While I find celebrating aspects of myself important, I also find that the very notion of this month flawed. I am not just one thing, and no one is. I am intersectional with a multiplicity of identities that lead to a complicated set of privileges and marginalization that I am constantly negotiating and navigating.
So, when I walk under a banner that I know that is supposed to make me feel affirmed, what do I do since it doesn’t?
When people say “LGBTQ” which technically stands for “Lesbian, Gay Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer or Questioning,” I find that they very rarely mean it.
I believe that when institutions in the States say “LGBTQ” they actually mean “white female-bodied women who love white-female bodied women and white male-bodied men who love white male-bodied men who then decide to engage in monogamous co-habitation and raise children together. Oh, and they have to be US citizens. And not poor. And want to be complicit in our state’s definition of a family. And never talk about how you have sex.”
Please do not get me wrong. Celebrating queer history is so important to me, because it feels like a struggle that has provided me many privileges. There are so many people who have worked tirelessly to make my life easier who I will never ever meet, know, or thank. But so often the LGBTQ story that gets told privileges some types of “queerness” over others.
Here is a list of the people who I think get forgotten during this month:
Many more people belong on this list. The words I have used to describe them are limited and problematic. These are the first 15 categories of people that came to mind for me, so this list is subject to the biases of my own life experience.
At the end of the day, October is not my month. Or, if it were my month, we would call it “Celebrate your decisions to live your life in a way that makes sense for you” month. Or “Congratulations on deciding to struggle against society’s rules about loving and family building” month.
Alright, all those titles suck. But, I hope I’m making my point.
This month does not actually celebrate people who fall under the LGBTQ umbrella. So lets make our efforts match our banners, or put words on our banners that are more accurate.
Because when I walk under a banner that says “_________ celebrates LGBTQ month” the intention of affirming my sexuality is not achieved. It just makes me want to scream.