An Inclusive LGBT+ Community.
Bisexuality and Trans Identities
There seems to be this weird trend in some LGBT+ circles where instead of being an inclusive community of all identities under the LGBT+ umbrella, many will focus solely on the L and G parts (or will throw trans issues under the bus to get some equality). At one point during coming out day, someone actually tweeted that coming out as trans on National Coming Out Day was appropriating gay and lesbian culture.
There’s also a lot of bisexual hate in the LGBT+ community, including some that said bisexual people in “heterosexual” relationships shouldn’t attend Pride with their partners, as if bi people aren’t a part of the community unless we are fully gay or something.
All of that is totally alienating and erasing the fact that it was bi trans women of color (like Sylvia Rivera) who were on the front lines of the Stonewall Riots – the event that led to modern day Pride. Plus there’s the fact that we are a part of the LGBT+ community. The LGBT+ community should be for all of those who aren’t heterosexual and/or cisgender (because remember, sexual orientation =/= gender so it’s possible to be trans and straight or cis and gay or trans and bisexual and still be a part of the LGBT+ community).
I can already hear the “not all ______!!” but that’s not what I’m trying to really get at. The point is that there’s enough of a push back from some parts of the community where there are others like me that don’t always feel safe in the community that’s supposed to be our home as well.
During Pride Month this year, I wrote about how Pride should be proclaiming that black lives matter and got a comment that Pride month was for the LGBT+ community and if what I was saying were to be true, then Black History Month should have rainbow flags everywhere as well. (I think the comment ended with something like “this isn’t about you”, which is weird because I’m white and have made that pretty clear…)
But the thing is that intersectionality is a lived reality for so many– being a part of the LGBT+ community isn’t strictly a white person thing. There are black people who identify as LGBT+ in some way, there are other people of color that identify this way. There are gay black people, bisexual native people, trans Asian people, and all the possible variations that come with race, gender, and sexual orientation.
By proclaiming that black lives matter during Pride, we are saying that the black lives in the LGBT+ community matter. That we as a community care for the lives lost to police brutality. It is a proclamation that allows for an inclusive community where we care about more than a single issue because no one lives a single issue life.
And all of that is just the tip of the iceberg because we should be working on making the LGBT+ community inclusive and accessible for all people who identify as something under the LGBT+ umbrella. (Straight and cis allies – this isn’t for you.)
I want a community where we come together and not only celebrate our differences but work together to destroy the status quo that holds us all captive. I want a community where we don’t erase our history and some members.