There’s no one way to be Queer. Despite the fact that there’s a million handbooks and masterdocs on every sexuality and gender under the sun, there still is no consensus, no one single understanding of what it means to exist in the LGBT2Q community. So for those of us who might be new at existing in Queer spaces, or at being open with ourselves and others, the question must be asked – how does one honour being queer, if being queer has no set definition?
Being queer is never easy. It just isn’t. Even a place that seems as accepting as Fredericton has its crack and fault lines, and when some students have had to go home because of COVID, to places that don’t even bear that friendly veneer, it can be even more difficult to honour one’s authentic identity. But never impossible. Whether dealing with a fresh beginning, just coming out, or grappling with an old identity crisis, it is difficult. Recovering from a trip back home over the holidays, or, rather, recovering from a trip back to the closet, isn’t as hard as it might seem. Honouring your Queerself is possible.
First step? Relax. Take a breath. Watch a comfort movie. Make iced coffee. Not many things are more authentically queer than iced coffee. That’s maybe the only good stereotype about the Queer community – the monopoly on the iced coffee game.
What comes next? You’ve watched Wrath of Khan, and you’ve had a nice long sip of iced coffee. You’re still thinking about that one scene where Spock says, “I have been, and always shall be, yours,” to Kirk right before they go into battle. What a life. Is that what it means to be queer? Love is a throughline. Sacrifice is too often a throughline. Does that make sense? This seems to ramble, but that’s okay. Talking quickly is another stereotype.
There’s no set way to be human. There is no magic way to decide what it means to be human, and there’s no way to decide to be Queer. Being gay, being bisexual, being – there is no manual, despite what you can buy on Amazon. You didn’t have a how-to guide when you first had to deal with discrimination, and you didn’t have a manual when you had to learn how to drive – shit! That’s a stereotype, right? I can’t tell, I’m going on 21 and I have no driver’s license. The only true throughline is honour. There is honour in being who you are. There is honour in learning who you are. That is what it really means, more than anything else, to honour your Queerself.
Be gentle with yourself. If you’re home this term, or in a difficult living situation, take the time to recover from having to hide yourself, from having to deal with unsupportive relatives. There is always time for renewal, but that doesn’t have to be more complicated than just staying home on a Saturday and checking in with your Queerest, best self, so you can continue on and be happy.