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205 Responses

  1. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune April 2, 2013 at 11:29 am |

    The thing is, I DO find it uncomfortable when a straight, cis person claims they fall under the LGBT flag. It feels appropriative as fuck, and reminds me uncomfortably of straight people who think anal sex makes them queer, or some such shit. OTOH, aces and kinksters and poly folk also definitely face persecution and pathologisation and a host of other grody (if less likely to get them thrown in jail) things.

    Fine, then. I propose an alternative title: We’re the Fuck You, Patriarchy, And Your Stupid Fucking Norms movement. (FUP for short.)

    There. Inclusive, clear, and no more squabbles over who gets to be in it. Some of us are LGBT, some of us are not, but we’re all FUP-ing together.

    1. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune April 2, 2013 at 11:30 am |

      wtf, post too soon. Aoife, this was an amazing takedown of a horrible thing. Thank you. (I read it on your blog Sunday, but I always feel weird posting on private blogs, like I’m lurking, so I didn’t reply. Your blog in general rocks, too, btw.)

      1. Aoife
        Aoife April 2, 2013 at 11:45 am |

        No need to feel weird about posting on my blog! I <3 commenters. Well, I <3 most commenters, and you would be more than welcome :)

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 2, 2013 at 2:30 pm |

          ^__^ Thank you!

      2. Barnacle Strumpet
        Barnacle Strumpet April 2, 2013 at 10:53 pm |

        mac, I am curious as to what your position on aromantic asexuals is. You, in your words define straight as “experiencing no same-gender* sexual attraction.”. I (and many people) define straight as “experiencing attraction to to the opposite gender”.

        A lot of aromantics find it offensive and erasing to be called straight, given that to most people it implies they are attracted to the opposite sex, and they just aren’t. (And I think, when most of us think of straight people, we’re thinking of people who date/have sex with people of the opposite gender) That’s not to say whether or not they should be, or want to be, included in a queer/LGBT/GSM-spectrum, but I think aromantics should at least be considered neither straight nor queer, if they are not considered queer.

        *what does that even mean for us non-binary people? As a neutrois person, does that mean I am straight unless I’m attracted to other neutrois people? A lot of us are solely gyne-romantic/sexual or andro-romantic/sexual.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 1:31 am |

          mac, I am curious as to what your position on aromantic asexuals is.

          I would file aromantic asexuals as neither straight nor queer (I mean, isn’t the POINT that they don’t have a direction of attraction?), and under whatever category they were attracted to if they were “asexual with exception”, or romantic asexuals. However, aromantic asexuals still have straight privilege in my view, in that they are not in fact being coded “gay” (you know, the whole one-drop rule and all). They are definitely a gender/sexual minority; just one with probable straight privilege, and thus not queer. Hence my liking for GSM; it covers a whole whack of identities that are not in fact legally/socially punished in the systemic way that LGBTQ people are, while still being marginalised and pathologised, as I said.

          *what does that even mean for us non-binary people? As a neutrois person, does that mean I am straight unless I’m attracted to other neutrois people?

          I…wouldn’t…know? I don’t think it does? I mean, I never thought of myself as straight, and it took me a while to realise that my brain’s “out of cheese error” reaction to gender meant I wasn’t cis either; since I went from Asexual By Any Other Name to Oh, Well, I Guess That’s What’s Going On, personally, I admit I never really considered what my gender made me.

          (As you can tell, I probably fall somewhere on the ace spectrum myself, but I resist identifying as such for a lot of reasons, and the sheer goddamn appropriativeness of disability and LGBT issues among some ace-spectrum people isn’t low among them.)

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 1:33 am |

          Wow, so I fucked up blockquotes some. Coupled with my hair-trigger “post” clicking the last couple of days, I am about ready to send the mods e-cards for putting up with me. -_-

        3. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet April 3, 2013 at 8:42 am |

          I can’t say I get the “codes as straight” perception a lot of people seem to think aromantics fall under. Not when “you’re just a repressed gay” is one of the number one things we (asexuals in general, with the exception of hetero-asexuals) are told.

          Especially when the majority of people saying “codes as straight” have never even seen an out aromantic, and have no idea what conclusion their brain would actually come to in that case. This “codes as straight” thing can’t even be coming from personal anecdotes; and it completely dismisses the reporting of the vast majority of asexuals.

          I think it’s worthwhile to use a definition of straight that is considering of trans* people. if a FAAB genderqueer person who is married to a woman is now straight under your definition, it’s a definition that needs to be replaced, IMO. Though it shows in part why I am hugely against policing people’s identities.

          I like GSM (or GSRM) as well; as well as the possible move towards use of terms like gynosexual and androsexual (and respective romantic orientations) as more accurate than binarist sexual orientation descriptions. Of course, given the serious mocking GSM was given on a post here a while back (something for cellphones! “I don’t it. It erases MY cherished gay acronym, to give all those weird identities a place, so homophobic! erasing! “) I don’t know if it will ever catch on.

        4. Li
          Li April 3, 2013 at 9:15 am |

          That’s like 100% not what the objections to GSM were.

        5. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet April 3, 2013 at 9:38 am |

          @Li, and I quote:

          I just googled GSM and fuck you very much

          . That was YOUR opposition to the term, and you never explained why GSM was so insulting to you. Care to now?

          Lesbians had to fight long and hard to be included in the acronym. Bisexual people did as well. And perhaps most of all, so did trans people, and one still regularly sees LG people complaining about trans people’s inclusion. The way to include other groups is not to invisibilize the ones who are already there, and that’s something that I think “GSM” would do.

          -Donna.

          Now, would you like to argue that Donna wasn’t saying that GSM erased LGBT people, who deserve their own letter?

          Oh, great. That’s about as useful as defining minority religions as “people not the Pope”.

          -mackavitykitsune (sorry mac, I know you’ve come around to the GSM term now, but that was one of the offenders in the post)

          EG made the cellphone comment (though now that I re-read it, you’re right, EG wasn’t arguing against it, and was instead just looking for information and unable to turn up anything but GSM cellphones)

          So, Li, maybe you should re-read the post. Because erasure was the big argument against GSM in post, and I assumed that’s why you were so offended by it, but I guess your vague “fuck you very much” was based on a different opposition to the term?

        6. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 10:49 am |

          BS, I’ll get to the rest when I’m awake, but my point in that post was that replacing “LGBTQ” with “GSM”, rather than making “LGBTQ” a subset of “GSM”, was ridiculous. It’s a bit like the people who try to tell trans women they face exactly, and only, the same things cis women face and “we’re all women in this together”. Bullshit.

        7. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 10:50 am |

          *barnacle. >.< Fucking hell, I told myself I wasn't going to acronymise. Sorry. I'm not awake yet. -_-

        8. Emolee
          Emolee April 3, 2013 at 11:10 am |

          I (and many people) define straight as “experiencing attraction to to the opposite gender”.

          Barnacle, this definition would exclude bisexuals/pansexuals. Can I assume you meant “attraction to *only* the opposite gender”?

        9. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet April 3, 2013 at 2:52 pm |

          @mac: I’m not going to lie, I don’t understand the distinction you’re making in regards to replacing VS subset. GSM can replace LGBT as a catch-all term without implying that everyone who is GSM faces the same problems.

          I mean, “LGBT” doesn’t even meet that criteria. A trans* person and a cis lesbian don’t necessarily face all the same problems either, even though they’re both hurt by heteronormativity/gender normativity.

          I don’t think that GSM will erase subsets. People who use GSM still talk about ace problems, or queer problems, or trans* problems. You can use GSM as a general term for when it’s needed, and other specific terms when they are needed.

          @Emolee: I apologize for erasing bisexuals, pansexuals and polysexuals, as well as pan/poly/bi-romantics in my statement. I did mean “solely attracted to opposite gender”.

        10. Aydan
          Aydan April 3, 2013 at 3:26 pm |

          Agreeing with you that aromantic asexuals aren’t straight.

          I would also argue that they (we) have passing privilege and not actual straight privilege. I know some aromantic asexuals who are in committed long-term relationships* with someone of the same gender, and I really, really doubt they get a pass out of homophobia just by saying “I’m actually an aromantic asexual!”

          *for anyone reading this who is going “Wait, what?”, consider that your sexual orientation does not determine your desire for companionship; committed relationships are a good way to fulfill that desire.

        11. Donna L
          Donna L April 3, 2013 at 3:40 pm |

          What I wrote, which you made a decision to quote:

          Lesbians had to fight long and hard to be included in the acronym. Bisexual people did as well. And perhaps most of all, so did trans people, and one still regularly sees LG people complaining about trans people’s inclusion. The way to include other groups is not to invisibilize the ones who are already there, and that’s something that I think “GSM” would do.

          Your characterization of what people (including me) wrote:

          Of course, given the serious mocking GSM was given on a post here a while back (something for cellphones! “I don’t it. It erases MY cherished gay acronym, to give all those weird identities a place, so homophobic! erasing! “)

          It is simply not possible that you could have believed in good faith that what I wrote can be found anywhere in your characterization. So I can only conclude that you were acting in bad faith.

        12. dc
          dc April 5, 2013 at 9:22 pm |

          i don’t hate GSM.
          i guess it’s the new “CIS”tho.
          [as in "cis diminishes 'me'... yadda etc"]

          sigh.

        13. Li
          Li April 5, 2013 at 11:08 pm |

          No. GSM is in no way analogous to “cis” as a term. Cis labels a normalised and privileged class of people in a way that disrupts the process of normalisation.

          GSM seeks to replace identity categories/groupings based on shared marginalisation under heteronormativity with one based on marginalisation by sexual normativity in general.

          That is, cis highlights an axis of privilege and oppression, and GSM elides and generalises one.

    2. amblingalong
      amblingalong April 2, 2013 at 12:47 pm |

      Yeah, this. I think as with any oppressed identity, drawing lines around the group is really hard and fraught with potential to be incredibly awful; this article (in GCN, not the OP) does a good job illustrating the potential to fuck up. At the same time, appropriation is a legitimate problem, and I’m not going to stop telling trans-racial people, or people who think their Irish heritage qualifies them to talk about racism, to fuck off.

      I’m not LGBT, and I’m pretty neatly aligned with gender binaries/norms, so it would be way out of line for me to try to draw those lines for a community I’m not a member of (aside from agreeing with the excellent OP that the GCN attempt was bigoted as fuck). But I definitely think the process of drawing those lines is important. People who are, say, demisexual do not experience oppression in the sense that gay people do.

      1. EG
        EG April 2, 2013 at 12:55 pm |

        people who think their Irish heritage qualifies them to talk about racism, to fuck off.

        In the US, absolutely. But in the UK, I would respect what they were saying.

        1. amblingalong
          amblingalong April 2, 2013 at 1:04 pm |

          You’re right, and as happens too often, I forgot to stipulate that I was speaking in a USian context.

        2. Aoife
          Aoife April 2, 2013 at 1:50 pm |

          This article isn’t written from a USian context, though. I’m writing as an Irish person in Ireland, about homonormativity within the LGBT community here. I’m happy to discuss either homonormativity in any context or appropriation of identities within an Irish context, but I really don’t see what appropriation of non-queer IDs by USians really has to do with what I’m talking about?

        3. amblingalong
          amblingalong April 2, 2013 at 2:49 pm |

          I really don’t see what appropriation of non-queer IDs by USians really has to do with what I’m talking about?

          I was just thinking about what type of identity-policing would or wouldn’t be OK to do. by drawing an analogy to another axis of identity where I have more authority to speak. If that analogy was incoherent, or just no useful, I apologize. It wasn’t an attempt to derail.

      2. Aoife
        Aoife April 2, 2013 at 1:59 pm |

        Also, I have a major issue with the idea that bi, trans, intersex or, yes, asexual people are “appropriating” queer identities. Particularly given the levels of bi- and transphobia, as well as absolute ignorance and erasure of everyone else, within mainstream lGbt communities.

        I’m not in the business of playing oppression olympics. If a demisexual person IDs as queer? Awesome. I want a space under our umbrella for that person. Yes, they won’t experience oppression in the same way that gay people do. But gay people don’t experience oppression in the way that trans* or pan or bi or ace or intersex people do either. These things are different. None of them are acceptable in heteronormative culture.

        1. amblingalong
          amblingalong April 2, 2013 at 2:51 pm |

          Also, I have a major issue with the idea that bi, trans, intersex or, yes, asexual people are “appropriating” queer identities.

          I don’t know if this is aimed at me- did I mess up the nesting? ’cause I definitely didn’t say anything even close to approximating this.

        2. Aoife
          Aoife April 2, 2013 at 3:13 pm |

          Gah, sorry. It was more a general thing. It’s the end of a looong day here, didn’t mean to seem like I was picking you out!

      3. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune April 2, 2013 at 2:29 pm |

        People who are, say, demisexual do not experience oppression in the sense that gay people do.

        Well…no. But they’re still, if I may continue to use my term, under the FUP umbrella of being marginalised and pathologised. So, as long as they don’t appropriate LGBT identity, I’ve no problem with them calling themselves gender and sexual minorities, or whatever. It makes sense to me to band together that way, in the same sense that saying “POC” does. You and I are both POC; however, I don’t think you would claim to experience MY kinds of oppression, and I certainly don’t think I would claim to know exactly how YOURS feels.

        1. amblingalong
          amblingalong April 2, 2013 at 2:52 pm |

          Yeah, I must have done a really bad job writing my post, because this is exactly the idea I’m trying to agree with. Sorry?

        2. Aoife
          Aoife April 2, 2013 at 2:52 pm |

          But they’re still, if I may continue to use my term, under the FUP umbrella of being marginalised and pathologised.

          Exactly! Just because people aren’t marginalised and pathologised in the same way and to the same extent, doesn’t mean it doesn’t still suck to be marginalised and pathologised. Someone has it worse than everyonehere, with our internet access and our literacy. Doesn’t mean that some of us don’t have to deal with an awful lot of crap. And if there’s anything we learn from intersectionality, it’s that the kyriarchy fucks us all in so, so many different ways.

        3. A4
          A4 April 2, 2013 at 2:56 pm |

          But there’s no basis to group LGBT people by saying that they all experience the same type of oppression, so why is this required before other sexual minorities are included in the LGBTQIAA movement?

          What is the sacred commonality between LGBT identities that does not exist for other sexual minorities.

          Your “just-so” in-group assignments seem just as arbitrary as the author of the GCN article’s.

        4. Donna L
          Donna L April 2, 2013 at 3:17 pm |

          I think the objection some people have is that if you look at the actual definitions of “demisexual” one finds, people with a sexuality that fits that description are neither marginalized nor pathologized, and the sexuality described, far from being non-normative or even something that could actually be described as a “sexual minority,” is almost exactly the same as what was long considered normative female sexuality. So it seems to me that isn’t simply a question of facing “a different kind of oppression,” but of facing issues that are so different in both degree and kind that I can’t think of any basis for including them under the “umbrella.”

          Besides, to be blunt, a lot of people who’ve faced oppression for all or most of their lives from straight, cis people — a commonality that may not be “sacred” but is clearly meaningful — are not particularly eager to expand the umbrella so widely that all of a sudden it includes all sorts of straight, cis people. And that’s basically how I feel. But we had an entire thread not long ago that was about the very same subject of the LGBT alphabet soup, and I think I expressed my views there, and am not about to do so at length all over again.

        5. Donna L
          Donna L April 2, 2013 at 3:20 pm |

          And even if straight, cis people do self-identify as “queer,” I think that does fall into the category of being appropriative, and of stretching the term in a way that does redefine its meaning.

        6. A4
          A4 April 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm |

          I understand a lot of what you are saying Donna, and I also think it makes a lot of sense.

          I think if people want to create new sexual identities to identify their own experiences of sexual oppression under patriarchy and join the current movement of anti-heteronormative sentiment, they will have to display that they have an understanding of the history and current constituency of the movement, as well as a commitment to the liberation of ALL participants from the oppressions of heteronormativity.

          A name is only a start, and someone’s sexual identification is only a very little part of whether they will feel accepted and included under the LGBTQIAA umbrella.

        7. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 2, 2013 at 3:25 pm |

          why is this required before other sexual minorities are included in the LGBTQIAA movement?

          The line, for me, is “can you be a cis, straight person and have this identity?” If the answer is “no”, congratulations, you are LGBTQ (forgot the Q, wtf, why am I excluding myself). If the answer is “yes, but there’s other marginalisations I experience”, congratulations, you are a gender/sexual minority! Welcome to FUP! If the answer is “yes, and I’m privileged in most ways”, then good on you, ally person, for standing with us!

          No, I don’t like a cis straight guy telling me they Know My Pain because of that one time a girl licked their nipple and they know what it’s like to be gay. Why do you ask? I guess I’m just a bitter man-hating lesbian. Behold my burning bra.

        8. A4
          A4 April 2, 2013 at 3:38 pm |

          The line, for me, is “can you be a cis, straight person and have this identity?”

          Your logic is pretty damn circular here, and also self-defeating. The point of expanding the identities of the queer movement is to further deconsolidate the strict heteronormativity that people use to coerce proper human sexual expression.

          We’re back to square one. What are you stable and absolute definitions for “cis” and “straight”? Yes these are important terms that can be used effectively to talk about different experiences of marginalization, but when you try to wield them as absolute tools of group separation, they are oppressive just like when anyone else does that.

        9. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 2, 2013 at 3:46 pm |

          Straight = experiencing no same-gender sexual attraction.
          Cis = identifying at the same pole of the gender spectrum to which they were assigned at birth.

          Are you SERIOUSLY fucking telling me that a straight person can say they’re gay, and a cis person call themselves trans, while doing and being nothing of the sort, and that isn’t appropriative? Because just…wow.

          Also, if Donna and I say the exact same things and you agree with her and disagree with me, you’re basically just picking a fight for the sake of acting like an asshole, and I’m not interested in being trolled, so I’m stopping with responding to you after this.

        10. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 2, 2013 at 3:49 pm |

          Well, my comment disappeared. WTF.

          A4, if you don’t know what cis and straight mean, get thee to a dictionary. Also, if you’re going to agree with Donna and disagree with me for making the exact same argument, you’re being a troll and good day, I am done dealing with your particular brand of sesquipedalian obtuseness.

        11. EG
          EG April 2, 2013 at 3:51 pm |

          Political identities of this sort are, in my opinion, formed through lived experience. Are you subject to institutionalized oppression because of your desires for someone of the same gender? No? Congratulations, you’re functionally straight. Are you subject to institutionalized oppression because your gender identity conflicts with your assigned gender identity? No? You’re cis.

          We’re talking about a political movement, and thus it doesn’t much matter to me whether there’s some sacred bond of straightness. It matters whether or not you are subject to institutionalized oppression and discrimination.

        12. A4
          A4 April 2, 2013 at 3:54 pm |

          MacavityKitsune, your definitions require the reification of the gender binary, and I am not interested in that kind of framework as a starting point for a movement dedicated to the eradication of heteronormative oppression. It’s a little too obtuse and short-sighted for my tastes.

          And here’s a clue for you the next time you feel the need to engage in your particular brand of knee-jerk swearing and name calling: Unless you are quoting someone, you are not saying the “exact same thing” and when you accuse everyone who disagrees with you of being a troll you destroy any meaning the word once had.

          Peace out yo.

        13. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 2, 2013 at 3:57 pm |

          Looking forward to the next discussion of racism where A4 decides to say that saying that white people don’t get to call themselves POC is reifying racist ideals and is a shortsighted way of dismantling racism….

          Also, saying you are trolling ME is not the same as saying you’re A TROLL. Christ, learn to read. They’re not the exact same things, and we all know how much exact sameness matters to you. ;)

        14. A4
          A4 April 2, 2013 at 3:59 pm |

          My point is, if someone say to you “I’m interested in joining this movement to defeat heteronormative sexual oppression because I feel like it causes pain for me and my loved ones”, a reaction of “Are you cis and straight? Then you’re not allowed” is neither intelligent, nor constructive.

        15. Anon21
          Anon21 April 2, 2013 at 4:05 pm |

          My point is, if someone say to you “I’m interested in joining this movement to defeat heteronormative sexual oppression because I feel like it causes pain for me and my loved ones”, a reaction of “Are you cis and straight? Then you’re not allowed” is neither intelligent, nor constructive.

          Can’t you be part of the movement (as an ally) without being part of the group?

        16. EG
          EG April 2, 2013 at 4:07 pm |

          “Are you cis and straight? Then you’re not allowed”

          That’s a misreading of Mac. She is saying “Are you cis and straight? Then you’re an ally. Thanks!”

        17. Li
          Li April 2, 2013 at 4:10 pm |

          Ok, so the way I’ve been approaching this question lately is this: If, say, you were to ID as straight, how likely is it that people might raise aspects of your behaviour or identity as an objection/contradiction.

          Thus, a bisexual person, in this thought experiment, would almost certainly run into people who would say “but you have sex with men and women! I do not think you are straight!”. For a heterosexually oriented trans woman, it might be “but you are really a man! a gay man trying to trick straight men!”.

          But a demisexual person (and sorry to pick on the demis, but the example has already been raised) who, in the sexual attraction they *do* experience is exclusively attracted to people of the socially sanctioned gender for them to be attracted to, is pretty unlikely to have people object to them IDing as straight just because they don’t experience attraction as often as other people. That is, they can comfortably opt into “straight” in a way that for instance Mac or myself have no option to. A straight kinkster might be thought of as “perverted”, but if they tell someone that they’re straight and into BDSM how likely is it that the other will turn around and declare that they can’t really be straight?

          My view of when IDing as part of either the queer or trans* umbrellas or the alphabet soup is appropriative is when you can easily opt out of it without other straight people getting up in your face about it. If there’s little chance of you being coercively designated as queer, I’m probs going to be suspicious of whether you’re actually sharing one of the more central functions of my oppression.

        18. A4
          A4 April 2, 2013 at 4:18 pm |

          Li, I like your approach because the commonality from my point of view is being subject to heterosexist oppression. So if there was a cis demi-sexual straight woman who had a rainbow mohawk all the time and hung out with mostly gay people, she will definitely be subject to being coercively designated as queer, and I would see her as part of the same anti-heterosexism movement that I am a part of.

        19. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 2, 2013 at 4:19 pm |

          A4, would you feel compelled to identify as a woman in order to work towards gender equality? No? Then why do you say that straight people MUST be allowed to identify as LGBTQ (not allies, not GSM, LGBTQ) in order to be part of the LGBTQ movement? Movement = / = identity. I support African-Americans’ civil rights. I am not black. I also support the rights of, and feel that I am an ally of, among others: white trans women, brown gay men, straight black women, genderqueer Native American folk… and yet, I don’t identify as any of those! It’s positively marvelous how I manage to pull off what those poor, poor, sad, excluded, marginalised straight cis people don’t, don’t you think?

        20. A4
          A4 April 2, 2013 at 4:23 pm |

          Then why do you say that straight people MUST be allowed to identify as LGBTQ

          If a straight person wants to identify as queer, I am certainly not going to tell them that I have judged their identity to be invalid and appropriative. You are welcome to waste your time doing so, but i see no benefit, and many downsides, to that type of subordination of identities.

        21. Li
          Li April 2, 2013 at 4:28 pm |

          The problem is, straight people who identify as queer (and there is a particular bloc of people in my circles who tend to do it, usually in the formation of “politically queer”) frequently use that identification to elide their straight privilege. Identifying as queer doesn’t just opt you out of heterosexual privilege, and yes I think that getting straight people to actually get a handle on their privilege is an important part of ending my own oppression. Sometimes you need to do things that involve people feeling bad.

        22. A4
          A4 April 2, 2013 at 4:36 pm |

          The problem is, straight people who identify as queer (and there is a particular bloc of people in my circles who tend to do it, usually in the formation of “politically queer”) frequently use that identification to elide their straight privilege.

          Well these straight people will elide their privilege whether or not they identify as queer. Many straight people who identify as queer in my circles do so in an attempt to deconsolidate their privilege and by speaking up in such a fashion are subject to more homophobia than they would be otherwise. I think people muddying the strict boundaries between acceptable sexualities is an important part of ending my own oppression.

        23. EG
          EG April 2, 2013 at 4:43 pm |

          I think that getting straight people to actually get a handle on their privilege is an important part of ending my own oppression.

          I strongly, strongly agree. You cannot use power responsibly and refrain from abusing it if you don’t acknowledge and accept that you have it in the first place. The world is not a level playing field and pretending it is won’t make it so, particularly when the people doing the pretending are the ones with disproportionate power.

        24. Li
          Li April 2, 2013 at 5:11 pm |

          If they’re deconsolidating their privilege, why are they still also identifying as straight?

        25. Donna L
          Donna L April 2, 2013 at 5:16 pm |

          Are you subject to institutionalized oppression because your gender identity conflicts with your assigned gender identity? No? You’re cis.

          I agree with this only if “institutionalized oppression” is given a sufficiently broad interpretation to encompass the fact that I was always trans, and was never cis, for many long years before anyone in the world knew about it but me, and before I had taken any steps towards transition or to coming out to people. As far as I’m concerned, I suffered considerably more pain from dysphoria, and felt more tangibly “oppressed” by the cultural norms and gender-policing that prevented me from being myself, and put me in overwhelming fear of the consequences if I did, than I ever suffered after I did begin to transition, and did begin to tell people (not including being blackmailed by my former spouse during the divorce process). If that doesn’t count as institutionalized oppression sufficient to qualify me as having been trans all along, from the time I was a small child, then I don’t accept your definition of what makes someone trans.

        26. EG
          EG April 2, 2013 at 5:29 pm |

          Donna, I can’t imagine anything more representative of the systemic oppression I meant than what you suffered by having to hide your true identity for all those years. I apologize, from the bottom of my heart for not being clearer about that in my comment. The last thing I would ever intentionally do would be to write away your experiences of oppression.

        27. Aydan
          Aydan April 2, 2013 at 5:33 pm |

          Wouldn’t it make more sense to define straight as experiencing “opposite”-gender sexual attraction?

          Asexuals and heterosexuals both don’t experience “same”-gender sexual attraction, but their experiences aren’t really that similar. For instance, a homoromantic asexual doesn’t experience “same”-gender sexual attraction (which would make them straight by your definition), but probably has a lot more in common with someone who does than with a heterosexual person.

        28. Donna L
          Donna L April 2, 2013 at 5:38 pm |

          EG, you don’t need to apologize to me; really you don’t. I think what confused me a little and made me not entirely sure what you meant (when I otherwise would have been) was what you said about someone who is “functionally straight” despite their same-sex desires not being subject to institutionalized oppression. How is that really different from what my situation was?

        29. EG
          EG April 2, 2013 at 5:44 pm |

          Oh, I see. I think that was partially poor phrasing on my part, and partially I was thinking of myself.

          The poor phrasing part was that I wasn’t envisioning the person who said know as having same-sex desires–sort of a version of what Mac had said. And then that got conflated with my feelings about my own situation: while I think of myself as bi due to strong desires I have had for women in the past, I am functionally straight–my relationships have been with men, I “look” like I’m straight, etc., so I do reap straight privilege, and I’m not comfortable including myself under the LGBTQ+ label. Phrasing either one of those things poorly would have been confusing; my conflating them was doubling so. So despite what you say, I apologize again. This is what I get when I try to post in between grading papers.

        30. snorkellingfish
          snorkellingfish April 2, 2013 at 6:19 pm |

          If a straight person wants to identify as queer, I am certainly not going to tell them that I have judged their identity to be invalid and appropriative. You are welcome to waste your time doing so, but i see no benefit, and many downsides, to that type of subordination of identities.

          But queer isn’t just an identity. It’s also a slur. It’s still used as a slur. I thought it was common sense that someone can’t reclaim a slur that has never and will never be used against them for who they actually are (and not a case of mistaken identity where someone thinks a cis straight person is LGBTQ).

          The benefit of not allowing cis straight people to appropriate a slur that never belonged to them? Is that it means they can’t throw that slur in the face of actual queer people for whom that word is part of our oppression. It avoids alienating actual queer people from a word that was supposed to belong to us – because we’re the ones who’ve been reclaiming it from an ugly past where it was used as a weapon.

          Honestly, this sort of bullshit is why I can’t identify with the word queer any more, even though I’m a lesbian. Cis straight people try to sell it as meaning something radical – a badge of rebellion and subversive difference. And that’s not how I experience my sexuality. I just want to be ordinary and boring and have an ordinary and boring life where people don’t care that I’m attracted to women rather than men. I’m not excited about having to fight heteronormativity – I wish that none of us had to.

          I know that other queer people navigate a heteronormative, cissexist world in different ways and might not be exhausted by the assumptions that some cis straight people make that we’re subversive and different and queer (in it’s original meaning of strange) just for existing. That’s great and there’s lots of space for us to talk within our community about the meanings of our words. However, those discussions have to be within our community, among those of us who are covered by queer-as-a-slur. It’s not the place of cis straight people who don’t see the effect that heterosexism and cissexism have on those of us who lack their privilege.

        31. Hrovitnir
          Hrovitnir April 3, 2013 at 3:22 am |

          I’m so feeling you here Mac.

          I am bi. I have slept with women but am in a long term relationship with a man – I’m functionally straight. So while I despise being told I am straight (seriously, fuck you), I do not identify with being queer per se because it’s totally not my oppression.

          I’m also… kinda not cis? I really really do not think I am my birth sex. But I really really don’t know if I want to transition. Sometimes I want to so badly? I am thinking of changing my name regardless. But I am not out in any way, shape or form, and am lucky to have a partner who doesn’t mind me being butch with a buzz cut and maybe buying a packer? And I am treated with respect looking how I do at work and school.

          So I tentatively ID as genderqueer-like online but really don’t go there at all in real life.

          Basically, the original article sucked, Aoife’s takedown was lovely, and your point stands to me, Mac.

          (Sorry I’m always so excessively verbose. :P)

    3. Aaliyah
      Aaliyah April 2, 2013 at 3:26 pm |

      I propose an alternative title: We’re the Fuck You, Patriarchy, And Your Stupid Fucking Norms movement. (FUP for short.)

      There. Inclusive, clear, and no more squabbles over who gets to be in it. Some of us are LGBT, some of us are not, but we’re all FUP-ing together.

      I’m all for this! ^_^

    4. ashurredly
      ashurredly April 2, 2013 at 3:37 pm |

      This has my vote.

  2. DouglasG
    DouglasG April 2, 2013 at 12:05 pm |

    Thank you for a superbly comprehensive takedown. I don’t know about Ireland, but I was still active and involved during the period of the Great Bi Inclusion Debate around here, and many of those whose side Ms McGrattan thinks she’s taking wouldn’t thank her. To many people, it felt a bit too much like bringing cis, straight people under the umbrella or doing so too soon before Queer Spaces were sufficiently established, and a lot of hard work was put in to get past that, with the frequent accompanying later wondering why it was so hard.

    I’m glad you read the article at lunch, though it might not have done much good for your digestion. (Compliments on your blog as well from another devotee of tea and roller skating.)

  3. Emolee
    Emolee April 2, 2013 at 12:23 pm |

    As a bisexual woman who is currently in a serious relationship with a man, I definitely feel like I have been kicked out of the “gay club,” in many (but not all) places, for example my LGBT org at work. On the one hand, my relationship is pretty damn normative, and therefore privileged, but on the other hand, many people at work still know me as the girl who came out as bi at orientation, and I still get discriminated against.

    My past contains a serious instance of discrimination for being in a relationship with another woman – I was kicked out of my high school (in a very hateful way) in the middle of my junior year, and pretty much lost all of my “friends.” This was a very big deal at the time and it changed the course of my life (although I am mostly fine now). There have been other instances of discrimination as well.

    So, I don’t feel I should relinquish my place at the table, but sometimes do feel awkward and appropriative, especially when people don’t know my history. I think some people view my heterosexual relationship like I “sold out,” but actually I just fell in love.

    1. BabyRaptor
      BabyRaptor April 2, 2013 at 6:48 pm |

      I get this feeling a lot. I have a pretty gender-varied history , for lack of a more graceful way to put it, but I’ve been presenting heterosexual for almost two years now. I’ve heard more than once that I don’t belong unless I’m actually with another woman.

    2. Stevenredd
      Stevenredd April 2, 2013 at 6:52 pm |

      As a formerly self-identified gay man who is now in a polyamorous relationship with a man and a woman, I’ll say this: I thank the universe that I have my two brilliant partners and a really cool Mom, cuz some days I am the loneliest human on earth. Or it feels that way.

      I don’t fit into anything I used to. After coming out and fending off all that noise, and dealing with growing up in small town (lost that, too) then coming out as bi in the gay community, I have had it with narrow-minded morons and their stupid, inadequate attempts to pigeon-hole me or make me fit into their pointy-little-headed ways of viewing the world. I just don’t care any more. The umbrella exists. Leave it alone. Let people come under it who want to be there, but if you ARE straight, or you ARE A gay white male, or you HAVE a lot more privileges inherent by your born state that have nothing to do with choices, don’t crow so damnably loud. And, please, as the acquired member of an African-American family due to my union, I’m painfully aware of the “more oppressed than thou” and “crabs in a pot” mentalities out there.

      We need to stop this. McGrattan needs her snarky little butt spanked from some of her elders who have spent time in the trenches, burying hundreds of friends and lovers and losing half a community to the ravages of a disease and the petty bourgeouis attitudes like hers that bred the willful ignorance toward it. I’m sorry all the options out there are making your keyboard clench. The problem is this: we face a real threat from people who couldn’t care less how many letters are in our lexicon, they think we’re going to hell, they think we’re occupying precious resources and they think we have too many special rights already. We don’t get anywhere by accepting less, we push for more. Always push for more. You cannot buckle to the whims of the ignorant who are driven by pablum and verse that assigns anyone “other” to the fiery pits of hell.

      I’m sorry to be such a firebrand, but this is serious, and flippant little tarts need to be upbraided and informed. This is completely unacceptable. What about the twenty year olds who get the notion that it’s okay to marginalize others? In the EXACT same vein as people like Ben Cohen and Dan Savage who are telling people it gets better and to not put up with bullying, this has to be about not allowing people to divide us by getting nitpicky. Stop being an “assistant editor” for a minute and think with your heart. Do you realize the hurt caused to hundreds of thousands of trans* and bi people by your comments, Ms. Grattan? Do you have any idea what it was like to not know your gender, much less your gender preference? And then, only to find out that the closest thing you had, the lesbian or gay communities, completely disregarded your existence when, for example, you decided to transition to being male and were now attracted to men? Abandoned on all sides, people resort to suicide. And not much of this is handled well, civically, either. Officials get flip about it, people use words in public that are frankly horrible, and the trans*, bi, and otherly gendered (my own definition of myself now) don’t have any gas left in the tank of self-bolstering.

      This is all hard, really hard emotional work, and dropping little “bon mots” about alphabet soup offends to the height of hubris. Get a clue. And stop publishing. You’re offending lots of people.

      1. tinfoil hattie
        tinfoil hattie April 3, 2013 at 12:14 pm |

        “snarky little butt spanked”?

        “flippant little tarts”?

        You’re a misogynist asshole.

        1. Stevenredd
          Stevenredd April 3, 2013 at 7:23 pm |

          Yes, she needs her arrogant little butt spanked for pretending to speak for people she neither understands nor properly researched. As evidenced from the overwhelming response to this brilliant article (well researched, deeply thought out and carefully envisioned), she knows nothing of the depth and breadth of the people she has offended.

          There are decades of struggle behind this, decades of pain and self-discovery for scores of transmen who were once struggling women (or womyn or lesbians or a lot of other definitions) and transwomen who were once drag queens, hookers, entertainers and the lot. And there was poverty and abuse and general avoidance and ignorance of their plight by straight, gay and whatever communities, while they lived right around the corner.

          There was the fight to maintain a life while examining that identity. There were biological (at the time) women going to work with men jeering, “nice boots!” and pre-op transsexuals turning tricks at night while they eked out a meager living doing something else.

          How easy it is to judge flippantly, at the drop of hat from easy seat of educated privilege, is it not? I’ll flip off whom ever I wish, thank you very much, I’ve held hands and attended candle light vigils for transsexuals beaten to death in the night enough to make me cry from exhaustion.

          Your overreaction shows your ignorance. Live a little and then talk to me.

        2. Aaliyah
          Aaliyah April 3, 2013 at 8:02 pm |

          At least try to pretend that you’re an ally. Your description of her is completely, unacceptably misogynistic.

        3. Donna L
          Donna L April 3, 2013 at 8:09 pm |

          Could you take your spanking obsession elsewhere, please? Nobody’s interested in reading your advocacy of infantilizing violence towards some clueless blogger because she wrote something abysmally stupid. In case you hadn’t noticed, this is a feminist site, and we don’t talk about spanking women here because we don’t like what they say.

          Also, I don’t know how old you are, but in addition to stopping the misogynistic language, I wish you’d stop writing about trans people like it’s 1970. “Transsexual” isn’t a noun. And it’s “trans man” and “trans woman”; they aren’t single words anymore than “blackman” or “blackwoman” or “jewboy.” And there’s no need to specify the operative status of the trans women you so fondly remember turning tricks; everybody knows what the market is, and adding the adjective you did to make it all sound more colorful and exotic comes across as prurient. Also, I may be a trans woman, but I happen to be a “biological” woman myself, since I was a carbon-based life form the last time I looked.

          So I suggest you educate yourself about how to talk about trans women without being offensive, or else just don’t talk about them at all. And I’ve had my own decades of struggle, and I remember the GG Barnum Room on 45th Street back in the 1970′s, and yet I somehow manage to open my mouth without putting my foot in it.

      2. Katniss
        Katniss April 3, 2013 at 1:13 pm |

        The way you describe McGratten in this post is really, really gross.

        1. Stevenredd
          Stevenredd April 3, 2013 at 7:27 pm |

          See the above. And is she were half as gross as her article points out us “non-conforming others” to be, she’d have gotten a lot more than that.

          The drive for gay marriage, the drive for “equality” has a sickening little undertone of the “drive for normality” underneath it. And it leaves us freaks out. And no, I don’t like it, and yes, she can take her middle-class, public school, lecturing self off the pages of a purportedly Gay publication or expect to be publicly horsewhipped by older people who have been chased down alleys with baseball bats to afford her her little office in a nice little website office.

          She is gross. She is arrogant, and presumptive and she deserves it.

        2. Emolee
          Emolee April 3, 2013 at 7:41 pm |

          Stevenredd,
          I agree with you that the article and author that the OP is criticizing is hateful and wrong. What I and other commenters are objecting to is your use of *gendered* slurs against the author, such as “tart.” Criticize her all you want, and even in a harsh way… but could you leave the misogyny out of it?

        3. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia April 3, 2013 at 7:45 pm |

          The drive for gay marriage, the drive for “equality” has a sickening little undertone of the “drive for normality” underneath it.

          Do you then think it is something that shouldn’t happen?

        4. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 7:46 pm |

          The drive for gay marriage, the drive for “equality” has a sickening little undertone of the “drive for normality” underneath it. And it leaves us freaks out.

          Dude, STFU. This freak needs her medical care and immigration so she can be with who she loves.

        5. Stevenredd
          Stevenredd April 3, 2013 at 7:55 pm |

          Okay, the reply function in this is odd…My issue is this:

          The drive for “NORMAL” in big glowing capital letters has an undertone of 1950s, Eisenhower era, shiny white appliances, Mommy has perfect hair and still bakes a cake! kind of mentality that makes me shudder. I grew up with a Mom like that. And she BELIEVED. (she’s a helluva human, she grew, too. Love her to death) We all outgrew this. I’m fully out to my Mother. Talk about a belated feminist. I’ve practically turned her into a socialist, but not. She is of her own mind, we still debate constantly. It’s marvelous.

          Point being (not that I digress) she and I have both learned, the hard way, the price of aspiring to some great NORMAL in the sky that 1) doesn’t exist, 2) only serves a lucky rich few and 3) ultimately steals your soul.

          And, yes, I will use condescending language to a presumptuous little…..etc. who speaks for things she obviously does not understand. It’s called “take your drubbing” and move on. And it wasn’t directed at anyone but HER.

          Finally, no, there is no room for Normal in my world (only one CAP). I don’t trust it. It always has a pernicious tone of standing in line and accepting the kool-aid. Won’t do it. Don’t trust it. Not having it. It always, ALWAYS leaves someone out. And if we aren’t ALL going together (and that include you, my interlocutors) I’m not going until you get on the train, too.

          People get ready, there’s a train a comin’…

        6. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia April 3, 2013 at 8:07 pm |

          Stevenredd,

          I have heard this argument from others as to why marriage equality is a bad idea, but it makes you just as culpable in oppression as the ones that the system privileges. Just because you don’t want marriage equality (marriage being part of the system of normalizing) does not mean that you have a right to deny it to those that do.

        7. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 8:15 pm |

          I don’t aspire to normal. I work towards equal. You may be happy being a second-class citizen. I’m not.

        8. Aaliyah
          Aaliyah April 3, 2013 at 8:19 pm |

          I don’t aspire to normal. I work towards equal. You may be happy being a second-class citizen. I’m not.

          This.

          Also, just because it was directed at her only doesn’t change the fact that it’s incredibly misogynistic as others and I have already pointed out.

        9. Katniss
          Katniss April 3, 2013 at 8:29 pm |

          Using sexist language against just one individual woman does not make using that language. I respect your point but it is unacceptable to use that language no matter what.

        10. Stevenredd
          Stevenredd April 3, 2013 at 8:33 pm |

          So you all get to define my language as sexist. Got it. And you all get to define everything after that as invalid. Got it. And I get invalidated by you and by her. And I get left out. Got it. Got it. Got it.

        11. Emolee
          Emolee April 3, 2013 at 8:29 pm |

          Stevenredd,
          I understand why marriage is not for you. But why do you want to withhold it from other people? Marriage (as an institution) certainly has its flaws, but unless and until it stops being the way that our government and society recognize and benefit relationships, access to it should be open to all consenting adults, no matter their sex or sexual orientation. Our education system needs a lot of work, too. But that doesn’t mean we should let only straight (or white, etc.) people go to school.

          And I understand why some “freaks” (your word), as well as some queer and LGBT people would want to choose to not marry. However, the key word there is CHOOSE. Why do you think you get to choose for all? Your position is just as oppressive as that of the anti-gay bigots.

          (content note: homophobic slur)
          Lastly, regarding your attempt to justify the gendered slurs: would you be okay with a straight person calling a gay man that s/he strongly disagreed with a fag?

        12. Stevenredd
          Stevenredd April 3, 2013 at 9:51 pm |

          Please read below. Long winded but necessary reply to much here.

        13. Stevenredd
          Stevenredd April 3, 2013 at 10:11 pm |

          I apologize for gendered slurs. I meant “tart” like a little smart mouth, nothing sexual. But it can be meant in another much more sexual and anti-woman fashion. I cop to that.

        14. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 8:34 pm |

          And I get left out.

          Steven, if you don’t want gay marriage, might I suggest not getting gay married? Complaining about being left out of a group you said you didn’t want to be part of seems a little strange to me.

        15. Aaliyah
          Aaliyah April 3, 2013 at 8:36 pm |

          The only thing we are criticizing you for, besides the thing about normality, is that you’re using misogynistic language.

        16. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia April 3, 2013 at 8:45 pm |

          I don’t aspire to normal. I work towards equal.

          Mac, I didn’t mean to imply that you are somehow normalized by your marriage. The things my fingers type haven’t been the most tactful lately, and I, in no way, meant to revisit our previous discussion about the definition of marriage.

        17. Donna L
          Donna L April 3, 2013 at 8:46 pm |

          So you all get to define my language as sexist. Got it.

          Good. I’m glad you got it. Because despite your sarcasm, yes, a whole lot of women on a feminist website do get to define your language as misogynistic when you come in here and start talking about little tarts and little butts and horsewhipping and spanking them. Even if you identified as a woman yourself, which you’ve made clear you don’t, that wouldn’t give you the right to talk like that.

        18. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 9:19 pm |

          Mac, I didn’t mean to imply that you are somehow normalized by your marriage. The things my fingers type haven’t been the most tactful lately, and I, in no way, meant to revisit our previous discussion about the definition of marriage.

          Sophia, I didn’t think you had at all! And tbh, I think losing the “edgy” label would be a goddamn relief. I’m brown, same-sex-married, Hindu, disabled, non-neurotypical… fuck, I could do with a bit of normal sometimes, it’d make my days feel less like a river of shit the second I step outside my door. Damn it, I want a world where my life is simply “a life”, not “that weirdo’s life”. Also, iirc we left that discussion on pretty amiable terms ^__^

      3. Donna L
        Donna L April 3, 2013 at 8:19 pm |

        The next time you talk about how any woman should spanked or horsewhipped, I’ll be calling for a giraffe. Stop it.

        And stop with the nonsense about same-sex marriage. In case you hadn’t noticed, poor people sometimes get married too. And queer people. And trans people. As Sophia says, all you’re doing is collaborating in oppression. You sound just as abysmally stupid as the writer you’re criticizing. If you don’t like marriage, don’t get married.

        1. Stevenredd
          Stevenredd April 3, 2013 at 8:23 pm |

          You’ve completely missed my point. McGrattan spoke out of turn, assuming that all trans men and women have the same gender preference or not, that all of us have to be a certain thing or not, and that the way this would all be so much eeeeeasier (for her, I guess) is if we had less letters in the LGBTQIA alphabet. I’ve received your drubbing. Thanks. Now let it go. I used the wrong language (for you). Let it go. She used the wrong language for me. Thanks. I let it go. Meanwhile, crabs in a pot, clawing at each other, no one getting anywhere…..(please somebody ban me from this mindnumbing post….)

        2. Stevenredd
          Stevenredd April 3, 2013 at 8:24 pm |

          P.S. We three would love to get married, but….er…..we can’t.

          There, happy? I’m not allowed “in” anywhere. You want bitter? Don’t fucking start with me.

        3. Aaliyah
          Aaliyah April 3, 2013 at 8:29 pm |

          I used the wrong language (for you). Let it go. She used the wrong language for me.

          And me. And pretty much everyone else in this thread besides you. And probably most people who don’t like misogyny.

          I am very much upset at this person’s post, but that doesn’t mean that she deserves misogynistic remarks in return. That’s not how feminism works (if you are a feminist, that is).

        4. Donna L
          Donna L April 3, 2013 at 8:32 pm |

          And ever single other person who commented here managed to criticize what she wrote — and there’s nothing new or different about your criticism — without referring to the writer in misogynistic language or advocating spanking or horsewhipping her. Nobody’s going to “let that go” unless you stop it. As for your ancient, outdated language about trans women — “pre-op transsexuals? Really? Where do you think you are, the back of the Village Voice? — I can assure you that it isn’t offensive just according to me.

          And the whining and flouncing and asking to be banned because you got called on what you said? Please.

        5. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 8:36 pm |

          P.S. We three would love to get married, but….er…..we can’t.

          I thought you didn’t want gay people to be able to get married. WTF is your point? That you’re being left out of an institution you hate? “Anything but the briar patch” seems a more appropriate response…

        6. Stevenredd
          Stevenredd April 3, 2013 at 8:49 pm |

          I don’t hate marriage. I can’t have it. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. I think it’s a wonderful thing. I wish everyone could have it. I want my gay friends to get married. I want my trans friends to not have to explain *anything* while signing up for *anything* (the driver’s license conversation…ugh…) including getting married but it doesn’t work that way. We all know this.

          What I don’t like is a youngster, yes, tart (definition 2) making smartass assumptions about “If you’re this, you’re gay, if you’re that, you’re gay, otherwise, you’re just too much to be bothered with.”

          I come from a rather large collective (well, not really, we’re not that organized) of people all too much to be bothered with. And it gets really annoying when someone gets in print, once again, denying all the outcasts and uncomfortable people, the people who started Stonewall, the people who got arrested on New Year’s Eve at California Hall in 1964. They’re friends of mine. And they raised me. And this gets old.

          But then I find this:

          Excluding bi and trans people from LGBTQ identification was and continues to be horseshit. But that is no reason to throw out the notion of drawing boundaries at all. Deciding who is, and who isn’t, one of a group of people is necessary for that grouping to be of any use whatsoever. So exclusion is inevitable. Just because some exclusions are unjust doesn’t mean that exclusion itself is terrible and should never be done.

          So, there you have it. And I wasn’t being sarcastic. I got it.

        7. Donna L
          Donna L April 3, 2013 at 9:04 pm |

          So could you explain just how you’re being excluded from the “umbrella”? From your self-description, you’re under it by any definition, whether you consider yourself gay, or queer, or genderqueer, or “differently gendered,” or anything of the kind. And who is talking about excluding “the outcasts and uncomfortable”? If you’d paid attention, you’d know that people were talking about whether straight, cis people should be part of the umbrella. Not outcasts, not “the uncomfortable.”

          And, yes, it would be great if people in polyamorous relationships who want their relationships acknowledged could do so. The problem is how to do that without supporting inherently exploitative polygamous marriages of the kind engaged in by all those heretical Mormon groups. What do you suggest? What’s being done to solve that problem? There aren’t a whole lot of trans people around numerically, you know, and yet we’ve somehow managed to accomplish quite a bit (albeit far less than necessary) without much help from anyone else.

        8. Stevenredd
          Stevenredd April 3, 2013 at 9:52 pm |

          Donna,

          I wasn’t responding to the comments here (except maybe a certain troller who was under my skin) but to the original article itself. I found her exclusion of everyone but, what appeared to me, hip little queers with their matching others (of the same gender [and which gender would that be? Externally presenting or self-identifying?] of course) really annoying. And, yes my language was offensive. I’m a big old drag queen with boots. I’m a bit of a dumbass when I feel my friends and compatriots are being shat on.

          Yes, I used violent language and I’ll cop to that (what the hell is a *giraffe*? Now, I’m scared). But I’m angry! As a naive youngster, I was aided, cared for and nurtured by a group of people whose gender pretty much spans the rainbow and, yes, this is triggery space for me, so I went off. I loathe the idea that anyone with a public voice gets to, after all the work that’s been done in the last 60 years, mouth off and demoralize a large swath of people and leave them out of the picture at the same time. Just a knee jerk reaction. Unfortunately, it all goes together in the same box.

          I just see an entire generation so hungry, so eager to reach some brass ring, that they’re willing to leave people behind. I know the historical precedents. Susan B. Anthony was a the great suffragist who inadvertently alienated working-class women by the urging of middle-class women to take printing jobs thereby putting working class men out of work…and that whole rant. African-American women alienated from the women’s movement, People of Color alienated from the early GL movement (along with anyone not JUST gay or lesbian) it just looks like the same cycle repeated and it’s so angering.

          I get that this is a feminist site. I get that I used bad language. And I use “I get” from the notion of “getting it” not just “I heard you.”

          And I do want marriage. I don’t think the state has the right to tell anyone what they can and cannot do when a civil function is organized ostensibly under the aegis of equal access. Ergo, if people can get married, they should ALL be able to get married. With all the rights, privileges and benefits ascribed thereto.

          I think the biggest problem here, the biggest issue that needs to be tackled is the presumption that religious organizations make on the “sanctity” of marriage and the arrogant notion that they even have a right to make any assessment about this whatsoever. Marriage is a civil contract administered by proxy by a religious person with permission. Otherwise, it is directly administered by a representative of the state. And the religious folks have no right or moral authority over its usage, management or dispensation. The assumption that any religion has the corner on the market of morality is rather a large leap for me.

          Per your comment re: Mormons marrying making it difficult for us poly folk. I completely agree. Oh, how we agonize, constantly. “Gee, thanks for making us look weirder than we are.” (said in private, and mostly in jest).

          I have a solution to that. (My little army of 1) Make it about adulthood. Make the standard of marriage the same as the standard of being drafted. If you’re old enough for your government to call you into service possibly offering your life (not getting into that one, personally….) then you are old enough to say whether you want to get married or not. And that’s that. If states want to do the whole, “you have to get your parent’s signature” that’s fine. I don’t know how far we can intrude without irritating the libertarians, but I think it would set a good standard. Then we’d also get rid of this whole, “what next, you can marry a GOAT???” conversation.

          An adult human of 18 can do whatever she or he chooses. Then the hard part, for me, becomes, what about LGB (and particularly) TQIA youngsters trapped in bad situations….

          And on it goes.

          My boyfriend and I sit here discussing Cyprus and the fact that a government can come in and take money out of a person’s account without permission, my girlfriend points out the fact that the LAPD can now stop traffic in entire swaths of the city by flipping on all the red lights, and I begin to wonder if I’m turning into one of the John Birch Society, conspiracy theory wackos that I used to make fun of when I was in college. It’s not that they’re finally out to get us, it’s that it never stopped. I just see strength in unity and in numbers. I’ll do whatever it takes to makes this right.

          I apologize. I’m not an asshole. Much. Okay, I am, but not like you think I am. I’m an asshole for the cause. I’ll watch my language and not use “tart” and not say violent things. But I won’t back down on my ire at people who think that binary is better and maybe doubling that binary is difficult, but that’s enough, no more….no, there’s always more. There are bottom lines (the conversation at the SFLGBTPCC around the “NAMBLA” contingent was always hot and hostile) and I think we need to create them, way at the outside edge (adulthood, choice, equality) and then stop. Yeah, “allies” are fleeting, and, well, I think we let them in. That may get me yelled at, but there’s a lot of cisgendered, straight folks out there who worked really hard to help us. I think it’s our responsibility to not let the guard down and when they move off to do something else, let them go.

          And who am I? Well, I’m a 50 year old self-identified bisexual male who identified as gay from 17 to about 5 years ago. I have been in a poly triangle for 7 years and I have just started to have recovered memories of a rape I survived on my 18th birthday. The second attempted date rape I remember. I don’t know if I’m a (good) feminist. I believe in equal rights for women. I believe in equal pay for women. I believe that women should not be minimized in any way for anything. Ever. I also believe that women as the mothers of our world should be elevated and honored for that. Meaning: if a woman gets pregnant, she gets her job back. Can’t put that very eloquently, I don’t know how else to say it.

          I also know that I’m the Mom in this pod. I’ve been the Mom my whole life. Ask my friends. My kids who call me Auntie. I’m also 6’7″ which is pretty hilarious when you look at me. I identify with the Great Dane raised around Dachsunds. Very well. I don’t fit in most cases. And I scare people. Which I don’t like. Cuz my friends think I’m the hug bear and source of love. I live with it. It’s okay.

          So, that’s me.

          Thanks for listening.

          S.

        9. Donna L
          Donna L April 3, 2013 at 10:12 pm |

          Thanks for explaining.

          Hopefully, you’ll never need to find out about the giraffes. You should be scared!

        10. Stevenredd
          Stevenredd April 3, 2013 at 10:20 pm |

          Thank you for reading. Really. (I tried to google giraffes and wound up on a D&D board….I’m quivering, now). And, yes, I keep effing up the words on trans and cis and all that. I think “XXX” insert name, face and identity here of a friend who I knew first as femalename, then something else for a while, and now, newname (not necessarily “male”) and while all this was happening the language kept changing. And, I belong to a group of highly irreverent and rather disrespectful people who call each other all sorts of hideous things. Part of our own personal reclaiming of language and surviving abuse. So, I always have to tone my language down. Yes, I still know people who say “tranny.” Ugh. And they are trans. I’m trying to catch up. Maybe they’re just baiting me…???

        11. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia April 3, 2013 at 10:32 pm |

          Awesome. Except for the part about requiring parental signatures for anything. I’d rather chew my hands off than ever talk to my parents again.

        12. Stevenredd
          Stevenredd April 3, 2013 at 10:37 pm |

          I know. This is hard. I cringed when I wrote it. I’m loosely affiliated (I help those who raise money for) homeless LGBT children in LA. And the fact that they have parents they just might *have* to back to….leaves me in shudders. The reason I use the 18 as dividing line thing is this: the authors of the Constitution wrote some wise things (separation of church and state, freedom of speech) without proscribing or forbidding much. How do we help lay effective groundwork that will REALLY last after we’re dead? Plant a tree that our descendants can sit under? I have been musing that 18 is the key. That way we get the moralists off our backs. And we secretly communicate to youngsters “not only does it get better, we’ll be waiting for you!” Or something.

  4. Donna L
    Donna L April 2, 2013 at 1:46 pm |

    Do you sleep with people of the same sex? Welcome to Gay Club. In a relationship with someone of the same-sex? Welcome to Gay Club. Trans and exclusively attracted to people of your gender? Welcome to Gay Club. Attracted to both sexes? Good for you, but unless you’re with someone of the same-sex, you aren’t part of Gay Club.

    Under this logic, even people who identify as gay or lesbian aren’t part of “Gay Club” unless they’re actually sleeping with someone of the same sex. A teenager who isn’t yet sexually active? Sorry, you’re out. An adult who’s between relationships, or leads a celibate life like Tim Gunn has said he does? Sorry, you’re out too.

    As for her exclusion of trans people — other than those who are sexually active with someone of the same sex with which they identify — all I’ll say is that she needs to study some history. Not just Stonewall, but what happened before and after.

    1. Stevenredd
      Stevenredd April 3, 2013 at 7:59 pm |

      “Trans and exclusively attracted to people of your gender? Welcome to Gay Club.”

      Wow. That sentence right there was what put me off. I just got it. First, it belies a complete lack of knowledge of trans struggles with gender in the first place. Second, it tells me that any relationship that I as a mostly cisgendered person would have with a trans person is completely left out of this. And we, as a couple would have *nowhere* to be.

      Just utterly speechless now.

  5. A4
    A4 April 2, 2013 at 1:54 pm |

    What a detailed and thoughtful article. It was wonderful to read.

    Anyone who wants to claim they are part of the anti-heterosexist movement is welcome to do so from my point of view. As ever, the significance of in-group and out-group identifications is simply not the focus of my anti patriarchy philosophies. I actually feel that the emphasis placed on in-group and out-group identification is supportive of patriarchal structures and norms. I try to support self-identification because I believe that helps defeat the power hierarchies involved in in-group and out-group designations. It is still possible, however, for someone’s declarative self-identification to be based on the redefinition of the identification of other people, which is why self-identification should not always go unquestioned.

    Issues of stable identity are inherently difficult given the tendency for identities to become unstable upon close examination.

  6. timberwraith
    timberwraith April 2, 2013 at 5:19 pm |

    I am fed up with the skirmishes between the L/G and everyone else, the skirmishes between non-Ace LGBT people and Ace people, and any number of fights over who gets to wield an official queer membership card.

    I fall somewhere between the L and the B, I’m a trans woman, and I’m on the asexual spectrum. Because I have walked along the boundaries of “acceptably” queer and have often been viewed as an unwanted interloper who misappropriates queer/feminist/female identity and politics, I’ve grown deeply cynical about the notion of community and safe space.

    What I’ve witnessed again and again is an unhealthy, overly restrictive sense of tribalism that arises in oppressed communities in response to the oppressive tribalism of the more powerful majority. The oppressed group’s reflexive tribalism then inadvertently (and sometimes, quite deliberately) erects harmful barriers against other less favored or unrecognized groups of oppressed people. If you reproduce an oppressive tribalism in the process of creating your own sense of community and safe space, then what’s the point? You’ve continued the power dynamic of exclusion on a smaller scale. You’ve used the tools of oppression to secure your own sense of safety.

    So, if folk’s blueprint for a queer space excludes bi, trans, poly, kink, ace (including demisexuals), then count me out. I do not wish to be included in this impoverished notion of queerness. I’ll toss my political hat into a different arena… one more accepting than the currently recognized forms of tribalism.

    Consequently, I think I now prefer “Gender and Sexuality Minorities” to all of the other terms. The queer alphabet is far too cumbersome and will probably see even more letters added in the future as overly restrictive labels and tribalistic social barriers shift. To echo the author of this post, what I see as most important is the tendency of society to marginalize and punish anyone who falls outside of heteronormative modes of being. This includes a whole range of modes of being that currently fall outside of the restrictive queer alphabet. I’ll take inclusion and pluralism in my sense of political community over exclusion and tribalism any day.

    1. A4
      A4 April 2, 2013 at 5:44 pm |

      Agreeeeeeeeeeeeeed.

      1. timberwraith
        timberwraith April 2, 2013 at 5:50 pm |

        :-)

    2. macavitykitsune
      macavitykitsune April 2, 2013 at 6:09 pm |

      So, if folk’s blueprint for a queer space excludes bi, trans, poly, kink, ace (including demisexuals), then count me out…..Consequently, I think I now prefer “Gender and Sexuality Minorities” to all of the other terms.

      Agreed and agreed. I don’t care what term someone’s using as long as they’re not appropriating someone else. Hell, I occupy a bunch of letters within the GSM umbrella.

    3. Chataya
      Chataya April 2, 2013 at 6:16 pm |

      Given how the last thread about asexuality went, expect some fierce debate about this.

      *ace high-five*

      1. timberwraith
        timberwraith April 2, 2013 at 6:35 pm |

        Yes, Chataya, I wouldn’t be surprised if folks try to debate what I’ve said. Except that, I no longer have the patience for that kind of BS. So, I refuse to debate this stuff with the exclusionary people any more. I spent years debating with trans hating feminists my right to ID as female and my right to embrace feminism as my own struggle. In the process, I’ve grown really tired of answering people’s demands of “Justify yourself or you’re not in the club!” My response is generally, “Tough shit. I’m in the club whether you like it or not and I suspect you’ll survive my terrible incursions upon your narrow view of the world.”

        I’m really, really effing tired of this BS… and as we all know, the internet has a seemingly endless supply of it.

        *ace high-five* to you, too, Chataya.

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 2, 2013 at 7:51 pm |

          Tough shit. I’m in the club whether you like it or not

          But…you don’t see why trans people might want some spaces and identities that cis people don’t occupy? Or ace people, communities and identities that sexual people don’t get to trample all over?

          Like I said, I’m all for the GSM umbrella, but the subcategories of LGB, TQI (trans, queer, intersex), DAD (demisexual, demiromantic, asexual) have different facets of experience. I don’t see why the umbrella of GSM can’t be used, instead of “queer”, which definitely has more of a connection to the LGBTQ side of things, and not to the frequency of sexual/romantic attraction…? I mean, I’m sexual, but I don’t often have attractions. I don’t think I should call myself asexual; that feels appropriative to me. Doesn’t it, to you? I’m not cis, but I wouldn’t call myself trans, either… so to claim to have your identity as a trans woman would be invasive, yes?

        2. igglanova
          igglanova April 3, 2013 at 11:14 am |

          Yes, Chataya, I wouldn’t be surprised if folks try to debate what I’ve said.

          No shit. What else is the point of a comments section?

          Excluding bi and trans people from LGBTQ identification was and continues to be horseshit. But that is no reason to throw out the notion of drawing boundaries at all. Deciding who is, and who isn’t, one of a group of people is necessary for that grouping to be of any use whatsoever. So exclusion is inevitable. Just because some exclusions are unjust doesn’t mean that exclusion itself is terrible and should never be done.

    4. snorkellingfish
      snorkellingfish April 2, 2013 at 6:35 pm |

      So, if folk’s blueprint for a queer space excludes bi, trans, poly, kink, ace (including demisexuals), then count me out. I do not wish to be included in this impoverished notion of queerness. I’ll toss my political hat into a different arena… one more accepting than the currently recognized forms of tribalism.

      Isn’t there a massive difference between cis gay people excluding trans* people (who are less privileged than us) and excluding straight demisexual people (who have straight privilege over us)? I don’t think it’s really possibly to equate using our institutional power as cis people to exclude trans* people from our community to asking to be free from the institutional power that cis straight people (including straight demisexual and straight kinky people) have over us.

      Not that there isn’t room to have discussions about how different GSM groups can band together – I think, politically, it can be a great thing to do – but those discussions have got to leave room to talk about the power imbalances that privilege some GSM groups over others. I also think there’s got to be room for safe spaces where LGBTQ* people can get away from heterosexism and cissexism.

      1. timberwraith
        timberwraith April 2, 2013 at 6:45 pm |

        My only reply will be this: demisexuality is part of the Ace spectrum. If you exclude that part of the spectrum from queerness, you effectively exclude asexuality as a whole entity. If you do this, then that particular format of queer struggle is not one I can participate in or support in good conscience. As an Ace person (and as a person of various other modes of queerness as well), I must stand in solidarity with other Ace people.

        That is all.

        1. snorkellingfish
          snorkellingfish April 2, 2013 at 7:34 pm |

          I mentally drafted a reply, but if you don’t want to discuss this, it’s probably better to let it drop?

        2. Donna L
          Donna L April 2, 2013 at 7:50 pm |

          Don’t forget that by insisting on using the term “queers” and “queerness” as an umbrella term encompassing everybody in every version of the alphabet, you yourself are effectively excluding all the people — including me, as I pointed out just a few days ago on another thread — who strongly dislike that word (as applied to themselves, not anybody else) and most definitely don’t identify as such. You like it? Fine, but you shouldn’t be applying it to others who don’t.

        3. EG
          EG April 2, 2013 at 7:57 pm |

          Actually, that’s another reason I don’t tend to identify myself in the LGBTQ+, the use of “queer” as an umbrella term. I’m attracted both to women and to men. But my sexuality isn’t particularly subversive and I don’t particularly want it to be. I don’t feel queer. I don’t identify as queer. Descriptions of queerness don’t seem to apply to me. So while I don’t hear it as a slur, I also don’t hear it as the all-inclusive term others use it as.

        4. snorkellingfish
          snorkellingfish April 2, 2013 at 8:18 pm |

          Actually, that’s another reason I don’t tend to identify myself in the LGBTQ+, the use of “queer” as an umbrella term. I’m attracted both to women and to men. But my sexuality isn’t particularly subversive and I don’t particularly want it to be. I don’t feel queer. I don’t identify as queer. Descriptions of queerness don’t seem to apply to me. So while I don’t hear it as a slur, I also don’t hear it as the all-inclusive term others use it as.

          I commented upthread that I don’t identify as queer for similar reasons, which is probably also part of why I react the way I do to it being pushed as an umbrella term. Once we move away from a definition of “same sex attracted and/or trans*” it starts to become about that subversive battle against heteronormativity and not about the homophobia/transphobia we’ve faced and I don’t feel like my identity should have to be intrinsically subversive.

          Not that I don’t fall into using it as an umbrella term too (if in a narrower sense). I know that I’ve referred to “queer people” in this thread, and I feel like I should apologise to people like Donna who are LGBTQ but who don’t identify as queer. I’ve been trying to be more careful about that, but I sometimes forget.

        5. Alexandra
          Alexandra April 3, 2013 at 3:43 am |

          You know, given that the word queer has its origins as a pretty nasty slur against visibly gay, lesbian, and other gender-nonconforming people, I’m not sure what I think about someone coming in and saying that if they’re not allowed to reappropriate that word to describe themselves, they have no interest in working to end the oppression of the people facing the brunt of heteronormative oppression — I mean, what, you can’t support same-sex marriage or gender identity nondiscrimination rights if asexual people don’t get to call themselves queer??? Those are your priorities?

        6. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet April 3, 2013 at 4:28 pm |

          Alexandra, I think what timberwraith is saying is we (aces) are all in this together.

          I don’t think of demisexuality itself as a particularly queer identity, unless a demi is a gay, lesbian, bi or pan demi, or trans*.

          But we tend to treat ourselves as a package deal. If you exclude demisexuals (or aromantics, grays, etc) from a community/movement, you can’t expect the rest of us to stick around. We don’t do that. Most of us aren’t into dividing our community.

          Nothing could make me stop supporting marriage equality or non-discrimination rights. But if the LGBT+ and/or queer movements decide to exclude asexuals, we who are ace and are homo/bi/pan/poly romantic or trans* or non-binary(and iirc, 30%+ of the ace community is non-binary) will have to decide if we continue to identify as members of LGBT/queer movement or walk. And a lot of us will be walking.

          This is not about demanding rights or feeling entitled to words or community access. This is a simple matter of, if an aromantic ace isn’t welcome somewhere, than I as a panromantic trans* ace don’t feel myself welcome there either.

          It is impossible to deny some aces and extend a hand to others, and expect us to feel welcome. For the most part, we just don’t roll that way.

        7. Donna L
          Donna L April 3, 2013 at 4:47 pm |

          will have to decide if we continue to identify as members of LGBT/queer movement or walk. And a lot of us will be walking.

          As a practical matter, what would “walking” do to the ace community? Does being part of the “umbrella” benefit aces in a tangible way? Has it increased general acceptance and/or understanding? Does any of the activism emanating from the LGBT community (in terms of changing discriminatory laws or practices or otherwise) benefit ace people?

        8. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 5:25 pm |

          Does any of the activism emanating from the LGBT community (in terms of changing discriminatory laws or practices or otherwise) benefit ace people?

          Well, we all know how cis, straight, gender-conforming asexuals routinely get beaten up for using bathrooms, and how people who don’t have sex can’t marry, and how asexuals aren’t allowed to hold jobs because they have too little sex for Chick-Fil-A to approve of, and how people who don’t like having loud furniture-breaking sex are kicked out by landlords. Oh and don’t forget the places where people who don’t ever have sex can be executed! Or jailed! And let’s not ignore that “asexual panic” is totally a legal defense that works, and how asexuals are sent to Bible camps where people tell them they’ll go to Hell if they don’t fuck literally everybody in sight.

          Yeah, I can totally see why the measures LGBTQ people need to better their lives are perfectly compatible with the asexual community’s needs.*

          *My point is: asexuals of all stripes and identities are in need of many changes to society in order to be safe. Almost none of them are the same issues that affect LGBTQ people, unless the ace in question also happens to be LGBTQ. Claiming that the LGBTQ movement will better the lives of straight cis aces in any meaningful way does asexuals a major disservice, in the same way that saying “if we fix racism against black people, Native Americans will be fine” does NAs a disservice.

        9. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet April 3, 2013 at 8:59 pm |

          Well mac, I know several cis aromantic asexuals who would like to marry their same-sex platonic partners but can’t.

          Instead of asking how LGBT people’s needs are compatible with another groups, maybe you should actually look at that group and see what their goals are.

          But hey, your sarcasm really shows that you’re open to learning about ace people and their goals. Not. I’m sure the response to this will be something along the usual lines of sarcastic shit about how people who don’t have sex don’t need or want marriage.

        10. Donna L
          Donna L April 3, 2013 at 9:10 pm |

          Well mac, I know several cis aromantic asexuals who would like to marry their same-sex platonic partners but can’t.

          And they would be able to if same-sex marriage were legal, right? So what would “walking” from the umbrella even mean for them? It’s not like they would refuse to get married if they were able to, just because LGBTQ people were responsible for their having that opportunity.

        11. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 9:23 pm |

          Well mac, I know several cis aromantic asexuals who would like to marry their same-sex platonic partners but can’t.

          Same-sex couples marrying is one of the pet causes of the LGBTQ movement. However, since you yourself said that aromantic asexuals aren’t straight, they’re already under the LGBTQ umbrella, yes?

          I’m sure the response to this will be something along the usual lines of sarcastic shit about how people who don’t have sex don’t need or want marriage.

          Since I’ve said repeatedly on other threads that I don’t believe sex (or interest in sex) to be a pre-requisite for or even a vital aspect of romance, marriage or relationships, I don’t know why the hell you would think that.

        12. Aydan
          Aydan April 3, 2013 at 9:27 pm |

          “As a practical matter, what would “walking” do to the ace community?”

          Unless I am misreading Barnacle Strumpet, they’re actually saying that ace members of the LGBT* community will walk if aces aren’t welcomed within the community.

          “Does any of the activism emanating from the LGBT community (in terms of changing discriminatory laws or practices or otherwise) benefit ace people?”

          There are both LGBT* and non-LGBT* aces who want to marry or otherwise establish a recognized legal partnership with a partner of the same gender. Discouraging and outright outlawing things like corrective “therapy” also (theoretically) protects aces. People who are in general more tolerant are less likely to tell aces that they are aberrant or hell-bound or unnatural, which at present does sometimes happen. etc.

          @macavitykitsune:

          I know you identify as asexual-ish, and so you talk about this stuff from a place of experience. But could you see how responding to an ace member of the LGBT* community who is not cis OR straight, who’s talking about how the attitudes of some people in the LGBT* community towards aces could make they themselves feel unwelcome, by invoking how “straight,” cis aces aren’t really related to the LGBTQ movement, is perhaps not super-helpful?

        13. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 9:29 pm |

          But hey, your sarcasm really shows that you’re open to learning about ace people and their goals. Not.

          …my point was that straight, cis aces have different goals than LGBTQ people. Am I wrong?

          Because, I mean, my actual words were:

          asexuals of all stripes and identities are in need of many changes to society in order to be safe…Claiming that the LGBTQ movement will better the lives of straight cis aces in any meaningful way does asexuals a major disservice”

          I don’t see how that reads as dismissal of ace concerns at all.

        14. Aydan
          Aydan April 3, 2013 at 9:32 pm |

          Whoops, I ducked out to put brownies in and forgot to refresh before I posted!

          @macavitykitsune:

          “However, since you yourself said that aromantic asexuals aren’t straight, they’re already under the LGBTQ umbrella, yes?”

          You also said above that “I would file aromantic asexuals as neither straight nor queer,” didn’t you?

        15. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 9:39 pm |

          You also said above that “I would file aromantic asexuals as neither straight nor queer,” didn’t you?

          Yep. And I added that I would file them functionally under whichever relationships they had, in terms of being a gay/lesbian couple even if the people in it are not gay/lesbian (the same as my wife and I are a lesbian couple, but we’re certainly not a couple of lesbians). So a cis aromantic asexual with a same-sex cis aromantic asexual would still fall under “gay/lesbian couple” for me.

        16. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet April 3, 2013 at 9:46 pm |

          …my point was that straight, cis aces have different goals than LGBTQ people. Am I wrong?

          I would say you are wrong

          Goals of straight cis aces:

          Fighting corrective rape
          de-pathologizing sexual orientations

        17. Barnacle Strumpet
          Barnacle Strumpet April 3, 2013 at 9:49 pm |

          *accidentally cut my post off. Continuing:

          *Fighting corrective rape
          de-pathologizing sexual orientations

          *legalizing all consensual adult marriages

          *increasing visibility of minority sexual orientations and gender identities

          *ending housing/employment/etc discrimination

          *addressing mental health issues that come with people a minority sexual orientation in a heteronormative society

          If LGBT aren’t for one of those issues, do tell

        18. A4
          A4 April 4, 2013 at 9:03 am |

          I would file them functionally under whichever relationships they had

          MacavityKitsune, can you stop filing people into your special neat identity categories? Ther identities are not yours to file.

          Why is this so hard for you? WHy do you feel the need to assert your authority over the sexual and gender identification of other people?

        19. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 4, 2013 at 12:10 pm |

          Why is this so hard for you?

          Maybe because you fucknuts keep asking me how I would categorise X or Y or Z? I mean, it’s hard not to give a personal opinion in response to a request for a personal opinion.

        20. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 4, 2013 at 12:14 pm |

          Okay, you know what, that’s unfair. Barnacle, Aydan, you’ve been nothing but polite and logical and I was way over the line to characterise you like that. I’m sorry. (I’ll respond to you further if I have time, Barnacle; I think there’s nuances in your assertions that mean normalising LGBT people wouldn’t do much for aces independent of their being LGBT, but my thoughts are very scattered and anxious right now…)

  7. Kristen from MA
    Kristen from MA April 2, 2013 at 5:40 pm |

    Well said.

    She actually used the term ‘dumping ground.’ Wow. Just wow.

  8. We Are Not Your Afterthought: responding to LGBT Soup | Gay Norfolk

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  9. timberwraith
    timberwraith April 2, 2013 at 8:03 pm |

    I think there’s something important about asexuality and heteronormativity that some people miss. Sexual availability and/or interest is quite often part of the body of assumptions included in heteronormativity.

    If you’re a guy, you are expected to have an active sexual interest exclusively focused upon women. If other heterosexual men notice this is absent, many intentionally derogatory assumptions are made about that person’s personality and sexuality. One might observe that active, exclusive sexual interest in women is commonly included in mainstream constructions of masculinity.

    This assumed ubiquitous male sexual interest rides upon the assumption that a woman will be sexually available to a guy if and when he believes it’s the appropriate time for sexual activity. As many feminists have expounded upon, turning down a man’s expressed sexual interest too often results in oppressive behaviors toward women, including but not limited to misogynistic epithets and/or assault. Furthermore, we can add in a highly sexualized beauty industry, fashion industry, and magazine publishing industry for girls/women which focuses upon encouraging girls/women to center their self-worth upon their ability of effectively attract, date, and (eventually) marry a man. One might observe that an exclusive sexual and romantic interest in and availability to men is commonly included in mainstream constructions of femininity.

    Now, imagine what it would be like to not be sexually interested in anyone or only sexually interested in contexts far more limited that what is assumed to be the norm. This way of being violates the assumptions which undergird the ways in which femininity, masculinity, and heteronormativity are constructed by mainstream society. What if you are a woman who feels no or little sexual interest in anyone, including men? What if you are a man who feels no or little sexual interest in anyone, including women? Is it hard to imagine how this makes one an outsider and a threat to a social system which assumes that a readily formed sexual bond between a woman and a man is dictated by the commonly assumed sexual/emotional needs of men and that this mode of sexual exchange is assumed to be universal?

    You can make similar arguments about a whole series of other sexual and gender minorities. Add in the huge assortment of behavioral assumptions behind femininity/masculinity and sexuality and you have a vast body of people who live outside of those social boundaries and thus, share in a common struggle. This struggle is one that challenges different parts of the finely spun fabric of oppression which forms the very foundation of patriarchy.

    It’s important to recognize this and yet, it is all too easy to compartmentalize each subgroup’s experience of oppression in such a way that we fail to see how our lives align against an extensive network of oppression that sees all of us as a threat to its very existence.

    1. Li
      Li April 2, 2013 at 8:48 pm |

      Look, the problem is, as I have outline elsewhere, that no one successfully meets heteronorms. Because they’re multiple, idealised, and frequently self-contradictory. I mean, do you have a convincing reason, under that definition, why disabled people don’t constitute a sexual minority? How about black men and women who are subject to stereotypes of hypersexuality? Or women in general, who certainly don’t get out of normative sexual judgement by being sexual? Do sex workers constitute a sexual minority? How about people who just have a lot of casual sex? People who wait until marriage to have sex aren’t really served by many sexual communities, do they constitute a minority? I face street harassment not only for my sexuality, but because my gender presentation sometimes is that of a man wearing florals. Obviously this contradicts normative gender, but it is it enough that man-who-wears-floral-prints should count as a gender minority?

      Heteronormativity is aspirational. But that doesn’t make everyone who fails to meet the norms a queered other. Indeed, sexuality normativity and marginalisation constitutes part of almost every single axis of oppression, but that doesn’t make that oppression heteronormative.

      I don’t want heteronormativity to become a grand unified theory of all sexual oppression. I want it to maintain its utility in talking about hetero-goddamn-sexuality as an oppressive institution (distinct here from a purely descriptive-of-orientation sense).

      We need, rather, an intersectional approach to sexual normativity that takes into account multiple axes of oppression and which doesn’t use theories of one axis (heteronormativity and heterosexism) as a dumping ground for people with trackably straight orientations who feel cut about not meeting some sexual norm or another but who don’t currently have a place they feel adequately describes their experience. Of course straight people are failing to meet sexual norms, because heterosexuality isn’t the only norm.

      1. Li
        Li April 2, 2013 at 9:03 pm |

        tl;dr: Are you exclusively attracted to people of the gender socially sanctioned for you to be attracted to (ie. “The Opposite Sex)? Is your own gender accepted to be what you declare it? If yes, congratulations, you meet the core qualification of the heteronorm. Any other sexual norms you fail to meet are at this point declared irrelevant to the question.

        1. Alexandra
          Alexandra April 3, 2013 at 3:44 am |

          Everything you just said.

      2. suspect class
        suspect class April 3, 2013 at 11:00 pm |

        Yes, this.

    2. EG
      EG April 2, 2013 at 9:02 pm |

      What if you are a woman who feels no or little sexual interest in anyone, including men?

      That’s…a pretty standard normative stereotype about women–the frigid woman, the woman with a low sex drive. For decades, that was considered normal, or even ideal, for women. You still find it.

      But that’s how stereotypes work. I don’t meet the the patriarchal ideals of femininity, but that doesn’t mean I’m not a woman (unless I had a non-female gender identity, of course, which I don’t, which is why I’m using myself as an example)–that’s how it works. Nobody’s ever good enough. Deviating from hegemonic ideals is one of the ways people are kept insecure about themselves, and thus more willing to persecute others.

      1. Donna L
        Donna L April 3, 2013 at 1:27 pm |

        Yes, that’s hardly a non-normative or marginalized sexuality for women in traditional “heterosexual culture” — the same point I was trying to make with respect to what seems to be the standard definition of demisexuality.

      2. Chataya
        Chataya April 3, 2013 at 2:04 pm |

        What you are dismissing as just a “normative stereotype” got me 3 years of corrective rape because my (a)sexuality wasn’t real and I just had to “learn to like it.”

        1. EG
          EG April 3, 2013 at 2:16 pm |

          I don’t see how I’m dismissing it at all–you’re the one saying “just,” not me. It’s one of a number of normative stereotypes that’re used to subjugate women. I take such things very seriously.

        2. Emolee
          Emolee April 3, 2013 at 3:51 pm |

          I’m sorry that happened to you, Chataya.

          I think you bring up a good point: women are “supposed” to be sexually available to men, and when they are not, their sexuality is policed, often in violent and violating ways. I have heard from lesbians that they have experienced “corrective” rape as well. So, in this sense, I think that asexuals who are female (or are coded-female by society) and lesbians (or other women who have sex exclusively with women) have a significant oppression in common: they are oppressed because they do not, or at least do not want to, have sex with men.

          Historically, in some, but not all, settings, male homosexuality was seen as threatening because gay men have sex with men, and lesbianism was seen as threatening because lesbians *don’t* have sex with men (and are therefore shirking their sexual, wifely, and procreative “duties”). I think this in part was due to denial/ignorance of female sexuality (how can two women have sex? They must just be friends).

          To be clear: I am NOT saying that lesbians and other women who sleep with women don’t experience discrimination because they have sex with women. They (we) most certainly do. But I think there is an angle of male entitlement that comes into play here, too.

  10. Alexandra
    Alexandra April 3, 2013 at 3:54 am |

    These arguments always make my head hurt. Because on the one hand, you have organizations and people like the HRC actively discriminating against trans folks “for the sake of marriage equality” — because of course some members of the “LGBT” cluster are presumed more valuable than others.

    But on the other hand, you have the steady dilution of what it means to be “queer” — if a straight, cis man who’s the Dom in a D/s relationship gets to call himself queer (what, because men ordering women around in bed is subversive?!), then who doesn’t?

    I really hate identity policing, and in general think it’s none of my business how people think of themselves or conceive of their sexuality (at this point I throw up my hands when people ask me to self-describe — am I bi? pan? “polymorphously perverse”?). If we’re working together to dismantle heterosexist oppression, then in theory a big tent or a capacious QUILTBAG is all to the good – the more people in the struggle, the better, right? Except that I worry about the more privileged members of the alphabet soup dominating the conversation. As HRC so frequently demonstrates, it’s easy for the concerns of one subgroup to get drowned out by a larger and more privileged subgroup, and if LGBT becomes LGBTQQIA~~~, then whose voices will actually get heard? And what, really do all of these different stakeholders have in common, aside from a recognition that heteronormativity isn’t that great (which, frankly, most straight readers of Feministe would agree with too).

    I don’t want to get into it about whether or not demisexuality is real or whether queer is a good word to reclaim, because: none of my business/I don’t really care how people self-describe. But I do care that activist groups and political organizing etc doesn’t suddenly become dominated by the relatively most privileged people — straight, white, cis, male poly kinksters, straight-appearing bi folks in opposite sex relationships (ie me most of the time), etc etc.

    1. DouglasG
      DouglasG April 3, 2013 at 9:38 am |

      I don’t want heteronormativity to become a grand unified theory of all sexual oppression. I want it to maintain its utility in talking about hetero-goddamn-sexuality as an oppressive institution (distinct here from a purely descriptive-of-orientation sense).

      But on the other hand, you have the steady dilution of what it means to be “queer” — if a straight, cis man who’s the Dom in a D/s relationship gets to call himself queer (what, because men ordering women around in bed is subversive?!), then who doesn’t?

      “If everybody’s somebody, then noone’s anybody.” (The Gondoliers)

      I like Mr Li’s point about utility and get a very similar headache to that of Ms Alexandra over the difficulties of trying to be both large enough and small enough at the same time.

    2. Donna L
      Donna L April 3, 2013 at 1:33 pm |

      Alexandra and Li, thank you.

    3. D.N. Nation
      D.N. Nation April 4, 2013 at 2:39 pm |

      But I do care that activist groups and political organizing etc doesn’t suddenly become dominated by the relatively most privileged people — straight, white, cis, male poly kinksters, straight-appearing bi folks in opposite sex relationships (ie me most of the time), etc etc.

      Exactly. I’m also a bi in a (long-term) opposite-sex relationship; to me, the struggle of identity was internal rather than external. There’s very little chance I’ll suffer consequences because of who I am, at least compared to others. It’s why I’d rather shape myself to be an ally than hog the mic. I get the struggle, but because of my (relative) privilege can’t *get* the struggle.

  11. A4
    A4 April 3, 2013 at 9:54 am |

    Anyone who cares enough to argue with me in a nuanced fashion about their inclusion under an umbrella definition of sexual identities that do not conform to heterosexist norms is absolutely welcome under my umbrella because a willingness to engage with the norms of heterosexuality as constructed and subject to criticism is an absolutely excellent start.

    All y’all who continue to feel the need to guard the gates of sexual identity will continue to alienate people to little benefit as you have already done multiple times in this thread.

    1. EG
      EG April 3, 2013 at 11:43 am |

      Whereas you haven’t alienated anybody?

      1. A4
        A4 April 3, 2013 at 11:53 am |

        Not based on their sexual identity as I calculate it to be according to my special sex and gender formula. Also timberwraith gave me a smiley face!

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 12:07 pm |

          special sex and gender formula

          BUT DOES IT CREATE ORGAN-BABIES? I loved your organ-baby formula.

        2. A4
          A4 April 3, 2013 at 1:06 pm |

          Is butter a carb?

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 1:49 pm |

          Not based on their sexual identity

          A4, seriously though, you’re alienating me pretty hardcore when you say that straight people can identify as lesbian, or trans, or whatever, while still holding on to straight privilege. (If that isn’t what you think being “politically queer” is, you’re adorably naive.) It’s appropriative, it’s douchey, and I’m frankly impressed that you can put up with it.

        4. A4
          A4 April 3, 2013 at 2:11 pm |

          Whatever, I’m getting cheese fries.

    2. Donna L
      Donna L April 3, 2013 at 1:24 pm |

      sexual identities

      heterosexist

      heterosexuality

      sexual identity

      If you think that you’ve constructed an inclusive “umbrella” through repeating those terms, perhaps you should stop being so self-righteous for one second and think about the fact that your terminology is very much exclusive of many trans people (regardless of their sexuality). I know that you could argue that “sexual identity” encompasses not only one’s sexual orientation but also the gender and/or sex with which someone identifies, but that’s not how the term is commonly used, and I doubt that you meant it that way.

      1. thinksnake
        thinksnake April 3, 2013 at 1:34 pm |

        Seconding this.

        My genderqueer identity makes the terms I use to describe my sex and sexuality more complex, but it isn’t simply an adjunct to that.

      2. A4
        A4 April 3, 2013 at 2:06 pm |

        That’s totally a legit point. Good thing I wasn’t counting on coming up with my own special in-group criteria for the movement in question though.

        I’m glad you pointed this out!

        I’m gonna continue to be self-righteous though.

        1. Katniss
          Katniss April 3, 2013 at 3:39 pm |

          You are astoundingly flippant about a subject that is pretty damn serious to a lot of people here…

        2. A4
          A4 April 3, 2013 at 4:01 pm |

          I am allowed to be flippant. I’m in-group. You can’t take away my G.

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 4:06 pm |

          You’re not trans or genderqueer that I know of. Mind not trampling all over those of us who aren’t cis? Ta very much.

        4. A4
          A4 April 3, 2013 at 4:14 pm |

          You’re not trans or genderqueer that I know of.

          You certainly don’t know me or my gender identity, that’s for sure. Yet you will still try to out-group me using gender identity when what you really object to are my words and opinions.

          That’s kinda shitty. Which is kind of my whole objection to this identity policing deal. Thanks for demonstrating it so succinctly.

        5. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm |

          Yet you will still try to out-group me using gender identity when what you really object to are my words and opinions.

          Your words and opinions on gender identity have nothing to do with your opinions on gender identity? How very postmodern of you.

          Look, if your point is that everybody is in your in-group, in-group status is effectively meaningless, and I was using sarcasm to point out the hypocrisy of you hiding behind your G to support an argument that says essentially that the G shouldn’t matter. Sarcasm, A4. Seriously. -_-

        6. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 4:20 pm |

          Oh, and my identity isn’t about out-grouping you; it’s a fact about me. I assure you that my sense of my gender/sexuality wasn’t formed with “someday, I will have to out-laurel A4 on Feministe!” in mind.

        7. A4
          A4 April 3, 2013 at 4:37 pm |

          Your words and opinions on gender identity have nothing to do with your opinions on gender identity? How very postmodern of you.

          No. Instead of objecting to what I said based on the content of my words, you took a big stupid shortcut by trying to assign me as “out-group” by saying that I’m cis, when in reality you have no basis for assuming anything about my gender identity because my gender is not yours to identify.

          You shouldn’t respond to issues with people’s opinions by attempting to categorize their gender or sexual identity in a way that allows you to dismiss them as a person. That’s kind of the whole problem we started with.

        8. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 5:16 pm |

          saying that I’m cis

          My exact words:

          You’re not trans or genderqueer that I know of.

          Wow, it’s almost like I didn’t say that at all.

          You shouldn’t respond to issues with people’s opinions by attempting to categorize their gender or sexual identity in a way that allows you to dismiss them as a person.

          And YOU shouldn’t be responding to issues of appropriation that a community faces by saying “Well I’M marginalised and I say it’s okay, so let’s ignore the vast number of people who don’t feel it’s okay for straight cis people to call themselves LGBTQ”. Rupert Everett thinks all gay men should never raise children; should I quote him at you in saying you shouldn’t? I mean, he IS a gay guy, so he’s in-group, so his opinion on gay guys totes sets community policy, right?

          I wasn’t dismissing you as a person, I was dismissing your right to speak for the community. Nobody appointed you king and tyrant, dude. You could at least attempt to not paint everyone who disagrees with you as some sort of horrible exclusionary fascists.

        9. A4
          A4 April 3, 2013 at 6:24 pm |

          Your hyperbole is so over the top it’s unbelievable you manage to communicate anything meaningful between all the manufactured sputtering and capitalization.

        10. Donna L
          Donna L April 3, 2013 at 6:30 pm |

          How about criticizing substance instead of style? Surely you’re capable of doing the little bit of extra work that’s apparently necessary in order for you to be able to read capital letters?

        11. A4
          A4 April 3, 2013 at 7:26 pm |

          How about criticizing substance instead of style?

          YES. LET’S.

        12. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 7:45 pm |

          it’s unbelievable you manage to communicate anything meaningful between all the manufactured sputtering and capitalization.

          a4 speaks on things
          “capitalisation bad
          ad hominem good”

          sad little person
          go away and cry some more
          MY CAPS LOCK TRIUMPHS

      3. Donna L
        Donna L April 3, 2013 at 4:16 pm |

        There’s something that seems extremely odd about a paradigm that sets up trans people as part of a privileged “in-group” narrow-mindedly guarding the gates of their powerful umbrella (talk about mixed metaphors) against the inclusion of purportedly less-privileged, more-marginalized groups apparently including any straight cis person as long as they self-identify as queer.

        1. A4
          A4 April 3, 2013 at 4:28 pm |

          The world is a magical place.

          Seriously though, I didn’t specify anything about the identities of the people who feel the need for this kind of identity policing when it comes to gender and sexuality. That’s because I want to call out the philosophy. If the movement is based on reducing exclusion and marginalization based on normative sexual and gender identities, then requiring adherence to one specific set of normative gender and sexual identities as a primary method of determining movement membership is stupid stupid stupid.

          As a sidenote, when I refer to heterosexism I do indeed mean to refer to heterosexist requirements for gender and for sexuality. Sexual norms are inextricably and ubiquitously linked to gender norms from what I can tell.

        2. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 4:32 pm |

          requiring adherence to one specific set of normative gender and sexual identities as a primary method of determining movement membership is stupid stupid stupid.

          Not being able to tell the difference between determining movement membership (your argument) and determining movement identity (everyone else’s) wanders past that into stupid stupid stupid stupid.

        3. DouglasG
          DouglasG April 3, 2013 at 4:41 pm |

          You make it seem quite Carrollian; I can easily visualize the Red Queen’s devising something of this sort.

        4. Donna L
          Donna L April 3, 2013 at 5:12 pm |

          As a sidenote, when I refer to heterosexism I do indeed mean to refer to heterosexist requirements for gender and for sexuality. Sexual norms are inextricably and ubiquitously linked to gender norms from what I can tell.

          Obviously they’re related. They are not the same. You do NOT get to decide that heterosexism (and heterocentricity) encompass cissexism (and ciscentricity), obviating the need to refer to the latter. You’re doing exactly what Li criticized, namely, attempting to squeeze everything onto a single axis of oppression. It’s no more accurate than arguing that all homophobia is really an aspect of transphobia (an argument that some trans people and allies have raised in a remarkably unsuccessful attempt to persuade LG people that we all have the same interests).

          So please stop.

        5. A4
          A4 April 3, 2013 at 9:37 pm |

          Obviously I don’t get to make decisions on a macro level about definitions of heterosexism and cissexism. I also never made any of the claims you are attributing to me.

          I suppose defining reality for everyone else is a job reserved for you mac and the rest of the self-appointed popular people clique.

          I didn’t bow down to the popular kids in high school either :p

        6. Donna L
          Donna L April 3, 2013 at 10:06 pm |

          Give me a break. This has nothing to do with who’s popular and who isn’t, here or elsewhere. And I haven’t appointed myself as anything; people can agree or disagree with my opinions as they like. But if it makes you feel better to position yourself as the lonely outsider speaking truth to power, and fighting against some sort of mean girl clique, and if you think that I’m some sort of paragon of popularity here (at a place that’s never exactly had a reputation of having a trans-friendly commentariat, and where I, and other trans people, have to deal with horrible transphobic crap all the damn time if you’ve been paying attention), go right ahead.

          The fact is that you said what I quoted, and I think I characterized it accurately. You very much have been using “heterosexism” as some sort of overall descriptive, without any mention of cissexism, and you certainly have been implying that the former includes the latter. And I’m certainly not the only person who’s been interpreting what you say the way I have.

        7. Donna L
          Donna L April 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm |

          I guess I won’t be getting an apology, then. I’d better stop holding my breath.

        8. A4
          A4 April 4, 2013 at 3:20 pm |

          I guess I won’t be getting an apology, then. I’d better stop holding my breath.

          You want an apology for me using only the term sexuality in my discussion therefore erasing cissexism and issues specific to gender presentation?

          If that is so then you are right. I apologize for my language. I should have been more inclusive in my thinking and more explicit with my words. It is my fault that you felt that I was erasing trans oppression and I am sorry for that.

        9. Donna L
          Donna L April 4, 2013 at 4:19 pm |

          Thank you; I appreciate it.

    3. igglanova
      igglanova April 3, 2013 at 3:22 pm |

      All y’all who continue to feel the need to guard the gates of sexual identity will continue to alienate people to little benefit as you have already done multiple times in this thread.

      Get over yourself. So-called ‘gate-guarding’ is inevitable and necessary. If you object to people defining the limits of what a particular term describes, you are objecting to a basic principle of the English language.

      1. A4
        A4 April 3, 2013 at 4:11 pm |

        If you object to people defining the limits of what a particular term describes, you are objecting to a basic principle of the English language.

        I just object when I think they’re doing it wrong. If you object to that then it is you who objects to a basic principle of the English language!

        Sidenote on these principles (maybe this belongs in Spillover?): Are the basic principles of the English language written down anywhere for easy reference? I’m looking for something ten commandments style.

        :D

        1. igglanova
          igglanova April 3, 2013 at 9:12 pm |

          I just object when I think they’re doing it wrong.

          Then how would you characterize this statement?

          If the movement is based on reducing exclusion and marginalization based on normative sexual and gender identities, then requiring adherence to one specific set of normative gender and sexual identities as a primary method of determining movement membership is stupid stupid stupid.

          Leaving aside, of course, its bewildering inaccuracies.

  12. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 11:33 am |

    Hey, hey, hey! Can I be politically white? I want to be politically white! I understand it comes with benefits. Ooh, and politically male! I want to be politically male, too.

    Does this mean I get pay equity now?

    1. suspect class
      suspect class April 3, 2013 at 11:10 pm |

      Nono, you just get to use the label while retaining your oppression.

  13. macavitykitsune
    macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 12:06 pm |

    Look, this is half the reason everyone is talking around each other here: MOVEMENT IS NOT IDENTITY.

    To take an example: I was a virgin for a fairly statistically long time. I didn’t really have squirmy feelings for (real) people for most of them. This does not give me “asexual identity”, because I am not asexual, and for me to march into a support group for aces and say “I hadn’t been kissed when I reached college age! I feel your pain, bro!” is an asshole move to actual aces.

    However: I do not think that being sexual is 100% normative. Thus, I support the asexual movement, and am part of the movement, by which I mean: part of the social group that works towards dismantling the marginalisation aces experience. This group includes, but is not limited to, aces.

    Basically, movement = identities+allies. Nobody needs to have Identity X to be an ally. So yeah. If a straight, cis, sexual, vanilla, monogamous person flounces away from the LGBT movement, or the GSM movement in general because we’re not letting them have the Super Sexy Edgy Identity…

    well, fuck them. They weren’t in it anyway; they just wanted to be Adorable Rebels(TM). And you know what, I’m really comfortable with putting those people where they can’t stab me in the back the second MY GROUP isn’t edgy enough for them. If that’s alienating anyone, so be it.

    Fuck…what the hell would you people say to people who wouldn’t support ending racism if they weren’t allowed to call themselves POC? Because that’s what this feels like to me. (And don’t tell me that doesn’t happen. It does; I’ve seen it, and I HATE IT. And they always spew racism the second someone calls them out on it.)

    1. Alexandra
      Alexandra April 3, 2013 at 1:47 pm |

      Yeah; a few years back an anti-racist community on livejournal exploded when it turned out that one of the members was “black by choice” and not, in fact, black!

      (And don’t tell me that doesn’t happen. It does; I’ve seen it, and I HATE IT. And they always spew racism the second someone calls them out on it.)

      1. EG
        EG April 3, 2013 at 2:00 pm |

        Holy shit, for real? For real? I have heard carping and moaning from white people who have been othered in some other way about not being allowed into PoC spaces because they feel their othering makes them “understand” what it is not to be white in this society, but I have never heard of that.

        Moral: there are no depths to which humanity will not sink.

      2. Donna L
        Donna L April 3, 2013 at 2:57 pm |

        This sounds a little like the people who are fond of appropriating identities by using terminology taken from trans people, and calling themselves “trans-ethnic” and “trans-racial,” like the young white guy in the U.S. who identified as “trans-Korean,” or the one who said he was really a middle-aged black person (so I guess he was trans-aged as well). Although I don’t think I’ve ever heard before of anyone using the language of religious conversion (as in Jews by choice) when it comes to race.

      3. igglanova
        igglanova April 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm |

        D:

    2. pheenobarbidoll
      pheenobarbidoll April 3, 2013 at 4:17 pm |

      Oh lord, don’t get me started on white people (and others, it’s not just white people) who consider themselves NA or have NA spirits or whatever. I’m not even talking about the great great granma was a Cherokee Princess set either. They “identify” with Native Americans, and think wolves are sooper kewl, love Mother Earth yadda yadda so they should be allowed in Native spaces and be considered Native!

      *twitch*

      1. Donna L
        Donna L April 3, 2013 at 4:22 pm |

        Careful, now, or timberwraith will accuse you of the dread disease of “tribalism,” and A-4 will tell you that you’re part of “in-group” engaged in “gatekeeping.”

        1. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 4:25 pm |

          No shit. Also, if the barbarians stopped turning up at the gates with swords and rams and stuff, maybe we all wouldn’t need to keep the damn gates in the first place.

        2. A4
          A4 April 3, 2013 at 4:42 pm |

          I have said nothing about race and ethnic identities on purpose because I have read very very often, both here and other places, that issues of sexual and gender identity are not analogous with issues of racial and ethnic identities.

        3. macavitykitsune
          macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 5:26 pm |

          issues of sexual and gender identity are not analogous with issues of racial and ethnic identities.

          Issues of appropriation are analogous to issues of appropriation.

      2. macavitykitsune
        macavitykitsune April 3, 2013 at 4:23 pm |

        Yep. I met one a little while ago. It gave me the creeps.

        You will probably understand more than most people here when I say that part of the reason I felt safe marrying my wife is that I could rely on her not wanting to be Indian Lite. -_-

        …also, it’s possible to love nature, think wolves are super kewl, etc without appropriating Native identity. I’m unhealthily attached to wolves, but I somehow manage not to colonise people while having warm and fuzzies over them. >…< I hate when people prioritise their need to be edgy over respecting others.

        1. matlun
          matlun April 3, 2013 at 4:45 pm |

          LOL. I have no connection to NA culture but I also met one person who would fit the bill recently. New-agey and I think very well meaning person. But just so, so confused.

          As I said, I have no connection to NA culture, and it made me start to *headdesk*.

        2. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia April 3, 2013 at 8:31 pm |

          warm and fuzzies over [wolves]

          Made me giggle.

        3. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll April 4, 2013 at 1:30 am |

          The new agey people are the fucking worst.

        4. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia April 4, 2013 at 1:51 am |

          What is meant by “new agey”?

        5. Li
          Li April 4, 2013 at 2:34 am |

          Here you go Radiant Sophia.

        6. Radiant Sophia
          Radiant Sophia April 4, 2013 at 3:10 am |

          O.k. Not what I thought it meant.

        7. pheenobarbidoll
          pheenobarbidoll April 4, 2013 at 11:35 am |

          They pull offensive crap like this-http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/article/when-customs-become-confusing-72041

  14. Jiplin
    Jiplin April 9, 2013 at 1:04 pm |

    Personally, I think we are better off with various movements that reflect our identies and our needs. That way I think we can get more done and come together to support each other when the situation calls for it.

    To me, questioning the whole alphabet thing is not anti anybody.

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