back the Spirit of Stonewall
Barbara Smith on Why She Left the Mainstream LGBTQI Movement
Remembering the Stonewall Uprising on Its 50th Anniversary
In a Historic First, Country Music’s Latest Star Is a Queer Black Man
Historian Martin Duberman on the Rightward Shift of the Gay Movement
Queer Black Panther

The Wild Reed’s 2018 Queer Appreciation series:
Michelangelo Signorile on the Rebellious Purpose of Queer Pride
Liberating Paris: Exploring the Meaning of Liberation in Paris Is Burning
Stephanie Beatriz on the Truth of Being Bi
Queer Native Americans, Colonialism, and the Fourth of July

The Wild Reed’s 2017 Queer Appreciation series:
Our Lives as LGBTQI People: “Garments Grown in Love”
On the First Anniversary of the Pulse Gay Nightclub Massacre, Orlando Martyrs Commemorated in Artist Tony O'Connell’s “Triptych for the 49”
Tony Enos on Understanding the Two Spirit Community
Making the Connections

The Wild Reed’s 2016 Queer Appreciation post of solace, inspiration and hope:
“I Will Dance”

The Wild Reed’s 2015 Queer Appreciation series:
Vittorio Lingiardi on the Limits of the Hetero/Homo Dichotomy
Reclaiming and Re-Queering Pride
Standing with Jennicet Gutiérrez, “the Mother of Our Newest Stonewall Movement”
Questions for Archbishop Kurtz re. the U.S. Bishops' Response to the Supreme Court's Marriage Equality Ruling
Clyde Hall: “All Gay People, in One Form or Another, Have Something to Give to This World, Something Rich and Very Wonderful”
The (Same-Love) Dance Goes On

The Wild Reed’s 2014 Queer Appreciation series:
Michael Bayly’s “The Kiss” Wins the People's Choice Award at This Year's Twin Cities Pride Art Exhibition
Same-Sex Desires: “Immanent and Essential Traits Transcending Time and Culture”
Lisa Leff on Five Things to Know About Transgender People
Steven W. Thrasher on the Bland and Misleading “Gay Inc” Treatment of the Struggle to Overturn Prop 8
Test: A Film that “Illuminates Why Queer Cinema Still Matters”
Sister Teresa Forcades on Queer Theology
Omar Akersim: Muslim and Gay
Catholics Make Their Voices Heard on LGBTQ Issues

The Wild Reed’s 2013 Queer Appreciation series:
Doing Papa Proud
Jesse Bering: “It’s Time to Throw 'Sexual Preference' into the Vernacular Trash”
Dan Savage on How Leather Guys, Dykes on Bikes, Go-Go Boys, and Drag Queens Have Helped the LGBT Movement
On Brokeback Mountain: Remembering Queer Lives and Loves Never Fully Realized
Manly Love

The Wild Reed’s 2012 Queer Appreciation series:
The Theology of Gay Pride
Bi God, Somebody Listen
North America: Perhaps Once the “Queerest Continent on the Planet”
Gay Men and Modern Dance
A Spirit of Defiance

The Wild Reed’s 2011 Gay Pride/Queer Appreciation series:
Gay Pride: A Celebration of True Humility
Dusty Springfield: Queer Icon
Gay Pioneer Malcolm Boyd on Survival – and Victory – with Grace
Senator Scott Dibble’s Message of Hope and Optimism
Parvez Sharma on Islam and Homosexuality

The Wild Reed’s 2010 Gay Pride series:
Standing Strong
Growing Strong
Jesus and Homosexuality
It Is Not Good To Be Alone
The Bisexual: “Living Consciously in the Place Where the Twain Meet”
Spirituality and the Gay Experience
Recovering the Queer Artistic Heritage

The Wild Reed’s 2009 Gay Pride series:
A Mother’s Request to President Obama: Full Equality for My Gay Son
Marriage Equality in Massachusetts: Five Years On
It Shouldn’t Matter. Except It Does
Gay Pride as a Christian Event
Not Just Another Political Special Interest Group
Can You Hear Me, Yet, My Friend?

See also:
Worldwide Gay Pride – 2017 | 2016 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
A Catholic Presence at Gay Pride – 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009 | 2008 | 2007
Gay Pride: A Catholic Perspective
Police, Pride, and Philando Castile

Image: Photographer unknown.

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