One of the most obnoxious forms of ignorance that LGBTQ people face is identity policing, which often manifests as other people providing “theories” to explain your sexuality. Being queer means that people always feel entitled to an explanation — or worse, they think they know better. Let’s go through the various, ridiculous incarnations of queer identity police.
I am a person with restricted growth (or little person or person with dwarfism), and I am queer. I didn’t come out as queer until I was in my 30s. People asked me why it took so long. The real answer is that accepting my disabled identity was necessary before I could accept my queer one, and for me this has been a long, hard-fought struggle.
I was raised as an Evangelical Christian and after what like a lifetime of Sunday school, church solos, and purity pledges, I finally had a “duh” realization: I like ladies. My newfound liberation was a huge relief, but also tainted by the terror of what came next: telling my parents. I survived, and I come to you now with lessons learned for your benefit.
As many of us do every year around this time, I got some invites to attend Pride Parades, wear my “gayest outfit” for bar/club crawls, and just “come out and celebrate!” I couldn’t put my finger on it, but somehow I was not motivated to go. What exactly are we proud of and celebrating? And on the flipside, what do we have left to tackle in the movement?
You may have heard the label “pansexual” at some point in your feminist readings, but how much about pansexuality do you really know? Watch as Laci Green (self-identifying pansexual!) explains what pansexuality is (attraction to all genders and sexes), what it isn’t (bisexuality), and how to figure out if you’re pansexual, too!
We like to think we’ve come a long way. We like to think that, when it comes to LGBTQIA+ rights, we’ve made leaps and bounds toward equal rights and social acceptance. And we have. But there are still subsets of the queer community that are being ignored or ridiculed, even from within the community itself. And one of these groups is bisexuals.
I never had bad luck with dates or flings, especially with the kinds of men who look good on paper. Yet my trysts with these men never led to anything meaningful. I was constantly being pushed away or kept out of sight by men attracted to me but terrified of what everyone else might think of dating a transgender woman. That is, until I met Drew.
Asexuality is just now coming onto the horizon as an identity. In the last ten years, there has been a growing awareness that some people don’t want or need sex to live fulfilled lives. However, something that still confuses people is how asexual people date! So I spoke with two asexual activists in order to better understand dating in the asexual community.
As a gay feminist, I’ve had to tell many the straight boy, “Those jokes make me feel uncomfortable. Please stop.” The percussive nature of gay rape jokes can certainly get a laugh, but they also speak to some of our societal attitudes regarding rape and queer sexuality. Here are some answers to the question, “Why do people think gay rape jokes are okay?”
Recently, an acquaintance invited me to a party. “It’s just for women and we will have a male stripper, but you can come since you’re gay.” I politely declined. Black, gay, and recently married are just a few of my identities. Identities are constantly changing and are largely self-created. Allies need to fully understand, respect, and encourage this belief.