I am Queer

Dear world,

I am not straight. Yes, I know that I live with a man in a romantic relationship and I even have an engagement ring on my finger. That does not mean that I am straight.

I know I dress conservatively and choose feminine clothing most of the time. I like heels occasionally and I prefer skirts over pants. Yet none of this tells you anything about me. Not my gender, not my sexuality, not anything concrete.

Just because I don’t hang out with artsy people does not mean I am straight either. Being queer is not correlated with a particular love of musicals or avant-garde galleries. Being queer does not necessitate that I have studied a humanities or fine arts field. I don’t like guitar circles and I don’t watch the L Word. I can’t paint and I haven’t written poetry since I was a teen. I don’t wear rainbows (much) either.

I am still not straight.

I am queer, regardless of who I date. I identify as pansexual. I am attracted to people, not gender.

Yes, I have only dated men, but that is due to my own fears and opportunities, not my sexuality. Just because I have not been involved with a girl does not mean that I am not queer. Also, I do not need to be with a girl just to prove that I am queer. I simply am.

I am queer.

When people look at me they see a straight person. That is the default view of the world unless something triggers suspicion. I look too straight for that. My queerness is silenced and invisible.

But why do we believe sexual identity is something we must see? There are so many ways a person can feel, act and live their sexual identity. To package the world up in a box of normal denies this variety and labels it deviance. Some of us pass and this is a privilege. We don’t have to explain ourselves. We can be queer without question for we are straight to the world.

I hate this. Barriers and divisions are all that are born of such thoughts. We force the annihilation of everything beyond ordinary. We deny ourselves, all of us to some extent. Oftentimes, if you look like me, you are not given a choice. You are simply constructed, set like concrete into a neat definition of what you are supposed to be.

So please, stop saying that we are all heterosexuals here. Stop your assumptions and your proclamations of unity. Queer people are not a different species. Look at me. Am I so different? Am I other? Because I often feel that way even when I pass for straight. Especially when I pass for straight.

Dear world,

I am queer. I want to be allowed to be queer. I want to have the privilege to be queer even if that means that in our imperfect world I am giving up privilege.

I simply want to be.

I am queer.

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