It was Cosima Niehaus, the queer clone featured in mega-hit Orphan Black who deserves the award for best-ever response to the age-old ‘you are gay’, statement. The science girl with dreadlocks responded to co-clone Rachel Duncan with a simple “My sexuality is not the most interesting thing about me.” And while we queer ladies try to survive in the cold world, that might be one of the most important stances to take on our sexuality: it only is a part of us.
I live my life out and proud. That is to say, the people that matter to me, and to whom this matters, know I identify as a gay woman. But there are many people in my life who do not have any idea. But these are also the same people who do not know my favourite colour is orange, and my favourite villain is Magneto. They do not have any idea of my hatred for the combination of sweet and savoury food, and other than my relatively prominent love hips, they have no idea about my addiction to chocolate and peanut butter.
In schools, at the workplace and in families, acceptance of LGBTQ+ people and their sexuality or gender identity is of vital importance. But just like a straight person’s sexuality, whether the person in question is single or in a relationship, is not the most important thing about them, neither is a queer person’s sexuality. In the same way that the difference between a man or a woman should not make a difference on the work place (though it often still does), it should not matter if a person identifies as agender, genderqueer or anything else than cis.
As much as we should be proud of our sexuality, as much as we should celebrate it, and as much as we should be able to show it, there is absolutely no need to make it our main character trait. If people do not know about your partner, there is no need for them per se to know about your sexuality. I am in no way saying that we should hide our sexuality. But in the same way people who are comfortable with homosexuality should not make it too big a deal, neither should we.
In order to get rid of the taboo surrounding sexuality, it is important for society to see it as it is: a thing about us. ONE line on our dating profile. ONE of our amazing character traits. Our sexuality should not determine who we are as a person, but it should be one of the many things that have played a role in becoming who we are.
The queer community is diverse, talented, intelligent and well-spoken. Society makes a great deal about sexuality and gender identity, but we know we are so much more than that. We should not be defined by our sexuality (unless an individual wants to), or in some cultures limited by it. To quote bisexual Youtuber RJ Aguiar: “It ain’t non of ya god damn business.” Unless you ask me, unless it is of importance to you, or unless I really want to tell you, you need information about my sexuality about as much as a fish needs a tricycle.
By Bauke Schram