In the LGBTQIA community, the term queer carries two starkly different connotations, and the connotation one assigns to it is a function of several factors, especially age. The term has long been used as a slur to disparage gay men and women, in a way similar to the “N-word” for African Americans. Many gay and lesbian people who grew up with this connotation take grave offense at the word. Others--especially people whose gender identity does not fit the traditional categories of male and female--have adopted queer as an umbrella term to refer to themselves and others outside typical sexual and gender norms. As with similar terms, this represents an attempt to “reclaim” an offensive term for an affirming use.