Apparently, a message of love and acceptance doesn’t always include everyone.
When I was only fourteen, I realized I liked girls. Naturally, I came out as a lesbian. I kept a more minor attraction to boys inside and to myself. After all, every young lesbian I met told me they’d never date someone who “played for both teams”.
Anyway, still in my teens, I remember a thread started on one of the lesbian-specific Facebook groups I was a part of: “Would you accept your child if they came out to you as transgender?” I was shocked to see hundreds of comments come in as a resounding “no”. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. All of these lesbians posted messages preaching acceptance and open-mindedness on the daily.
It didn’t make sense to me then. So when I started to realize I was and had always been transgender, I kept it to myself for the longest time.
Lesbian friends had one of two reactions. “That’s wrong” or “Eh, I’d still do you anyway!” Nonetheless, I certainly wasn’t going to come out to anyone as pansexual at that point. At least, not until I started socially transitioning. Lesbian friends of mine started telling me I looked just fine and didn’t need to change a thing. Some called me “tranny”. I flat out lost a lot of friends, and not one of them was heterosexual and cisgender.
My own experiences aside, there are many people who don’t fit neatly into the boxes that cisgender gays and lesbians create for us. Some people are asexual, demisexual, bisexual, pansexual, aromantic, etc. or some of us just flat out aren’t cisgender. The very existence of trans people has caused an outcry from the lesbian and gay communities, some calling us homophobic by nature and others calling for the “T” to be dropped from LGBT.
And let’s not forget the issue of racism running rampant in the lesbian and gay communities, too. No, being lesbian or gay doesn’t automatically make you not racist. Sorry, it just doesn’t work that way.
Ever heard of Stonewall? It wasn’t some white, cis, gay man that threw the first brick. It was a black transgender woman, Marsha P. Johnson. Because of the Stonewall Riots, white lesbian and gay people are free to walk the streets and live openly as their true selves today. That is, with very little acknowledgment to the people who fought for that freedom. It included a lot of trans people, bisexual individuals, and people of color.
So why is transphobia, biphobia, and racism ever prevalent in the LGBT community?
I don’t know. And that is a sad fact that I really don’t have the answer. A lot of us don’t. I have never understood why people hold so tight to discrimination and hatred of other people. Especially when their own personal lives are not affected by it.
In the summer of 2017, the rainbow flag in Philadelphia added a brown and black stripe for people of color the LGBT+ community. Despite the positive message of inclusion they were striving for, many white lesbians and gays took it as some sort of attack on the rainbow flag.
A lot of TERFS — Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists — happen to be lesbians. They argue that trans women are “men invading women’s spaces” and that trans men are anti-lesbian; both by fact of mere existence. In fact, quite a few lesbians have taken to creating blogs that not only lash out against transgender individuals and their rights, but target trans youth and publicly out them.
Publicly outing a trans person can be dangerous to them, in an unlimited number of ways.
Bisexual and pansexual people face a large amount of backlash from gays and lesbians, frequently being called derogatory names and being berated at pride events. Asexuals, along with plenty of other sexualities, are simply often not even given acknowledgement of their existence. Let me give you a hint: the “A” in LGBTQIA doesn’t stand for “ally”. . .
Under a sky of rainbow flags held up by transgender, bisexual people of color and even more exists a large parade of white, cisgender lesbians and gays who claim those colors solely for themselves. That isn’t right. Our contributions to this movement are either ignored, mocked, or outright stolen and taken credit for by others. While you preach a message of love and tolerance, hundreds step on the feet of thousands working to make that message a reality.
Listen up L and G: none of the other letters have stopped fighting the good fight. Why have you so hastily cast us out?