Whilst I’m in the mood…Two updates in two days? Well, well, well, aren’t I suddenly keen?
Tomorrow I’m going to Sunderland to see about helping set up a LGBTQ radio session. I always feel quite weird about doing anything LGBT as I identify as Q, queer, and I worry that I taint it with my privilege. So I thought I’d try and align my thoughts by writing about it.
Queer is a disruptive identity, as queer I tend to reject participating in the “norm”, in fact I’m actually not so sure there is even is a “norm”. Heteronormativity is what it sounds like, the idea that being a heterosexual is the only normal, and as such this is the way our society is structured. It’s interlaced with the idea that there are only two genders too. I don’t believe there are, I think gender is a construct and as such it can be deconstructed and remodelled. I also think that the idea of heterosexuality is a quite repressive norm. From sexual desire to the makeup of a family I don’t think it should centre around one man and one woman.
Personally, I don’t really feel that gender is a big deal when picking a partner. However I happen to be in a relationship with a man, we’re both cis gender, both white, both from a similar geography, the only differences are possibly our class backgrounds and his heterosexuality. So currently I’m living the heteronormative dream. Do I even have the right to chip in on an LGBTQ radio show?
When I was invited to take part I didn’t necessarily think I was a good choice. I’ll be part of a team that seems to be quite white and yeah, I get it’s radio and people won’t see our faces, but I race representation is really important and I know our experiences are going to be vastly different. Alas, being from the North East of England my circle is pretty white and I think people are worried about actively seeking a non-white presenter and being accused of tokenism.
In the past people have asked me if I was a man or a woman, and ever since I have had all of my hair cut off I’ve suddenly become more attractive to women. Also, one of my friends kids can’t work out if I’m a girl like her mummy or a boy like her daddy. I think the outward presentation of my identity is queerer than ever but the way I practice my life is increasingly heteronormative, we talk about getting a house together, getting married, and being monogamous almost goes without saying.
I guess this blog post is more about wondering if I can only claim a queer identity, and if the ability to make that claim is based on my privilege. If I was non-white, working class, trans or ascribed any other social division that is less privileged than my own claiming to be queer could be more risky, more disruptive… more queer?
Every time I consider something like this I worry about the language I use, if I’ve been clumsy or offensive to someone, and if I have upset anyone, particularly from the community, I didn’t mean to. This is just the rambling musings of someone exploring an identity they claim but feel alienated from.
As I like to close with some music, here’s one of my favourite songs ATM, check out the lives vrs dislikes if you need an example of hetero, caucasian, and masculine fragility.