Everyday Feminism: 3 Ways White Cis Gay Men Can Do Better for the LGBTQIA+ Movement

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 . Here’s the inroduction, continue reading by following the link at the bottom of this post:

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Source: iStock via Everyday Feminism

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/

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About Fairy JerBear

A disabled, trans/agender fairy bear living in the American Southwest and passionate about social justice, the environment, Trans/ LGBTQIA+ equality and combating bullying.
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3 Responses to Everyday Feminism: 3 Ways White Cis Gay Men Can Do Better for the LGBTQIA+ Movement

  1. That was a very sobering yet also inspiring read, to see a non-trans lesbian journalist speaking up for so many diverse groups including trans – a hopeful contrast from the many radfem articles I have read on the subject. I am hesitant these days to even raise the words “cis privilege”, as I know how many resent that… though I suspect women (particularly those who have experiences sex-based oppression) have better reasons to resent that than the men Maddie McClouskey mentions here. “No fats, femmes, or Asians…” indeed. The mere thought that anyone would actually want to state that on their dating profile takes its toll of my faith in human nature.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sadly the not fats of femmes thing has been going on for ages. I remember seeing it in classified ads way back in the late ’80s. The race/ethnicity restrictions popped up sometimes as well. Now me, I adore femme Asian guys (you probably noticed from my K-Pop posts) and I’m a bit femme and chubby so naturally I resent this enormously! Sadly some gay men can get so picky they end up alone or in a string of one night stands. It’s no way to find a soulmate. My ex and I met when he volunteered for a street outreach program targeting, hustlers (rent boys), queer youth, gay/bi men cruising and injection drug users and female prostitutes. We were known as The Rubber Posse, Anyway, after becoming friends and exploring common interests (we were both Trekkies) we finally decided to ask the other about dating in a coincidental exchange of notes. I firmly believe in friendship first. Working in HIV/AIDS care and prevention for better that two decades really opened my eyes about how different factors made some people’s lives more challenging. The 2 people who really illustrated that were two African American Trans women I became friends with. They both had AIDS and they shared their stories of family rejection, inability to find a job so had to become sex workers to survive, substance use problems and on and on, when they died one ended up in a pauper’s grave when no family could be found and the other was placed in men’s clothes and misgendered in death. I never forgot those lessons and those and many more experiences fuel my activism. I don’t get people that are content to flaunt they’re privilege and live in their own limited worlds.

      Liked by 1 person

      • If I get misgendered in death, the responsible party had best be ready for an eerie transwoman in white to regularly apparate in their house, wail at night, spread ectoplasm about, and generally knock zeroes off the property value…

        I will remember that sad story for future reference, and I am again impressed (and thankful) that you have become such an advocate for everyone affected by these issues.

        And who but a soulless wretch doesn’t adore femme Asian guys? 😉

        Liked by 1 person

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