It is a topic I have touched upon many times before: my queerness. I have touched on it because it is a constant learning curve as the world around us evolves, or devolves, and how language changes. I have spoken about how my first exposure to queerness was very militant and how I felt outcast by it because I am a cisgendered male, but as time goes on, I use the term “queer” and awful lot more.
Why do I use the word? Well, because it’s an umbrella term primarily, but also because it levels everyone off. We are a community that is divided for the most part, only being united when it counts, but if all year long everyone jut call themselves “queer” then not matter your gender, or who you jump into bed with, or don’t as the case may be, we’re all just even more equal.
Recently, it was brought to my attention that at times I can be quite outspoken. This has perhaps been something that’s happened more recently as 2019 is less about bullshit, and more about just getting things done. I lost a fair few Instagram followers for commenting on Lady Gaga’s statement about just one of the sexual predators she worked with, and I also lost more commenting on RuPaul’s Drag Race Allstars and how none of the queens should have returned and based on some of the lip syncs there should have been more than one double sashay.
Why do people get so bent out of shape because of an opinion? Because at this moment in time, opinions mean a lot, and disagreeing with someone is taken to be so left field that they just would rather unfollow me than have a discussion. I did have a few discussions about both topics. I also has discussions about my queerness and about other people’s queerness.
I made quite a few jokes about the above image, and may have confused a few people joking about it being a promo shot from a TV series I was doing. I’m not doing a TV series, and I did apologise to those I confused, although the title and premise of the show was a killer. But anyway, this image is one of those ones that sparked conversations about my queerness.
I am queer. I am gay. I am cisgendered. These things are well established. I have my own views on the usage of slurs, including “faggot” and “puff”, and how they should also be adopted as making them positives. I find it a positive when they are used against me, because to give a word power over me is dangerous. I am 30 now, I have had 30 years to contend with all this garbage. I’ve nearly spent half my life dealing with being out of the closet.
One of the conversations was about if I present as “masc” or not, and honestly, I don’t have much of an idea about that. I am camp, no matter what. I can’t help that. The affectation of my voice gives me that camp vibe, the way I dress sometimes, my interests, the way I walk, is all camp, but what is “masc”? There are heterosexual people in this world who are also camp, and if you are to believe that “masc” means you have manly, heterosexual traits, then surely being a bit camp sometimes is also “masc”? And what does it matter anyway?
Well, it matters because again we give it power. As a community, we either lust after “masc” men because the idea is they can throw us around a room in the throes of passion, yet we discard those who would rather go to a football match than a stitch and bitch session. We can’t have it both ways, and as a camp man, let me tell you sometimes, sweetie, I can throw you around the room like a rag doll because whilst I may be chubby, and I may be camp, I still have strength. It doesn’t make me “masc” though.
You see, “masc” is a very toxic thing to say, and I don’t really like using the word “toxic” anymore since it was attached to everything that someone thinks is bad. If someone is negative, they’re just a negative person, they’re not toxic. And on the flip side of something like toxic masculinity, there has to be things such as toxic queerness. That exclusion from activities or groups because you are not 100% queer in everything you do; because you identify as cisgendered, or because you like to define yourself beyond the vague “queer” name.
During this conversation I said to the person, I just believe in letting my queer brothers and sisters just be who they want to be. If they want to knit in a cafe, make their life all about RuPaul’s Drag Race, go watch a football match, or whatever, they deserve to just be. It doesn’t make them anymore or less queer. At the end of the day, queer means strange, and what is stranger than seeing a queer watch a football match for the actual game not the men?
My queerness, is my queerness. It is gay, it is camp, it is a pink office, a bedazzled denim jacket with the word “PUFF” emblazoned on the back. My queerness is me. I am King and Kween.