I once wrote the following email to my good friend, Don Charles who blogs at Ignorance is Plentiful.
These "Queers" are not empathic with "Gay" rights, as they are far more "Queer" than "Gay" in their self-conceptions and identities. As I said before, I haven't worked it through, but I'm beginning to think that there is a far greater difference between "Queer" and "Gay" regarding sexual identity and the very emotional/sexual essence of the person than mere use of self-labels, and that may well be why we have hit so many stone walls in advocating for equal rights among "Gay" people. The "Queers" don't really want equal rights because their agendas, as their identities, are as inimical to equal rights as are homophobes, albeit for perhaps different reasons.
A few years ago, I wrote an article entitled, On The Need To Grow Up, which was largely met by hostile responses from those who chose to comment on it. Don Charles wrote two articles defending my position entitled. "In Defense of Growing Up," and "The Necessary Pain of Growing Up," part 1 and part 2. As with mine, his articles were met with largely similar negative reactions by those who chose to comment.
The distinction between the two labels: "Queer" and "Gay" escaped me at that time, as I was very surprised, to say the least, at the outrage against both of our posts that suggested what we felt were constructive means to achieve equal rights. I was oblivious to the profound distinction that might well exist between "Queers" and "Gays" that may well reflect their respective desires for equal rights as well as their different emotional/sexual orientations that determine, despite all rhetoric, their respective desires for engaging in dialogue about meaningful ways to achieve equal civil rights.
It seems to me that those who identify as Gay may well be more affectionally oriented; those who identify as Queer may well be more sexually oriented. That doesn't mean that the latter aren't affectionally oriented or that the former aren't sexually oriented; it means that affection is likely to take second place to the sexual aspect of their identities and relationships by those who choose to identify as "queer."
By publicly sexualizing the self, those who identify as "queer" are consciously or unconsciously affirming the negative stereotypes of homophobes and many potential Straight allies who see Gay people merely as one-dimensional people with avaricious sexual appetites; they thereby retard and betray the cause of equal rights for LGBT people, and seek to "justify" the vicious stereotypes promulgated by the most virulent religious and secular homophobes who often monopolize the media.
Those who identify as "queer" make some fundamental mistakes in insisting on using that word, as many do who use that and other such hateful words with which to identify themselves. Many use such a word as a self-identifier mistakenly thinking that it is somehow "empowering" and/or that it "reclaims" a word that never belonged to them. However, the truth is that such a word as "queer" actually belongs to those who despise, ridicule, bash, and kill LGBT people, and have historically done so.
To use hateful words as self-identifiers denotes self-loathing, whether or not the user of that word realizes it or not. It is very important to realize that the very last word a Gay person hears as he/she is being bashed into unconsciousness or killed is that very word that many Gay people use as a self-identifier!
Moreover, those who identify as "queer" in the post-Stonewall era are likely to be relatively comfortable, if not relish, pariah or second class status; those who identify as gay or lesbian are more likely to want to be part of the mainstream, and have much more of a desire for equal rights, and engage in more meaningful activism that will be likely to achieve those rights by their greater appeal to potential Straight allies.
It is very important for future generations to have and exhibit self-respect and dignity, be they Gay or Straight. And using hateful words as self-identifiers by Gay people shows lack of self-respect and dignity, and does not provide the grounding necessary for self-respect and dignity to occur for LGBT children now and in future generations.