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I’m thinking about the idea that queer people, before they come out or are outed, are deceptive. It’s the idea that people hide their queerness with a front of heterosexuality, and constitute some desperate and threatening presence amidst innocent heterosexual society. It’s a society to which heterosexuality is supposedly owed, and for which queerness constitutes something surprising and aberrative, and certainly something everyone should know about.

But being who you are is not inherently deceptive, whether other people have knowledge of it or not. Heterosexuality is routinely assumed by default until stated or “proven” otherwise. That’s an assumption off the back of which figuring queerness as deceptive is rather unfair. And, hey, some people do actively put up a front of heterosexuality, which is no great sin in a society that can be hostile, violent, and deadly towards people who are attracted, or are perceived to be attracted, to those of the same gender.

It’s also hard to be deceptive when you’re confused or in denial about your sexuality, or just haven’t properly figured it out yet. The world acts to deceive people about own their sexuality by not giving them the tools to realise or feel okay about who they are. If you’re presented with heterosexuality as the only, or the only acceptable, possibility, it’s a pretty lonely and confusing road.

Who’s really deceptive? The deceptive ones are those people who say they’re okay with gay and then get distant or hostile once they’re aware that someone they know is queer. What’s deceptive is parents telling their kids they love them, that they have a secure home, and then kicking them out when the come out. No one is entitled to heterosexual friends or family. Anyone who assumes heterosexuality by default is deceiving themselves.

No one owes it to anyone to be heterosexual, or to give out the information that they are not. Existence is not deceptive. Denying, trying to preclude, the possibility of that existence is worse than deceptive.