The Queer and Transgender Resource Center continues to demonstrate that our fellow students and classmates have a safe space to converse about their sexuality during the Queers Policing Queers event. Attendees were encouraged to write down any experience that they had in which they felt like they were being oppressed or made to feel lesser than others for not fitting the stereotypical image of someone from the LGBTQ+ community.
Professor Angela Asbell, who currently teaches queer theory on campus, led the conversation by reading aloud cards on how those in the queer community experience policing and shaming from others within the community, and even outside of it. The idea that individuals must look or act a certain way is debunked and is a common situation to find yourself facing. It is important to remember that there are no set guidelines as to how you should live life as a queer individual. Being criticized by someone who is supposed to be in your corner can be extremely difficult, but it is important to seek education and acceptance towards things we do not understand.
One person shared their story about getting called out for being asexual, and how some believe that people who are asexual should not be considered part of the LGBTQ+ community because they are not “oppressed enough.” This leads them to being excluded, which is why queers policing other queers should come be established. An individual does not have to be oppressed to the extremes to still be oppressed. At the end of the day, they are still being ridiculed and belittled. Other attendees shared the same experience. One person, who identifies as bisexual, shared their story about being told that they need to be either gay or lesbian, not both. There are no rules as to what you can and cannot be, so do not let anyone try to invalidate you and your preferences.
When facing someone who is against you, Professor Asbell shared that you should analyze how you are feeling. Are you willing to get into the conversation with others and attempt to educate yourself, even when it is not your job to do so? Also, you should recognize when to stand down in order to protect your safety because there are times where things could escalate and your life could be in danger.