For those of you in the LGBTQ community, there’s usually a safe haven to be had for you on the internet somewhere, whether awesome Tumblr blogs, places like Captain Awkward where people can ask questions about or to the community, and get answers from people who won’t judge them or otherwise belittle them and their problems…people with similar experience who can help, offer advice or a shoulder to cry on, or possibly tea and cake.
Within these communities, one usually finds a safe place to talk about their experiences, find good advice, and even rant about some of the stupid bigotry they have to endure at the hands of homophobic, biphobic, transphobic, or whatever else type of jerks have made them feel like they’re less than human because of their sexuality or gender identification. Sometimes they just want to get it off their chest, sometimes they’re making a valid point, sometimes they’re warning others. Occasionally, certain insulting terms are used towards straight people. Sometimes a person who is very frustrated might type “GAH I really hate straight people! They’re such jerks!” or something along those lines. Mostly, everyone in the group just kind of laughs and nods, everyone having felt the sting of a slur thrown their way, or someone denying them a basic human dignity for their sexuality. Besides, it’s not like any actual harm is coming from someone harmlessly expressing their frustration in the privacy of an online community specifically meant for people like them, right?
Among the general chatter and laughter of the community, enjoying the ability to freely express how they feel in one of the few places they’re allowed to do that, a distinct sound began to reach them. A particular whine, with a heavy stench of privilege. That sound, my friends, was bawwing.
What happened here is that some people who were not bi, gay, asexual, trans, or anything else that falls under the LGBTQ umbrella had chosen to come and see what we’d had to say, and they didn’t like it. What were some of the reactions?
“How can you say you hate straight people? You’re just haters!”
“You’re obviously cisphobic!”
“Why don’t you try being gay the way we tell you to be? If you don’t, you’re just hating on anyone who isn’t gay!”
Amid the many suggestions of how gay people should be acting to be, y’know, less gay and avoid being treated differently by the world at large (along with completely ignoring everything else that falls under the LGBTQ banner) there was a suggestion that the community wasn’t worried enough about straight issues, and that by not taking steps to protect straight people, they were being just as oppressive as everyone who mistreated them.
Yes, straight issues. Are you aware of all the oppression and torment the straight community suffers? Oh? You aren’t?
Claiming that the LGBTQ community had no consideration towards straight allies, who they were alienating by talking about how badly straight bigots had treated them, and thought that something needed to be done about it.
That something was to create a new blog, one called Straight Voices on Gay Rights, located on Tumblr. This is the first thing you see on their page.
You read that tagline right. Straight people who believe their voices are more important to listen to than anyone in the LGBTQ community’s, because they are straight and thus have no emotional bias.
Straight people. Who are outright stating. That they support LGTBQ people. And their voices. Are more important. Than the people. Actually suffering oppression.
They believe that their opinions on LGTBQ issues matter more than those of the LGTBQ community, because they are straight.
You can imagine my reaction to their little website.
I tried to be calm. Look at this objectively. Maybe this wasn’t an entirely bad thing. Maybe they wouldn’t be too bad…they were just going about things in a bad way. A few nudges in the right direction should help, right?
But then…then they start posting.
Posts about how gay people would be more accepted if they didn’t act so gay.
Posts about how gay people should do things the way straight people tell them to, instead of their own way, because the way straight people want it done is how it should be.
Many, many posts along this vein, and then, the grand glory….this shirt that turned up in one of their more recent posts, as a show of ‘support’ for the gay community.
There are no words. Just…none.
Along with that, there is a lot of slamming the LGBTQ community for being cisphobic, hating straights, and complaints of them not being welcomed into LGBTQ chats and blogs, claiming that they deserved a safe place to talk about their issues as being allies, even starting up a thing that they call Straight Ally Recognition Week to talk about and garner attention towards all the issues and oppression they, the straight people, have.
Um…what issues? No one is going to hate you for being straight and supporting gay rights. No one is going around lynching, or threatening to lynch, straight allies.
As I submitted to a much, much better blog that doesn’t induce heart-exploding rage, Queer Voices on Straight Voices (A blog that goes over just WHY the Straight Voices one is made of so much fail):
To any straight person that is going to start up on the ‘but we need a safe place too!’ bull….
Yes. Everyone deserves a safe place to let out their problems or be with others who are like-minded.
However, you don’t need one to protect you for being straight, because the vast majority of the planet is straight. You are not the ones being persecuted for your sexuality. No one is going to spit on you, beat you, or possibly even try to set you on fire or kill you because you are straight. That just isn’t going to happen. For queer people, however, judgement comes from all sides because of our sexuality being against the norm – the norm being straight. You don’t need protection for being straight. If you have problems not having to do with sexuality that you want a safe place to talk about – feel free to make one, or go to one that already exists! Problems with mental illnesses? There are forums for that. Chronic illnesses? Those exist too. Racial problems? Easy to find those forums! If you have a non-sexuality related problem, there are already forums, and if you can’t find one or don’t like the ones you have found, feel free to make one. Just don’t make it based around a problem you don’t have, or invading forums and safe places for people who do actually have those problems. If you barge into a group that is a safe place for queer people and start making it about you, someone who is not, then you’re not helping anything. You’re just being a petulant child demanding attention, taking the attention from the people who actually need help and placing it on yourself, and thinking you deserve praise and a pat on the back for being oh so special.
Okay? Have I made it clear enough? There are plenty of safe places for people who are straight. It’s called the world. If you have problems that have nothing to do with being queer, because you aren’t, then find a forum or group that deals with that particular problem or set of problems. Stop butting in to groups for people who have this specific issue to deal with and making it about yourselves. It’s not helping anyone, least of all those who you claim to want to help or at least accept.
As posted by an anonymous poster on the Queer Voices blog:
Heterophobia or cisphobia are not comparable in any way with homophobia or transphobia. The former two don’t kill people, they don’t take rights away from people, they don’t prevent people from being accepted, they don’t ruin people’s lives, they just make the more privileged cishets a little uncomfy and teary-eyed. The latter two, well… just look at how LGBTQIA people are currently treated. It is quite self explanatory, isn’t it?
Yes, it is.
I think what I find most offensive about this is that every time someone from the LGBTQIA community confronts them, or points out that they don’t suffer from any form of oppression and are just whining and taking attention away from issues that actually need to be addressed, they start to insult and sling slurs at that person, while still trying to claim to be allies.
Kids, if you’re only calling yourself an ‘ally’ to be cool, and think that everyone in the LGBTQIA community should do what you tell them to, because your opinion is better than theirs by virtue of you being straight…you’re not an ally. You’re just as much of a bigot as those who are trying to prevent gay marriage or adoption, or anything else that is slung at us. Knock it off. If you want to help, there are lots of ways you can do that. Just ask us! Just…please knock of the straight superiority crap, because you’re being the exact thing we have to fight so hard against, and you’re not helping anyone.