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Upon her coming out, Djuan received both criticism and praise for using the word queer to describe her sexuality.
Prompted by rude hate filled comments that were posted on a fellow lesbian blog, TFF decided to dig into the word "queer" and chit-chat with Djuan about her experiences as a QWOC and how being comfortable with her sexuality and sexual orientation have helped her in the workplace and on stage.
I have friends who have been out of the closet for years and they’ve been there to answer my questions .
You know, “does she like me, how do I know if she’s gay” *laughs.
It was something that, (growing up) I thought everyone felt and in reality, no one really talked about it.
As I got older people started telling me that having those feelings were wrong.
I placed in the top 10 that year, and after that I was determined to come back and win the next year- and I did.I tried to have a conversation with my mom while I was in college and she told me it wasn’t of God and to pray it out. In our final coming out conversation she told me that she thought I was over it because I was dating men but that never worked. I went back and changed it to “I am queer” because it’s a term I feel more comfortable identifying with.I like the term queer because it’s one of those things that allows people to be fluid without being put in a box. When it came down to me trying to understand myself, I couldn’t really identify with the girls who felt completely unnatural being with a man because that wasn’t my story.I think peoples issue (within the community) with me using the word is that sadly, some people find it absolutely necessary that you specify the way you identify.
Quite frankly, that’s what labels are for- identifying, so I get it.Doing what’s comfortable for you instead of a man’s opinion is what’s empowering. I feel so free in so many different aspects of my life now.