I don’t want to give up the term ‘queer’, because it still bugs people like the middle-class gay homeowners in the Castro who have halted plans to open a shelter for homeless queer youth in their beautiful neighborhood. I use it because every time I say it, I get an unpleasant jolt of memories of being called vile names or bashed, and I guess I hope that if I say it with enough aplomb and nonchalance, those memories will lose their power to subdue and terrorize me. The jaws of assimilation have closed around the word queer, but they haven’t managed to crush it into dust just yet.

Patrick Califia, “Legalised Sodomy Is Political Foreplay” (via axiones)