Friday, April 5, 2013

letter to the editor


All my life, I've been told that being gay or bisexual is just some phase that young people go through.  When I brought home my first girlfriend, tentatively but hopeful for some kind of support or understanding, I was met with pursed lips and darting, uncertain eyes.  My grandmother would say passing things to me "when you get over whatever this is, I have a nice boy I want to set you up with" or the ever classic "oh, you're STILL with HER?"  My parents would say very little except to ask me whatever happened to Luke so-and-so or Jordan what's-his-name.  It is made very clear throughout my family that whatever this "thing" is that's happening to me, it's temporary.  That I'm certain to wake up one day and decide that I would much rather be a wife to some strapping young gentleman.

I've always blamed my family 100%  for this mindset.  Growing up with parts of myself suppressed by people that I love has made me into a jaded individual indeed, but recently I realized that this idea of queerness being a "phase" or a "trend" is a purely societal notion.  Your website certainly reinforced this when it released an article about a new fad sweeping the nation: LESBIAN CHIC.  When this phenomenon first came to my attention, I felt sick to my stomach.  Huffington Post then confirmed my fears when it released an article critiquing the article, citing this passage specifically:

"Lesbians! They're everywhere. This summer, the New York fashion scene was buzzing with gossip about a couple of high-profile ladies who ditched their marriages and started dating women; across the pond, meanwhile, British Vogue ran a whole article on that phenomenon, while society rag Tatler chimed in with a feature on London's seven "loveliest lesbians." (Only seven?) Just last week, posted photos on its homepage of the nuptials of model Harmony Boucher and her bride, Nicole."

So, it is implied by the author of your article that suddenly and without warning, lesbians and queer women are popping out of the woodworks, and with them has come a wave of Birkenstock-clad, plaid-wearing fashionistas.  Lesbianism, according to the style experts of this century, can be completely quantified into what you wear or how short your hair is.  And then next fall, it will phase out and be replaced by another inane fashion trend, possibly another that appropriates identity and culture.

My identity is not a fad.  It is not a phase or a trend, and it is not what I wear or how much gel I put in my hair.  My gender and sexual orientation are not fodder for the style magazines to sell beauty products and clothing.  I am not a stereotype, I am a human, and I will not be punished for being queer by the society I live in.

My identity is real.
My identity is not a phase.
My identity is not a stereotype.
And my identity is not for use by straight opportunists.



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