Hello there, Arch-Mates,
Have you ever get that question? The “Are you an LGBT?” question? No?
I don’t get that question as often as before now. Since I sport short hair, people don’t ask me that anymore—they simply assume. I cannot really decide whether it is a good change or a bad one. I just think it is funny that people tend to question my sexual identity more when my hair was long simply because I work and mingle with LGBT friends.
Anyway, I think that is one of a few questions I dreaded the most—right after the “Where do you work?” question and before the “When are you going to get married?” one. Why? Am I afraid to come out of the closet? Hmm… With my moderate to conservative family and the fundamentalist religious groups lurking around? Is that really a question?
Yes. Call me a coward if you would like. Or call me prudent if you are afraid to offend anyone like me. I would not mind. Not at all.
I may not be ready to come out to my family or to the society in general. But, I actually don’t mind coming out to people that are close to me—people that I trust. Or in closed group. Or online, anonymously, where people don’t really know my face, my family, or where I live. Just like now. If you don’t already know, I will let you know.
I don’t identify myself as a lesbian.
Well, if you don’t know that before, perhaps this is where I would hear your gasps. But, the truth is, I don’t identify myself as anything. I don’t feel comfortable wearing labels. I believe that human potential to love other human is not limited by sex nor gender. I believe that I have the potential to love someone regardless of their sex or gender or sexual orientation or social economic status or race or religion or… Well, I think you got my drift. I write lesbian fiction simply because I am in love and in a relationship with a woman. If something happen in the future that we are not together anymore and I fall in love with a man or with a transgender or with an intersex… Well, perhaps I would write something different then.
If I wear no label and I can write about this so easily, why would I hate the question then? Well, there are two reasons that come to my mind when I think about it. The first reason is because that question is a trap. It strips me from my rights to disclose my personal information whenever and wherever I feel comfortable to do so. Why? Can’t I just refuse to answer it if I feel uncomfortable? No. Seriously, no, I can’t. Why? Because people will interpret the refusal as fear and in this homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic culture, people will just assume that someone is an LGBT if they are afraid to answer that question. That usually leave me with no choice but to be out—and be ready to elaborate my answer with further explanation of why I chose not to identify myself as anything in case they ask (and, believe me, they tend to ask, too).
The second reason? It is because the people who asked me that question were usually LGBTs that I met in my line of work. When I didn’t feel like giving a long explanation, I usually just answer that question with a short, “No, I am not.” But, then, they started to assume that I am a heterosexual and started to question why I chose to work in the place I am working right now. Why did I, a person who is not an LGBT, want to work on LGBT issues? Honestly, that follow up question tend to piss me up even more. Do I really have to be a lesbian to help my lesbian friends? Do I have to be a heterosexual to help my heterosexual friends? Do I have to be from a certain race to talk about racism? Do I have to get STDs to help other people with STDs? Well, for me, that is simply ridiculous. Thus, I tend to get pissed and hate the question even more.
I believe that anyone should be allowed to help anyone else whenever and wherever she or he or they can. Questioning someone’s identity in a situation like that means questioning their sincerity—which is an insult in itself. Besides, posing a question like the one above is the same as putting someone in a dilemma of whether she or he or they should come out or not without really giving them the options. Not nice, is it?
So let’s just stop questioning anyone’s sexuality and move to other far-more-important questions like, “When will the wars in this world end?” or “What can we do to stop the global warming?” or “When will I start posting stories on Smashwords again?”
Yeah. I think those questions are more important. At least, for me they are.