Dear Fannie,

I go to a notoriously queer friendly university yet I came into the queer scene late in the game. I am out as bisexual and am involved in the queerest classes as you take. I find the scene to be incredibly clicky and hard to glide into. To the queers, I am basically straight, and to the straights, I am queer. How do you smudge into a world where solid identity is so very important, yet an extreme social necessity.

Not Queer Enough


First off, congrats on the coming out! Closets are for clothes, not queers. You’re question resembles one I answered almost a year ago, where Queer & Proud, a lesbian who occasionally slept with men, was getting a lot of negative from her hetero-friends, trying to label her as bisexual. Well it’s clear from your question, NQE that those same hypocritical sentiments can come from homos as well.

The way the Gay Liberation movement from the ‘60s panned out, despite great leaps and bounds in terms of civil rights and all that jazz, is a deeply marked boundary between homos and heteros. Another binary has been constructed so that one’s sexuality is either directed exclusively towards one sex or the other. I hope I don’t have to go into the many flaws in that thought process (i.e. assumptions of only two sexes to be attracted to, assumptions that sexualities are fixed and unchanging, etc.), but while it’s really easy to complain and call out the homo haters and the hating homos, maybe it’s best to remember that homos are humans too, and make the same stupid ass mistakes as their straight mates.

NQE, while I commend you on your entrĂ©e into the world of queer-ociousness, you’ve got a lot of learning to do about queers… especially homo folks (as opposed to pansexual, bisexual, omnisexual, etc.). Homos are bitter, quick to judge, and slow to trust. Wanna know why? ‘Cause we have a long history of getting burned by the heteropatriarchy. You name it, we’ve seen it: from electro-shock therapy from our doctors, to exorcisms from our preachers. Granted, after so many years it’s water under the bridge… but it’s pretty turbulent water. So when the queers on campus see your non-exclusively-homo queer self bounding into the fray and wanting the respect and acceptance of the hard-line ‘mos, there’s naturally going to be some skepticism.

You see a social clique of nasty gay Plastics acting as gatekeepers to this bounding fields of queer elysian bliss. But from their point of view, they see some budding homo who’s too afraid to jump in cold-turkey for the friends of Dorothy, and can claim some hetero privilege. They’re skeptical and waiting for you to earn some queer credentials. While that may not be true in your case, you can’t blame them for erring on the side of caution; especially when that caution is informed by years of homo-for-now-hetero-when-it’s-hard case studies. I won’t deny that it’s wrong of them to make you feel excluded just because you don’t play by their rules. But this is something that’s developed out of self-defense and self-preservation.

While I’m not trying to justify any mistreatment you may have had at their hands, I’m trying to put things into perspective. I absolutely support your right to go against the grain, even if it’s the gay grain, and to enjoy your non-gender-specific libido. So if you want to know how to run in the homo crowd while maintaining your truly queered existence, I’d advise being patient and building relationships one by one. If you want the queers to accept you, you’ve got to demonstrate that while you may enjoy a variety of partners, you’re still an ally, an asset, and a friend.


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