Queer Nation

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Queer Nation was founded in March 1990 in New York City, USA by activists from ACT-UP. The founders were four victims of anti-gay violence. Queer Nation's popular slogan "We're here. We're queer. Get used to it." was adopted and used by many in the LGBT community. Queer Nation was most effective and powerful in the early 1990s in the USA, and used direct action to fight for gay rights. Even though never officially disbanded, most sources agree that Queer Nation no longer exists. However, a television program of the same name with a focus on gay current events and issues is regularly aired in New Zealand.

Queer Nation is credited with starting the process of reclaiming the word queer, which, previously, was only used in a pejorative sense and Queer Nation's use of it in their name and slogan was at first considered shocking. Ten years later, queer is almost an ordinary word, used casually in the name of gay-supportive and relatively mainstream television programs such as Queer Eye for the Straight Guy and Queer as Folk.

Queer Nation is also linked to several controversial incidents in which closeted public figures were outed as gay or lesbian. Queer Nation's reasoning was that ending this 'hypocrisy' benefitted gays as a group because it let them know there actually were gay people in influential places and promoted gay rights by forcing the outed and the organizations they belonged to to take a stance on issues concerning gays. Many in the gay community did not agree with Queer Nation's radical tactics and favored a more assimilationist course of action.

Other slogans used by Queer Nation include "Two, Four, Six, Eight! How Do You Know Your Kids Are Straight?" and "Out of the Closets and into the Streets".

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