Caring About The Queer Stuff

I have had some friends tell me that this queer stuff isn’t so important to them, and with some friends it’s when they don’t tell me anything about queer issues and that’s how I know it isn’t important to them.

Well, in general, some say that one should focus on their own thing because no one will do anyone else’s dirty work for them.  I guess that’s a big gulp to gulp for me because I’m a social work student and I take great pride and joy in wanting to help people and help myself.

Recently when I’ve been noticing those people that don’t seem to care much about queer issues, I’ve been thinking about the recent media blitz about queer people committing suicide (which we know is nothing new) and how they are managing to turn a blind eye.  I understand if queer people themselves are worn out and “turning a blind eye” for self-care reasons, but I don’t get how straight people are not noticing this media blitz.

However, regardless of that whole spiel, Tyler Clementi’s suicide was perhaps instigated by his roommate’s insensitivity toward his need to privacy with his same-sex partner.  Clementi’s roommate, Dharun Ravi, also seemed to be mocking Clementi’s sexual behavior.  (Yet An Other Bullying and Gays And The Internet).

Anyway, usually my first instinct is to defend desis because we are made to seem like these backwards, conservative heathens all the time.  But when I first heard that the roommate was a desi it was like all the homophobic desi men I know, in other words, pretty much all the desi men I know, flashed before my eyes.  And I was furious.

After the recent suicides, I can’t believe I still have friends, especially desi friends, who are still calling their friends “fag” ie. further enforcing queerphobia, and saying they basically don’t care about queer issues.  It hurts my heart.  I know I couldn’t find it in my heart to say I don’t care about my friends or their struggles, so how are they doing this to me, my friends and our struggles?  I don’t understand it.

And then people have the nerve to start releasing “it doesn’t get better” youtube videos to raise awareness about the issues within the queer community.  Now you all know that I’m all about raising awareness about these issues, but not when we are trying to keep our youth alive!

So to people who are questioning the importance of queer politics, queer marriage rights, queer financial stability, queer rights in the military, queer experiences in education and academia, queer experiences in the workforce, queer homelessness and youth… educate yourself and make sure you are doing no harm.

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Anurag is a queer, feminist, social worker-to-be. Currently residing in the cornfields of Illinois.  Fierce, emotional and reclaiming the brown-ness. 

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