Check Thy Priviledge

Often as the LGBTIQ community, we are so focused on fighting homophobia and intolerance from external sources, we forget internalized homophobia and intolerance within the LGBTIQ spaces themselves. Self-introspection and interrogation are essential to ensure we are not part of the greater problem. This article will interrogate scenarios and comments that have been normalized within the space but are toxic.

“I will be bringing my straight friends”
This is something that is so common amongst LGBTIQ people where we ask our fellow queers not to be too gay and make our straight friends comfortable. What we don’t realise is that the statement alone implies that there is something wrong with being queer or presenting as queer and forces LGBTIQ people to not be themselves to accommodate the feelings of people who are toxic to our wellbeing. This is something we need to start reevaluating, is it worth it to accommodate and tolerate people who hate everything about your identity and force you to be someone that you are not.

Mis-gendering fellow queers 

This is very common amongst more feminine gay men, most times we end up referring to them using female pronouns and classifying them as women. In as much as some of would not have issues with this, it creates a very uncomfortable and toxic space for those who have struggled with society referring to them as women, whereby they identify as the other. The misgendering of gay man is a tactic used by homophobes to degrade and insult them, especially in Schooling set ups. Having to constantly prove that being gay does not make you less of a man, to both the world and the LGBTIQ community is a constant struggle for most gay identifying men.

Bisexuals are whores
Since time immemorial

Bisexuals have been the orphan of the movement. They are constantly being called confused and greedy even by LGBTIQ identifying individuals. Within the community especially amongst lesbians and those who were assigned female at birth you constantly hear statements like “I would never date a bisexual person, they are unfaithful” this assumes there is a correlation between someone’s sexuality and their morals and has resulted in several bisexual people failing to come out to their peers and hiding that part of their identity.

Boxes and Binaries

The LGBTIQ movement is centered on deconstructing boxes and binaries, however, smaller boxes are being built within the community itself and certain identity groups are seen as less than others or as less acceptable. Lesbians and gays fall perfectly into the gender boxes and their only struggle is their sexual orientation. Statements such as “aren’t you taking it a bit too far” have often been used on Trans, non-binary identifying folk and transmen who identify as gay or transwomen who identify as lesbians.

So many times we have done and said small things that we assume are harmless or okay because we are also part of the community, but ultimately we are part of the problem we are claiming to be fighting.

It’s time we became more aware of how our actions and words affect the next person and checked our privilege.

It’s time we became more aware of how our actions and words affect the next person and checked our privilege.