I guess this is late as far as National Coming Out Day, but I just got asked why I identify as queer instead of bisexual. It’s not the first time I’ve been asked lately, so I thought I might as well expound about it here.
So spoilers, yes, I’m queer.
And if you spent any amount of time around people who self-identify as queer vs people who self-identify as LGBT, I believe the differences would become apparent.
But if they aren’t, here goes:
There is a portion of the LGBT community who argues that they are just like everyone else (i.e. straight people), apart from who they want to have sex with. These are the same people fighting for marriage equality at the expense of job protections for LGBT people or protections for gender-nonconforming individuals.
By saying I am queer, I am saying that I am NOT like everyone else, and that I reject the idea of a cultural “norm” to begin with. I do NOT want a monogamous relationship, or to get married, or to have 2.5 kids and a dog and a white picket fence.
I do NOT care to appear normal, and I will not adjust my behaviors or my self-expression to make others comfortable.
I believe that pleasure (sexual or not) is a positive force in the world, and that the pursuit of pleasure is a valuable and important use of my time.
I revel in the performativity of my gender expression as a femme.
I do not place a lot of stock in the cultural scripts society has created to tell me what I ought to be doing with my life, or what makes me successful or a valuable contributing member of society.
My identity is fluid, and not easily captured in a label or a check box (as is, another spoiler alert, yours).
I live in the grey areas, and swim upstream.
I only tell people I’m bisexual when they can’t understand what queer means.
Get used to it.