Tag Archives: queer

coming out is hard

i get a lot of messages about coming out. specifically, some of you cats seem really concerned about coming out the “right” way in order to scare away as few people as possible. (this isn’t going to be a reprimand or anything; i’m just gonna address all of you at once.). i get why you might think it’s vitally important to come out a certain way, but shit doesn’t work like that, imo.

like some of you, i’ve spent a fuck-ton of time beating my ass for not coming out better. i used to think if only i’d come out more politely, more coherently, more gracefully, more (insert adverb), maybe my partner’s family wouldn’t have responded to my coming out by ostracizing my partner and i. if only i’d been a better trans* person, maybe they would’ve responded with acceptance and support.

but i’m calling shenanigans on that shit.

coming out never goes well. it’s never perfect. Imagedoing it “right” won’t magically make the people you come out to discover how un-asshole-like they really are. if they’re assholes, there’s nothing you can say that’ll transform them into respectful, supportive people. if they’re not assholes, the most awkward/tense/incoherent coming-out in the whole fucking world isn’t going to transform them into assholes.

so chill, if you can. if you can’t chill, that’s ok. coming out can be really hard even when you figure it’s technically safe to do so; don’t be surprised if you can’t be laid back about it.

but also don’t be surprised when your well-rehearsed coming out speech comes out all fucked up. most folks are nervous or plain scared when they come out; no wonder so few of us manage to utter exactly the words we’ve planned on.

and we have a lot to be nervous/scared about. there’s a lot of stigma attached to being queer (i’m including transness in queerness), especially for those of us who face multiple oppressions. so if your guts get all twisted up every time you come out, even after you’ve come out multiple times, that’s fucking fine. really.

anyone who rejects you as a trans*/asexual/bisexual/fabulous person cuz you were nervous and/or awkward when you came out is a fucking asshole.  it’s not your job to come out gracefully, tactfully, and coherently while doing ballet and reciting shakespeare. just coming out is enough.

actually, since many people don’t have the luxury of coming out, just existing is enough. coming out is a fucking radical act all on it’s own, no pyrotechnics (ex. being coherent and polite) required. even living in this world as an oppressed person is radical; you’re already doing your bit.

k? i get that feels are complicated and you can’t just force yourself to stop obsessing over your past /future coming out experiences, but just know that you deserve respect (and cupcakes!) no matter how (or if) you come out. you are fucking awesome: awkwardness, nervousness, incoherence and all.

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feel free to share coming out stories, not-coming out stories, feelings around coming out, etc. please don’t talk about coming out as inevitable or necessary, though, cuz some people don’t want to come out (or can’t); please be mindful of that. thanks!

also, zillions of thanks to south carolina boy for helping me stop blaming myself when the people i come out to reject me. <33333333 cuz you wrote something in a comment or an email (this was months ago) and the meaning behind it just lies along my bones and radiates awesome. yay!

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“diversity” my awesome fat ass

know what i’m fucking done with? people saying “gay” or “gay and lesbian” when they mean “queer.” (i’m also done with people saying “queer” when they mean “gay.”)

i just read an article in a newspaper entitled “gay and lesbian community celebrates diversity.” the article is about a local group that organizes pride events every year. they claim to be about celebrating all sorts of queer folks, but this article gives no hint that bisexual, pansexual or asexual (etc.) people even exist. instead, the article talks about gay and lesbian people as though they’re the entire queer community.

to make shit worse, the article uses the word “transgenders.” like, they can only be bothered to refer to us once in article with the word “diversity” in the title— and they think “transgender” is a noun.

i have no idea if this is just shitty reporting or if this queer (gay and lesbian?) group actually erased multisexual/asexual folks during the interview, but fuck off. not that i find any of this surprising, but it still pisses me off.

and i know it’s only the beginning; pride season is upon us. we get to hear about “gay pride” and gay pride parades” all summer. i find this really upsetting; our own community has no space for us.

there’s only one thing to do; go forth and smite those who would erase us, my lovelies. go forth.

my school’s queer-straight alliance is wicked-awesome

i know i have enough privilege (white, currently-abled, dfab, conditional cis) to not have to worry about my safety as much as, say, tpoc, but i feel like i always have to be ready for shit.  it’s weird cuz i don’t realize i have my hackles up til i enter actual safe space– and then my shoulders slip down by increments and my stunned jaw thaws.  it’s like i’m so tense all the time that i don’t realize i’m tense til my body tells me it’s over.

every time i walk into the room where my qsa meets, it’s the same.   i realize i’ve been holding myself in when i finally get to sit down in that small room filled with fabulous queers.  those cats are just neon.

i joined my school’s qsa in october-ish; it’s been pretty fucking rad.  also, there’re a bunch of trans* folks in my qsa– and i’m not the only nonbinary person!  huzzah!  i actually get to interact with cats whose pronouns are the same as mine.

i don’t know how to describe my feelings about hanging out with other nonbinary trans* folks in meatspace.  it makes me feel real/safe/solid/shocked/excited/humbled!  i don’t know.  i just can’t explain it, but i bet lotsa you cats know what i’m talking about.  like, i’m SOLID now.  i might actually be a real person!  and these cats always get my pronouns right; that’s pretty rare.  pretty special.

also, all the cis folks in my qsa are lovely and i love them.  <3  they make me feel safe and they seem to give a shit about trans* people.  yay!

i’m rambling.  sorry, folks!  i guess it’s past my bedtime and shit, but i just wanted to tell you about my qsa; they’re a fucking neon bunch.  glitter and plaid for all!  g’night!

also, here’s a silly picture of some of the cats in my qsa:

qsa

queer dinosaur in space!

queer t-rex on the moon with rainbows.  that is all.

on “genderblind”

i have some stuff to say about the term “genderblind.”  i’m gonna try to be careful about not stepping on other people’s toes, but please lemme know if i fail, k?

k.  so “genderblind” makes me uncomfortable cuz it makes me think you actually don’t see gender (or you like to behave as though you don’t see gender).  actually, “genderblind” sorta reminds me of “color blind,” a truly problematic and racist phenomenon.

if you don’t see gender, how can you respect gender?  if you don’t see gender and if you have difficulty respecting gender– are you going to get my pronouns right?  are you going to get, say, reneta’s pronouns right?  are you going to acknowledge the concrete differences between being a cis person and being a trans* person?  are you going to acknowledge cis privilege and trans* oppression?

if you don’t see gender, how can you acknowledge that people of different genders may have different needs and are treated differently by society at large?  like, if i’m at your dinner party and you say you “don’t see dietary restrictions,”– what if i’m a diabetic? a vegetarian? allergic to peanuts?  how can you be prepared to feed people if you don’t see or respect their dietary restrictions?  (i don’t really know if this is a good parallel; sorry if it sucks.)

i fight every single day to be seen as my gender.  i come out to strangers on the fly CONSTANTLY (cuz it’s in my self-respect policy).  i end up holding in my piss for hours cuz i can’t find a non-gendered bathroom.  i have to avoid restaurants without non-gendered bathrooms.  i have to avoid clothing stores without non-gendered change rooms.  strangers feel entitled to tell me i’m gross when i come out as trans*.  i have to lie to the government on official forms, and my partner and i are estranged from his side of the family– so i reallyreally hope you aren’t telling me you think my gender is unimportant.

i put a lot of work into fighting for the right to take up space in this world as a person of my gender– and that matters to me.  the widespread notion that people of my gender don’t even exist affects me in a million ways every day; i WANT you to see my gender.  i want you to see ME and all my little bits– and that includes my non-binary gender.

and what about (usually dmab) trans* people who face violence for their genders?  i mean, cissexism isn’t genderblind.  i also hope you aren’t blind to the realities of rape culture; rape culture isn’t genderblind, either.

this probably isn’t what you mean when you tell me you’re genderblind.  i know.  but this is what you leave me with when you just tell me you’re genderblind and act like the conversation’s done.

thoughts, anyone?  am i the only one who doesn’t think “genderblind” is just a harmless little word?

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if you’re genderblind, i’m not challenging you; you’re entitled to id however you like without having to explain yourself to people in internet-land.

however, i do think there are ways of id-ing as genderblind that aren’t problematic.  like, if you tell me you’re genderblind and then you talk about what that means to you– yay.  cuz i know lotsa people just mean they don’t discriminate based on gender, they believe all people deserve the same basic rights, and/or  they experience attraction to people regardless of gender.  which is lovely.

this post is really just about the things that go through my head when people drop the word “genderblind” and leave it at that.

makeup is not inherently misogynist

fem(mes) who think fem(me) might be a misogynist identity, i got some stuff to say to you.  i know it’s cliche, but i wanna say it anyway.  here goes.

be fierce (if you like), be proud.  wear your makeup as loud as you please (or not) and read this article.

you are not the sick product of the patriarchy; you are unique and dazzling fem(mes)!  the notions that all fem(mes) are women, that all women are fem(mes), and that all fem(mes) are passive and weak are the sick products of the patriarchy, not your subversive femininity.

cuz femininity can be subversive.  every time a fem(me) decorates themself with the trappings of their dazzling choosing for THEMSELF, they tell misogynists to fucking get over their shit.  cuz fem(me) is the reclamation of pride in femininity, isn’t it?

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fem(mes), please tell me if this post is problematic in any way.  I don’t id as fem(me) and I’d love some feedback.

stuff to tell kids: hate crimes suck hard and “queer” isn’t a dirty word

“being a child doesn’t protect you from hate crimes…”  —reneta xian (read original post)

this is a very powerful statement.  most people just “protect” their children from such “grown-up” concepts as sexual orientation and gender identity (including transness).  most people don’t even consider why they think these ideas are too grown-up for their kids— they just instinctively “protect” their offspring.

i mean, i have 5 nephews and 1 niece.  they’re all more awesome than velociraptor astronauts (that’s pretty awesome, right?), but they don’t know much about queer issues— other than what i talk to them about.  their schools won’t touch an issue if it isn’t as straight and as cis as possible— which is pretty fucking lame.

a few months ago, when i first tried to explain to my niece and my two oldest nephews that i’m not female, my niece chimed in with “of course you’re a girl!  you’re in love with uncle d_____!”  ew.  let’s talk about that, o_____.  sometimes, women love women and men love men.  sometimes, a person isn’t even a man or a woman— but they still date and fall in love.

my niece and nephews were kinda bewildered; i don’t think they’d ever really heard of something as simple as real gay people.  let alone people who aren’t male or female and who don’t really care about the gender of their partner.  nobody, not their teachers or their parents or the books in the children’s section at the library had really talked to them about gender and sexual diversity.

and that makes me sad, folks.  this isn’t a “dirty” topic.  i’m not talking about discussing the detailed mechanics of sex between two women or about the details of bottom surgery.  i’m just talking about the existence of people who aren’t heterosexual and/or cisgender.  that’s it.  just that queer people exist and that ALL people, queer or otherwise, deserve respect.  i understand that schools don’t want to upset parents by discussing controversial issues with their kids, but human diversity should NOT be considered controversial.

leaving kids ignorant about gender and sexuality doesn’t result in a bunch of unqueer children— and it doesn’t protect queer children from bullying and erasure.  leaving kids to figure out the truth about human diversity leads to hate crimes, shame, and loneliness.  ignorant queer kids grow up feeling isolated and afraid.  ignorant unqueer kids grow up thinking that queer people aren’t really human and/or don’t really exist.  to me, this totally looks like a great way to keep the brutal pot of hate criminals and their victims perpetually bubbling.

tv shows are including increasing numbers of queer characters.  and in real life, people don’t always lose their jobs and their families as soon as they come out as queer.  things are looking up.  shit is getting better.  but what we’re seeing today in the media and in society at large is increasing tolerance of queerness.  what we need is education from an early age— education promoting basic respect as opposed to half-assed education promoting tolerance.

children can be victims of hate crimes.  children can commit hate crimes.  the adults they will grow into can also be victims or perpetrators of hate crimes.  the only way to protect children is to educate them.

so, yeah. what do you guys think about this?  how soon is too soon to discuss queerness with kids?  what about discussing gender and sex stereotypes with kids?  is that shit too grown-up?  talk to me, peoples!

note: reneta xian pretty much says it all; i just sorta bounced off her sweet post.  go read her stuff.