27 September 2011

there is no magic word for how i feel

Thrifted Shirt, Vintage Leather Shorts, c/o Rebecca Minkoff Bag, c/o Steve Madden Silver Oxfords, Zana Bayne Harness. It looks like I have a weird rash on my leg but IT'S THE PHOTO FILTER I SWEAR OK

 I was initially reluctant to talk about it (uhm, my being queer) on FP.... it's not that I was ever in the closet, or hiding it from the internet, but FP is a personal style blog and most of my random talking falls into my tumblr. But I have been getting dozens of tumblr asks and emails talking about femme invisibility lately and lesbian self doubt, being uncomfortable with labels, et all and I guess the short of it all is that I've been there too, and I am still there. Being un-straight is hard. For anyone who doesn't identify as strictly heterosexual, we constantly deal with labels, with coming out, with finding others like us, with presentation, with whatever. It is kind of like falling over yourself in the dark, over and over again. Everyone deals with wondering who they like, I guess, but for a lot of queer kids it's not just wondering who they like, but how to translate your feelings about people into a word. Just like, a single word.

Straight kids won't ever have to do that, because their sexuality is normal, represented everywhere, all the time. That is their privilege. They are lucky to have that. Good for them.

Privilege is not something to be ashamed of, and I don't hate straight people, or anyone with privilege.....not on the basis of them having privilege, anyway. It is just imperative that those with privilege acknowledge it. That, of course, is the funny thing about privilege: it's privilege because you don't notice it. It's just there. You don't wonder about it. You don't question it. You dismiss it as the way the world works. Queer kids will never have straight privilege, not in this system, not in this society, not how it is right now, but I mean, it's getting better. But we're still operating under a system where there is one normal, and everyone else is just that: someone else. The other. Queer kids fall into that category.

Now I don't mind being the 'other', and that is perhaps because I don't "look" gay. I don't "look" gay enough to get bullied, I am too femme for people to be like, "look at that dyke," or for people to come up to me and say they've always wanted a gay best friend, or any of that stuff. In fact, lots of people don't realize I'm queer at all. That, you could say, is it's own form of privilege.

I didn't realize there was a word that fit me for a long, long, time. And sometimes there are days that I feel alienated all over again, and I sit lost in thought shuffling through the words that are available: queer, fairy, lesbian, gay, homo, dyke, fag, etc trying to find something that has a ring of meaning to me in it and I can't find anything and I just give up. I do! And I think that is ok. It's scary and weird sometimes, not having a magic word that encompasses who I like, how much I like them, how I like them, and all that stuff the word "heterosexual" or "homosexual" entails, but that doesn't mean it's bad. It's different.

 I think we fear that if there isn't a word to describe us, that it means we don't exist or that something is wrong with us as functioning human beings. But there isn't anything wrong with us, it's the system that is fucked. We're changing it though, by talking about it, by acknowledging that it's fucked, that is has to be better, because we have got so much to lose and so much more to gain.

There are so many more things I'd like to talk to you about, and I will, but for now I just wanted to get this out first. I was at my college QSA meeting the other night and we all discussed this exact topic and I wanted to write down my thoughts, so that people who weren't there but want to talk about these things know they are being talked about, and we can talk about it together if you want. This is so, so long, sorry!!!! Anyway. Thank you, love you, bye.