Everytime I write a post about LGBT+ rights, I always feel like ‘Should I post this?’, ‘Is it worth it?’. I’ve heard so many times from people at school, and in college that ‘Youre gay, we get it’ and I recluse back into a shell of my former self-consious self and leave it in my drafts folder.
I don’t even know where to start other than I’m sorry. I’m sorry if any part of my work felt bombarding, like it was in your face, like it was almost excessive. I never meant it to be that way. I never intended to force my sexuality in your face but in another way, it’s not really within your right to police what I say, what I write, what I do. You’re disillusions of entitlement over that concept are a joke.
If you think that you have dealt enough with my gay, then I dare to take a minute to step into my rainbow confinement. Unlike yourself, I am reminded of my minority, my identity at every waking moment. I don’t do it because I want to, I do it because I am forced to and I really don’t think you get that so let me let you into my world for a minute.
I am forced to face my identity when my male gay best friend clasps his boyfriends hand down the street and rather than a display of affection, it is percieved as a political statement, met with numerous teenage girls, ‘Ahhhhh’-ing at them as they stroll by, in the same way that you would to a newborn puppy. You don’t seem to realise how dehumanising that can be. They are not a spectacle but just two people in love.
I am forced to face my identity when LGBT+ people are shot and killed in a nightclub and I am too scared to hold my (ex) girlfriends hand in public, in case we are both met with the same kind of violence or verbal abuse.
I am forced to face my identity when girls got boyfriends and no one battered and eyelid, but when I got my first girlfriend in school, I suddenly wasn’t invisible anymore. People I didn’t even know or rarely spoke to, felt that it was within their right to pass judgement about my relationship or gossip among themselves.
I am forced to face my identity when people ask about my ex-boyfriends, even though I’ve never had one or ask me which boy I fancy. They choose to engulf me into this heteronormality that leaves me feeling invisible and invalidated. It would take a several rainbow flags, multi-coloured streamers and a stereo playing Madonna, everytime I arrived somewhere, in order for my sexuality to be acknowledged.
I am forced to face my identity when I am forced to campaign for LGBT+ media representation because every character from in every media outlet from books to films, unless specifically perceived as the stereotyped ‘gay best friend’, or used as comedic effect, are heterosexual. If you think that my sexuality is thrown in your face then you seem to forget that I am unable to turn on the televison, open my laptop, or scroll down facebook on my phone without being bombarded by your sexuality. But when I do find out about LGBT+ issues? It’s something about a young transgender girl who felt compelled to stop her beating heart because of what she was forced to face everyday, because LGBT+ teens are three times as more likely to end their lives, twice as likely to be assaulted in everyday life and 1 in 12 transgender people are murdered.
Now do you see the thousands of ways that daily, I am made to face my difference? There are constant reminders that my community has continued persecution for who they are and it hurts. The worst part is, I feel that I am unable to vent my frustration for fear of coming off at ‘too gay’ for them, or risk feeling like I’m rubbing it in their face. But that’s the only way that we can destroy this prejudice towards my community. Talk about it.
I wish these problems would go away overnight, but I know they won’t so that’s why I continue to speak up. If not for myself, then for the kids who live in fear of the walk to school everyday, for my friends who live in fear and hide who they are in their own homes so that they don’t get rejected by the very same people who gave them life, for the kids who are completely oblivious that there are more genders and identities than just ‘male and female’. I speak up for everyone who has ever laid in their bed at night, tears streaming their face, and lacking all hope of life ever getting better.
Which is why, when people say to me, ‘Yes, You’re gay. We get it!’, I can’t help but think, yes I am but no… you don’t get it at all.