As a queer person, I do live in fear. As do many queer people, so in this I know that I am not alone. There’s no telling what the reaction of any given person who looks at you on the street will be, will they perhaps give me a smile, or even a compliment? Or will they laugh, glare or shout abuse at me?
It’s like every interaction is a gamble, a 50/50 chance of positivity or negativity. A lot of the time it feels like the odds are against you, that almost everyone you meet eyes with looks down on you and doesn’t see you as equal. It’s draining to feel this fear every time you leave the house and walk the streets, to not feel safe in your own neighbourhood or where you work, go to school or college.
Starting work is a particular fear of mine; to enter a new environment unknowing whether this is going to be yet another toxic environment where my identity is constantly under scrutiny, it’s scary. Can I handle putting myself in another situation like that? The fear that comes along with queerness is hard, exhausting and sometimes feels unmanageable but one thing that always gets me through is every other queer person pushing through and living their lives authentically.
Seeing that representation and having that reassurance from other queer people is the most incredible and empowering feeling that has the strength to override any pain and fear we’re made to feel. Nothing inspires me more than queer people. Queer people who aren’t afraid to do their own thing and live their own fantasy. Queer people who are paving the way for more of us to come, putting themselves in the line of fire to fight for our equality.
It can be scary being queer, with the uncertainty of what is in store for us in our daily lives; but one thing you can be certain of is that there are many other queer people out there who have your back, who feel your pain and who support you fully.
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