Activism? Not for me …

Gay Pride Flag

I apologise in advance – this isn’t exactly a “fun” post, but it’s something I’ve had rolling around in my head for a wee while – much like when I wrote about my take on gender identity a few months ago. I’ve not really been up to much lately, save for being back at uni (human rights and employment law, woo!), so I figured that now was a good opportunity to get this “off my chest”, so to speak.

I’m just going to come out (haha! #puns) and say it – I feel like a “bad gay”.

Let me explain.

I’ve been nothing but gay all my life. Sure, I’ve kissed men before, but yeah – me = super gay. I like women – always have, and I always will. I am out about my sexuality in every area of my life – save for a couple of relatives, my family know; my work colleagues know; my friends from uni know – I don’t make a point of covering it up. If it’s party to a conversation, I’ll happily tell people that I’ve got a girlfriend, and that she’s wonderful, and that I love her – and if further clarification is required, I’ll give people a label: usually just “gay”. And that’s pretty much the end of it for me.

Google at World Pride London 2012

I feel like there’s so much queer stuff going on, and I feel detached from it a lot of the time. I suppose this really hit me when we were in London for World Pride. As Carley and I watched the Pride March, I just had such a feeling of inadequacy. All these people getting involved, and standing up for what they believe in. I don’t want to sound bitter or ungrateful, but I feel like a “bad gay” because I don’t have “a thing”.

There are people that I am aware of via Carley (ie they are her friends, not mine), and they are super political – always at rallies and marches, always campaigning about “big, gay issues” or issues related to their student lives. I think to myself, “Maybe I should go hang outside the Scottish Parliament and let them know that there should be marriage equality legislation?”, but I’ll be perfectly honest: I don’t want to.

I would consider myself a political individual – I take voting seriously, I respond to the governments’ consultations on issues that affect me (marriage equality, to name an obvious one), I get pissed off about Theresa May’s vendetta against human rights, and Jeremy Hunt’s idiotic statements about abortion. But actually physically campaigning? I’ll pass.

Equal Marriage March Edinburgh February 2012

I then look to our fellow bloggers (and seriously, guys, you’re all fabulous – please don’t take this rant personally!), and everyone seems to have something that they are really passionate about – Wegan have their femme invisibility campaign, and the girls over at Waking Up With Her are pushing their bi-confident message, to give a couple of examples.

I think both of these things are great – particularly the issue of bi-phobia. I’ll admit right now that I used to be a bit of an arse towards my bisexual/sexually fluid friends – Carley included. I used to stick my smug face on because I’m the “most gay”, as I’ve never slept with a man, and I know now that’s just bollocks. I really was a total dick about it – in hindsight, it was just needless points scoring. I can’t really relate to either of these campaigns though – I’m not “femme” by a long shot, and obviously, I’m not bisexual and don’t face any of the issues or stereotypes that some bisexual people experience.

Edinburgh Pride 2011

I’m just Stacey; a girl who loves another girl – I don’t need to add anything to it. I think my problem is that subconsciously, I feel like I’m just letting everyone else do the hard work. LGBTetc Rights still have a long way to go, across the world – I’m lucky that I live in a progressive, liberal country that does (or, in some cases, soon will) afford me equal rights. Maybe I should get my finger out and do something about it, if I feel so down about this whole thing. Or maybe I’m doing enough just by being openly gay and not hiding myself? I don’t know – I feel conflicted.

I’m going to be a lawyer one day. I want to say that I’m doing it so I can argue human rights cases at the court in Strasbourg and ensure that us gays keep our rights, but that’s only half true. Yes, that’s probably my favourite area of law, and it’s ideally what I’d like to see myself practicing in however many years, but I’m doing this course because I think I’ll be a good lawyer, and I have a passion for politico-legal issues. That’s all there is to it.

European Court of Human Rights, Strasbourg

I know this has been a big, long post from me on my soap box, but like I said, this has been niggling at me for a while now. What about people who are gay, but without a specific message? Are we less important because we’re not out marching with placards, or slogans on our t-shirts? It’s a hard one, because I don’t think I’ve fully formed my ideas and thoughts on this issue – I’m struggling to come to a conclusion of any sort.

And I think on that note, I’ll leave it there. Thanks for reading, if you made it this far! If anyone has any thoughts on anything I’ve mentioned here, please let me know – even if you just want to tell me to stop moping and being an idiot(!)

Cheers,
Stace

By way of disclaimer, this is not meant to cause any offence to any individuals mentioned in this post. I have the utmost respect for all of the people and campaigns I’ve mentioned here, and I hope they are all understanding of the fact that I am not “having a go” at them, but that they are simply illustrative examples.

Stacey

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