I’m probably going to get flamed for this, but I don’t get this whole alphabet of a group I’m supposed to be a member of. It’s referred to as my community, but is it really?
When I was young, we were gay and lesbian. I still wonder why that distinction was made, because aren’t lesbians gay? How come gay men didn’t have a different label? Could we have been Spartans and Lesbians? I’d have liked that. Spartans are cool. So I already felt like we were labeling two sides of the same coin as different things. We were all homosexual, we were equally discriminated against, ours was the love that dare not speak its name. Granted, lesbian sex was never illegal. Interesting that…turns out that the Victorians just couldn’t imagine two women being together, so it was never made illegal, but still.
Then we were LGB. Bisexuals were added to our community (who decides this? I wasn’t consulted). Okay, I kind of get that. We’re all somewhere on the Kinsey scale. Still, bisexuals could marry their opposite sex partner and I don’t know of many bisexuals who were fired from their jobs for being bi (maybe they were, I don’t know). But, they’re kind of gay, and if they were willing to stand up and fight for my rights, I’d welcome them. I couldn’t marry my partner though.
I had more of an issue when it was decided by whomever decides these things that Trans people were my community. I mean, gay Trans people are, because they are gay. If you were born a man and become a woman, you’re a women, full stop. If you like other women, you’re gay. Welcome sister. If you like men, guess what, you’re straight. What do I have in common with you? I’m not sure. You are a straight woman who happened to be born in the wrong body. I’m a man who likes men. I get that Trans people face discrimination. “The other” always does, but we haven’t added African Americans to our group even though they face discrimination every day. I bet there are straight Trans people who have negative feelings about homosexuality. I’m not particularly a fan of Caitlin Jenner. She can fuck off.
Now there’s Queer. I’m not a fan of that term. I don’t even really understand it. It’s just a term that describes being something different without defining what that difference is. Am I queer because I’m gay? Maybe, but gay is already listed so that can’t be it. Can I be gay and not queer? Seems not, at least in the way the term was historically used. I think it’s making it too complicated and now I’m in a “community” with people whose sexuality or lack of it is undefined. If your non-binary, polysexual, or asexual, fine. I’m not. I’m homosexual. You don’t have to define your sexuality, but that makes us even less similar. I’m a 100% grade A homo. I’m probably not going to hang out with you, honestly. I don’t know. Queer is an all encompassing term with no specific meaning. Anyone can be queer. Maybe we should all just be Queer and leave it at that. It would make the letterhead simpler. But if you just say Queer, someone is going to be upset.
Really what I think all this alphabet soup is trying to do is group together anyone who is not cis-gendered “hetero-normative” in one very large kumbaya. Is that a good thing? Maybe, probably. That doesn’t make a “community” though. Each group has its own issues, it’s own agenda, it’s own needs, and I fully support them, because as a gay man, I know what it feels like to be considered less than human, less deserving, less valuable. But with each letter added, I feel less and less like I have much in common with them and more and more like we are forcing disparate groups together under one banner.
It would be really nice if we didn’t have to fight for acceptance, if everyone was just accepted for who they are. But humanity has never done that. Our lizard brains are always looking for reasons to hate. I fight hate in any form and I’ll fight for your rights, but that doesn’t make us one big community. If you want to be part of the my community, the gay community, great. The tent is open. If you don’t, we can pitch our tents next to each other and work together. I’ll be in with the other Spartans.