So last week I told my therapist about realizing I am bisexual and going to lesbian meetups to test the waters. She seemed happy for me and said I looked more relaxed than I had seemed in a long while (and she has known me for over fifteen years). I mentioned that I feel a bit like an imposter, taking on an identity in a time and place where it is safe to, reaping the advantages that others have fought and suffered for, without having done any of the work myself beyond being a fairly passive ally.
She pointed out that women today reap the advantages of being able to vote, work, wear whatever clothes we want and define ourselves without having to adhere to someone else’s will or standards because women a hundred years ago and fifty years ago fought for that. We didn’t march with them or chain ourselves to courthouse stairs. We didn’t earn those advantages. But that doesn’t mean we don’t deserve to have them.
I suppose the key with things like LGBTQ+ equality is the same as with feminism. Many young women today think we are living in a post-feminist world, even when women are still making 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, etc. There is still work to do and just as I try to find ways to include feminist thinking, and increasingly environmentally ethical thinking, in my teaching and writing and buying practices, so too I have to continue and expand these things for issues in the queer community, especially as we have been seeing the backlash against the 2015 Supreme Court ruling on gay marriage. As Gandalf would say, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”