As I scroll through the endless stream of photos on the internet – mainly my tumblr – I can’t help but be overwhelmed by how many adorable queer folks there are. With amazing haircuts, clothing, artwork, music, everything. Babes all on the internet with super cute selfies, what more could one want?
Only as I as I spend more time seeing these images, I become aware of a question that always seems to be lingering in the back of my mind when it comes to my sexuality.
Am I queer enough?
A girl I was in a relationship with told me that at first she didn’t read me as queer.
I flew under her radar. A talent? Hashtag femme probz?
Maybe I am just not queer enough.
Until recently I have had a confusing relationship with my sexuality, I assumed I was straight because that is what I was supposed to do – even though I have had plenty of crushes on girls growing up. Now I have a word for it and an extremely supportive network of friends and support.
However I still hear:
Maybe it’s just a phase.
Well how gay are you?
…You’re not straight?
Of course, as I type these words I realize that one cannot level how ‘queer’ they are. But without fail it seems that when I start crushing on a girl, in addition to the normal “oh god I am totally not cool enough to be talking to this person” I also have this fear that I am not queer enough for them. That they don’t read me as queer. That I don’t look queer.
As these things dig deeper into my mind, I start to question what being queer means. Does that mean I have to look and act a certain way? How does one look queer or straight?
I am raising more questions than I am answering. I know that a lot of my assumptions of what a straight or queer person is ‘supposed’ to look like comes from media and stereotypes, and even though I am aware of where stereotypes come from, I still am amazed at how deeply they are ingrained. I look like a queer person because I am queer. It should be that simple, but it isn’t.
When I grow my hair out, does that make me less of a queer? If I am in a relationship with a cis man, does that mean I lose my queer card?
What is it about me that when some people look at me don’t realize or ‘read’ me as queer? Is it because I don’t fit into that narrow definition of what a ‘proper queer person’ is supposed to look like. (Aside from being white, I have that down.) Is it because I am too feminine, not androgynous enough? But then why is androgyny linked with masculinity? (Duh silly, masculine/male is the norm.)
This was supposed to be something to help me sort out my thoughts about it, but I haven’t done a very good job. I think because I am still uncertain if being queer has changed who I am, or if I just have a word for who I’ve been?
(Ah, Queer Theory – being and becoming, performativity. I need to reread some Judith Butler)