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The battle's far from won

(Someone on my friends list posted, in light of it being National Coming Out Day, asking what she could do as a straight ally.  I posted this response and figured I might as well put it in my journal as well.)

Off the top of my head, and with no specific relevance to you, I'd advocate endeavoring to remain aware of the folk in between.  Bi, trans, intersex, asexual, etc.  In many respects the public acceptance of GLBTQ has only gotten as far as the first two letters; even among liberals (hell, even among gays) the remaining letters are often viewed as weird or invalid, and frequently they're treated as wholly invisible.

The straight-acting gay couple who disassociate themselves from and snark about the blokechick with a beard and a dress are doing immeasurable harm and betraying the equality of the civil rights movement; they aren't destroying the barriers they've railed against for so long, they're just stepping onto the privileged side, changing the label on the pariahs from 'queer' to 'TOO queer'.  Hell, give me Fred Phelps over Dan Savage anyway; at least I know not to listen to Phelps, but when a seemingly right-minded gay columnist says that bisexuals are nothing but greedy sex addicts incapable of fidelity or love, it cuts like a knife.

Anyway, sorry for the rant.  Just letting you know how the equality battle's looking from the middle front, as it were.  I keep hearing from gays how 'we're almost there' and we have 'just a little farther to go'.  I look around at the depictions and treatments of bisexuals, transsexuals, transgendered, and other 'others' and realize that they aren't talking about me.

As a straight ally, just be aware of the rest of us.  I'm not saying that you aren't, just asking that you do.  Recognize bisexuality and transsexuality where they exist and notice when they're ignored.  Speak up, if you feel comfortable, when someone suggests that bisexuals are greedy, indecisive, or trendy, or that folk who straddle gender lines need to 'tone it down' or in any other way conform with the artificial gender binary.

Just please be aware of us.  I'm reminded of the classic phrase, 'we're here, we're queer, get used to it'.  Gays and lesbians are seeing that chant come true, right down to the final words.  The rest of us, unfortunately, are still fighting for the first two.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 11th, 2010 10:00 pm (UTC)
Dan Savage strikes me as kind of a damaged individual...
Oct. 12th, 2010 04:39 am (UTC)
I have been telling people for years now that gay rights won't do anything for trans people...
Oct. 15th, 2010 02:34 am (UTC)
Would you be willing to let us include your thoughts in the Hackgender project (http://www.hackgender.org) with a link to your LJ? We're gathering reflections on gender and sexuality this month, and I really appreciated your apt summation of the invisibility still facing many people.
Feb. 17th, 2013 01:46 am (UTC)
locals online now Go Here dld.bz/chwZG
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


C'est moi!
Audrey J. Sterling

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