Pride and Identity

It’s the tail end of Pride Month. This video got me thinking about some things.

Ramble about stuff below the cut.


I don’t think I’ve ever…actually “celebrated” Pride.

Like, I’ve changed icons into rainbows, reblogged things to support causes and Queer friends, but…though I am part of the LGBTQIA+ community…I still don’t really consider myself in it.

Maybe because I feel I don’t really count. That I’m not enough to fit in.

Or, worse, it’s drudging up the ideas that I will be seen incorrectly no matter what I do.

Am I seen as either a straight ally, or as an obvious gay in the closet/in denial?

I’m neither. I’m a bisexual greyromantic person. Even that is sorta a weird definition- it doesn’t fit into people’s pretty little boxes of being out and proud and visibly identifiable. I didn’t really think I wasn’t “queer” enough until I really started thinking about it. What makes you part of a community? I’m not “active” in terms of an activist…the gayest things I own are a rainbow tie and Sunstone, vol. 1-4. That’s it.

Something I wrote in my creative writing course in college comes to mind. In the wake of the election, I had written about a terrible Thanksgiving. One of the peer-readers (who was also in the LGBT+ community) commented,

“It made me feel a little more at ease that someone who isn’t […] a part of the LGBT community still understands the negative impact that the results of the election had on so many Americans who come from a variety of different backgrounds.”

And a friend pointed out to me that is was sort of harshly assuming, considering…well, I’m in that community, right?

Right?

I don’t really know. What counts as “in the community”? A big question to think about.

I’ve never been to a gay bar, or pride. I haven’t had a “quintessential queer experience”. I’m barely “out” but yet that’s not because of any particular reason. It’s just not something that’s actively portrayed in my offline life.

But I still count. Right?

I don’t know.

Part of this feeling is probably to do with erasure (bi erasure, ace erasure). And the fact that I hardly see queer people whose experiences or identities I also identify with. I feel like an anomaly. An outcast in an already outcasted group. I never had any “queer friends” until college- not because I did/didn’t actively seek them, but because I…

Well, I guess I still see them as “other.” As “different” than me.

There’s nothing wrong with being queer– I am so super supportive and happy for others, and with my own identity.

But I’ve spent a long time denying my existence in relation to others. In a lot of ways. I said a lot going through puberty, “but I’m not like that/I’m not like them/I’m different.”

Because society has told me To Be Like That, To Be Like Them, There Must Be Something Wrong With You.

It’s not true, but that doesn’t get rid of these ingrained feelings.

Saying this to yourself does alienate yourself from people. Only by connecting with others can you begin to understand them. Over time, I have worked to undo those phobic sorts of beliefs, bit by bit. Society wrecks us hard when it comes to judging those who are different in any way. It’s not an easy-fix process.

I feel like “I am not like you, because I am not _____-enough to be part of what you are a part of.” If I’m a part of the community, I’m Too Gay. If I’m not, I’m Too Straight. I don’t fit.

Maybe that’s why I never made friends with the Out Gay People at my school- they just weren’t the clique/crew/group I hung out with. Sure, my friendgroup/interests sometimes overlapped- but when I look at the Queer community I don’t see me in it. Maybe it’s because it seems so Extroverted and Sexualized, and I am Not. I don’t know.

When I was watching the video I linked above, Amp made a comment about how when he was in school, people would come up to him and ask him,

“Are you gay?”

And whooooooah buddy, can I relate to that. I had about the same reaction he did, when people asked: “I’m not gay why would you think I’m gay of course not no way who’s the gay one around here it’s not me!!!!1”

I didn’t know the world bisexual existed, and when I did, everything clicked into place. Same thing for greyromantic: “Oh. That makes sense.”

(This is how it was for me, but it’s not like that for everyone. Labels are complicated, and even though mine “click”, they don’t fit perfectly. Labels are only guidelines for understanding- they’re not black-and-white definitions. They tell you about a person; not who that person is, what they’re passionate about, and what they do in the world.)

But, growing up, I didn’t want people to know me as something I wasn’t- I still don’t. I don’t like people assuming one way or another about me. I don’t ever want to be misconstrued or misunderstood. I prefer to be super neutral in all aspects. That way…well, that way, no one can pick on me or call me out or disagree or hurt me because I’m doing something wrong or different or weird.

 

It’s a rather crap thing, isn’t it.

I feel like I just haunt certain areas, but aren’t ever alive in them.

It’s weird, sometimes, being a ghost.

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