I put this graphic on my FB header the other day. Everyone assumes it’s to “celebrate” Pride Month:
Well, not exactly. When I told Nick it was just for giggles and I was taking it down because I’m SICK TO DEATH of Pride and the double standard that SO many of the Community have, he INSISTED that I make a post about my feelings and lean into it rather than just be silent. So, here it is!
I’ve been very unhappy with the trend perpetuated by mostly the younger set of queer kids that REQUIRES everyone to label themselves and also make sure to tell everyone they meet about those labels in great detail. Also, this is an AMERICAN thing. Americans tend to obsess and this is definitely the case here. The obsession with labels runs deep.
I’m also unhappy with the trend in the Community of being rude and dismissive of CIS people and/or non-queer people – aka GATEKEEPING. There was an incident recently on FB where a trans person was horribly rude and dismissive to a CIS person who actually made a well thought out and accurate comment on the post. The person who’d asked the question made a snide comment to the commenter like “this question was intended for young queer people” or something similar.
WAT? Excuse me? OH, so what about me, then? I’m old and likely not queer enough for you, so I assume my comments are irrelevant as well?
That really rubbed me the wrong way. I deleted my supportive comments to the “not queer enough” person and left that thread immediately, lest I tell the person who posted to fuck off. SO, let me get this straight (ha!!): YOU want everyone on the planet to cater to your preferences without complaint, but it’s perfectly fine for YOU to ostracize CIS people or people who prefer to skip labels or people who are not queer enough? Hmmm.
This leads me to the graphic. I thought it was funny, for one thing, which is really why I edited it and posted it. I took it down, because I’m not having anything more to do with Pride or the Community for now. I’m done putting up with the absolute BULLSHIT about labels and fucking pronouns. I try to use pronouns as requested, that’s not the problem, it’s people who are militant about it and get butthurt if you slip or if you don’t use the current one, despite being told directly that using the previous one was FINE. Yes, this has happened. I comply to the best of my ability to use the preferred pronoun, but I don’t expect me to read your fucking mind. (This does NOT include trans people, that’s totally different.)
We’ve always identified as bi or just queer. That’s it. No deeper labels, no explanations. But now that is not sufficient. OG queer people are increasingly being pushed out of the conversation and WE DO NOT APPRECIATE IT. Nick told me that there is a large contingent of OG queer people (and a few young ones, too) who are also feeling marginalized by the more militant generation of queer folk who DEMAND labels and DEMAND that you pick one. At least I’m not alone, I guess.
I follow Rain Dove (@raindovemodel IG) and I really LOVE their attitude about labels: NO THANKS. Their mantra is “I am I”. While their “preferred” pronoun is they (or really: Rain Dove), Rain Dove has stated repeatedly that they do not give a single shit about pronouns. If she looks like a girl that day, she is fine; if he looks like a boy that day, he is fine. Rain Dove finds all the hubbub over pronouns to be a tempest in a teacup. AS DO I, but I will still use whatever someone wants. Trans people are the exception to this, since they are actually swapping genders, so it is absolutely essential to use the correct one.
Look, you want to be he, she, they, or Cousin It, I really DGAF. You do you, baby. I’ll do my best to accommodate you. You want to label yourself and bring it up in every conversation, sure, go ahead, but don’t expect me to participate. Also don’t expect me to follow YOUR rules. You don’t like the term bi? Well, who cares? If I like it, I’ll use it.
I feel that it is seriously none of your business what I identify as and I really don’t care to hear about your shit, either, unless I specifically ask you. And neither do most people. What the militant group needs to understand is that they are the outliers. Most of us (esp the OG) just live our lives and don’t spend inordinate amounts of time pondering which gender we are or which label we should use, nor do we gatekeep others about it.
I’m sorry to burst the gatekeepers’ bubble (not really), but most of us queer folks just want to be left alone to live our lives as we see fit.
I think the queer community is for EVERYONE. I DGAF what you label yourself as (if anything).
If you feel that you are a part of the queer community, then you are. Welcome! We have glitter, boots and dark lipstick!
Gatekeeping is not only inappropriate, but it is offputting at best and really fucking annoying at worst.
This is why I am stepping back from Pride and refusing to identify myself as anything in particular. It is none of your business. I am queer. I am I. Deal with it.