Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Response: What not to say when you find out someone's queer

This is a response to the post linked below by Holly at 'Bisexual Wombat'.
If you don't read 'Bisexual Wombat', you should.


Dear Holly,

The more I thought about it, the more unsure I grew about whether I agree with you or not. It reminds me of the whole discussion at the moment about the queer culture assimilating hetero-normative behaviour, brought out by the UK government consultation on equal marriage.

Some think that we're in danger of being sucked into majority culture and losing all identity as a minority.

And I agree with not wanting that. I don't think we should go back to the times of keeping ourselves separate, but we do need to maintain our own unique brand as it's own entity, in harmony with everyone else but not absorbed by it. Queer folk need a community and a platform to be queer together, and celebrate being queer. This is where people need to care, to be interested - not ignore sexuality; they would not try and blank being told about any other part of a personality or lifestyle. It's an intrinsic part of our lives - who we fall in love with is different to the majority - and it should not be ignored; if it doesn't matter that we're queer, why should we bother celebrating?

However, I do not want a big fuss made. I know that's not what you mean, but I still blanch a little - it feels weird to disagree with 'I don't want people to care about sexuality'. Whilst I want to be acknowledged as a bisexual, and have people in my life embrace it consciously and enthusiastically; and whilst it is part of my identity - it does not define me. I want people to be comfortable maintaining a view of me that includes my sexuality, but is not dominated by it.

I want people to care, I agree with that. But it makes me wince to say it; I feel like I'm advocating making a hullaballoo and shoving it in people's faces "I'm bi, and I don't care what the f**k you think!" And this is where my dilemma is - I want to agree that it should matter, but I don't want people to care about it in particular, just care because it's part of me, and they care about me.

But, minority sexualities need awareness and consideration, and you're right, they definitely do not need flippancy.


I don't know if I'm making sense, to you or to myself. I agree that it should not be treated as heterosexuality is, without notice or appreciation - it is a minority, and therefore special, and should be duly noted.

But I don't want more than note. But I do want something.

Okay, so overall, I think we're on the same page. You're not advocating anything extreme, just helping the straight people get it right. We have to fight to be accepted and at the same time fight to maintain a status as a definite whole, and that's a bloody tricky line to tread, queer or straight.

I'm glad you made me think about it, because I hadn't before. Thank you.

Esme T xx

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