There is a meme that floats across my newsfeed, from time to time, that reads “It shouldn’t be called ‘queerphobia.’ You’re not afraid. You’re an asshole.”
But, listen, they *are* afraid of queer people.
And they should be.
Our queerness is a threat to their power.
Our queerness exists outside their gender, their sexuality, their masculinity and their femininity. Our queerness exists outside their boxes, their labels, and their divisions.
Why wouldn’t that scare the beneficiaries of systems of power and oppression?
If gender isn’t static and prescribed, how will men rationalize maintaining control over women’s minds and bodies? If same sex couples are permitted to exist, how will men convince women that childrearing, cooking, and cleaning are exclusively women’s responsibilities?
If gender and sexuality are fluid and malleable, why isn’t race? If race is nonbinary, how will Whites know who to provide material wealth, education, and opportunities? How will the justice system decide who to incarcerate for nonviolent crimes? How will police know who can be murdered at routine traffic stops?
Our queerness calls into question the reality of their divisions, simply by existing outside them.
Our queerness — our ability to exist as man, woman, male, female, trans, gender fluid, bisexual, pansexual, gay, lesbian, both, neither, and all; and to see that these identities are not mutually exclusive — shakes the very foundations of the binary thinking necessary to maintain their divisions of oppressor and oppressed.
Our queerness is powerful, and it’s dismantling the assumptions upon which their privilege is built.
And they should be scared.