Posts tagged with lgbtqueerness.

things i think about whilst trying to sleep

I don’t like describing my sexuality as “gay”. I mentioned this in my whole “coming out as genderqueer" post; it feels too binary and masculine, too hetero- and cisnormative. To describe myself as "gay" immediately feels like I’m saying "I am a man who likes men". Not only is that inaccurate, but it’s restricting too. I am more than "just" a man who likes more than just men, or those whom society deems men.  

I somewhat like the term “faggot” because it has that strong sense of femininity in it. People (including many a gay man) call someone “faggot” when they try to demean them because of the feminine or non-masculine flavour the word carries. To apply femininity to a male-presenting person is to demean them - or so our society has decided. And for that reason alone I like the word faggot - because they think they’re insulting me, when in reality they’re paying me a huge compliment: my rejection of masculine norms is being noticed, and that makes me happy. (But I’ll still tell them to fuck off).

I also like the word “queer”, because for me, inherent in that word is a rejection of hetero- and cisnormativity. You can be gay or lesbian or bisexual and still not be queer because you still live and think in heteronormative and cisnormative ways. A lot of the gay men I’ve known have been very, very unqueer.

But the real issue I’m facing is not how to describe myself to people who are going to read this, because pretty much all of you get what I’m talking about. No, it’s rather how to come out to people I don’t know. Do I come out as “gay” because even that identity is radical and mind-blowing for them? Or do I say, “I’m queer”. I’m still not sure. 

I have a lot more to say about this, but it’s time to get ready for work so I’ll leave it here for now. I’m definitely interested in hearing other’s perspectives on this, especially on how you define these words and their corresponding identities for yourselves. What do you feel comfortable/uncomfortable with? Why do you identify the way that you do?

homotronic asked: What is the most important life lesson you've learned since you turned 18? Something that you had to experience yourself, and not something somebody could have just told you.

It’s a common one with gay people and might even sound trite, but the most important life lesson I’ve learnt is self acceptance.

Growing up in a very religious, repressive environment really did a number on me. Up through my early 20s I passionately loathed myself. I felt like a wholly worthless, broken, evil, disgusting person.

I learnt the hard way, really the only way I could, that I had to listen to no one but myself. I learnt that it is a terrible and ugly thing to be emotionally manipulated and a very difficult thing to break free of. I learnt that the only way to truly be happy is to not give a flying fuck what other people think. Most of all, I learnt that I have value being who I am right this second and the only good reason to change is to please yourself. 

So when I read Meghan Cox Gurdon’s complaints about the “depravity” and “hideously distorted portrayals” of contemporary young adult literature, I laughed at her condescension.

Does Ms. Gurdon honestly believe that a sexually explicit YA novel might somehow traumatize a teen mother? Does she believe that a YA novel about murder and rape will somehow shock a teenager whose life has been damaged by murder and rape? Does she believe a dystopian novel will frighten a kid who already lives in hell?…I can’t speak for other writers, but I think I wrote my YA novel as a way of speaking to my younger, irredeemable self.

June 13 201112·11 am42 notes

Sherman Alexie, Why the Best Kids Books Are Written in Blood

I read a quote by Toni Morisson that she writes the books she wants to read. Without books like this that tell the truth I would have ended up infinitely more of a mess. Sneaking books from the YA section with queer characters and characters with mental health problems was so necessary for me.

(via readnfight)

One of the only things that kept me relatively sane through my childhood and adolescence was reading, and especially reading illicit books. My entire life was books. I read constantly because I didn’t know how else to deal the issues I was facing: growing up gay and with clinical depression in a very homophobic, sexually repressed, religious household. 

My parents would often confiscate books I’d checked out from the library because they were “smutty” or otherwise “inappropriate”. I simply took to hiding those books better or only reading them at school.  I read books about sex, about queer characters, with feminist themes. I read books which questioned the idealisation of monogamy or the denigration of prostitution in our society. 

It’s true that I didn’t understand everything I was reading, or know how much the themes of self-acceptance and rejection of social expectations I was reading about would later become so influential and important in my life. But reading about queer characters who were free, who were happy, and whom I could relate to and also dream about becoming like allowed me to deal with the pain of having to keep my turmoil and confusion a secret year after year.  Reading books that many parents, even secular ones, would deem “inappropriate” for my age probably kept me from killing myself as a teenager, and certainly gave me solace when I had no where and no one else to turn to with my problems. 

Too often parents try to control the information their kids are exposed to, and I honestly find that reprehensible. Kids deserve to live in and learn about reality. It’s not always pretty or painless, but to keep your kids “innocent” is far more damaging in the long run. It is, in my opinion, a form of mental and emotional child abuse when parents censor and attempt to control what their kids are exposed to, especially peri- and post-puberty when self-doubt and and the need to find out where you belong and who you are are most intense.

 Censorship is a tool used solely to manipulate others. It is degrading, condescending, and supremely unethical. Censorship of any kind makes me absolutely furious, no doubt in large part because of how hard my parents tried to censor reality for me and how much more difficult that then made it for me to learn who I truly was.

(via reinventionoftheprintingpress-d)

March 22 201103·37 pm71 notes

garlandgrey:

Rainbow Noise - IMMA HOMO

Jay Smooth just tweeted:

Fascinated both by this video and by the fear and panic it’s inspiring in hip-hop homophobes

This has been your daily “Queer People Being Awesome” post.

(via gargledyarn-deactivated20110418)