Issue 11, Semester 2, 2019
The queer movement and the LGBT+ community is an undeniable paradox. A movement that calls for intersectionality, diversity, and inclusiveness is awfully hostile towards anyone who doesn’t think like them, anyone who doesn’t hold the ‘right’ view. Which is anyone that doesn’t subscribe completely to their ideology by the way.
Being a left-leaning progressive is the only acceptable stance, and anyone who disagrees is morally wrong on every level. If you disagree, there’s a list of names to call you. If you so much as question (in good faith may I add) some of their beliefs or core tenets of their philosophies, then suddenly you’re a raging white nationalist on par with One Nation.
‘Empathy!’ they’ll scream, whilst they make fun of straight people, white people, and men — anyone they deem to be an ‘oppressor’ is fair game. Anyone who is deemed to be ‘privileged’ should check their privilege. That also means you don’t have a voice on any of the billion issues with society. That means men don’t have a say in women’s issues, that straight people should never dare speak on queer issues, that you can’t say this and they can’t say that because you’re silencing those who need a voice. Completely ignoring the ironic fact that they’re the one doing the silencing.
The horse they cling to is mighty high.
As someone who identifies more as a libertarian (who also happens to be very gay) — my live-and-let-live attitude would definitely raise some eyebrows within my community. Scroll through any queer social media pages, attend any queer events, talk to any openly queer students at Uni and you’ll be bombarded with buzzwords and slogans taken straight out of a Tumblr page. But there is never any nuance to their discussion. It’s nod-and-agree or get out. All it boils down to is a cookie-cutter description of anything deemed ‘bad’ and pasted haphazardly over anyone who disagrees.
Perhaps that’s my biggest problem and what lead to my slow departure from the left side of the political spectrum. Queer spaces on campuses are echo chambers where people pat themselves on the back and comment on how ‘woke’ their views are, but not once do we ever think critically. Not once do we ever engage with the other side, instead of shutting them down and coddling ourselves with constant reassurance that ‘we’re the right ones’.
“Straight people are the problem!” “White gays are racist!” “Capitalists are ruining the queer community!” God forbid you ask and question further why or how — you’ll be met with a steely glare and a holier-than-thou attitude. “Google is free,” they’ll sneer at you. Unless you agree with their constant stream of buzzwords and applaud their echoes of righteousness, you better educate yourself and be better, because a queer who disagrees is a queer they do not need.
Conversations are shut down forcefully, with people justifying their attack on free speech by claiming they have a moralistic duty to prevent ‘hate speech’ lest we hurt someone’s feelings. Pray tell, when are we as a community going to properly recognise that respectful disagreement with your opinion is not automatically hateful?
I understand that there are those who are impossible to have a proper conversation with. Those who believe we are unnatural or an abomination or that we don’t deserve the same rights as our heterosexual counterpart deserve no sympathy. Those who would gleefully call for our deaths and would not hesitate to harass and hurt us do not deserve to be heard. Yes, I know trans people are at a higher rate of homicide across the world. Yes, I am aware that forty percent of homelessness are LGBT+ folks. Yes, I agree, we as a community have been hurt and marginalised and persecuted up to this day. We can do better. We need to do better. I am right there with you. But part of that is recognising the diverse array of opinions and thoughts within our own community. We are a community, but we are not a monolith.
We need to stop conflating dissenting opinions about the best way to approach queer issues with actual Nazi rhetoric. We need to stop shutting down other voices because of some arbitrary notion of being ‘problematic’. You can disagree with me. You can hate everything I stand for. But what you can’t do is deny me a voice at your table while claiming to be ‘inclusive’.
Anonymous is a First Year JD Student.