Monday, May 21, 2012

IDAHO and the Invisible Queer

This past Thursday was IDAHO: International Day Against HOmophobia and Transphobia. The Transphobia part was kind of just stuck on there as an after thought, as it so often seems to be. It doesn't *quite* fit into the nice acronym, does it?

As I dressed for work that morning, I got thinking: What can I wear today to show my queer support and queerness? I've recently started a new position at work, and dress and deportment calls for business casual, and I'm already dressing quite androgynous. I have a few blatantly queer t-shirts, but t-shirts are inappropriate for work, so they're hidden under buttoned-up collared shirts. BORING!!! So I wore what I always wore, and left for work hoping to see some spark in the day of Queer Support.

I spent all day watching, and saw nothing. At which time I realized, I am the Invisible Queer. While I may not be specifically closeted, I'm also not out. How did this happen? I used to be quite militant about my orientation, but now that I accept my gender as queer, I've once again become invisible. I've spent the past few days considering this, and it turns out I'm a big chicken.

I'll fully own my priviledges for this one: I'm white, which gives me a definite advantage in Canada (despite what the "officials" say), and I'm relatively well off. It's taken me a long time to accept I'm fairly well off, but after buying a house and realizing all the bills can be covered off of one income, and my spouse's income simply provides food and pays for the renovations, well- we're doing pretty well. I've come a long way in the past 10 years, financially speaking. And lastly, my relationship is hetero-conforming. I'm FAAB, and my spouse is male. He's one of those rare CIS men who actually cares about social issues. I still have a difficult time accepting him for how awesome he is, but he reassures me he accepts and loves me for how flawed I am.

And so, I'm a big giant chicken. I know I've got life pretty easy. I've recently read a GREAT blog post about how to explain priviledge to those who have it: All in terms of Video Game settings, and realized that while I may not be at the TOP of the Easy Settings, I'm pretty damn close. So at this stage of the game, why rock the boat? Why try to make life for myself (and now my Husband, since he's partnered in to my crazy life) more difficult? Is it wrong of me to get wrapped up in our home renovations and projects at work and this great book I'm reading and simply live my life without needing to constantly defend or explain my queer status, because I'm too afraid to make any sort of issue out of it?

But then the guilt kicks in. I read blogs such as Tranarchism by Asher which this past month has shared post after post after post showing just how priviledged I am. And for no other reason than a fluke of my birth and a bit of invisibility. And Theirs is not the only blog which reminds me of this (although it is the most unapologetic and militant of the ones I read).

So I live with this guilt feeling not queer enough. I'm not prepared to embark on surgery or hormone treatment, because after researching and considering it, at this time I know it's not a part of my identity. I don't want/need it. Ok: Top surgery would be kinda cool, but I'm content with binding. While I feel dysphoric in my own body, I can't justify drastic measures such as surgery or hormones at this time. And so I feel not Trans enough to try to claim this little section of community. I'm FAAB, married to a MAAB CIS man, so I'm not "queer" enough to claim the Gay/Lesbian/Queer section of the community. I feel an outcast looking in, as I don't have the courage to make such drastic changes to this body that doesn't quite fit me, nor do I have the courage to try explaining my gender and coming out at work.

I'm the Invisible Queer, perhaps better fit in the "Ally" category, but knowing that's not quite right either.

1 comment:

  1. It would be difficult, I'm sure, to try to explain things in a work place.