LGBTQ Gatekeeping

LGBTQ+ communities can sometimes be surprisingly horrible to people whose identities don’t fit into neat categories.

A lot of people who have to fight for a place to exist, especially queer people, have had numerous experiences of being rejected. After all, being “marginalized” literally means that someone is pushed to the margins, silenced, and denied support. It’s not just who you love and how you present yourself and what pronouns you use that people find upsetting, but also how everything resulting from that – your perspective, your trauma, your lack of opportunities, your frustration with being treated differently, and so on – makes you “queer.” If you have to fight to create a community that accepts you, it’s only natural that you would want to defend it from people you perceive to be outsiders.

This is one of the many reasons why it’s important to support members of the LGBTQ+ community. If you’re an ally, it’s best not to assume that members of the LGBTQ+ community don’t need your support because they will support each other. Speaking personally, I value and appreciate every single straight ally (and every member of the LGBTQ+ community who has felt compelled to remain closeted for personal or professional reasons) who has ever stood up, spoken out, and done the right thing.

That being said, a lot of straight people are still unconsciously (and sometimes unapologetically) bigoted. So, to all my fellow “queer” people – no one is going to create a space for us if we don’t do it ourselves. It can be difficult to be soft and yielding, especially when we’ve worked so hard to develop our emotional armor, but we should know better than anyone that there is strength and beauty in diversity.