Sunday, 31 March 2013

Straight Allies "Doing It Wrong"

An article came up today on my Facebook newsfeed with the caption "food for thought." The article was called "If You Identify Yourself As Straight While Advocating For Gay Rights, You’re Doing It Wrong."

This article is rather repugnant.

It argues that straight people should not identify themselves as such when advocating for issues like marriage equality, because in doing so they are in some way trying to defend themselves from accusations of themselves being gay. This is apparently very convincing to some, based on the comments and feedback the article (and the facebook link) received. However, let's flip that around. What if I were to write a post saying that when discussing issues of sexuality, gay people should not identify themselves as such, but should rather keep their sexuality ambiguous. No matter how sound an argument I made for this, would anyone be even get past the first paragraph of that post? 

Avoiding the subject of one's own sexuality when arguing about the legal and civil status of sexuality is idiotic. If we are trying to promote a society that treats all sexualities as equal, why should we not identity ourselves? The argument that the articles makes is that straight people should not be afraid to be seen as gay when supporting gay rights, but to assume that this is the primary reason that any straight advocate of marriage equality has to identify their own sexuality is frankly condescending.

I am heterosexual, and I support marriage equality. I am not saying that I am heterosexual because I am afraid that my support will lead people to think that I am homosexual. Quite frankly, I don't care what people think about my sexuality. The people who would make judgements based on my political and moral views are probably people that I do not care to involve in my sex life. My only reason for involving my own sexuality in this debate is to show (to those who are yet to realise this) that marriage equality is not a "gay" issue, but a civil issue.

To suggest that I feel the need to hide from allegations of homosexuality is scaremongering and seeing shadows in corners. I am comfortable with my sexuality, and I want to live in a society in which everyone else is equally comfortable. So I am very happy to tell people that I am heterosexual, just as I hope that the writer of that article is happy telling people that she is homosexual, and no matter our sexuality we both support marriage equality. Telling me that I am "doing it wrong" is doing nothing but hurting that cause.

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