Not going to pride because I'm not sufficiently "queer" [rant]

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Not going to pride because I'm not sufficiently "queer" [rant]

Post by Glides on Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:54 pm

OK so if at any point I use some kind of language that's considered demeaning, it's unintentional and I'll edit the post or anything after to reflect the correct language because this isn't meant to make anyone feel attacked. I legitimately want to communicate better.

OK, so I'll try to make this quick: I had a weird moment in January where I abruptly described myself as someone without gender during a dnd session and damn near burst into tears because I'd spent so long repressing that part of myself. This largely is why my relationship ended because my then-partner was furious that I could "just stop being a man whenever I want."

So I've spent the past several months of therapy trying to figure out what words fit best. A friend of mine who was there at this initial session decides to invite me to a Pride event happening this weekend (so today and tomorrow). She expresses interest in having me be around other members of the LGBT community for the first time, frames it as my "awakening" so I can finally get a chance to "be myself," whatever that happens to be.

I'm really excited for this, because I very badly want to know what words fit best. I know that I'm not male or female (despite appearing publicly as a somewhat androgynous looking man, because I do not live in an area where I could walk around looking any more feminine without nasty comments or an ass kicking or ten), I know I'm definitely not attracted to cis men but potentially everyone else. But I don't know if non-binary or genderqueer fits better, I don't know if pansexual or demisexual fits better.

Last night I head over to my friend's apartment to sleep over, and we're all really excited for the day, they're all saying how happy they are for me and how I can finally let go and be free of all these constructs that plague me for so long.

I barely sleep. I have an anxiety attack lasting several hours, agonizing over what I have to do to be accepted by this community I know almost nothing about. Am I sufficiently "queer?" Will they want me around? Will they accuse me of being a straight man in denial because I really hate penises, especially my own, and view masculine features with distinct disgust? Why would they want me around? I'm not enough. I don't dress outrageously, I'm not extroverted, I hate myself so vividly that the idea of doing anything other than trying to hide in the background is terrifying to me. I don't want to have sex with anyone for a long time and I don't even know who I'd have sex with if I could. I don't know any of this.

And so at six in the morning, after several hours of this and quietly sobbing on my friend's couch, I wake her up, tell her i'm leaving, and do so, driving back to my place and passing out on the couch, sleeping for most of the day.

She is, understandably, completely baffled. Weren't you excited for this? Didn't you want to have fun? So I send a long rant explaining that I know I won't be accepted by the community, that I don't get to belong, that I'm not enough, and besides, introverts aren't allowed. It's mostly incoherent because I've been alternating between sleeping and panicking for the past day.

She says in response that Pride is for everyone and I don't have to prove anything to anyone aside from myself, and says she loves me, and that's the end of it. She goes off and parties and is probably having a fun time because she is queer enough and I am not. And she hasn't been an asshole about this or rubbed it in my face, I'm just angrily watching her Instagram story in her very striking makeup and her costume and dancing with strangers and drinking herself silly and doing every drug in creation and hating myself for being too chickenshit to do the same thing.

I have a giant chip on my shoulder historically, and I've done everything in my power to alienate people because I think that if they don't already hate me, they should. I don't believe I deserve to be loved, and I've been tryin to work on that, but I'm very good at rejecting open offers, I'm good at pushing people away. I isolate myself and make myself lonely. I hate myself so much.

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Re: Not going to pride because I'm not sufficiently "queer" [rant]

Post by Enail on Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:51 pm

The first Pride event I ever went to, I was just baaarely starting to be out, and my (straight) older sister brought me to a friend's Pride party; I huddled in the corner the whole time terrified someone would ask me to justify why I was there but also bright red with embarrassment at the thought that they might know why I was there, while loud music blared something about homos and fags -  words I'd only ever heard before as serious insults - intimidated and awkward and feeling like I'd made some horrible mistake.  When I first decided I wanted to be generally out to the world, I bought myself a small rainbow necklace and started wearing it all the time and assumed that was all I needed to do, and then was confused and frustrated when no one seemed to know I was gay, and alarmed and embarrassed when anyone did recognize and ask about it. Panicked and awkward is a pretty traditional part of the coming-out experience! Wink

I can't promise you'll never encounter any kind of prejudice or unwelcoming treatment at Pride events, because unfortunately there is still discrimination and gatekeeping even within the queer community. But you're enough to be there, you're allowed to be there, and I hope that someday when you're ready you'll go and get to experience it as welcoming and feel what it's like to be around lots of other not-straight/not-cis people, because I think it can be a really powerful experience and you might find it helpful in terms of figuring out yourself and where you belong, even if the loudly sexual, extrovert vibe that does tend to dominate Pride is not your thing (it's not really mine either, and honestly, most of the events aren't to my taste, these days I just enjoy walking around soaking up the atmosphere)

If it helps, there's no bar of queerness people have to reach to be welcome at Pride. Unless it's a specific event that's explicitly for people who identify a particular way, generally everyone's invited - people who aren't sure where in the umbrella they fall, people who are questioning but not totally sure they belong (the second Q in the acronym is for Questioning!) and people who are totally straight, cis, allosexual etc but want to support and celebrate their queer friends.  These days, a lot of Prides get actual tourists who are just there to see the spectacle. If you wouldn't feel comfortable going as 'officially queer' now (or ever), you can just decide to go as an ally, and get used to that, see how it feels before deciding to go as a queer person of whatever sort.

Or, if you don't want to dive right into the deep end, another thing you could do would be just go for brunch or dinner in your local gaybourhood while Pride is going on, a smaller and lower-key "mission" that might let you get some of the feel without having to go right in there and be "queer enough," you're just eating brunch, anyone can eat brunch, right? Or if this Pride isn't the right time for you to start, maybe just make some forays at other times to other queer events that welcome questioning people and allies if that'd make you more comfortable, to the local queer bookstore if you have one, to a queer movie night, etc. Pride's not your one-and-only chance to have some kind of awakening or community, there'll be other events, including introvert-friendlier ones.

I'm glad your friend is being supportive and understanding! Give yourself time, you'll get there at your own pace. And happy Pride, whether you go or not, it's for you, too!
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Re: Not going to pride because I'm not sufficiently "queer" [rant]

Post by Hielario on Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:04 am

Glides...you aren't an aggressive person, right?

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Re: Not going to pride because I'm not sufficiently "queer" [rant]

Post by Glides on Tue Oct 16, 2018 12:36 pm

i went to pride.

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Re: Not going to pride because I'm not sufficiently "queer" [rant]

Post by Enail on Tue Oct 16, 2018 1:41 pm

Woo! Way to go! How was it?
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Re: Not going to pride because I'm not sufficiently "queer" [rant]

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