It’s Not All Rainbows and Gender Equality in Queerlandia

By entering the queer community, I thought I had found a haven from misogyny. Most of us were feminists and especially in the case of queer women, no one seemed to police each other – at least not at first glance.

I was looking forward to reinventing and redefining my identity. Previously, I had assumed that I had to wait around for guys to make the first move, but since all the rules of heteronormativity were now off the table, I took a more active role in initiating relationships.

The novelty of pursuing girls was thrilling to me.

The first woman I had a crush on was pretty much femme catnip as far as bois go. She had a thing for leather jackets and nice cologne. Veering even more into cliche, she fancied herself an amateur poet and frequently wrote about girls who had broken her heart.

One time, she gave me a fake rose, and I felt like I would melt into the floor. It initially felt like the cheesy high school romance I never had.

I was infatuated with her for months, even though I could never work up the nerve to do anything about it. Nonetheless, I was a shameless flirt, and I enjoyed affirming other women’s beauty and wit, whether I had romantic motives or not.

But my rosy experience was soon dulled by the surprising amount of bias I uncovered within the queer community.

Within a year, I realized that I was mostly attracted to masculine of center or androgynous folks, but I couldn’t help but notice that the people I connected with always seemed todabble in misogyny or biphobia.

My attraction to my first queer crush went downhill when I excitedly tried to explain pansexuality to her, thinking that I may have finally stumbled upon my identity. She responded that it “sounded like bullshit” – hence invalidating my sexual identity and the language I chose to discuss it – and that was the end of that discussion.

Another incident involved a trans guy that I was talking to online. I offhandedly mentioned that I was going to cut my hair, prompting immediate protests from him. He preferred long hair on women.