This is actually something that, after years of explaining, I’ve grown entirely bored with. However, this is a topic that comes up over and over again. So I want to give it a place on my blog for posterity.
RE: “I love Gay people. I just disagree with their lifestyle.”
First of all, falsely characterizing my sexual identity as a “lifestyle” that can be disagreed with is trash from the outset. Who I’m sexually and romantically attracted to is not a “lifestyle.” It’s simply who I’m sexually and romantically attracted to. Is there a such thing as a (Black) Gay culture and community? Absolutely, but Black Gay and Queer folks aren’t synonymous with that. Similarly to Black people, as a whole, Gay/Queer/SGL folks are not a monolith. Attraction to the same sex isn’t always synonymous with whatever your stereotypical ideas of Queerness are.
But beyond that, no…you don’t “disagree with” Queerness. “Disagreeing” with something that’s innate and exists outside of your own, personal mindset is a ridiculous concept to begin with.
What you actually mean is that you dislike (or more precisely, HATE) Queerness and are bigoted against it.
This is a case of bigots wanting to soften their expressions of bigotry. They do this in order to deny their complicity in the violent oppression of marginalized people. And being able to do that while convincing themselves that they’re good, pure-hearted people.
Another thing about this mindset of hating Queerness is it’s predicated on the false belief that sexual identity is a minor thing. Fact of the matter is, we live in a sexualized society. Sexual identity is a huge factor for how we interact with the world. If you really sit back and think about how much of your interactions with people and communities are based around who you date, marry and/or sleep with, you’ll realize it’s actually pretty significant. (Cis-)hetero people simply don’t have to think of how consequential sexuality is because, for as long as colonialism has been a thing, this identity has always been propped up as the default.
Cis-heteros never have to think of the potential consequences of something that’s seemingly as simple as holding hands with a significant other when they go outside. There’s no self-policing there because your sexuality isn’t persecuted. It’s just a given. When you’re the default, it’s easy to reduce sexual identity to a minor thing that can be “disagreed with.”
Reality is, hating my sexuality means that you hate a significant part of me…something I can’t separate myself from (and frankly, shouldn’t have to). Putting me a position where I have to shrink and/or hide such a significant part of my very humanity is not an act of someone who claims to “love” me. Someone who loves me would affirm my sexual identity as being as equally valid as their’s.
So, no…you can’t “hate” Gayness while still “loving” a Gay person. It’s literally impossible. And fuck you closet bigots who wanna eat your cake and have it too. You don’t get to invalidate a significant part of my humanity while also avoiding your proper title of bigot. Y’all just like to be on that “Love the sinner, hate the sin” crap because it gives you an easy out to be a bigot without having to acknowledge yourselves as such. So then, you get to avoid acknowledging your own complicity in our oppression.
This is similar to passive “non-racists” who wanna be free to perpetuate anti-Blackness, while vehemently rejecting being called out as the racists that they are. People do this because they’ve (intentionally) reduced bigotry and oppression to overt and extreme instances of violence, such as physically attacking and/or injuring someone, or worse, ending their lives. And they don’t wanna have to cop to the fact that these things don’t happen in a bubble—that their casual downplaying and invalidating of marginalized identities (such as “disagreeing”) actually breed the mindset that leads someone to commit a more overtly violent act.
Never mind that, even if you’re not physically harming someone, the act of convincing someone that there’s something wrong with them for simply being who they are, and that they’re to be condemned to hell for it, is psychological violence. Consider that Queer youth, alone, are exponentially more likely to attempt suicide as a result of the mental abuse that is rhetoric like “hate the sin, love the sinner.”
Your mental abuse is tied directly to physical abuse. Claiming you can “disagree” with someone’s very existence easily grows into “these people shouldn’t exist.”
Let’s also go into the additional mental abuse of, not only wanting to be bigoted against us, but demanding that we cosign your bigotry. Y’all keep asking these questions of “So I can’t disagree with being gay and still like gay people” hoping that we’ll affirm that shit. Then having the gall to get mad when we tell you the truth. And no matter how much we tell you “no, it’s not cool,” you won’t stop. Abusive.
Ultimately, my main thing is, if you’re gonna be a bigot, own that shit. Don’t piss on us and claim that it’s raining. You don’t get to directly contribute to our oppression yet claim to be a good person. You’re complicit in a culture that sees our people constantly battered, disenfranchised and killed for simply not being hetero. You don’t “love’ us and you’re no friend to us.
You’re a bigot. A violent, hateful bigot. Say it with your chest.
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