The Q Aspect in LGBTQ Real Estate
Since 2007, NAGLREP, the National Association of Gay & Lesbian Real Estate Professionals, has been following current trends and forecasting the future to best serve our clients achieve the American Dream of homeownership. Our mission is advocacy and business, and that business is assisting the LGBT+ community to buy, sell, and rent real estate.
If you were to do research on the Wikipedia website about any subject related to the LGBTQ community, you would not find the acronym LGBTQ being used – instead, the Internet’s most popular information resource insists on defining this community with the LGBT acronym. Why is Wikipedia not using the Q in the acronym? If there is an official explanation, it is nowhere to be found on the website. But perhaps the history of the word “Queer” and its current usage might offer clues regarding its omission.
Wikipedia’s LGBT article first appeared on August 2, 2002 and consisted of a single sentence: “LGBT or GLBT is an inclusive acronym for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgendered people. It is a synonym of lesbigay and Queer.” The Wikipedia article on Queer also appeared on August 2, 2002, and mostly repeated the LGBT article’s content but also included the sentence that said: “The term is often uppercased when referring to an identity or community, rather than merely a sexual fact (compare the capitalized use of Deaf).” Both articles were written by the same author, whose name is unknown and was only identified by his IP address.
If a person types “LGBTQ” in Wikipedia’s search engine, they are redirected to the article title “LGBT.” That redirect function has been in place since April 2004. And every article with content relating to the LGBTQ experience carries the LGBT acronym. This is curious, since LGBTQ has become the standard in most media, political and business communications. Some outlets go further with LGBTQIA or LGBTQ+, but the Q is nearly always present.
The word “queer” can be traced back to the 16th century and was not originally used in connection with sexuality – it was a synonym for “odd,” “strange” or “eccentric.” According to historian George Chauncey, it was only in the early 20 th century U.S. that “queer” entered lexicon as a self-identity for gay men who essayed masculine behavior – as opposed to effeminate gay men who were dismissed as “fairies” by some of heterosexual society.
However, a portion of the heterosexual mainstream culture did not differentiate between masculine and
effeminate gay men, and by the mid-20 th century the word “queer” gained traction as a slur against gay men in the U.S. and then in other English-speaking nations. Perhaps the most notable incident of such name-calling occurred during a live television debate in 1968 when William F. Buckley Jr. turned to Gore Vidal and declared, “Listen to me you queer, stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I’ll sock you in the goddamn face and you’ll stay plastered.” “Queer” remained a slur until ownership of the word was aggressively claimed by the AIDS activist group Queer Nation, which was founded in 1990 at New York City’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center – that group popularized the activist chant “We’re here! We’re Queer! Get used to it!” This was not the first time that a homophobic word was refashioned by its targets for self-identifying pride – in 1976, a group of lesbians on motorcycles appeared at the San Francisco Pride parade called themselves Dykes on Bikes.
But whereas “dykes” did not replace “lesbian” in the mainstream lexicon, “queer” came to represent an umbrella phrase that covered the non-heterosexual experience. Into the 1990s and early 2000s, “queer” became more commonly used, with television programs “Queer as Folk” and “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy” incorporating the word into their titles – however, in these cases “queer” was being used as a synonym for gay men. Academia began to used “queer studies” interchangeably with “gay and lesbian studies” while scholars led by Gloria Anzaldúa focused on “queer theory.”
By the 2010s, the LGBT acronym expanded further to become LGBTQ, although some people claimed the Q meant “questioning.” And not everyone outside of the heterosexual or cisgender sphere embraces the “queer” label – for example, whether a non-binary or intersex individual would self-identify as “queer” depends on the person.
While the stigma surrounding “queer” has faded – if mostly because other vile slurs have replaced it – there is also the question on whether people refer to themselves strictly as “Queer.” Some people today may still prefer to call themselves a “gay realtor” or a “lesbian realtor,” although the phrase “LGBTQ realtor” is considered by many to be the standardized expression – but how frequently is the term “queer realtor” used?
It is not part of NAGLREP’s mission to decide why the Q. Our mission is to follow the trends and forecast the future of marketing. With this in mind, in early 2022 the gay and lesbian Realtors of our organization set a clear focus with a similar marketing initiative LGBTQrealestatepros.com in order to provide greater outreach to those persons of the community that identify as LGBTQ are are seeking a LGBTQ or allied real estate professional to help them buy, sell, or rent real estate.
To conclude, the real estate brokers within the membership of NAGLREP are cognizant and focused of the needs of the LGBTQ community when it comes to buying and selling residential property. The NAGLREP members are focused on providing service and support in a professional manner that exemplifies the best of the industry’s practices. Whether the client self-identifies as gay, lesbian, LGBT, LGBTQ or Queer – or, for that matter, straight – NAGLREP’s realtors know that all clients are deserving of the best professional performance to ensure the pursuit of the American Dream is achieved by people of all demographics.