Friday, 23 September 2011

I am tired of having this conversation but my temper is snapping

I am not queer. I am a gay man. A click on the About Me tab up there takes you to a post about my labels and identity. It's abundantly clear and starkly clear. I've tried to make this as clear as possible without enraging the folks who demand I identify by their label not mine.

So let me be really bloody clear about this. To me that word is a slur and it's a trigger. Not a “oh that makes me uncomfortable” spork. No, a whole load of mental illness and pain causing trigger that often leads to me opening my handy-dandy pill bottle. It's an instant trip to under-threat land. It is not some minor thing I can just get over, it's not something that can be readily dismissed

And I hate dealing with it, enough that I will just take absences just because there's too much of the word around and it's bringing me down. When you use the word as a generic, I'll skip past it, try not to read it, cringe and push into my mind whatever you're referring to doesn't include me, I've found it's the best way to try and deal with this. It's in common useage which means common pain but that's on me to deal with however I can. If you use it to self-reference, it doesn't apply to me anyway which makes it easier to handle.

There's no difficult, painful get around for when you apply it straight to me. Then it's a slur and it just hurts. And I'm beyond tired of explaining this – and even further tired of people denying this, denying that it can be possible, denying me feeling this way. I cannot make it clearer – do not call me it, it triggers me and if you call me it after having ample chance to know better – and especially after I tell you not to – then you are using a slur against me.

For people within the community – that's unacceptable, you don't get to force your reclamation on me – and don't get to police my identity to suit your idea of who I should be and what I should identify with.

For straight, cis people – you can't reclaim a slur that can't be used against you, calling me it after I've told you what it means to me is beyond unacceptable – and I refuse to endure it.

Now please stop. Honestly, I'm tired of having to fight over every little basic request.