[Sigh]…I am so tired.

1 Apr

Sometimes there are good days to be a crunk feminist. Sometimes there are bad days to be a crunk feminist – demoralizing, dehumanizing, frustratingly sad…sad…sad…days. Today was one of those days. I sat in on an undergraduate Women’s and Gender Studies course where the topic of the day was gay rights. Sigh. Within an hour, students weighed in on the pros and cons of gay marriage. Some comments were thoughtful, some were insightful, others however…others, however, just broke my heart. Sigh. Students defended upholding civil unions and not gay marriage because and I quote “humans are curious, if we allow people of the same-sex to marry everybody will want to do it, just to try it out.” Really? Is sexual preference a fad, something you can try on like a purple or orange sweater? Really? Sigh. Then there was the, “well I have some friends at [insert women’s college name here] and they say that it is popular for students to date girls in college and then marry men. [insert class laughter here] You know, like lesbians until graduation.” Sigh. What does that have to do with gay rights? Let me break down the subtext of that statement for you – since some young adults “experiment” and date people of the same sex and later grow out of it…gay people can do the same: grow out of it.
As a grown-ass professional woman who has been part of several/different struggles for equal rights (i.e. not limited to sexual choice), I’m over the privileged and entitled notion that it is acceptable for one group to enjoy certain privileges and yet deny them to others. I can’t imagine what it must have been like for a young closeted or questioning student to hear their peers talking about gay issues in such a careless way. Being gay in this and most (deeply heterosexist and homophobic) societies is difficult. Being gay-across cultures, ethnicities, class, religions and geographic locations-is complicated. It’s dangerous. There have been and continue to be countless acts of violent aggression (in all forms) towards LBGTQI identified individuals. I’m so tired of LBGTQI identified folks being forced to defend who they are. I’m so tired of hearing straight people talk about countless/complicated LBGTQI issues in such ignorant and utterly careless ways. I’m so tired of calling them out on their homophobic/biphobic/transphobic/queerphobic (you name it phobic) verbal diarrhea, just to hear them say, “I’m not homophobic, I have gay friends.” No you don’t. NO. YOU. DON’T. If you did, you wouldn’t say stupid shit like the crap I called you out on. If you did, you would understand that at the end of the day it is about love. It’s about cherishing love. It’s about being lucky enough to find love. It’s about doing everything in your power to keep love in your life. IT’S. ABOUT. LOVE.

Don’t be fooled, the ignorant comments don’t stay within the world of heterosexist privilege, they happen everywhere. The LBGTQI community is no exception. Why? Because, no one is perfect. Because, we have all been socialized to label and put people in categories. We all need to be checked from time to time. Sometimes the biggest dykes willingly sleep with men; sometimes the most flaming gay men sleep with women (gasp!-for pleasure). It doesn’t make them any less gay. People are too often judged, then asked to prove their level of “gayness” as if it could be measured. Furthermore, many within the same community are quick to silence and deny transfolks their rights. I’m so tired. The bullshit has to stop. Sexuality is fluid. If you can’t understand that, it is not appropriate to attack it/question it. Most people don’t know just how airplanes work, and yet they get on those flights fully trusting that the magic contraption will get them to their destination. Most people don’t really understand how all those little people can fit in those flat screens everyday, and yet they still turn them on. If you still don’t understand it…maybe you don’t have to, maybe you just never will.

Don’t put me in a box. I’ll only crush it.

Don’t question my sexual preferences. They are mine.

Labels are restrictive, exploring and expressing your true self is liberating.

If you can’t understand that, go read a book. Figure it out. I’m tired today and just don’t have the time. But, please don’t get it twisted…I’ll be extra crunk tomorrow.


6 Responses to “[Sigh]…I am so tired.”

  1. crunktastic April 2, 2010 at 6:32 AM #

    Yeah, the reality is that most of us straight folks will get it wrong way more times than we’ll get it right. And that’s why the struggle has to continue, within and without. And Crunkista, you already know that undergrads can be soul-crushers, lol. This scenario reminds me of all those I teach who insist that these Isms are problems of a previous generation. Smh. Keep the faith. And when all else fails, just get crunk as hell, and tell ’em what’s what.

  2. eeshap April 2, 2010 at 8:14 AM #

    Yes, Crunkista. Some days we are so tired, but this analysis is truly fierce, even in the face of sadness. Thank you for sharing it.

  3. tdreese April 2, 2010 at 9:13 AM #

    I usually just lurk on this site but today I felt the need to say two words: “thank you”

    Okay I can’t keep it at two words. I really needed this post. As an undergrad I cringe every time I hear that homosexuality will be the topic of that class period because I know my feelings are about to be hurt. I know that my lifestyle is about to be bashed to the point that all I can do is shrink as low into my seat as possible and pray to however is listening that no one will throw a comment my way. I can’t defend myself because I am not strong, but it’s posts like this that give me hope and empower me. One day I will be able to fight back so thank you.

    • crunkista April 3, 2010 at 12:32 PM #

      Your comment truly touched my heart. You have inspired me. From now on, I will always speak up even when I am tired. I am going to do everything in my power to ensure that classrooms are safe spaces for all youth on my campus. Thank YOU.

  4. poeticveghead April 2, 2010 at 11:46 AM #

    Um, I kind of love you right now. All joking aside, thank you for your passion and your insight! I remember being in those classes biting my lips and catching my breath at every horrible, ill-informed ignorant comment my classmates would make about the LGBTQI community. Before I could stop myself on most occasions, I’d come bursting out of the closet waving my bisexual flag. Sometimes they’d get it then, most times they wouldn’t, but I always felt better.

    Never remain silent. It only hurts you and then they’ll never learn. No, it’s not up to you to educate the world, but it has to start somewhere. So thank you again. It’s nice to know I’m not alone.

  5. heather April 2, 2010 at 2:38 PM #

    Thank you for this post. For my family folks, my friends, and myself, I hope that your voice continues to grow louder and stronger and be heard–really heard–by all those who will benefit by being affirmed, challenged and (you said it best)–loved.

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