Recently comics artist Erika Moen published a (NSFW) comic in English and French about experiences she’s had through identifying as queer. Her sexual identity has gone through several significant changes in her life, as documented in this (also NSFW!) edition of her autobiographical webcomic, DAR! (the whole comic is definitely worth a read though). As a woman who once identified as lesbian and is now married to a man, she’s received everything from accusations of lying to abuse for her “betrayal”. Sadly she isn’t alone in experiencing this sort of identity policing.
The comic really resonated with me as an asexual person. One of the biggest points of debate in our community is “are asexuals queer?”, and one of the most common accusations from elsewhere in the queer community is that we’re trying to co-opt the suffering of queer people while benefiting from non-queer privilege. Alternatively, along with bi/pansexual people, and anyone else who dares to not fall neatly into one category, we may be accused of lying or repressing our true sexuality. I don’t have as much experience of the trans* community, so don’t want to make sweeping inaccurate statements, but I assume identity policing is a problem there too. Sadly even people who’ve experienced discrimination themselves can be intolerant to others in similar situations.
Have you come across the dreaded identity police from within the queer community? Do you identify personally as queer? If not, why not? (I’m pretty sure I don’t have to remind people here, but please be respectful of other people’s experiences and identities.)
The Afternoon Inqueery (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Queereka community. Look for it to appear on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, at 3pm ET.