Often, there is a pressure in LGBTQIAP+ spaces to fit into a “queer” mold. While many G&L individuals don’t experiences this pressure, those with the ability to be attracted to a gender other than their own do.
This pressure leads a lot of bisexual, pansexual, and asexual people feeling like they don’t belong in Pride events, especially with their different-gender partner by their side. When we do celebrate our pride, we often get ally-washed and have our queerness stripped from us.
I get asked by a lot of people how to combat this feeling, and while my answer is blunt, it still holds true; just go.
For some, that answer isn’t enough. So here are two tips to be “queer enough” to go to Pride.
1) Be Queer
Do you like people of your gender? Do you like more than one gender? Do you like people regardless of gender? Does your sexual identity have a history of being marginalized and stigmatized due to not fitting into a heteronormative ideal?
Then guess what – you’re Queer!
2) Hey, no one can tell you that you aren’t queer enough.
If anyone tries to tell you aren’t queer enough because your sexual identity involves an attraction to those of a different gender, but you identify as something other than straight (bisexual, pansexual, asexual, a romantic identity, etc.), then you are not straight!
There is a lot of aphobia, biphobia, panphobia (etc.) in the LGBTQIAP+ community, and the people that hold those beliefs will probably tell you that you aren’t queer enough. They will try to police your identity, they will try to gate-keep “queer”. The joke’s on them, though, because there isn’t such a thing as The Identity Police™, and no one has the authority to gate-keep queerness. If they try, throw your pocket sand and walk away
Now go! Go to Pride, take your partner, and be your true QUEER self.
Ally-Washing = The act of taking the identities of bisexuals, pansexuals, asexuals, and other LGBTQIAP+ people who are attracted to genders other than their own, away from them when they date someone of another gender and referring to them as an ally.
Gate-keeping = The act of policing who can identify as what because it does not fit into your own idea of an identity. Ex; telling bisexuals they can’t be bisexual if they like more than two genders.