I know, I know. You see a title like this and immediately have war flashbacks. So many non-queer people have written or filmed open letters to the LGBT+ community. These missives are filled with the hottest of takes and are often tone-deaf or hyper-focused on a particular letter (usually the T). It’s exhausting.
But I am a member of the community. And my letter isn’t a whiny diatribe against queer people wanting crazy things like equal rights. Rather, it is a plea to my fellow queer folk. Because y’all, we need to make a few changes.
We have got to stop with all the in-fighting. We need to quit arguing about which one of us faces the most discrimination, as if it’s a contest. The LGBT+ community is supposed to be a place in which we’re united, a sanctuary from the bigots of the world. Our experiences may not be identical, but we understand each other better than those whose sexual and gender identities are still considered the “norm.”
So why is it that at least once a week I see a viral tweet about how one group is more oppressed than another or that a certain group is exclusionary and mean? Why all the wars over whose sexuality is more valid? Why do we keep accusing each other of being bigoted against other members of the community based solely on sexuality? Why is there so much hate in a group that’s meant to show love?
Let’s accept something once and for all: no group is “more oppressed” than another. I don’t care what statistics you have. Oppression isn’t a competition. Bisexuals don’t have it worse than gay people. Gay men don’t have it worse than gay women. We just experience our queerness differently and, thus, experience bigotry differently. There’s no “easier” way to experience oppression and prejudice. Every way is difficult and every way sucks.
And let’s get another thing straight: just because a few people in a group are bigoted or discriminatory, doesn’t mean they all are. You’d think a community that’s fought so hard against stereotypes would know better than to generalize a group of people. Just because a handful of gay people said bisexuals and pansexuals inevitably “pick a side” or call an opposite-sex relationship heterosexual, doesn’t mean all gay people are bi- and panphobic. I can promise you the majority of us don’t feel that way.
We, as a community, need to remember that the individual doesn’t represent the group as a whole. We also need to remember that just because something can be a certain way, doesn’t mean it always is. Yes, sexuality and gender can be fluid. But that doesn’t mean it is for every person nor does it mean that monosexual or non-genderfluid people are closed-minded. Please don’t police people’s identities because they’re not “woke” enough for you. Just let people be.
Here’s something else we should all get behind: no sexuality is inherently oppressive of another. Simply being pansexual is not biphobic, or vice versa. Bigotry is not inherent to one’s sexuality. It’s a belief a person holds. The majority of the time, said bigot’s sexuality is inconsequential to their beliefs.
It is possible that someone may identify as one sexuality because they erroneously believe another to be inherently bigoted. These people are, quite frankly, wrong. They’re not wrong to identify how they identify— it’s their reasoning that’s wrong. Because, again, a sexuality cannot be prejudiced. It merely dictates who one is attracted to, not who they hate.
Moreover, no sexuality excludes trans people. Gay, straight, bi, pan, whatever— not a single one comes with fine print. If a person point blank refuses to date a trans person, it is they who is transphobic— not their sexuality.
However, please understand that I’m speaking in the abstract here. Attraction is by a person-to-person basis, whether cis or trans. If someone has a gender and/or genital preference (which you’ll find with gay and straight people), that doesn’t mean they’re transphobic. If you think it does, perhaps that means you don’t consider trans people to be “real” men or women. And that’s on you, not gay people.
Also, having a genital preference is something that only becomes an issue during the act of sex. And it’s an issue of physical compatibility more than anything. It’s also not limited to trans people. Cis people can have genitals that are not compatible with each other, whether in size, texture, or some other third thing. No matter who your partner is, this isn’t a concern or discussion you need to have until you’re actually having sex.
Please quit using trans people as pawns in your arguments. You lot claim to be so woke, but you’re not treating trans people like human beings when you use them solely for “woke points.” Leave them alone, you weirdos.
Now, let’s clarify one final thing: no one should be kicked out of the community. Stop advocating to remove the L or the T or any other letter. We all belong here (not to mention, the two groups who most often speak out and go to bat for the others are the L and the T). The LGBT+ community is supposed to show us that we’re not alone. In arguing to kick people out of the group, you’re saying they don’t deserve that sense of security. How can you, knowing how it feels to be invalidated and excluded, act as a gatekeeper and still sleep at night?
All the in-fighting in queer circles accomplishes nothing but making a supposed safe space toxic. In fact, it makes things much easier for the bigots who want to strip us of our rights (or prevent us from getting them in the first place). If we can’t even get on the same page as one another, how can we possibly convince bigots they’re wrong and send a message of togetherness? Until we can present a united front, we’ll be at a standstill.
Let’s focus on what brings us together. Then we’ll be able to better empathize over our differences. It’s 2019 and it’s time for a rainbow connection.
Sorry for being MIA the past five days. I had a pretty serious migraine over the weekend and then didn’t feel like writing anything on my days off. But I have a few posts planned for this week that I’m excited about, including Top 5 Wednesday tomorrow. I’ll definitely be back to posting frequent content this week.
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