AI: Reacting to Orientation Police
This comic about a gay man who sometimes dates transmen is pretty good. It deals with issues of people questioning one’s stated sexual orientation because of behavior that they consider outside of the stated orientation (in this case a self-identified gay man who has relationships and sex with men who may have vaginas).
I have dealt with people questioning my self-identified characteristics plenty of times – usually it’s gender, but it has sometimes been sexual orientation too. When I use the term “queer” to define my sexual orientation it gets people particularly up in arms because they find the word offensive, it doesn’t give a lot of information, or they think “queer” means the same as “gay” and it’s incorrect because I am attracted to people of several genders. People have also objected to the stated sexual orientations of my partners in the past. When my last primary partner defined herself as queer at least one person objected that she should call herself straight because she primarily (but not elusively) is attracted to male-identified people.
Have you ever had your identities objected to? How have you responded?
The Afternoon Inqueery (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Queereka community. Look for it every Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday at 3pm ET.