It’s Pride Month, I participated in the the Pride march in Edinburgh last weekend, and so naturally I’ve been thinking a lot about LGBTQ+ rights. Couple that with the insane nonsense about Straight Pride and we’ve got a lot of discussion to have at the moment. Here’s my take: when it comes down to it, the whole thing is about celebrating equal human rights. Really, queer rights are and should be a concern for all of us, not just those who consider themselves to be LGBTQ+ because we are all humans who deserve to love whoever the heck you want to.
So what’s my deal? I suppose I am heterosexual but I don’t think things are always that simple. Sexual orientation is a spectrum thing to me and I don’t think it’s ever as black and white as just straight or gay. It’s as broad as the whole damn rainbow. For now I am attracted to men but who’s to say for certain what or who I might encounter in the future.
I recently heard a really interesting discussion on the RuPaul podcast with Hedwig and the Angry Inch creator John Cameron Mitchell who discussed his perception of what queer is. He said that, to him, being queer means looking at the world with an understanding of the fluidity of gender. Which is why being queer is not necessarily tied to your sexual orientation, and therefore ‘queer’ is a broader group than you would think. He explains that queer people are more atuned to understand metaphors, and especially gay people because in having to hide a part of themselves they can see the difference between the surface and their true nature. That kind of understanding translates into anything that requires a non-literal viewpoint or nuance, rather than things being literally what they are. This is why so many queer people go into the arts. I think this is why I am so drawn to gay culture and to other people who share those qualities of open-mindedness, interpretation and nuance.
I know that as a straight person I am privelidged to not have faced discrimination for my sexual preferences, but just because I happen to be born into that privilege doesn’t means it’s not my responsibility to fight for the rights of others. I don’t have the same background as my LGBTQ+ friends but I have the same drive to fight for their equal human rights equality. The alternative just makes zero sense to me. I will fight for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community as much as I would my own, because it’s just right.
This isn’t about wanting to jump on the bandwagon of a trend or trying to pretend that I experience the same discrimination, it’s just about being on the only correct side of the fight. LGBTQ+ people shouldn’t have to fight by themselves, we all should want equality or nothing will change. That’s kinda the point; equal parts involvement, agreement and respect. I want to be educated, I want to protest, I want to create a positive change so that we can all feel totally comfortable being ourselves and focus on the other more important struggles in life. I can’t wait for the day where LGBT discrimination is a non-issue becuase we’re all cool to be whoever the heck we want to.
I am straight, I am queer, I am an ally, I believe in equality. What more is there to say?