To be queer, but never queer enough

I wish that we lived in a world where gender simply did not exist. Gender expression and sexual identity–– as much as we’d like to think have become points of societal nuance–– are ages behind where they should be, and the most damaging perpetrators are sometimes people within the LGBTQ+ community.

It’s as if there is a competition to be as queer as possible, as openly as possible, and if you aren’t gay enough for the gays then your viewpoints on life are perceived as homophobic.

Topics surrounding gender and sexual identity are not identical from person-to-person, and it isn’t any person’s place to discredit the thoughts and feelings that bring the most comfort to another individual simply because these ideals don’t work for them.

I am gay, and I think that gender is the most damaging concept known to man. There’s no escaping it. Gender-nonconformity has become a third gender, transitioning has become a process which is under constant scrutiny and if you don’t decide what you “want to be,” then you are “queerbaiting” and betraying the entire community.

Gender and the way in which it is a driving force in shoving sexuality into restricting boxes is far too outdated to remain a topic of “debate” across people with varying identities.

I shouldn’t have to shout from the rooftops that I am a homosexual in order to be respected, and I shouldn’t have to publicly open up about the pressure that surrounds solidifying my gender as a queer person in order to be validated, especially with the dangers from the status quo that threaten these divergences.

Labels are harmful, and forcing people to let such a small fraction of their identity consume large amounts of their public image simply to protect them from the scrutiny that comes from using their voice is not fair.

Yes, I am gay, but that is not the first thing that I want people to know about me. I am gay, but I’m also a poet and a journalist. I am gay, but I also crowdsurf in sweaty rooms for fun.

I cannot count the amount of times that queer people have “assumed [I was] straight,” or the amount of times that I have been accused of providing “unwelcome commentary on a community that [I am] not a part of.”

I am gay, but since I’m not gay in the way that you are, my voice doesn’t matter; maybe it is immediately seen as an outside threat, and you will continue to apply damaging assumptions to me in order to validate your actions that directly attack another queer voice that drowns inside the roars of those aiming to oppress us.

These experiences are not exclusive to me, but unlike the people who have done damage to my comfort in my sexuality, I will not try to speak for anyone but myself.

All queer voices matter, even if they don’t project the same song.

Let us be queer, and let us all be queer in peace. I don’t have to force myself to be “queer enough.”