I have been asked on occasion how my Genderqueer identity and my Lesbian identity are not in conflict. My answer is always simple, my gender and my sexuality are not the same thing, although, working together in harmony, they combine to make part of the greater whole that is me.
On any given day I can feel more masculine than feminine, more feminine than masculine, equal amounts of both or neither. Today at work I wore a pair of skinny jeans, feminine knee high leather boots, a tight women’s fit tee and a unisex baggy hooded sweatshirt. Yesterday I was in baggy jeans and t-shirt, trainers and a hooded sweatshirt. I wear what I feel comfortable for that day and also practical for the weather. Trainers would not have been an option today, my feet would have been soaked by the time I got to work or to the train station on the way home. Thinking about it, I actually felt more feminine yesterday, today I’ve felt like I’m neither. My gender is fluid, always. It’s a part of who I am and I am as proud of that fact as I am of my sexuality. My sexuality to me is simple, I’m attracted (for the most part – long story here, but short version 98.5% attracted to women, the rest is for a few rare men – sexuality, too, can be fluid), to people with the same parts as me or who identify as women. It’s another part to the complexity of what makes up me. How is any of this relevant?
Each and every one of us has something that makes us unique, makes us different. No two people share exactly the same traits as each other. Even identical twins have different personality traits. But what we can share are our common experiences. Those of us in the Queer community need to remember that sometimes. I’ve seen people from each part of our community at logger heads with others, Lesbians and Gays telling Bisexuals to make up their minds, LGB people telling the Trans* people they don’t belong. Each part of our community can be guilty of ostracising another, which leads to posts about why Trans* people feel that their fight for rights isn’t part of the LGB fight for rights. There are those like me, who straddle both worlds. What united us was our differences from heteronormative society, but it’s our differences from each other which are slowly allowing us to forget our common ground.
We all know what it is like to be treated as second-class (in some countries third-class) citizens. We all know that our rights aren’t equally protected. We should remember that when we push for same-sex marriage we also need to push for the rights to cover Trans* people and protect existing marriages between Trans* individuals and their spouses. It shouldn’t matter if Joe is now Jo and wants to stay married to her wife. That deserves as much protection as me and AH or a heterosexual couple. Discrimination in the work place shouldn’t be allowed for any individual, neither should their be healthcare restrictions based on gender/race/sexual orientation. We shouldn’t be scared of being fired from our jobs because of who we are. And for a lot of us those things are very very real possibilities and/or reality. Can’t we unite instead of bitch and fight?