Just as the issue of what cis white gay men can to to help the trans community rather than be a stumbling block has come up for me I find others addressing it. I recently reblogged a piece on the topic and posted two videos dealing with the issue. Now Everyday Feminism has published this piece by Maddie McClouskey. Here’s the inroduction, continue reading by following the link at the bottom of this post:
Let’s get this out of the way right now: I am a white cisgender gay woman, and I love gay men. I don’t claim to know what it’s like to be a gay man, nor do I intend to speak for all queer people.
My experience as a gay woman was largely shaped by gay men, and I want to pay it forward.
Now, when I came out as a lesbian, a family member questioned whether or not it was a “Phase,” which seems like a stock response at this point.
However, he supported his hypothesis by saying that only gay men can truly know that they’re gay, because that means that they’ve been penetrated by a penis and liked it. His words, not mine.
Basically, his logic was that a woman can only know her orientation after she has had sex with a man.
Did I mention that this entire conversation took place at a gay bar? It’s called The Brass Rail. You can guess their target demographic.
I couldn’t put it into words back then, but now I understand how patriarchy played a large part in that family member’s fallacy (and phallus-y)-riddled logic. He was questioning the legitimacy of my identity not because it was a gay identity, but because I was claiming it as a youngwoman.
I used to wish I were a gay guy all the time, because I thought that gay men have it easier than gay women.
Now that I’m older and not currently crying outside of a gay bar surrounded by metal penises, I think my former envy of gay men stems from the fact that gay men are treated with male privilege that I will never have as a woman.
Even though white cis gay men are marginalized in society due to being gay, they still have male privilege, white privilege, and cis privilege.
This doesn’t mean that white cis men are born evil or that they don’t work hard to succeed. Societal privilege just means that people born with certain traits are given more access to opportunities to work hard and then succeed.
White cisgender gay men have access to leadership positions, higher pay than women and people of color, more media representation than any other group of LGBTQIA+ people, and the kind of implicit trust from strangers that societal privilege can afford.
If you’re a white, cisgender gay man, you have a vast amount of access, visibility, and power, even though you are a queer person in a homophobic society.
So here are three ways gay men can use their societal power to benefit less-privileged members of the LGBTQIA+ community:
Continue reading here at Everyday Feminism: http://everydayfeminism.com/2015/10/white-cis-gay-men-lgbtqia-mvmt/