Internal conflict in queer spaces

assortment of colorful guns for game

There’s an awareness day and month for pretty much every identity, disability and living circumstance. For trans and gender diverse people we have  Trans Awareness Week and Trans Day of Visibility just in case you weren’t aware that we exist! Then we have  Trans Day of Mourning. So, our three trans community moments in the year go: acknowledge our existence and please don’t kill us. This is a really horrifying place for gender diverse people to be in.

The greater LGBTQIA+ community has a Pride month which is brilliant and has amazing history of activism and people working together to say we’ve had enough, stop killing us and give us the same rights you afford cisgender heterosexual people! However, much like some feminist spaces, there are large sections of queer communities which gatekeep who can access them safely. There is a huge issue with racism in queer spaces where some groups are treated with disdain and violence (the use of “no fats, no femmes, no Asians” on queer dating apps tells you just how brazen this is). White supremacy reigns supreme in many LGBTQIA+ spaces.

People who are considered not ‘trans enough’ are also gatekept because we haven’t gone through Hormone Replacement Therapy, or because we haven’t had surgeries, enough surgeries, the correct ones. We need to look femme if we’re trans women and need to look masc if we are trans men and we better not identity as a trans man and a lesbian, even if we’ve been part of the lesbian community for most of our lives.

There’s a reason the letters are all put together, but it doesn’t mean that we are all respected within our communities. Asexual and aromantic people are still considered invalid, especially if the extent of their sexuality and romantic life is heterosexual in nature. Non-binary and non-gender people are not seen as ‘really’ trans. Meanwhile Disabled people cannot join the party because it is usually up a flight of stairs, in a dim lit room, loud, smoky and overwhelming (see No Pride without Disability Pride).

Despite the marginalisation and oppression of everyone under the queer rainbow, there’s a distinct hierarchy – one which favours young, gay, white, slender and traditionally good-looking men. Despite going against normativity, queer people are still creating modes of normativity and gatekeeping each other from being queer. Gatekeeping each other from the very community which is supposed to be a liberation for us all.

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