Q mag: How to reclaim queer slurs and wield them as armor

Dyke. Queer. Pansy. Queen. Fairy. Femme. Everything mean is fab again as LGBTQ people reclaim our terms and remove the hurtful power others once had over us. It’s an apt concept for this issue of Q, where we celebrate queer Atlanta and all its facets and iterations each week.

That starts most graphically with another stunning set of photos in James L. Hicks’ black-and-white community series that graces our cover. Atlanta’s Dykes on Bikes have a storied history in Atlanta, and they represent one of the first LGBTQ groups to embrace a word once considered an insult. In revealing rider interviews alongside their riveting portraits, meet the badass women reclaiming the road as well as the word.

Their stories enticed me so much, I decided to expand their inspiration in this week’s 10 Queer Things feature. We dove deep into terms and phrases that were once hurled at us as weapons, but that we now wield as armor. Call us by our names.

While curating the former slurs and the accompanying visuals, there were so many more choices than just our requisite 10, so we hope you find it as empowering and compelling as we did, and that it inspires the addition of more examples to your own list.

Speaking of reclaiming a place in the community and expanding what it means to be queer in Atlanta, hear from Q Voices columnists James Sheffield and Ian Aber. They come at the new year from unconventional angles and ways that are alternately inspiring and hilarious.

You’ll also meet event promoter, musician and drag artist Taylor Alxndr in our People feature. We find out what her presence on the scene means to her and her loyal crowd, plus we taste her SWEET TEA variety show coming at you like a freight train this Saturday.

Also hurtling towards us this week is the Q News section. And like they do every week, our advertisers showcase their wares for you, our roving photographers snap your beautiful smiles, and our Life Judge sheds light on people's unending issues in The Q advice column. As our editor corralling it all, I’m here for you as well. Write me any time with your comments and suggestions at [email protected]

Read the full issue below.