“Our real job is to explore the ways we DON’T fit in.”
What Does It Mean to Be Queer?
There’s a big distinction between trying to fit in and belonging.
Fitting in is the attempt to become invisible, to become part of the melting pot that makes for a very white cup of coffee.
“I’ll have a Starbucks flat white please.”
I’m Canadian, but the American expression of a melting pot culture is heteronormative, patriarchal, and identity dissolving.
Let’s make us a little melting pot together, now shall we?
Add a little dark meat to the pot. A little queer flavouring — or as I was taught in French cooking, a “faggot” (now called a bouquet garni). How about something Mexican, some jalapeños to give it some heat? Oh, but there might not be room for much else at this point. We might ruin the flavour, the consistency, the way it’s always been made.
A melting pot culture doesn’t celebrate diversity.
Given the current political climate in the United States, I’m sure that chefs Trump and Pence want all the ingredients in the soup pureed. Then things will be blended into a lighter shade and the soup will be more homogenous and palatable.
Case in point, take a look at what the Trump and Pence administration is doing to illuminate the existence of LGBTQ+ people.
By fitting in you are disappearing yourself into the status quo. Fitting in is anything but queer.
LGBTQ People Seek to Belong — Just Like Everyone Else
When others accept, respect, and welcome you for your individual voice and uniqueness, you can let your guard down.
Totalitarian and fascist governments, like the neofascism forming in the United States today, don’t want you to belong. They want you to fit into a box — or be eliminated.
For truth so sharp it hurts, read anything by Phaylen Fairchild:
Evangelical Conservatives Preaching That Trump is Fulfilling Biblical Prophecy
Oh but it get’s so much worse — or it will if people who value their freedom of humanity don’t stand up and speak out about the rise of political fascism in the United States today.
To learn more about how “we got to this point” you need to read and follow umair haque on Medium:
When you feel completely alone and don’t see yourself represented in society in any way, the default is to try and fit in — usually as a from of self-preservation.
When you know you don’t fit in, it’s like an early learning experience you may have had as a baby. Did your parents give you a toy with which you tried to hammer in blocks of various shapes? Through practice you realized that a cylinder does not fit into the square slot, and so on.
The Closet Maintains the Status Quo
While you live in the closet — during adolescence and/or adulthood — you will have a difficult time fitting in. Every thing you say and every move you make will feel awkward and inauthentic. You will be looking over your shoulder wondering if others have figured you out.
This is the paradox, the Catch-22 of being queer.
Until you meet other people with whom you can identify, with whom you feel a sense of belonging, you’ll either feel extremely isolated, or you will suppress your identity in the attempt to fit in.
Identity Suppression Should Be a Hate Crime!
For every government, culture, or religion that has attempted to suppress inborn human characteristics and freedom of expression, there is a person who is dying inside. There is a person who has been killed by political or religious ideology in the hands of close minded, indoctrinated, faith-based individuals. There is a person who has taken their own life after years of trying to fit in — after years of trying to hammer themselves into a square slot as a mis-fitting cylinder.
Every one of these governments, cultures, and religions should be forced to stand trial at a human rights tribunal for hate crimes. They should be tried for suppressing humanity, and for suppressing and controlling individual dignity.
“Are you are out of your fucking mind?” you might ask of me.
No! Because what reason is there for not allowing someone to express their individuality, their inborn characteristics, other than hatred?
Other than a pure, ignorant, vile, fearful hatred of anything “other” than the norm.
Fuck the status quo! I’m queer and I’m here to stand up, show up, and FUCK IT UP!
Note: The opening quote is from Coach Rich Litvin’s newsletter.