rainbow in an open valley

Navigating Queer*

Relationships can be hard to navigate. Love can be hard to find, but if you’re queer*, love can be impossible.

While every day the queer* community moves closer towards equality, there’s a barrier that’s constant, and one I fear will never be broken down. Being queer* isn’t normal, and regardless of the way people feel about the queer community, this sentiment remains, prevalent in all levels of society. When straight, cis people confess their feelings, they fear rejection; when I speak my feelings, I fear estrangement. To confess my feelings to someone risks a portrayal as the weird, predatory gay, just for being honest about how I feel. And no, this isn’t just localised to me. Any queer* person you ask can speak of a time when they confessed their emotions to someone, for that person to simply reject them, but change their whole view of them. Such a confession breeds a fear within some cis straight people, that I’m gayly obsessed with them, or worse, that I’m trying to ‘turn’ them.

This frustrates me particularly because I’ve been on the other side of the equation. I’ve turned girls down comfortably, with no fear or angst that they’re going to force themselves on me. So why can’t this be the same for queer* people?

This is something I’ve felt for my whole life, which extends beyond just relationships. The assumption of cis heterosexuality as the norm continues to be extremely damaging to all people of queer orientation, making us afraid of being honest about who we are, for fear of the inevitable ‘queer’ connotations it carries. I wish my friends could speak about me without my gayness taking the spotlight, as if I’m some unique and special creature. I wish people didn’t tell me I dress well ‘because you’re gay.’ I don’t wish I lived in a world where being queer is celebrated and special. I just wish I lived in a world where being queer is normal.