There is nothing shameful in being queer

As members of the LGBTQ community we are who we are and there isn’t a lot we can do about our sexuality or gender.  We can’t help that we were born this way and we certainly shouldn’t be expected to either.  Sadly in today’s society, it seems like we are.  The pressure we are put under to be ‘normal’ and to hide who we are, not just by the media and certain celebrities who make fun of our relationships, but by our own families is disgraceful.  So I’m saying it here, it is not shameful to be queer.  The behaviour of people towards us is what’s shameful.

For once in my life, I would like to see Sci-Fi represent us as part of the norm, after all it’s about pushing boundaries.  I applaud the short lived SGU and the portrayal of Camille Wray by Ming Na.  A character who was a lesbian but whose only purpose was not her sexuality.  I applaud Joanne Kelly and Jaime Murray for their firm support of the Myka/HG ship.  The fact that Steve in Warehouse 13 is gay as well makes life that little bit more affirmed for the queer audience, but it’s not enough.  I want transgender characters, I want queer characters in MAIN roles.  And not just in Sci-Fi.  I want to see actors not disparaging their fans because they ship their character with one of the same sex.  Anyone who knows me will know who I’m talking about.

I would like celebrities who have had gay/lesbian/bisexual/whatever relationships in the past and who have ultimately fallen into a ‘straight’ relationship not to clarify what they are saying with “I’m not gay” or “I’m not fluid in my sexuality but I did do this in the past.”  Quite frankly, your past is your past and your present it your present, you don’t know what your future will hold and you shouldn’t have to clarify or quantify your actions.  Just the same as someone like me who has had relationships with the opposite sex in the past should not have to add “but it doesn’t mean I’m straight” or “but my attraction to women isn’t because of a bad experience.”  So you had a relationship? Big whoop! You’re human and you had an encounter with another human being.  It doesn’t invalidate who you are as a person.

I would like the media not to jump on the fact that someone has had a queer relationship in the way that it does.  I do not want to open tabloid newspapers (actually I try and avoid going anywhere near them) and see “X HAD GAY RELATIONSHIP” plastered on the front page with some damning story inside.  It sends out the wrong message and quite frankly, X could have had multiple partners at the same time and I’d still be more interested in their work.

I don’t want comedians to think that ANY minority is fair game as long as they themselves are coming from a place of privilege.  I’m sorry, but if you’re a white able bodied male who is secure in his heterosexuality and gender, you have no right to make jokes about women, people of colour, queer people or disabled people without expecting to a) hurt someone and b) receive backlash.  And don’t get me started on the male comedians who think that rape is fair game, because I might just explode.  There is NO place for rape jokes in society, it furthers the notion that it is up to victims to protect themselves rather than the rapist not to do it in the first place.

I would like my queer friends and other queer people the world over to feel safe in their own homes.  I would like not to get emergency messages asking me if I can suggest safe harbour because yet another person’s sexuality means they aren’t safe in their family home.  Families should accept and love regardless, not emotionally, mentally and physically abuse because a child or family member is queer.  So many of us have been there and so many of us are struggling to deal with it still.  It’s been 7 years since I left that environment and I’m still dealing with the repercussions now.  A lot of baggage comes with being in that sort of home and it’s not a pretty subject.

I’ll keep fighting for these things to become a reality.  I’ll sign petitions, I’ll make my blog posts, I’ll speak to people about it, I’ll boycott places like Chik-Fil-H8.  I’ll research and find ways to keep those in danger safe.  But I won’t lie down and rest on it like some people would like me to.  It’s when we sweep the issues under the carpet that the problem intensifies.

To the queer community out there, I want you to know this, you are beautiful.  You are perfect just the way you are.  If you find yourself in a bad situation, there are ways to get out.  And if for whatever reason, now is not the time, then please please please go to Kicked Out Anthology and know that you are not alone.  There are people out there with stories just like yours.

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