You don’t have to be trans to be queer.
You don’t have to be gay to be queer.
All you have to be is yourself in a world of people who are trying to fit in.
To be queer, you just have to honor the unique, the different, the powerful, the wild in yourself and in others. You have to respect yourself as an individual, standing out & standing proud, rather than trying to fit nicely into the expectations of those around you.
One thing Helen Boyd & I have gone around on is if her position primarily the partner of a tranny, or if her position is primarily about her own individuality, her own uniqueness, her own queerness. She finally seems to be coming to that position, and it’s good to see, even if the transition to ENDA support seems somewhat forced, although very topical.
As a transperson, I know that the cost of having a relationship with someone who hasn’t engaged and accepted their own queerness is just too high. The price to me is the price of meeting their expectations about who I should be, about how I should fit in, about how I look to their friends.
For example, Jeanette would date straight identified guys, and when she was read as being born male, when her passing slipped a tiny bit, their internalized homophobia would kick in, and she would get blamed for it. They knew they were dating someone male bodied, but they needed their rationalizations, their myths, and when those were torn, even a bit, their own training in staying normative, training in fear and loathing their own Eros, kicked in.
To desire me is to out yourself, and too often that means you think I have some obligation to keep your own facade in place, if even to yourself. I don’t. That expectation makes me responsible for your fears, fears only you have the power to control. I have seen too many trannies twist themselves into pretzels trying to meet normative expectations, and then still be punished for the failure to quell the fears of others.
I may have a tiny PPP — potential partner pool — but the one thing that is required is that someone be post-therapy, with at least the commitment and the skills to engage their own assumptions, prejudices & fears, instead of pushing that work off onto others. That’s required, otherwise you find me draining & intense.
I even know that people who identify as gender queer have big issues with this, because they have assumptions, prejudices & fears about people who appear too well assimilated, or even as Tommy had at SCC, about anyone raised as a man. Oy.
You don’t have to be trans or gay to be queer, affirming individual expression in yourself and others. In fact, many people who identify as trans or gay are determinedly not queer, ready to explain at the drop of a hat why others are sick, perverted or queer, and they are normative.
But that path to affirming the uniqueness and specialness in everyone, in supporting them in doing things that scare us, as long as they don’t hurt others without consent, well, that path to queer seems very, very important to me.