Months ago, I decided to declare this National Mind Your Own Business Day, because I disliked the assumption that the most effective form of human rights advocacy involves not just sharing information about my own private life, but also opening the door to speculation on the people who have been part of my life over the years, and who may not choose to share on their own.
Today, I’m torn. I still believe that my private life is just that. But I’ve also been convinced by a friend, a person whose willingness to put herself under the microscope in her own advocacy work impresses and awes me every single day, that there is an element of cowardice in this position. It’s very easy to ‘come out’ as a straight ally; it’s a political statement, with very few personal risks attached (unless, of course, one works in a religious organisation which frowns on that sort of thing). It’s very easy to ‘come out’ as someone with a queer friend or family member–because it’s not actually you that you’re outing. It’s easy for me, a cis-presenting woman in a partnership with a cis-presenting man, to talk about queer rights as human rights and my bedroom as nobody else’s business and rack up Good Liberal points without taking personal risk.
Today, with the amount of attention that’s being focused on the number of queer teens who are driven to suicide, that deliberate silence feels unacceptable. Immoral.
So, yes, to anyone who’s ever wondered, and anyone who’s right now trying to figure out why it never occurred to them to wonder, the answer is: yes. Yes, I am queer. Yes, when I talk about queer rights and human rights I am talking about my rights. I am talking about making a world where the terrified, confused, fifteen-year-old me might have been able to imagine possibilities for herself other than the ones she ended up with. I am talking about making a world where my current partnership can be celebrated as a partnership between two people who chose each other out of all the other people in the world and not just out of the 50% of people in the world that were available for them to choose.
And, yes, when you say something nasty about ‘those people’, you are saying something nasty about me. And I heard you, every single time.
The rest of it is still none of your business.