Hey, you. Yeah, you. I wanna tell you a secret.

I’m gay.

(Well, actually, I told my family I was bi in the 8th grade because I didn’t have the right words then and I went through high school holding a whole lot of denial in my insides and it took the magic of community with women like me before I could reclaim the word queer — as in, I fall in love with people, not genders — and with it, reclaim myself.) (Also, this is 100% not a secret, I bet none of y’all are surprised.)

This is something I knew to be true before I could give myself permission to say it, as much a part of me as my love of music or the way my eyes squish up when I smile. But I don’t want to talk about how I figured it out, or what it felt like to hide this piece of my identity from people in high school, or what a miracle it was to find other queer people who understood.

I do want to talk about how the queer community — specifically, the “mainstream,” mostly white, mostly middle class queer community — and straight allies can do better. When the Supreme Court decision came out last Friday, it was hard for me to feel the joy of that particular victory with Black churches burning across the South and the wound of Charleston (and Baltimore and Ferguson and…) still fresh in our national psyche. Don’t get me wrong — I’m grateful we made it this far, and the speed with which people’s attitudes changed for the better gives me a great deal of optimism for the future.

But our liberation is not true if it comes at the continued cost of others’ lives and livelihoods. In the wake of this promising step forward, I urge you not to forget the 40% of homeless youth who identify as LGBTQ, our immigrant trans sisters fighting deportation and human rights violations, the trans women of color who risk their lives just by existing every day. I urge you to remember that your freedom is tied to that of everyone around you.

No part of our identity invalidates any other, and we are responsible for working towards a world that supports every exquisite layer of ourselves. So, to my fellow queers and allies, please educate yourselves and others. Uplift the history of our movement. Remember that Stonewall was a trans-woman-of-color-led riot against police brutality. Use whatever means you can to resist structures of racial violence. Share resources. Expand your community.

This is how we get free.

(this video is one place to start — content warning for graphic descriptions of racist and homophobic violence)

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5 thoughts on “

  1. you inspire me bringing out the fighting peach. some of these are things I’ve wanted to say, and I’m glad I waited for you to say them first, both tenderly and urgently. (Also, as always, a big fan of your long-winded parentheticals).

    On another note, I’ve been thinking for a while that I wanted a part of my blog to be a compendium of useful resources for X aspects of my identity when confronting the implications of that in the world, be it race, class, gender expression, sexual orientation (often disorientation), nationality or ability. My blog will need a new focus, anyways, after all this Chile stuff wraps up, and I think identity exploration is a good branch to grow. I’ve read/listened to/watched so many great resources in the past year, too, and I’m sure you have, too. Would you be interested in collaborating?

    • YES! Sav, I miss you loads, and you pretty much just read my mind there. I would love to work on something like that with you. let’s skype or chat or something soon! ❤
      also thank you for the lovely words!

  2. I have come to realize that we as people seem to always be labeling things… Me? I am an oblivious male that often speaks without analyzing all aspects/ramifications of my words… But I do not feel this deep need to label things beyond what is required to communicate in any one conversation.
    I want all people to have/feel their right to own any label that they feel. Fits them for however long it continues to be accurate.
    But Mer for me… Mer is all the label I need for you… For it encompasses all the wonderful things I know about you as well as all the things I don’t know yet and might boy ever need to know! For Mer is this amazing woman that I saw grow from a very small but intensely intelligent young girl… into one of the richest(as in rich flavorful coffee) deepest, most aware teenagers that I had ever the privilege of knowing,.. Into an amazing young woman who us determined to, not only save the parts of the world we are losing, but also to improve & develop the things that we (as a multi-generational group of self-righteous and self centered fools) have left un/partially done…and what I get to see her grow into next only time will tell.
    But Mer will still be all the label I will need to accurately and concisely describe you.
    Go live,love, and be… While your at it save/change this world and know I ALWAYS am/will be proud to say I belong to the tribe she came from & I am always behind you… Whoever you become & whatever you need to do!
    Uncle D =)

    • 🙂 love love love this whole comment — thanks so much for supporting me, always. I’m so lucky to have family like you! Sending lots of love.

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