How Queer Am I?
by Sue on Mon 19 Jun 2006 05:41 PM EDT | Permanent Link | Cosmos
We did a lot of gay things this weekend ... the dyke march, the quiet storm queer performance, pride march, pridefest, pride baseball game, etc. All of them had their awesome moments.
There was only one moment that really pissed me off. And it was when a self-styled queer woman had the gall to suggest that my girl and I aren't the "type" of lesbians to show up at either a dyke march or the recent queer cabaret show (Steel Queer N'At).
Meaning we aren't dyke enough, queer enough, cool enough, hip enough and a whole other list of prejudicial exlusionary things enough for this chick's comfort.
I guess its easy to take a look at us and write us off as middle class white yuppie lesbians. And, yes, that is part of who we are ... we have a house, two cars, professional jobs, advanced degrees and all that assimilationist stuff that goes along with it. What you don't see if you don't bother to look is the important stuff about who we are -- our values, our beliefs, our practices, our contributions, our commitment, and so forth.
Here's a small slice of what you f*cking don't know about us. You don't know how many hours of volunteer work we do. You don't know how we choose to spend the money we earn working public service jobs rather than for corporate America. You don't know if we eat meat, recycle, take care of our aging family members, ride share, go the library, live in an inner city neighborhood, drop everything to help our friends, support LGBTQ human service agencies, shop at thrift stores, feed homeless cats or boycott Wal-Mart. You don't know if we stand up, speak out, shut up, kick ass, takes names and speak to the manager when we see discrimination, oppression, injustice, unfairness or plain old hatred. You don't know if we recognize our privileges. You don't know what we say when get access to people with power and money. You don't know how many times we've been harassed, assaulted, violated, picked on, laughed at, mistreated, misled, denied, ignored, repudiated and disregarded because we are gay or women or both.
Guess what, honey? You need to f*cking get over yourself. Who the hell are you to tell either of us - whom you barely know - that we aren't cool enough to play in your sandbox? This is the kind of exclusive crap that reinforces those giant walls that keep women in our community disempowered.
What you also don't know is that you pissed off the wrong lesbians. Because now we will come to every f*cking event there is and we will plop our middle-class asses down right next to you and make you acknowledge us. And we will bring others -- from Sewickley and Homestead and Bethel Park and Greensburg --- we will invite them to be part of the dyke experience and they will come. There will be minivans parked next to bicycles. There will be burgers and tofu. They will listend to WYEP and KDKA.
We're here. We're queer (too). Get used to it.
Re: How Queer Am I?
by Nat on Tue 20 Jun 2006 09:26 AM EDT | Profile | Permanent Link
Re: How Queer Am I?
by CobbaKern on Fri 23 Jun 2006 02:42 PM EDT | Profile | Permanent Link
No shit! I've had people tell me that I'm "too mainstream". Why? Because I don't want to cut my hair? I like to eat meat? I love sun-dresses? I've been in this city for over 9 months now, and there is only one lesbian that I talk to on a daily basis. How can so many dykes be such haters. Just because I hang out with mostly straight people doesn't mean I'm denying my "queerness". In fact, I find most of my pals more excepting of me and the ways that I choose to live my life. I try to make more dyke friends but there are so many that act as if we were on a play ground in second grade. Relax dykes, smile a little more, and for crying out loud, at least talk to a person before you paint your labels all over there forehead. Even femmey nerds who hang with the straight kids deserve the chance to swing from the monkey bars!
Re: How Queer Am I?
by Sue on Fri 23 Jun 2006 08:19 PM EDT | Profile | Permanent Link
To be fair, I think its less strident than actual hate. I think its more internalized misogyny to be honest with you. Defining our queer identity cannot be easily separated from our identity as women in a patriachal society so often that which should unite us ... doesn't. We throw around a lot of divisive language.
You should check out Steel Queer N'at .... several the performers spoke at length about the very same issues you outline.
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