Monday, April 2, 2012

Why Can't I Just B Normal?

Lesbian and gay people have come a long way to be seen as “normal” in our society. In media today, one can find representation of gay couples on major network television channels (i.e. Modern Family and Glee, which air on ABC and Fox, respectively). On a much smaller scale, it’s nice to know that when Peers for Pride monologues include lesbian and gay characters, not much talk has to happen around the identity, and we can focus on the situation this queer character finds hir/her/him self in instead. While these particular identities are still seen as deviant to some people, those outside of the queer community at least have a general understanding of what it means to be lesbian or gay, a vital step toward acceptance of a target identity. So why aren’t the same steps being taken in accepting bisexuality and transgender people? When do the B and the T get to be considered “normal?”
Even in Peers for Pride, we see that when a character identifies as an identity other than lesbian or gay, the facilitation and conversation surrounds the particular identity, and education around that identity, rather than the unique situation this queer person finds hir/her/him self in. Education needs to happen around these identities, there is absolutely no doubt about that. However, I also believe that it could be effective in bisexual and trans peoples’ acceptance if more conversations are had around these identities being present in everyday situations. This is why I appreciate Sam Sanchez’ monologue, as ze confronts issues of a queer character who identifies as trans. The issues do not surround hir trans identity however, and instead highlight a situation that many queer people could find themselves in. 

Every identity under the queer umbrella is unique, but because our heteronormative society sees all queer people as deviant, it is not efficient for us to push forward with the two identities that society sees as the most “normal,” because the L and the G will always be a part of LGBTQ. This means that how society may see one letter affects the rest of the queer alphabet. The lesbian and gay movement has made great strides toward society viewing them as “normal,” but it will be hard to get much further if this movement continues to leave out a multitude of other queer identities. Our society is dominated by heteronormativity, and before it will allow equality amongst any queer identities, it must be understood that all of these identities are just as “normal” as any other. 

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