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Quarterlife Queer

A never ending story

As I continue to delve into thinking about how we form individual ideals of what queer identity is (as much for a topic here as in my own exploration of my identity), I think it’s important to think about how this variable identity intersects with all of our other identities…thinking about how they over lap and intertwine…how they are distinct yet so much alike.

There are also a million questions about how individuals with multiple identities work them…How many do you have? Do you form and individual understanding of each or just let them fall into place based on society? Can they change?

Most of us have multiple identities, and many of us have multiple identities that are social “marginalized” or considered “minorities”.  For example I am a triple “minority”… Black/Queer/Female. Each of my identities hold their own weight, they have their own meanings which have nothing to do with the others and everything to do with the others. They are three distinct identities that while they appear to be completely separate they can not be. I am at all times all of these things, I can’t put away my sex and just be my race nor can I put away my race and just be queer.  And while I can’t separate them, i also can’t protect them from each other. I can’t shield my queerness from the homophobia of the black community and I can’t shield my blackness from the white queers that have no idea what it means to have more than one oppressive force standing on their neck.

All multi-identity people must find a balance of these identities, must find a way to 1) identify the way that makes them comfortable, 2) confront and deal with the intersections of these identities and 3) develop a way to fit into all of the communities you are part of.

I think for many QPOC this can be very difficult, especially when one of there communities is oppressive of  another.One of my biggest pet peeves (and I know that some people just can’t balance) are QPOC that choose one identity over the other. The type that  that despite the fact that homophobia and heterosexism blatantly effects their lives they will abandon and even openly detach themselves from queer issues to make a point that racism is more relevant to them. How do you choose which of your own identities doesn’t deserve to be fought for? How do you separate and neglect one identity from the other? To me that sounds like cutting off your nose to spite your face.

How many identities do you have? And how do you balance them when they are conflicting? Do you have one that you identify with more? Do you find yourself in a community of people that identify with all the same identities as you are do the people you spend time with share just one and are otherwise diverse?

I never really thought about how many questions there are to ask about identity…hmmm

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