While I'm trying to fight for marriage equality and do my best to convince the misinformed that this dyke is a hard-working, tax-paying, law-abiding, community-oriented person who deserves rights just like them, there are a few queers out there who are really doing the rest of us a disservice by deliberately acting in an obnoxious and entitled fashion and then specifically attributing their behavior to the fact that they're queer.
Now, I definitely understand that, like any group, we have people among us who might not be shining stars. And we should definitely embrace diversity within our community, just as we expect people to embrace our community in the larger community. But in the case of a few folks, I have a request: Can you please either stop being obnoxious or stop being queer?
A couple of examples I've come across lately: First, the polyamorous and BDSM folks who identify as queer, which is fine, but who talk about their sex lives in inappropriate situations and then say they've been discriminated against for identifying as queer. Secondly, the people whose dress and grooming are extreme to the point that they can't get a job or are frequently in trouble with their employer, and who then say they're being discriminated against for being queer.
I've recently spoken with someone who thinks that identifying as polyamorous deserves the same protections as identifying as gay or lesbian and who is outraged that there are allegedly "no rights" for polyamorous folks. In terms of rights be polyamorous, this person has full rights to do so, just as I have full rights to be a lesbian. I don't see a disparity.
However, what this person is talking about is that if I'm able to discuss my partner at work and have her listed in my human resources file as my next-of-kin, then this person should have the same rights in terms of having a sir and a daddy and a slave. (For the sake of privacy, I've combined the relationship constellations of a couple of people I've talked to with similar views.) Another person I've talked to has reported being "discriminated against" for discussing their poly situation at work. Like, during meetings and such. Uh, because you were discussing your sex life at work.
Do they really not get the distinction? I don't discuss at work whether I have sex with my partner. My identity and family life and legal status have something to do with the gender of my partner, but are not based upon our sex life. These people shouldn't be free to refer to someone as "my master" in the workplace any more than any straight or gay or lesbian person should refer to a partner as "the person I have sex with." The fundamentalists already think that all queer people do is have sex and don't realize that we also have families and finances and legal issues that need protecting. They're really going to keep thinking that if people who believe it's appropriate to talk about their sex lives all the time insist on passing that off as "because I'm queer."
One poly person I know is also extremely offended that there is no talk of legal protections, next-of-kin status, or marriage rights for three-way or four-way (or more) relationships. Which, again, it's fine that people want to engage in these relationships, and I would speak out against discrimination toward folks for either being suspected of being poly or arising in situations like healthcare where it is appropriate to disclose one's sex life. But please, while we queers who do not discuss our sex lives in inappropriate situations are fighting for marriage equality, would you people who staunchly believe you have a right to a three-way marriage kindly stop identifying yourself as queer for a bit?
I've also spoken with some people, one in particular who stands out, whose dress and groom is very atypical and who then state that they're being discriminated against because they're queer. Don't get me wrong, I think that people should be able to wear anything they want in the community, and I'm a definite believer in workplaces having gender-neutral dress codes. But the people I'm talking about have described (and one has shown me several pictures of) clothing that is clearly inappropriate for their type of work, and then have tried to claim that they're being discriminated against because they present as queer.
One woman I know identifies as female-oriented and high femme, and wears evening gowns and wigs and corsets and fishnets and super-high heels to work. She works somewhere where jeans are perfectly acceptable and where the dress code is definitely casual. She insists that she can't wear any of the things others there wear, because she would be going against her feminine identity. She has said she couldn't wear a regular skirt and sweater and pearls or something, because that doesn't work with the way she expresses her femininity. She talks about having gotten in trouble at several jobs and about her coworkers feeling uncomfortable around her, yet she won't take any responsibility for her part in this, insisting it's discrimination because she's same-sex oriented and femme identified.
How can this person possibly think she's being discriminated against because of her gender identify and sexual orientation? She's clearly dressing in a way that's inappropriate for where she works and makes coworkers and the public uncomfortable, and she is unwilling to dress in a way that still expresses a femme identity while being appropriate. This is like if I came to work in a football uniform or a tuxedo and then tried to pass it off as being an expression of butch identity. No wonder people think queers want "special rights."