Yesterday was IDAHOT, the International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia. Throughout these last couple of month I’ve been delving a lot into exploring and researching on discrimination within the lgbti+ community rather than towards.
It wasn’t more than 3 days ago that someone from the lgbti+ community told me that I’m “shaming the Gay Community” because of my position regarding the politicisation of lgbti+ community (specifically the gay community) in Malta. This also reminded me 2 years ago when someone who was also in the lgbti+ community as well called me a ‘slut’ because of who I went with. This wasn’t the fun ‘you’re such a slut’ in a way that implied a sense of disgust because of who I went with at the time and how I expressed myself about what I did while speaking with a few friends of mine. I stood up to the the persons each time and I am proud of who I am and what my perspective on life is either way. However, it still hurt, if not more, especially since it came from people who should understand what it means to be left out, to be put on the side, to be seen as different and not in a good way.
This is why, through time, I have learned that discrimination, prejudice and verbal violence, does not just come from the so-called heterosexual community but comes from one main thing, which is people in general. We are all capable of hurting others and discriminate against them, even if we claim to be ‘open’ and ‘inclusive’. This can come in different ways, being through excessive categorisation, excluding people who do not fit your prescribed boxes and even calling out someone as “disgusting”, a “shame to the community” or a “slut” simply because they do not express their identity in a similar way to the way you do. This is why IDAHOT should not just apply to reducing discrimination towards the queer community but should apply to everyone.
Being gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgender, gender non-binary asexual and so on does not absolve you from discriminating and hurting others. This is why I encourage you all: gay, straight, cisgender, transgender, all the in-betweens and all the beyonds, to reflect on your actions, be mindful of your them and respect everyone!
For those who feel like they have been ostracised by others, whoever those others are, just because of who you are, how sexually expressive you may or may not be, how you express your gender identity and what your views are, remember that the only wrong thing you can do is succumb to that ignorance and close yourself off. You are amazing and beautiful when you are your 100% you, irrelevant if others tell you that you have to think, act and express yourself in a particular way. So what if you get bored of ‘conventional’ sex? So what if you think the current the lgbti+ rights are being objectified as a political weapon?
Get out there and stand up, have fun, experience life as you wish to and most of all be as crazy, courageous and outrageous as your mind imagines. After all, the most important ‘like’ that matters is yours. With that said, you definitely have one ‘like’ coming from me. Be yourself, embrace your identity and shout. Don’t be afraid to speak up your views, you owe it to yourself to do so!