It’s Okay to Be Straight
I appreciate the advocacy for the QUILTBAG, but my God, some people who are super gung-ho for QUILTBAG rights have been just as intolerant of anyone who simply identifies heterosexual.
Being straight doesn’t make you a bigot. Being straight doesn’t make you trans*-phobic.
There’s been a witch-hunt recently in the genre for people being trans-phobic, and I find that sad and problematic. I’m tired of everyone being so quick to label someone trans-phobic. If you don’t want to publish it or write it or read it because there isn’t a market for it or because your focus is more narrow in the market, then that’s NOT trans-phobic behavior. There are a lot of reasons to choose to not focus on one part of the market in favor of another, and they don’t all boil down to an inherent disgust of one kind of fiction or the people who write/read/enjoy it.
Now, sometimes, the narrow focus does have its roots in intolerance and/or prejudice. When that’s the case, then calling someone out for that intolerance or prejudice is a viable thing. But there are plenty of reasons not based in that intolerance, and we, as authors, readers, and bloggers, should respect that. Just like many GLBT-centric blogs don’t spend any time reading/reviewing het romance books, some het-centric blogs might review only non-bisexual mnage stories (M/F/M or F/M/F). That doesn’t mean they hate full-contact mnage or bisexuality or disapprove of bisexuals in general; it typically just means that their readership has an expectation of primarily het content and that’s what they’re catering to. Does it suck for those of us who do want fully bisexual characters in our mnage fiction? Sure, it does! But that means we find blogs with like-minded readers and follow them or maybe open a dialogue with others about the issue. We don’t just go on the rampage and call everyone bi-hating bigots. Or at least we shouldn’t.
Being straight is an okay thing. Really. Lots of people are straight and are truly allies of the QUILTBAG community. Spitting out that someone is just being a damn breeder or something like that doesn’t do the QUILTBAG community any favors. I’m not saying we need to garner favor with people who are assholes, but becoming assholes ourselves? That just leaves us with double the assholes, right? Tolerance and acceptance go both ways. I hate to use such a clich phrase, but can’t we all just… get along? 😉
If you don’t want people to be homophobic, biphobic, and/or trans-phobic, then stop falling into heterophobic and cis-phobic behaviors. Those are just as bad! The state of being heterosexual or cis-gendered is just as real and viable as being homosexual, pansexual, or sapiosexual. Though, as a side note, I sometimes feel like the only example of true pansexuality would be Jack Harkness… who could be attracted to anyone in any species ever. Bisexuality isn’t, by default, limited to the confines of gender binary. View it as more of liking those ‘like me and not like me’, both directions in the spectrum, no matter where you yourself lie in that spectrum, not both polar opposites in the gender spectrum. This is probably something for another post, but it’s relative in that so many people are bandying about labels that have a plethora of definitions. We all use the terms differently. Case in point: I define bisexuality and pansexuality differently than a lot of other people. It doesn’t make them wrong and me right, nor does it make the opposite true. Labels and definitions are fluid and change not only based on our backgrounds but also over time. Because those definitions depend on the person, it’s completely unfair to assume everyone’s definition of something is the same and they should, therefore, live by it.
You don’t get to define someone’s identity and then give them shit over your definition. Y’know, getting on them for not fitting into your parameters for what is acceptable under that label. That’s just… not right. It’s ridiculous to expect everyone to live up to your definitions. Am I making sense here? Whether someone is gay, straight, or any flavor of bisexual, there should be a certain vibe of live and let live when it comes to that arena of people’s lives. If you’re not straight, then someone else being straight doesn’t effect you. (Just like the very common refrain that someone being gay doesn’t actually affect someone who is straight.)
To sum up, what I would like people to do is to look a bit deeper at the situations they are in and place blame where it’s actually due. If someone is being a dink, then they’re being a dink. Doesn’t matter if they’re gay, straight, or otherwise. Dinks are dinks, regardless of gender or sexual identity. So! It’s okay to be part of the QUILTBAG. It’s okay to have a blog or site or reading preference that’s broad or limited. It’s okay to be straight.
…just don’t be a dink about it. 😉