Pride and Judgment

I haven’t made a big deal about my sexuality. My impression of a coming out post on social media was my sexuality being relevant to a point I wanted to make, so putting it in as a piece of necessary information before diving into what I actually wanted to talk about. I tell people if they ask, but I don’t walk around waving a flag.

I’m working on a new idea, and went with some character decisions that appealed to me. One of which involved making the MC bisexual. She doesn’t make a big deal out of it, either. It’s not even actually mentioned as her sexuality until long after it’s demonstrated that she’s attracted to both–crushing on a boy, then getting in a relationship with a girl. Even then, it’s mentioned because someone questions it.

Part of why I’m not so vocal, I think, is because I didn’t have a revelation moment. In fact, I spent the better part of a decade not even entirely sure. After all, it’s part of female culture to compliment the appearances (or trash them, depending on what kind of women you know) of other women. It seemed to be a trait of my gender to be able to appreciate the beauty of my own gender. And after all, I definitely was into men. I labeled myself bicurious, and left it alone until it mattered.

So, I find myself in a strange position of feeling both like an ally and part of the community. I’m not vocal. I’m often not even recognized as really a part of it. I don’t appear to be. I’ve been called “very straight” by someone who hadn’t asked before. Not just straight, but very. I identify with the confusion of trying to realize something about yourself you always thought was different and everyone around you said was different. But a lot of the oppression that the community receives has passed me by for the above reason: I pass as not part of it. So well that the community doesn’t notice me, either, unless I make myself known.

With Pride Month happening, I don’t entirely know where to stand or what to do. I’m certainly queer. But a lot of the experiences that are shared and being fought against aren’t my own. I recognize how incredibly lucky that makes me, and I’m not in any way saying I wish I’d been oppressed or violated or beaten. But they’re fighting something that’s actually attacked them. Even being queer myself, what do I have to contribute to the conversation other than, “What they said”?

Quite fortunately, I have several other friends who also identify as bisexual or similar. So, I have my own little miniature group that I can retreat to if I feel the need. Sharing memes that validate bisexuality while laughing at how invalidated it usually is so we can laugh together.

It’s so interesting to me–in a frustrating kind of way–how marginalized groups in turn marginalize others that they decide don’t fit into their group. None of my friends do this to me, but it’s not exactly unknown that some people think bisexuals are making it up. That we’re confused or going through a phase or we’re trying to keep one foot in the closet or we’re looking for attention. Bisexual experiences are labeled as just that by most major media: experimentation, phases. Not just from the straight community. Crossdressers get it, too, as if their lifestyle choices somehow invalidate the sexuality of complete strangers. Plenty of people don’t even know what asexuality is or think it’s a myth.

It’s like US history in a way. Our country was built on people not fitting in where they were and going somewhere else to build their own community. And every time they did, they found someone else to reject, so that those people needed their own community. Our entire history is about displacing or being displaced. And yet, when people invoke the name of the Founding Fathers, it’s not to welcome the displaced but to repel them.

I can’t fathom the disconnect between experiencing oppression and using that experience to oppress others.

My wish for Pride Month is for it to be for anyone who wants to participate. No matter how widely you wave that flag or for what reason. And for everyone waving the flag to accept the others who take it up alongside them, be they queer or ally. You don’t have to agree on anything except this: they know more about their own life and self than you do. Let them be the judge of themselves.