Not Queer Enough
On the idea of non-monosexual erasure and prejudice in the GSM (gender and sexual minority) community.
Today we take a look at a source I rarely ever venture into on my own, a Reddit thread. For some reason Tumblr users and Redditors are mortal enemies, and I’m not a big fan of the layout of the website in the first place, so it’s typically uncharted ground. But I did see a post that struck a heart string. A young, closeted bisexual girl, describing how she doesn’t feel “Queer Enough” to fit in to the community. It may seem like nothing, but this is a huge criticism the community faces, and one of the reason’s I choose not to participate in many “pride” events. It’s problematic to the point that it took her “days to work up the nerve to post this”, and she avoids having other queer friends for fear of being judged.
One thing monosexuals, either straight or gay, don’t understand and seem to dislike, is the idea of having heterosexual thoughts sometimes, and homosexual thoughts at others, and many are very outspoken about it. Twitter polls reveal many gay individuals would never date a bi or pansexual individual. (I won’t get too into the differences between the two, I don’t think many of us know either, it’s just which word we think fits us better. I use pan because I’ve dated people outside the gender binary altogether, but other people may feel differently on the matter).
So this poor girl’s thoughts are well grounded. Her post itself is short and too the point. She is a closeted girl who identifies as bisexual, and does not have any queer friends, and she feels isolated and alone. But the comments on her post are what truly show how big of an ordeal this is. Trans individuals feel that they aren’t “trans enough”. Members of even monosexual identities explain that they’ve felt the same way, but for different reasons. A pansexual commenter (Username Helzibah) offered their own advice, which is what I really want to share with you.
“Seriously, you’re not alone in this. I always used to wonder if I’d made up the gay part and was just imagining it. I’m pretty comfortable with who I am now, but it took a bunch of time and just general life experience to chill out and accept it. I’m also in a long-term, monogamous, straight relationship, so the gay side of me is all hypothetical. But then, the straight side of me was hypothetical when I was younger too, so really it’s just the same thing.
I can’t really give any solid advice, except don’t be afraid to explore your sexuality. Flirt with people, watch porn, read erotic stories, fantasise, watch films or TV shows and pay attention to who you find attractive. You might find it interesting to keep a log of this stuff, I idly use a particular TV show as my ‘gay meter’ because it contains attractive girls and boys and it’s interesting to see who I find more attractive on any given day. Sometimes the girls are totally hot and I’m not bothered by the guys, sometimes the reverse, sometimes I just want to touch them all and sometimes I’m more asexual than anything. I also find that romantic attraction and sexual attraction aren’t always in sync which I didn’t expect. I might feel like cuddling up with one gender but having sex with the other.
It’s trite, but the best way to love yourself is to understand yourself. Just explore and have fun.”
When it all comes down to it, we’re all just a bunch of queer folk trying to get basic human rights. I can’t marry my partner, donate blood, or travel to certain countries. But when members of the community start attacking each other, the big issues get put back, because we have to deal with these things first. We aren’t going to get anywhere with infighting.
Personally, I find it hard to understand why certain sexualities receive such animosity in the community. Bisexuals, Pansexuals, Asexuals/Aromantics, and Nonbinary individuals often seem to get the shorter end of an already short stick. Hell, even lesbians get thrown in with us sometimes. The image of the GSM family is a flamboyant, physically fit yet somehow still very effeminate, white, gay man. At least to the public anyways. Within the community, especially online, it becomes a contest to see who is the “ultimate queer”. It’s almost as if there’s a checklist being passed around and whoever can fill in the most “oppression counter” bubbles is most deserving of the title. And god forbid you have any sort of “privilege”. I’m both straight-passing (sometimes), and white-passing, so it is assumed I’m straight and white. Neither of which is true.
Recently, my university’s GSA has been riddled with poor management and an elitist ideology. At times it feels the only people who are taken seriously are lesbians of color, and if you have a strong preference in your sexuality (such as not being attracted to trans individuals as much as cis, but still respecting trans identities and treating them like decent human beings, as happened to a friend of mine), you are shunned. I’ll be honest, I only went to one meeting, but it’s because in that short amount of time I was able to determine that this was not a safe space for me. When a member criticized Atlanta Pride for not offering much to those on the Ace Spectrum, such as black rings (a symbol their sub-community has adopted) at merchandise booths, she was told that “they weren’t really that important at the parade”. I have heard rumors of other things happening, such as at the GSA Conference, but I personally was not there to know, so I will not share misinformation.
I understand your pain, Reddit user HolyKatana. A lot of us in the community do. But we as members of the community know how to stand through adversity, and hopefully sometime in the near future we will be united under our acronym yet again.
If you yourself have felt “not queer enough” please feel welcome to comment below and share your experience.