As is common knowledge, in today’s heteronormative society, individuals in the queer community face all sorts of different levels of oppression. Some less common knowledge is that certain groups in the queer community enhance those levels of oppression for other identities that are less known and talked about.
A perfect example of this is me. When I first came to college, I was very new to being open and gay, and because of that I was very ignorant. I found myself being uncomfortable around drag queens and people who didn’t identify as male or female because it wasn’t something I was ever educated on or heard about growing up. Because of that, I definitely was a little transphobic. One of my personal favorite quotes is “Don’t freeze people in time”. Just because someone thinks one way, doesn’t mean that they will never see another side to things.
If you were to look at all my posts I’ve written for the past year, you can see that I am clearly not transphobic. In fact, the exact opposite; I’m a huge advocate for the trans* community. I think my ignorance is a perfect example as to how individuals in the queer community can further oppress other identities.
Another example of how the queer community oppresses one another is the presence of each identity. Think about it, when we talk about marriage equality, everyone thinks of “Gay Marriage”. Not lesbian marriage, or bisexual marriage or queer marriage, but gay marriage. Clearly there are more identities than just gay within the queer community, especially seeing as the acronym for the community I choose to use is LGBT*QIQAP+. Obviously it means equality for all to marry, but the fact of the matter is the identity of gay is the most prevalent one in society.
This can very easily cause issues because the gay rights movement isn’t always looking out for every identity and works to progress gay rights, not always queer rights.
A term that I want to touch on is bi erasure. This is a problem both in and out of the queer community. It’s the idea that bisexuality is not a real identity and that someone can’t like “both genders”. People get so concerned over the idea that someone likes people who identify as their gender and as another, and I don’t get why? In what way does someone who identifies as bisexual, have any influence on your life?
Because of this, people also assume that all people who identify as bisexual have a 50/50 attraction to men and women, which is definitely not always the case.
These are just a few examples as to how individuals within the queer community create greater levels of oppression for other identities. The only way to create equity is by educating and understanding why individual insecurities can affect groups in such a negative way, and thus create even further levels of oppression.