The thing about not being 100% homosexual is that you’re not “gay enough” for some people. In the parlance of social analysis, it’s called “others othering another”. While a queer person in a heterosexual relationship is still a queer person, the perceived or temporarily-experienced privileges of heterosexuality are enough to illicit resentment and alienation from others in the queer community. Hell, even gold-star femme lesbians are harangued for compliance with perceived gender-norms.
Sure, there are nasty people in the world who do cruel things, but more often than not those people are damaged. Solidarity in the queer community is in part due to shared experiences, but a large component of those experiences is exclusion from dominant culture and all of the abuse, shame, and loneliness that results from it. To put it mildly, there are hard feelings. While it’s disappointing, “others othering another” isn’t altogether too surprising.
Anyway, if it isn’t obvious, this has been a large part of my own experience in the queer community. I’m a tomboy-femme, and while I’m predominantly attracted to women, I’ve (happily) been in a heterosexual relationship for years. While I feel like an alien in dominant culture, I also have the privilege to pass as hetero-normative and gender-normative in situations where it may be dangerous or otherwise unwelcome for me to fully disclose my sexual identity.
I really wanted to find more friends who could identify with my experiences, but this has been a complicated process. I’ve been accused of leading someone on by disclosing my sexuality; I’ve been accused of commodifying the queer community (as if I were not queer myself); I don’t feel any better known or accepted for my efforts.
Ultimately, I miss the friends I already have and wish they hadn’t dispersed over time. With school out for the semester, I have some free time to get back in touch, maybe do some fun things and meet new folks. But I guess, for the time being, I’m done actively seeking out this sort of fellowship. 22 months ago