Colo. man says college’s use of the word ‘queer’ is offensive, should be illegal

Colorado College in Colorado Springs.

Colorado College in Colorado Springs.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — A gay man says Colorado College’s listing of “queer” as an option for the gender of job applicants is insulting and should be illegal.

Colorado College in Colorado Springs.

Colorado College in Colorado Springs.

John Kichi told The Denver Post that he has lost jobs and homes because of his sexual orientation and thinks the label is “from the Dark Ages.” The 66-year-old filed a complaint with the state attorney general’s office about the question.

The Colorado Springs school is defending its use of the word, saying some have accepted the term once considered a slur.

Human resources director Barbara Wilson says it is included to represent the college’s acknowledgment of diversity and inclusion.

While the term “queer” has more recently been used as an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities that are not heterosexual, heteronormative, or gender-binary, it remains controversial because it was re-appropriated to an extent in the 1990s from its widespread use as an anti-gay epithet.

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In the late 2000s (decade) and early 2010s, a number of internet communities (including LGBTQ Nation) began using the term “LGBTQ,” the “Q” standing for “queer,” to represent forms of sexuality that fall outside of the original LGBT framework, in order to promote awareness and acceptance of these forms of sexual identity.

The optional question on Colorado College’s applications lists four other choices — male, female, transgender and not disclosed.

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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