So, this blog post doesn’t really have to do with my TaA badge, but it does have to do with the LGBTQ community, and a little politics (mostly politics). I really don’t want to say I enjoyed the article, but really, I enjoyed it because it points out a truth that is reality for so many people, including myself, and that hurts, but it is important.
Anyway, the article of discussion here is Why I’m Still Afraid to Hold My Girlfriend’s Hand by Kirsten King. Yes, it is a Cosmopolitan article, but it’s still great and worth the read.
This article follows the thoughts of bisexual lady Kirsten through a couple stories she shares here and her experiences with the LGBTQ community and overtly being oppressed.
This article left me shook. Shook, I know I spend too much time on the internet, because I’m still afraid to hold my girlfriends hand in public. Not because I am ashamed of my sexuality or our relationship, on the contrary, I’m quite proud of us. But because the threat of violence and harassment is still way, way, way too relevant for LGBTQ people.
One of the last times my girlfriend were in public and we held hands we were in a Walmart back home. We were carrying our two little bags of candy, movies, and dinner for that night, and of course holding hands because we were in a Walmart where we didn’t know anyone who would expose us to her very conservative family who don’t know about us. But that is neither here nor there, well, yeah, it is, but not at the moment. The point is, as we were exiting the Walmart there was a bench crowded with four or five youthful boys, I’d say 12-14 (years of age), kids age weirdly these days. And the entire 100 feet to the exit they all followed us not so secretly with their eyes, turning their entire heads and giggling and elbowing each other. When we finally got within earshot of the boys I heard one boy say, “Wow, lesbians IRL!” I didn’t really know how I should have responded to that, so I didn’t.
And it kind of irks me that that was the boys response to seeing *gasp* lesbians in ‘real life.’ But how should I have responded to multiple young boys who’s parents probably weren’t far away, and probably would not approve of my relationship at all?
So, I hate that the world is still so unaccepting, and in shock of LGBTQ people and their relationships and their existence. I hate that in the last few years there was finally a tiny glimmer of hope, and now there seems to be a shade (not so slowly) covering that tiny glimmer like a thunderstorm cloud over every LGBTQ person out there.
Of course, our community is growing ever stronger in unity, and we refuse to be silenced, but we are tired. Just as Kirsten says in her article, we are tired of being fetishized, abused, and taken advantage of. We’re tired of fighting for our rights to be people. And we are tired of being afraid.
Afraid of the violence, the discrimination, the objectification, and tired of not being treated like people. We all look forward to the day we can hold our partners hand in public and be let be. To the day we can walk down the aisle to join our partner in marriage, and not be gawked at. To the day we can enjoy living together in peace in a neighborhood where we will not have to face constant homophobia. To the day we can adopt as many children as we can handle, so that we can finally have a complete family of our own that loves and accepts us unconditionally (even if your family is ‘accepting’ of your relationship, the feeling is still there, assuming you want a family).
So, enough about that, I hope things start looking up again soon.
Signing off, one of your favorite queers, Jaile.