Steven Oates’ blood boils as dating-app dialect disrespects our Queens.
I’ve noticed a growing trend in gay hook up apps for profiles to state quite blatantly ‘no fems or queens’. Now don’t get me wrong I have no problem with men seeking masculine men or ‘straight acting’ if you wish to call it by that ridiculous yet popular term. However I cannot help but feel the underlying subtext in ‘no fems or queens’ is that femininity is not only undesirable but intrinsically bad.
I find these femphobic/transphobic profiles even more distasteful than the vile no Asians/no Indians profiles when taking into account our GLBTI history. Most major milestones in our march to freedom have been championed by those willing to put themselves on the line in the name of justice and freedom. The riot in The Comptons Cafeteria in August 1966 was not started nor led by a bunch of ‘straight acting’ gay men, it was a bunch of fierce and fearless Queens who had had enough of police harassment and injustice and turned the place upside down in protest.
A similar story is told of the Stonewall riots in 1969, although there is some debate as to whether it was a Queen or a Lesbian who threw the first brick which started several days of rioting and ignited the spark that was to become the international gay rights movement. Nowhere does the legend ever mention the straight acting, on the down-low guy, throwing the first brick or taking on the cops. Around the world it has been the Queens and the Lesbians at the forefront of social and political change.
Some gay men seem to have amazingly short memories to have forgotten what prejudice feels like. I mean if you remember what if feels like to be put down for being who you are, why would you put down others for simply being who they are?
Maybe a Queens’s fierceness comes from the fact that every time she steps out of the house it is a political act. Simply existing takes more courage than it does for an undercover brother who can walk down the street totally stealth and not have to deal with heteronormative attitudes on a daily basis if he doesn’t choose to.
Next time you see someone on Grindr stating ‘no Queens’ maybe you might like to remind him that the reason he isn’t in jail, isn’t beaten up, can get married, can’t be discriminated against in housing or employment and has gay apps like Grindr is probably because somewhere along the way a bunch of Queens stood up for all of us and said ‘enough is enough’.
Article | Steven Oates