Where Did the Word “Queerplatonic” Come From? (Infographic)

A QPR infographic for the word’s 11th anniversary. Early drafts were shared with Kaz and s.e. smith, and I have confirmed the accuracy of this account with them both. Much thanks to all my Pillowfort mutuals who helped with feedback and revisions.

This image is free to repost and distribute. If you do so, I would prefer if you linked back to either this post (which has a transcript) or to this genealogy of queerplatonic, which links to all the relevant sources.

[Crossposted to Pillowfort, and reposted to Twitter and Tumblr.]

infographic, see transcript below


Where Did the Word “Queerplatonic” Come From?

For a long time, there had been frustrations in the ace community about the binary of “friendship” and “romance.” Sometimes the distinctions between them can be blurry, especially without sex as the dividing line, and they’re often treated as a hierarchy.

Then on Dec 24, 2010, an asexual named Kaz posted a reflection on Dreamwidth about someone important to zem. In the post, ze complained of the societal expectation that relationships always fit into “neat little restricted boxes.”

Meloukhia (s.e. smith), who identified as aro ace at the time, left a comment that used the word queerplatonic in reference to smith’s own partner and feelings. This term conveys the idea of queering the platonic, and it struck a chord with a lot of people. Finally, the community had a word for this idea.

In the years that followed, smith brought the word queerplatonic to Tumblr and WordPress as well, indicating that it is open for anyone of any identity to use. Other aces like Sciatrix began using it for their own desires and relationships, helping it to spread.

The common expectation is that people will always put romantic-sexual relationships first, with everyone else diminished as “just” friends. Queerplatonic relationships defy categorization by this binary.

Today, the word “queerplatonic” has spread throughout ace and aro communities. As always, it remains open for anyone to use!

3 responses to “Where Did the Word “Queerplatonic” Come From? (Infographic)

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