I'm sitting, sipping my first latte of the morning, engaged in my routine choreography. A pas de deux if you will between myself, my laptop and my cell phone. Come to think of it that is actually a pas de trois. Anyway, I have Instagram in my right hand, Buzzfeed on my lap and in between sips of M Street's organic house blend I'm noticing a trend; a trend that while not quite as confusing to me as Jeggings, is I believe still more than worthy of a discussion. It appears that under the Usher-ing of the pied pipers of the Istagood generation; Millennials are lackadaisically Coming Out as Queer. Leaving some of us undergoing our second incarnation of acid-wash denim a little perplexed.
Allow me to clarify, I love the word Queer. Love it! I want to take a Jacuzzi with it and then make it a sandwich. The word Queer is everything that is right in the ongoing dialogue of this socio-political climate. By my non-defined, definition; the word queer is a warm and fuzzy blanket enveloping those that live outside the social majority, be it by their personal preferences, values, social mores or ideological belief systems. A much kinder and more forgiving interpretation of the word than the one put to use in the 19th Century. But... Oh come on, you had to know there was a but coming. I am not without questions, such as: Without a specific label like Gay or Bi, are they really Coming Out? That being said, has the process of Coming Out become antiquated in contemporary society? What does Queer actually mean in our modern culture? Or does it not mean anything specific at all and is that actually the point in itself?
Latte number two in hand, I find I'm bombarded by endless #hashtags. #sexualityisfluid, #iamwhatiam, #queerlove, #whatsthebigdeal? It is possible that these mavericks are simply in line with what the LGBT community has been crying out for years. Who we do and don't have sex with really doesn't matter in the landscape of humanity! So, why then should it be important for these young queers to claim a sexual preference, to mark a box enabling them to Come Out? Honestly, I find it challenging not to join the #whogivesaf... crowd. As a forward thinking member of our generation, I am fatigued! I did the marriage equality debate...Did it! I did it so hard that I'm chafed! The world has so much going on that this should be a non-issue already. Regrettably, there is still an enormous, gaping chasm between what should be our reality and what actually is!
Living in Los Angeles or Los Ange-left we are privileged to be surrounded by like-minded Left-ians. It is easy to find ourselves unconsciously rejecting the ugly realities that don't directly pertain to our immediate circumstances. Unfortunately in the Right-wing of the nation liberty is awarded, yet often marred by bias and prejudice. People like you and I are facing blatant outpourings of hate on a minute by minute basis. Believe it or not, it was only one hundred and forty-seven days ago that the right to marry didn't pertain to approximately four percent of the nation! Sure, in the city of West Hollywood, laws are in place requiring all single-stall restrooms in businesses and public areas to be gender-neutral. However, as recently as ten days ago, twelve-year-old Roxy Castro of Dallas, Texas was forbidden to use the girls bathroom at her school because the anatomy she was assigned at birth conflicts with her gender identification.
The struggle is real and it's far from over. In a perfect world, hate would not exist and I would be happy to keep my mouth shut and swing gayly on a hammock in Costa Rica, but we are just not there yet. Every single millennial coming out as Queer who possesses a lackadaisical who cares attitude can do so because of the courage, bravery and tenacity of previous generations of the LGBTQ community, the OG's. Now I'm not about to get on my proverbial soap box to lecture anyone about respecting their elders because frankly, I'm nobody's mother. It's up to us as members of the community, be it Lesbian, Gay, Bi, Trans or Queer, to hold ourselves accountable and understand the crucial parts that we play in history.
In the end I believe it all comes down to compassion and a social awareness beyond Snapchat or Twitter. If your choice is to identify as Queer and reject specific labels, great, hands up friend, I'm giving you a virtual high five. I don't need to know who or what you are doing in your bedroom and neither does anyone else. I don't think that it is anywhere near as import to participate in the ritual of Coming Out as it is to have a strong, positive voice and opinion. Being Queer does mean something, It means you are not afraid to be yourself, and love yourself. It also means it's your responsibility to express that at every opportunity you get and that is the big deal.