The queer community has to address how it perpetuates queerphobia.
Yes, all queer people because for far too long we’ve acted as though queerphobia has only come from outside the community, and as though we aren’t actively perpetuating hate against ourselves. Yes, all queer people because the real issue here is about the most marginalised in the community and not about collecting individuals popularity points. Yes, all queer people because we all benefit from oppression and it’s time we addressed that. Yes, all queer people because if we aren’t for all queer people, we’re against all queer people.
Queerphobia from our own community has gone on too long. There are complaints about specific and common problems but so often these are framed as ideological issues. It’s almost as though it’s bi people vs gay people, and not accurately portrayed as anyone being biphobic is also being queerphobic. Stop denying people’s queerness. The aggression from within our own community pours out everywhere.
It’s gay men who grew up feeling like they were never quite manly enough but then say “no femmes” as they scroll through Grindr. Oh, and no black people or plus sized people either.
It’s queer people who argue ISIS is evil for throwing gay men off buildings but they never once stop to think about the refugee crisis we’ve got due to people fleeing ISIS. It’s saying Islam hates queer people but never stopping to listen to queer Muslims and their experience. If everyone is so bothered about how seemingly oppressive Islam is then why aren’t queer Muslims ever listened to?
It’s radical feminist cis lesbians not wanting womanhood defined by the ability to get pregnant – unless of course you’re a trans person who requires the bathroom and then they argue there has to be an enforced genital check. It’s saying women are about more than their periods and we should never make jokes about mood swings because gender is a social construct, except for when it comes to other people’s gender. Then that’s real and defined by complete strangers. So where exactly does the queer community stand on the right to bodily autonomy and supporting respect for identities?
It’s saying that we should all be able to fuck who we want, except for us bisexuals. We can only take someone of the same gender to bed, otherwise we’re traitors. I fail to see how biphobic lesbians whining a bisexual might not sleep with them is any different to the entitlement of cis men, but it’s under the veneer of being queer so somehow it gets a pass.
It’s being so sex positive that it ends up erasing asexuals or saying they aren’t queer. It’s taking our own oppression and saying only we can experience it and then weaponising it against others. Asexual and aromantic people frequently hear that they’re freaks, predators who are masquerading as harmless, and that they’re just not natural or are lying – every single argument that has been applied to the L, the G, the B, and the T. Yet, queer people still keep up with saying asexual and aromantic people aren’t really queer.
It’s arguing that bi enforces a binary and pan people think bi people are transphobic. Two of the most marginalised identities within the community should not be pitted against each other.
It’s arguing that if we aren’t queer by fucking then we’re not queer, because compelling people to have sex to be validated is somehow now the norm in the community.
It’s saying we absolutely accept diverse identities, but we should have bouncers that throw out queers who don’t look how we think other queer people appear.
It’s saying there are too many letters in the acronym, right after your own letter has been counted. If you can remember your own identity then you can remember other people’s. This is supposed to be a community, not a personal social media page.
It’s refusing to talk about anything other than pride when we have serious issues with intimate partner violence, mental health, poverty and homelessness. We have marriage though so it’s all good. We don’t need to offer any real fix, except in town on a Saturday night, because if it isn’t a pride event it isn’t a party. There’s no pride in trying to tackle our queer homeless crisis, apparently.
The queer community isn’t a safe space for all. Have we ever stopped to consider that so many people might not yet be out because of our actions too? It might not just be on the allocishets. When there’s so many persistent forms of queerphobia in the community, so many just aren’t going to want to come out. Queer activism can feel like an endless battle of trying to get people who are supposed to be on your side in solidarity to listen, but they’re actually lobbying for the opposition. It gets better, but only if we too work to make it better.