This post also appears in my Gazette blog. I post it here for national and international readers who do not have paid access to the Gazette site:
I look forward to the day when we won’t use labels for “LGBTQ” people anymore. Lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer-identified people cry out for tolerance and acceptance of their sexual orientation and gender identity — and for equal rights. They just want to be part of the great sea of humanity, to be treated no better and no worse than anyone else. I think the main purpose of annual Pride parades is to raise awareness, to say, “look, we’re here, and we want equality.”
So, why then, in places like Montreal where equality is a fait accompli, do we still have LGBTQ Pride parades and festivities? And why do some people fly figurative LGBTQ banners in their daily lives? I suppose the answer to my question, in part, is: it’s about celebrating diversity. But it also seems to me to be about celebrating labels, and saying “we’re different.” Which seems to be a bit of a contradiction to me, if, in fact, those same people don’t want to be treated any differently.
And round and round we go . . .
Thing is, I’m all for a good party. And almost any excuse will suffice. (I would love to have a ’60s-style love-in!) But I fear the LGBTQ flag-waving may actually be setting back the drive for tolerance and acceptance of LGBTQ people in some places.
Case in point: An annual music festival in the United States has been under fire for several years because it will only admit “born-women.” “Trangender women” are not permitted to enter. But my question is this: how would the organizers know if someone is a born-woman or not, unless somebody waves a trans label in their faces?
This has been a complaint of mine for a long time: many women who have transitioned or are transitioning just want to blend in with all the other women on the planet. They don’t want to be called “trans women,” and nobody would even know they have transitioned unless someone else points it out, such as the media and the transgender community, which love to use the “transgender” label whenever possible, even if it means labelling people who don’t want to be labelled. Result: people who never wanted to be considered “different” are unfairly labelled and “outed” as such, and face discrimination as a result — even though they are legal women.
The same would apply for a gay person who keeps his sexual orientation to himself. He’s not in the proverbial closet; he’s just private and sees no reason to blab about it to everyone. But then somebody else in the know points it out to others, and before long, his sexual orientation is common knowledge, and colleagues are asking him if he is going to the Pride parade, and people are treating him differently.
Sigh . . . I suppose it’s just me: I’m down on labels that single people out and leave them open to discrimination. But then, I’m just “a spirit in the material world” and “a not-that-old hippie chick.”
Now, about that love-in . . .
Parade? No thanks, I’m happier at home cleaning the windows.
ALOHA:….. “irish-american”, “jewish-american”, “african-american”, hispanic-american”, asian-american”, et al… however, most “white/caucasian’s” are simply called/labeled as “american”!
Interesting prospective. Love the deeper thinking.
No, thank you. I have a post in drafts I plan to publish either tonight or tomorrow along the same lines. As bisexuals what does Pride month mean to us…if anything?
You’re right: Pride Month doesn’t mean much for bi people. We are largely overlooked.
Who are you telling!?
That I’m bi? Well, I do write about it in both my blogs, but generally, I don’t talk about it in my daily life. My colleagues and my friends and family don’t care what my sexual orientation is.
I was saying “Who are you telling!?” as an expression of agreement with your previous statement, lol.
I don’t find myself discussing it either unless it comes up in conversation. Lately I find myself surrounded by homosexuality. NYC’s African American community has been consumed with bisexuality and homosexuality over the past few years. Not to mention our LGBT community as a whole has grown since marriage has passed here. It’s funny, one day I sat outside to watch the neighborhood after moving into my new apartment. My neighbor and I saw more obviously bi/gay people walk by than straight. Now I blog about my bisexuality. There’s a lot of ground to cover but I don’t want it to be the center of my life. Being black or a woman aren’t the center of my life, why should my sexual orientation? It’s good that you blog about it. It’s a great outlet and I love your writing! 🙂
Thanks, sis. I like your style, too. I’ll be reading your posts.
I haven’t been to NYC, but I am glad it is making progress.
Many strides. The one thing you don’t hear about is the lives of bisexual wives. We are in abundance. Thus my blog. If you ever come to NY you have an authentic NY’ker here to show you around-and I love to shop.
Cheers to you too!
I extend the same invitation to you!