Difference between Gay and Queer

Key Difference: Gay is a term used for homosexuals. Whereas, queer is a slang term mainly used for people identifying as LGBT.

Gay is a term that is used instead of homosexuals. This was a word originally used to refer to feelings of ‘carefree’, ‘happy’, or ‘bright and showy’. By the last decade of the 20th century, this term was used with the meaning of homosexual. Homosexuality is romantic or sexual attraction or behavior between members of the same sex or gender. Homosexuality, along with bisexuality and heterosexuality, are the three main categories of sexual orientation. Gay, as a title given to a group of people, doesn’t make it shameful or awkward for the homosexuals.

Queer is a slang term used for sexual and gender minorities (LGBT). In the 1990s, the term was re-appropriated from its use as an anti-gay epithet. Many LGBT groups have objected about the term as it is harsh and unjustifiable for them to be called as a queer. It also includes other sexual orientations like pansexual, pomosexual, intersexual, genderqueer, asexual and autosexual. It is a slang term that makes the LGBT community aggressive.

The differences between a gay and a queer are as follows:





It is a term used for people who get attracted to people of the same gender. It is a title given to the homosexuals.

It is a slang term used for people who belong to the LGBT community and other sexual minorities.


People who get attracted to the same sex. Mainly used for males but includes females as well.

LGBT, along with pansexual, pomosexual, intersexual, genderqueer, asexual and autosexual.

Applies to

Both, males and females.

All the catogories of sexual orientation except for heterosexuals.


Some people discriminate against gays. However, stringent laws have been made in many countries to safeguard the rights of gays.

As it applies to all the sexual orientations (except heterosexuals), people discriminate against the entire LGBT and other sexual minorities. Queer is a slang term that was introduced for discrimination of those communities. There is a lot of discrimination against these people as a group.

Sexual Relations

With the people of same sex/gender. Gays do not get attracted to straight people.

It depends upon the category of sexual orientation. For example, a bisexual will have sexual relationships with both males and females; and a homosexual will have sexual relationships with a same-sex person.


Conceiving a baby requires two people of the opposite sex; and due to this reason gays cannot have their own children. However, many gay couples have adopted children and have utilized other medical ways to have the joy of their own family.

It also depends on the particular category of sexual orientation. If the couple is able reproduce through any method; natural or medical, they can have thier own children.


Gay relationships and marriages are legalized in many countries; however, there are still a large number of countries that do not allow legalization of gay couples.

Legalization for all the LGBT communities and other sexual minorities is permitted in very few countries and regions.

Image Courtesy: democraticunderground.com, palmwinenyc.wordpress.com

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