Saturday, 13 August 2016
"I'm Not Defined By Being Gay"
Very proud to have a piece in the Huffington Post, on the front page of Queer Voices.
It's been interesting reading the comments on my little article; interesting in a sadly-ironic way.
It seems rather clear from the negative responses to it that I've hit a nerve. I knew I would. I've been hearing these very same "rebuttals" for years, and they're all coming from the exact same place.
The sad irony is that those claiming to rebut my article, my thesis, are in fact confirming its accuracy. 100%. Confirming it in any and every way it could possibly be confirmed.
Or, perhaps, they didn't read the whole thing and leapt in to comment before realizing that, had they read the whole piece, I not only didn't make the claims they insist I'm making, but I rather clearly explained the aspects they're bringing up as problematic.
But when someone says "I'm not defined by being gay because I'm not like those effeminate lisping fashion gays!" they're not rebutting my article - they're proving exactly what I've written: that how they feel about being gay is still defined by the negative attitudes about Gay Stereotypes espoused by the people in their own lives.
No matter how clearly I write it, some people don't seem to read it properly. So I'll try again.
We are all defined by being gay to the exact same degree, no more and no less than any other gay person. Being defined by being gay does not mean we are limited by being gay - it merely means that being gay is a part of the many things that define who we are.
Either way, it's entirely what I expected from more than a decade of openly proudly gay-and-queer Outspokenness - that those who argue against an empowered gay identity do so because they don't yet have it in them to attain and claim one.
What's been most interesting is this - commenters aren't saying "WE" aren't defined by our being gay, they're saying THEY aren't. As in, OTHERS ARE, but THEY AREN'T.
You know, like I called out in my essay.
No hard feelings toward those expressing negative reactions to my article. How could I begrudge someone who has not yet found the security in their gay identity that I've found in my own?
And to those who let the words sink in - may you shine, and may your newfound understanding of why we need to give up the Language of Apology help inspire others around you to embrace what it means to be gay, and help others Come Out so we can end this culture of homophobia, both external and internal.