A Public Service Announcement to the Straight World

Dear straight people,

Please stop outting your LGBTQ friends to prove your “tots down with the gheyz” cred.

Referring to a friend by name and appending, “my lesbian friend” or “she’s bisexual, you know” is outting.

Discussing someone’s gender transition is outting. Do not say things like “I knew him when he still went by Jessica.” Or “I was really there for her during her transition. You know she’s trans, right?” That’s outting.

And most definitely, without a question, NEVER OUT YOUR QUEER FRIENDS IN A PUBLIC FORUM without explicit permission from the person concerned. Even if you’re doing it to “help”, whatever that means to you.

Have I had some recent ridiculous experiences from people who “just wanted to help”? YES.

What for you is showing that you are down with the cause, is for us endangering our housing, employability, our family relationships, and even our personal safety. What for you is a casual click on the “Forward” button or an interesting conversation-starter is the stuff of our lives, and can have actual consequences in a transphobic and homophobic society. Hell, in many parts of America it is still legal to discriminate based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity, for chrissake! Hate crimes happen in the most liberal of cities. Queers aren’t safe anywhere, and the decision whether to be “out” or not must be left to us to decide, based on our own assessment of each situation.

It is not our responsibility to be always out, loud and proud, to educate you, your hater friends, or general haters-at-large. By forcing the additional burden of always explaining and educating upon us, you actually further marginalize us. No, I do not want to be a fun little lesson for your friend who is skeptical of my basic human worth and dignity. I do not want to educate your homophobic father about why I deserve basic human rights, while at the same time weathering his insulting questions.

Here’s a thought: if you want to be an ally to the LGBTQetc community, respect our autonomy and decision-making. Respect our privacy. Trouble yourself to explain to your friends and relatives why treating human beings as human beings is morally, ethically right, because you believe it is. Listen to what queers want. Ask permission, respectfully. Have a goddamn backbone. Put yourself out there, instead of hanging your queer friends out to dry.

The Czech, very pissed off

2 thoughts on “A Public Service Announcement to the Straight World

  1. I know I’ve said some foolish things before, and although I don’t think that would have ever caused much grief, this sounds like something on another level, and I’m sorry to hear about such disrespect. Don’t let them get you down.

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