Queer maps

From MAP Wiki

Queer is a historically formed label for non normative gender attractions/presentation/identity, as well as absence of normative ones. In contemporary times it also includes several adjacent identities, such as polyamory.

A significant number of maps also share such identities.


The exact demographic portrait of the online map community is hard to draw. An article by Dr Allyn Walker “I’m Not like That, So Am I Gay?” The Use of Queer-Spectrum Identity Labels Among Minor-Attracted People[1] gives, perhaps, one of the most profound academic insights into map queerness. Dr Walker interviewed map volunteers and reported that most were attracted to same gender or multiple genders and described themselves as “gay”, “homosexual”, “lesbian”, “gray asexual”, “queer”.

According to a professional-led poll, 75% maps experience non-normative gender preferences[2]. Community-led polls return with higher numbers - 89.2% (2018), 87.5% (2020), and 88.4% (2022), with the percentage of non-cisgender maps being 58.5%, 50.9%, and 65.2% accordingly[3].


Queerness and mapness as identities have many common roots. Terms such as pedophilia and ephebophilia appeared in psychiatric literature due to studies of male homosexuality. It is possible to say that map activism started with NAMBLA (North American Man/Boy Love Association), a pro contact movement that united queer maps. One of the oldest map symbols, the boylove logo, was designed by two queer men who took inspiration from the gay liberation pink triangle. David Thorstad, a former president of New York's Gay Activists Alliance and a founding member of NAMBLA, states that "The issue of man/boy love has intersected the gay movement since the late nineteenth century, with the rise of the first gay rights movement in Germany."[4]

Maps and contemporary LGBTQ

As LGBTQ gained more mainstream acceptance, its peer/adult attracted members turned away from maps. Association with a more stigmatized group became a risk factor, and PAA queer people (frequent victims of misdirected mapmisia) started vocally denouncing maps, in hopes to raise their own social status.

Nowadays queer identities of maps are frequently erased. Non-map queer people employ the following logistics to justify this erasure:

  • Maps are not actually attracted to children, pedophilia is an act of child sexual abuse, not a sexual/romantic preference, therefore maps cannot have queer attractions;
  • Maps cannot be asexual, because romantic attraction to children doesn’t exist; maps cannot be aromantic, because aromanticism is "the norm";
  • Maps who claim to be trans are actually cis people that lie about their identity to get away with bad behavior.

Multiple cases of doxxing, outing, and abuse of maps, especially teenage maps, were connected to queer friend groups. PAA queer people also occasionally falsely accuse each other of being maps, this is one of frequent themes of shipping discourse.

Mapmisia and queermisia in the society

Since the very beginning of the 20s USA conservatives have increased their efforts at falsely branding queer people as groomers[5]. Trans people in particular are being accused of manipulating children into identifying as trans.

Aromantic and asexual maps

As was already mentioned above, aromantic and asexual maps face unique kinds of erasure. Lack of romantic attractions is presumed in a map by the general society, meanwhile very few people believe a map can be asexual. A minority of maps identify as both asexual and aromantic. This combination of labels confuses some, but it is possible for a person to consider oneself a map because of attraction to fictional children or some other preference that is neither sexual nor romantic, yet feels worthy of being included into one's orientation.

The Heartprogress hoax

Heartprogress[6] was a troll project, launched by 4Chan in 2016. It consisted of promoting two identities, "pedosexual" and "clovergender", as new additions to LGBTQ. The purpose of the project was to discredit and harm LGBTQ, but maps suffered from the increase of harassment and accusations as well.

Queermisiac maps

Some maps, even fitting the technical defintion of queerness, oppose the idea of map/queer solidarity or parallels between these identities due to their own internalized queermisia. This especially concerns older groups and sites, such as BoyChat (pictured below in screenshots) and Newgon.