The Ties That Bind

Guest post by Conar.

All right, friends. Today, we spin our queering wheel and turn our vehicle toward that most frustrating of topics: the homophobic relative.

*dramatic music*

We’ve all got one. Sometimes several. They rear their ugly heads at Thanksgiving and Easter alike, extracting cringes from all assembled with such oft-heard phrases as: “Well, I don’t hate them, I just disagree with them,” “Are you sure you’re gay?”, “You can’t like men AND women, that doesn’t make sense,” and my favourite: “Well, your lifestyle is your choice, I suppose.”

These phrases are usually (though not always) preceded or followed by casual racism, or sexist jokes, or both. My least favourite uncle is a walking stereotype of the bigoted redneck, and I am very grateful I only have to see him once or twice a year.

However, today we are discussing a different type of person, and often a much more difficult one to deal with. I like to call this person the Backhanded Bigot. This is someone who is not obviously homophobic or transphobic, who doesn’t say anything actively hateful, but can be dismissive, insensitive, and otherwise harmful, often without even realizing it. Continue reading “The Ties That Bind”

Reloading the Label Gun

Guest post by Conar.

Coming out of the closet. Almost universally part of the LGBTQ+ experience. Whether it’s your entire collection of Facebook friends, your immediate family, or just one trusted confidant, most of us have had that experience of finally opening up to someone about an important part of our identity. And it’s usually a rather harrowing experience, at that. Even if those you are confiding in react well, building up the nerve to reveal something about yourself that is still often looked down on, even hated, and for many of us, not even considered to be a “real” orientation or identity, can be a nigh-on Herculean task. Continue reading “Reloading the Label Gun”

Complex Queerness and Imposter Syndrome

Guest post by Kristi.

When I was eleven, my best friend, Jane*, and I—both assigned female and sticking with it—spent our summers acting out the adventures of two characters we’d created. We rode our bikes around our neighborhood, shouting to each other what our characters were saying and doing. We fought and killed all the bad guys we stole shamelessly from our favorite TV shows. Our characters were elves who fought wizards and used magic; it was more or less cute, childish LARPing. The whole thing was the best send-up of the fantasy genre two children could improvise, and the stories always followed an unambitious pattern: travel together, see cool places, fight monsters, retire to a lake (Jane’s pool).

At some point, though, the story changed. I’d started experiencing non-platonic attraction to my female friend, and it bled into our shared fiction.  My feelings were confusing, but I was young and hormonal; I not-so-subtly manipulated the story in favor of our characters sharing a kiss. Continue reading “Complex Queerness and Imposter Syndrome”