No, Straight People Can’t Be Queer

Can straight people be queer?

Can cats be dogs?

Can up be down?

Can I discuss the staggering stupidity of this question without being snarky?


Last year, Vice ran “Can Straight People Be Queer?”, an analytical abortion that grasps at the incorrect answer to an obvious question. Blame cannot be placed on the writer, but on the very notion, for there is no smart way to support an idiotic concept. I fear that the LGBTQ community is too polite, too willing to humor the very special snowflakes hell bent on reappropriating our very identity. We are tired of fighting, and we thought we won. We wonder if we really have the energy to stand against people who claim to be allies.

Three groups are especially eager to redefine queer. First, straight men who dress in women’s clothing for attention, entertainment, and profit. We’ll get to them later. Second, demisexuals: straight people who only have sex with people they love, which is new and revolutionary except in the sense that it is the foundation of traditional marriage. Third, the kink community: to them I can only say: I can imagine nothing less relevant to my lesbian identity than a straight couple in latex.

You can be queer and do drag, identify as demisexual, and be kinky. But being kinky, demisexual, or in drag does not make you queer. While I compassionate towards your normal human feelings of alienation, I don’t prioritize them over the identity of a marginalized minority. There’s no reason to indulge the odious Rachel Dolezals of sexual orientation.

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After clawing our way to equality, it is enormously frustrating for the queer community to face assimilation into invisibility. The movement to redefine queer to include straight people is a larval, self-involved knot that does not move so much as sit, day after day, contemplating their own uniqueness with narcotic rapture. They bear queer people no ill will unless we disagree with them. Then they can get very, very nasty.

What disturbs me most is the entitlement oozing from this feckless horde when actual queer people assert the boundaries of our identity. Beneath the backlash is a  venomous current of disbelief. When they say:

“If you’re queer, I can be queer.”

“I thought you were inclusive.”

“But I’m an ally.”

“I relate to you.”

“I’m different, too.”

What they mean is:

“Who are you uppity faggots not to want me? A normal person willing to take on your less desirable status as my own? Don’t you know who I am? Aren’t you grateful after all I’ve given you?”

Let me make something clear, because there seems to be some confusion on both sides. Queer people don’t owe straight people shit. Equality is not their gift to us; it is our right. You do not get a cookie because you are no longer actively oppressing us. Straight people did not give queer people human rights. We took them.

Straight people who identify as queer, like white women who identify as black, are not self-aware. When a member of a majority appropriates a minority identity and then dismisses any disapproving member of that minority, that is exactly what they mean. Yet whether they know it or not, deep down, this is what they feel. That’s why this piece will make them so angry. It strips the gold plating off a crock of shit.