An adjective defined as “strange; odd”. Note: while queer is a reclaimed word that is, was, and has been used derogatorily, I feel it suites this discussion well.
The queers, a community of individually unique personalities that are strange in comparison to the white male social normative and standards of society. We have representatives of every demographic; of every oppressed culture; of every privileged culture; of all genders; of all orientations; of all things human.
So why the hell do we oppress ourselves?
The truth is, I don’t know. I don’t know why we are a self-oppressive bunch. However, I do know that we are a community that faces, very literally, every form of oppression, collectively and together, from the society in which we live. Sexism, classism, racism, any and all other isms, you name it, some queer out there has faced it. Ever been shamed for your the way you express yourself? For your body? For your sexual liberty? For your habits and mannerisms? It’s probably safe to assume a “yes” has been answered to one of those. Well, that’s another form of oppression. A great one that leads individuals to suppress themselves, their actions, feelings, thoughts; their identity. The thing that really sucks about shaming is that everyone experiences it in one form or another at some moment, or many moments, throughout their life. It is built into society. Shaming plays an active role in this systematic mechanism of oppression that, I’ll say it, white culture has created.
My question is this: Why do we, as an already oppressed community, categorize everyone into different little boxes, shame those outside the boxes, and then idolize false ideals? My follow up is: Isn’t that exactly what this community should be fighting against?
I know, I know. Incredibly loaded. My intention isn’t to actually receive an answer, but to spark a train of thoughts. So let us think together.
We have a subcategory for just about everyone, and those that don’t fit into a category are their own subcategory of outsiders. They’re too strange to categorize, too odd, too different.
Doesn’t that make them the absolute most queer people’s? Shouldn’t they be on a pedestal?
Because I’m not familiar enough with the lesbian community of queers I will not include their own system of categories and what-nots.
The male community has different sub-categories that consist of, as we all should know, twinks, boys, jocks, athletic, college-boys, otters, cubs, bears, smooth, hairy, bulls, body builders, daddy’s, queens, grandpas, married, discrete, chasers of all forms, leather daddies, subs, pups, doms, masters, slaves, gainers, I can’t write this with a straight face… but… diaper boys, diaper masters, etc. I mean the list goes on and on and on. New phrases are used every day. A new label. A new fucking brand on a box.
Each of these sub-communities have their own rules, requirements, and check-points of eligibility. Their own poster child examples. Their own standards. Their own cliques.
And it’s absolutely disgusting.
Now, let me clarify a couple things before all the hate mail comes in for me bashing people’s identifiers.
I’m a bear chaser. I have an athletic and muscular build, but a smooth chested, boyish appearance. I’m, at first impression, very masculine speaking and acting, and am continuously pinned as straight. I’m 24, so among the bear community I’m a baby. Which isn’t oppressive in any way, but my point is that I don’t fit into any categories. I’m not accepted into the community of men that I pursue; I am ostracized by the twink and boy community due to my attraction to the opposite body type of my own; I am too straight acting to be gay and too gay to be straight — which inspires me to intentionally act more stereotypical gay; I am a boy who seeks a daddy that’s a future daddy who wants a boy. That doesn’t make any sense. Only a few people will understand that.
My point is that I don’t fit in; the box is closed and I’m outside of it. I am a foreigner by most gay standards. I am marginalized as an individual by a marginalized community…
and it’s incredibly ironic to me.
So what do I do? As of late, I’ve been working on breaking down the boxes I’ve molded myself into by societies standards of masculinity. I’ve unintentionally tried to put myself into new boxes that better fit societies standards of gay, however, I don’t want it. I’m sick of us all needing titles to feel accepted and to fit in. I’m sick of role playing my life outside of the sheets; I’m tired of trying to fit into other people’s ideas of what I should or shouldn’t do to present myself. Most of all, I’m over the fact that our LGBTQAA+ alphabet soup of a community is literally labeled by an acronym of labels to make everyone feel included and categorized!
I don’t have an answer, just this rant, this thought process that I bounce back and forth on. I encourage responses, insights, comments; any perspective that could help me understand why we kick each other while we’re already down; why we put each other into boxes and if we don’t quite fit in, we kick each other while we’re down; why we remain so cliquish and selective, exclusive and prude; why we don’t just embrace our differences within — the very thing we expect the rest of society to do.