Tag Archives: queer

I’M ON THIS CAMPUS/HEAR ME/SEE ME

11 May

Some amazing work sent into us from an anonymous campus street artist bringing attention to the invisibility of many underrepresented UW-Madison students. Anyone else seen these around?

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9 May

Biphobia in the Queer Community

9 May

This post is a response and an expansion to an article I found on a British lesbian website, whose provocative title “Why Do Lesbians Hate Bisexuals?” is way harsher than its content. The article actually works to debunk a lot of myths lesbians might have toward bisexual women, and seeks to unpack some biphobia coming from the queer lesbian community. Finally, I plan to explore some of my own internalized biphobia that led me to claim “queer” instead of “bisexual.”

“She’s not strong enough to be a dyke.”

The article is pretty clever in explaining lesbian subculture, and how queer women need that space and claim that identity in order to feel kinship and community. The bi world just doesn’t have that. Once an individual commits to a lesbian identity, she risks losing a lot (a job, her family, services and rights, getting gay-bashed on the street) and the lesbian community is there to respect that: you lose a lot, but you gain a family, who understands and supports you (in an ideal world). If you look queer enough, you might get a dyke nod from a stranger. You might get a discount on a latte from a lesbian barista. You might find community because other lesbians know you’re strong enough to be a dyke.

Bisexual women are not included in this. There is no bi-girl nod. There is no bi-girl softball team. There is no way to look bi (readers, challenge me on this). The reasoning behind this is that bi women, according to myth, do not lose much by coming out as bi. There’s not as much risk to danger or harassment. They might look straight enough not to get hassled on the street. Their parents aren’t worried. They don’t have to come out at work, and if they do, it might just come off as a charming peculiarity, or a certain open-mindedness. Being bi never comes off as a militant, political statement, like it reads for lesbians. They are still safe, with one foot in the straight world. They might date men and get married and have babies one day. Even worse, they might date you for the good sex and then leave you to marry a man, or experiment with you in order to look more world-traveled and sexually adventurous to a man. Oh, the indignation!

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ASEXY: A Fireside Chat, Part 1

7 Apr

This “Fireside Chat” is the first in a multi-part series exploring asexuality in contemporary society, brought to you by Caity Stardust and Miss E.

We hope you enjoy!

Why I Write

6 Apr

I love queer…it’s an extremely useful polemic term because it is who we say we are, which is, “Fuck You.”

— Spike Pittsberg, Israeli lesbian activist

I stumbled upon this gem of a quote last semester.  It was the final day in a course on queer history and my instructor was, I think, bringing us to the present — asking us to conceptualize contemporary understandings of queerness.  The quote struck me, unexpectedly.  Queerness is usually defined in terms of gender and sexuality, so when I read this quote that described queerness in such broad and fluid terms, I latched onto it.

See, I am, if asked to define myself as rigidly as possible, a heterosexual, cisgendered, feminist.  Admittedly, I’m leaving out some important identities, for reasons that shall be explained quite soon, but in terms of the word queer, I, initally, seem unable to claim the term.  Yet the quote excited me, because it got me thinking…got me asking some questions that had been lurking in the back of my head.  What is queer?  How far can we push the boundaries of its definition?  And specifically for me, can I claim an identity of being a straight, (cisgender), queer feminist?

Problem is, if you ask me, ‘why the term queer?,’ I’m pretty sure all my answers would seem inadequate, or not good enough.  Though I can point to balking at the term “ally” (I feel like I’m more than that) or constantly questioning my sexuality (in terms of how I view attraction, lust, sex, and love)…the devil’s advocate in my head says, ‘So what?  That’s not good enough!  You’re still not using the term properly.’

So I turn back to the quote.  The quote that says FUCK YOU when you try to define me, FUCK YOU when you try to lay claim or impose definitions on words that I use…FUCK YOU when you ask me to reduce my thoughts, feelings, processes — to whittle down the complexity that is my identity to four or five words.

I say FUCK YOU, and maybe that, simply, is why I am queer.

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