If you've read any 19th c. English fiction, it's obvious that this expression has nothing to do with homosexuals. Conan Doyle, Kipling, Rider Haggard, Dickens, and I think Trollope all used "he'll find himself in Queer Street" to mean that somebody was getting himself into trouble.
Often financial, but not always. The constable in "The Adventure of the Second Stain" was in trouble because he let a woman into a crime scene (of course she was an associate of the spy who hid the stolen letter in the secret compartment under the carpet . . . . fortunately Sherlock Holmes was up to the game.)
Kipling also used the term "queer as Dick's hatband" in a short story, "The Dog Hervey". It often means physically ill, but can also mean a little bit crazy.
Queer just doesn't mean what it used to mean. Some of us haven't caught up yet.
Very accurate assessment. I can go back in memory to the 1930's. I remember the saying was quite common in that a person was "feeling queer". I would presume it came from the fact that a person coming over sick,had a strange white faced look. Often not immediately responding, while they grappled with an awful feeling.
It was also used off hand, such as "queer state of affairs". One day finally the politically correct censors will come a "right cropper". This is if there is any justice left.