It Can't All Be About Suffering

Mar 2 2023

(CW because whoo boy does this get to be a fucking bummer in the middle, but there is hope at the end, as there always should be. Don’t feel bad if you need to put this one down for a bit. There are also some uncensored slurs.)

These days, (and mostly on the internet) I sometimes hear about the exclusion of aspec folks from lgbtq spaces, or the discourse about whether or not you need dysphoria to be trans, or if bisexual people who are in a “straight relationship” (whatever that means) should even be allowed at pride events. And it gets me thinking, because none of that shit makes any sense to me.

Most of these arguments are predicated on the idea that some queer people just aren’t facing oppression, and so therefore should not be considered part of the community, or given access to queer spaces. The story goes that A trans person who doesn’t experience dysphoria about their body does not have the same struggles as a trans person who does, and so is not be considered as trans. The story goes that asexual and aromantic people aren’t getting oppressive laws passed around them or facing violence, and so therefore aren’t queer enough. The story goes that a bisexual couple who at first glance may look straight to you, doesn’t face any hardship when trying to apply for marriage licenses, or that they don’t have to deal with any consequences when out on the street, and so therefore shouldn’t be considered a queer relationship.

The story goes, that if you are not suffering for being queer, you do not deserve to be considered queer.

You can see how dangerous that is, right? A community that is based on the supposed inherent suffering of the group that makes up that community, will necessarily maintain suffering for that group to maintain the community.

There is value in understanding the different axis of oppression that people face, the intersection of those oppressions, and how each person is individually affected so that mutual aid and community resources can go to those who need it most urgently. Exclusionist philosophy does not do this. This philosophy instead leaves no room for hope, leaves no room for growth or for building each other up. There’s a reason why TERFs are always the most miserable batch of people you’ll ever meet. And it’s no coincidence that ace exclusion is stated by many TERFs to be a stepping stone for their fascist ideology.

I do not use the word fascism lightly here, as a general blanket to mean “bad.” I instead use it as it should be used, with the gravity it deserves. The recent laws passed in Tennessee and Texas and Florida and all over will fucking kill people. Will kill children. Has killed children.

Exclusionist philosophy kills people too. In the fervor of TERFs trying so hard to define what a woman is, and always ending up doing it in a way that excludes a decent amount of cis women, trying to define what constitutes as being “gay enough” will always always leave out a sizable chunk of gay people. Even if we were to make it all about suffering, those examples I listed above still don’t hold any water.

Bisexual people still face both erasure of their sexualities and undue pressure to be hypersexual, often resulting in unwelcome advances and even assault. Trans people who do not experience dysphoria are still materially affected by the recent laws being passed, and have to face being misgendered and deadnamed often, and are even sometimes barred from healthcare because they aren’t performing gender to the degree that medical institutions want to see. Asexual people get pressured often into sexual situations, and face revulsion and even violence for not reciprocating people’s desires, including facing targeted homophobic violence for not performing straight sexual desire.

I can already hear the exclusionists scream “But that’s misdirected homophobia, that’s not acephobia!”

And to that I reply “Doesn’t that make it so fucking clear that we’re all in this together?”

All of our oppressions are intertwined with each other. I’ve been called a faggot way more than I’ve been called a tranny. The bigots aren’t going to ask your pronouns before they throw a gendered slur your way. The only way we can combat this shit is together, with solidarity and actual understanding of lived experiences instead of playing this shitty game of “Gayer Than Thou.”

Who does it benefit when we include aromatic and asexual people and other folks who do not experience cisheteronormative attraction in our communities, and who does it harm when we leave them out? Who does it benefit when we give every trans person the autonomy to self-identify, and who does it harm when we define what other people’s genders are and how they should present and feel about themselves? Who does it benefit when we allow people who appear straight to feel safe and comfortable around us, and who does it harm when we shutter out people who aren’t obviously queer, or who aren’t out yet, or haven’t given themselves the space to figure that out?

The answer to all of those questions, is all of us. Each and every one of us benefits from the strength of bigger communities based on mutual respect and care and love and solidarity, and every single one of us is harmed by gatekeeping resources from people who could actually use them. Being queer is not a cool kids club reserved only for those who look and act like us, utilizing identities for clout. That’s what the fascists are about.

What I am about, and what the communities I choose to be a part of are about, is the antithesis to that. Unfettered, ugly, radical, beautiful, queer love. Finding joy in the contradictions and abstractions that make us human, finding hope in all the wonderful messy ways we can find ourselves. Let’s put the “mutual” in “mutual aid,” learn new ways to take care of each other, and build each other up until we’re out of reach of those that would dare to try to take us down. They can try, but with all of us together, all they can do is fail.

About Me

Possum is a mid-20's queer cunt living somewhere on stolen Ute/Arapahoe land. She likes to make music, art, good food and bad coffee, and can often be found making out with a number of cute trans babes at any given house show.

show some fucking love u cunts! >:3