Jimmy: writingfromfactorx: aceadmiral said this in a response to an ask, and...
[snip quotes for length]
As much as I love most of Dykosaur’s stuff, the constant “you’re not really a queer, go away” is really starting to piss me off.
First up, if you don’t think that a straight, cis person having the shit kicked out of them because people think they’re a “fag” isn’t a victim of homophobia, then I don’t want you on my team. Gays who think that are incredibly damaging to the movement, and, to be honest, with that degree of empathy they’re probably not people.
damn I didn’t even know people paid attention to my tumblr. Pretty sure no one ever said that wasn’t homophobia, but a straight cis person being the target of that behavior is NOT the same as a queer and/or trans person having the same experience. I can’t tell you how many arguments I’ve gotten into with “allies” about how they ~know what it’s like to be queer~ because they get shit for being allies/people mistake them for being gay. I don’t think anyone will pretend it’s not a shitty experience regardless of actual sexual orientation, but to act as if it is the exact same as an actual queer person’s experience of it is privilege-denying. Here’s why:
- a straight cis person who is the target of anti-queer sentiment is more likely to get help from authority/justice figures (god that’s awkwardly phrased)
- a straight cis person’s actual identity is not under attack; a queer person’s is. If a straight cis person is the target of anti-LGBT violence or harassment, they have the comfort of knowing that they are actually straight and cisgender. At the end of the day, they know they are not queer/trans, and that makes it much easier to deal with. If you’re actually queer and/or trans, your identity is being attacked. Your very being is being attacked. And you can’t escape it. tl; dr: Straight cis people have straight and cis privilege.
Secondly, the continual “if you’re asexual you’re not queer” repeat is ridiculous. If you’re going to be conservative in your use of language, then a queer is strange, gay is happy, and lesbian is a native of Lesbos.
we (as in those people who agree with me on this issue) are operating with the historical use of the word queer, which is a slur. Simply by comparing “queer” to words like “lesbian” and “gay,” you have proven that you have no idea what you’re talking about. “Queer” is NOTHING like “lesbian” and “gay.” “Queer” is like dyke and fag and tranny. There are older LGBT people who refuse to reclaim “queer” because for them it is still a slur. Referring to myself as queer is the same as referring to myself as a dyke. It’s my attempt to reclaim a hateful word that is used to oppress people like me, and that I will probably hear several times in my lifetime. It is NOT the same as referring to myself as a lesbian.
Language changes over time. Any idiot knows that. And queer has, over time, come to act as an umbrella term for any sexuality which is not “the norm”, particularly in the context of breaking down essentialist constructs of identity.
no, that is NOT what “queer” means. even if the meaning of the word itself has changed (which I don’t think it actually has, I think there are a lot of ignorant people trying to change its meaning so that they can be included under it), that doesn’t mean we should simply accept that new meaning. “words change” is the argument countless people use to justify “that’s so gay,” because hey, language evolves, right? So now “gay” also means “stupid,” and “queer” means “not normal.” Awesome!
and if you had been reading my reblogs you would have seen, over and over, responses to all of these arguments that you’re making. I see no reason to put it into my own words when other people have been so much more eloquent about it (emphasis mine):
I understand why asexuals may fall into the trap of thinking that [asexuality] should fall in with queer, especially when homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, are all accepted queer identities, so why not asexual? It is in fact not heterosexuality, and I will not argue it is. However, these words don’t fall into groupings by virtue of being commonly unlike something, but rather the commonality they do have. There are differences in what it is to be “homo-“, “bi-“, “pan-“… but they all have one unifying characteristic and that is attraction to the same gender. That is at the heart of this issue, because queer unequivocally refers to people with same sex attraction, while straight refers to those with opposite sex attraction.
being queer refers to same-sex attraction. not “abnormal attraction” or “lack of attraction.”
And no-one’s saying that everyone who gets to use the word is equally oppressed. Yes, lesbians do have it worse than asexuals (but, of course, not as bad as the bisexuals, and probably not as bad as gays): but that doesn’t mean asexuals don’t have it hard at all. Obviously.
lol, did you just say there’s a hierarchy of oppression in the LGB community and it’s lesbians » bisexuals » gay men? I sincerely hope you are joking or else this lesbian who suffers from SEXISM and HOMOPHOBIA will tell you that gay men do NOT have it worse than lesbians, because they have this thing called MALE PRIVILEGE. that isn’t me playing along with your Oppression Olympics (god I hate using that phrase now), that’s a FACT.
stop erasing lesbians’ experiences of misogyny and sexism, in and out of the LGBT community, which make up a HUGE part of our lives (in some cases, more than homophobia and heterosexism).
So, in short, either language changes over time, and queer’s a fine word to describe our how little band of non-“normal” sexuality (and, hopefully, in time, even the “normals” will come to recognise their sexuality is but one point on the multi-dimensional phase space of queer sexuality), or language doesn’t change over time, in which case you’re not a lesbian (unless you were born in Lesbos).
queer =/= “not normal” and saying so is incredibly homophobic. Queer means “I’m going to beat you up, fag.” Queer means “I’m going to rape you, dyke.” Queer means “I’m going to murder you, t****y.” So when an LGBT person uses the word “queer” to talk about themselves, queer means “fuck you,” not “my sexuality is ~special~ and ~unique~”.
not everyone has “queer sexuality” and I find attempting to include straight cis people under the “queer umbrella” because they aren’t vanilla supersexual str8ies absolutely abhorrent and a great sign of ignorance. You realize that these straight cis people harbor homophobia and transphobia, right? And that they’re going to bring it in to our spaces and make ACTUAL queer people feel unsafe and uncomfortable in the few spaces where they should feel at home. Why the fuck should we let them into OUR spaces (which WE get to determine because there are no other spaces that we have any control over) just because they feel like they can co-opt a word whose only relevance to them is that it perpetuates the power structure from which they benefit?
in short (emphasis mine):
queer as a pejorative term has historically been used against people who experience romantic or sexual attraction to the same gender. it still is today. it is the verbal essence of the hate, disgust, and derision that straight people and homophobic society feels about us. in recent history, those it has been used against have begun the hard work of reclaiming that word. reclamation of “queer” is the empowering process through which we take control of a word that has been used to hurt us and to turn us into queers rather than human beings. this process is not complete. people still use these words against us. in the mildest cases, angry men scream QUEERS out their car doors as we walk from parking to the gay club that is celebrating pride that very night, all because two women were holding hands. in the most severe cases, the psychological violence of that word is backed up by physical violence. there are still many people who wince when they hear “queer” and would rather not make it part of their identity. and even those of us who do use that word to describe ourselves do it gingerly, conscious of the ways in which that single syllable can suddenly turn poisonous in the mouths of even the most “progressive” straights. and then suddenly, a group of people who does not share this history and this present with us come clamoring in, demanding that they count as queer because a few academics who were horribly disconnected from the “real world” decided to change the definition to “not normal.” these people - hetero- or aromantic asexuals, in this case - have never and will never experience the oppression that is inextricably linked to this word. in fact, they carry with them the privilege of being able to choose ”queer” - to want ”queer,” even - while those of us who actually are queer had it shoved on us by a society that refuses to see us as anything more than queers and hates us for it. the logic isn’t circular. it’s simple. “queer” has always been a slur aimed at us, people who are somehow attracted to the same gender. and so it is our word and no one else’s, just as it is our pain and no one else’s.
and that’s all I’m going to say about it, because tbh I don’t really have anything to add to these arguments, I’m just parroting what other people have already said (well, except the lesbian erasure thing).
p.s.: before you argue that hetero aces aren’t heteroSEXUAL and therefore aren’t straight, please do some reading.