Queer Eye | Issue 27

Queer Eye | Issue 27

Wrapping up

Looking back over my last five years as a queer rights activist, I have noticed that I face the same ignorant bullshit from people. Here are my top five:

So like now you have marriage equality, what is left to fight for?
There is this idea out there that achieving marriage equality was the magical last step in achieving queer rights and equality. This is despite the fact that our queer young people are bullied three times more than straight kids, the fact that queer young people are five times more likely to attempt suicide than straight kids and despite the fact that healthcare for trans people is chronically underfunded and inaccessible. If there were one thing I hope to have conveyed through this column, it would be that society can still be hostile towards the queer community and is still overwhelmingly hetero and cisnormative.

Pride is a little bit outdated, isnít it?
I think I hear this about as much from gay guys as I hear it from straight people. I used to also think this when I first came out, mainly because I didnít want to be associated with something so publically queer. But that is the whole point. We still need public events that celebrate the diversity of our identities. This is one of the major ways in which hetero and cisnormativity is challenged. Keep your eyes out for advertisements for the next Dunedin Pride festival, which is happening between 10 and 15 November this year.

The phrase ďthatís so gayĒ is just an evolution in language.
Look, you straight/ cis douchebags who use this phrase and think it is okay, just stop using it now and stop your friends from using it. The fact is that whether or not you intend to use it in a homophobic manner isnít relevant as it is nearly always received in a homophobic way by the people who will be most affected by it: the queer community. The fact is that a majority group should not feel the right to co-opt a label that our minority group identifies with, use it as a slur, and then defend their actions because ďlanguage evolves.Ē Yes, language evolves, but that doesnít mean you should intentionally make it evolve if it is going to hurt or disenfranchise a minority group.

This whole gender-neutral bathroom thing is going too far.
Lots of people I have talked to about freeing bathrooms from the gender binary have responded that it is a nice idea but are worried that it could inconvenience a lot of people and cost a lot of money. While the latter statement is true, it could cost a lot of money if the University decided to turn multi-stall toilets into single-stall toilets, if we just re-label some bathrooms instead it shouldnít cost much money and should inconvenience no one. This needs to happen so that no one feels anxiety about using a bathroom, so that no one feels like they donít belong in a space when they just want to pee, and so that no one is verbally harassed when they go to use the toilet.

I am not a homophobe but ... I have a gay friend so it is okay for me to...
I really hope I donít need to state how dangerous these phrases are. My suggestion is just to check your privilege and stop using these phrases so that you donít look ignorant!

Xoxoxox Sir Lloyd
This article first appeared in Issue 27, 2014.
Posted 11:58pm Sunday 12th October 2014 by Sir Lloyd Queerington.