How Do I Know I'm Queer?

What's the definition of Queer? How is it different from LGBT? Have I always been queer? Join Roan to chat about the many expressions of queer and exploring what it means for you.

Video transcript

But anyways, so I'm Roan Coughtry. Welcome, introduce yourself if you're just joining us. Today we're talking about the title of the stream is "How Do I Know if I'm Queer?" And so we're gonna talk about queerness. We're gonna talk about queerness as it's similar to or different from LGBT other like letters of that alphabet soup, you know? We're gonna talk about what it means to us, all the different things it can mean to us. And we're gonna connect with each other too, just a chance to connect with other queer folks and other questioning folks. I was saying before, I identify as queer and trans, specifically non-binary trans. And I'll talk a little bit more about my story later on. Lake Huron! That's the one. Okay, awesome. See, my geography is not terrible. It's kinda terrible. Yeah, it's kinda terrible. But anyway, Ionna is our moderator tonight. Our wonderful, amazing moderator. Ionna's just gonna be monitoring the chat. If I miss a question or something, Ionna can help flag that down for me. If you're having any tech issues and also just to make sure that it stays like a nice, safe welcoming space for people. If you have not already read the community agreements for Oschool, go ahead and click on those, read through them, they're really useful for just keeping it a really positive discussion, right? Yeah, and I really encourage folks to keep it as active as possible on the chat, like as active as you wanna be, as talkative as you wanna be, ask me questions, ask each other questions, connect, share stories. I wanna hear your stories too. Yeah, let's go from there. And interrupt me with any questions too. There's a bit of a lag, where like you'll type something and then it'll take 20 seconds or so before I'll see it on my screen so there's a little bit of a lag but otherwise yeah we try to make this as interactive as possible. Oh, and the only other thing I'll say if you are inspired by what you're hearing and you have anything extra to give, tap on the little tip jar. You can tip in $5 increments you can tip as many times as you want. It's how we sustain Oschool here. It's how we are able to keep providing content to people for free around the world and we really run entirely off of tips. It helps keep Oschool running, it helps keep us pleasure professionals getting paid so that we can do this work that we love and you know, keep the lights on. So anything is appreciated and regardless, your presence is appreciated. So, hey Chu! Welcome back, great to see you again. Welcome welcome. All right, so. What is queer? What the fuck is queer? We're talking about queerness, right? I wanna hear from y'all, what does queer mean to you? And I'm gonna be talking but I would love to hear as I'm talking away I'll type that here. What does queer mean to you? To me, queerness really defies a lot of definitions. I think by nature it kind of defies definition. So that alphabet soup, if there's any non-queer identified people on this stream, which I hope there are, I hope we have a good mix of folks here. But that alphabet soup, right? That LGBTQ QIA it could keep going, right? That each letter stands for something different, right? So, lesbian. Typically defined as women who love women. Gay is defined as men who love men. Bi, bisexual, for people who love more than one gender. Maybe men and women, maybe all genders. The bi in bisexuality does not necessarily reinforce the binary or mean anything about a binary. But bisexuality is like, loving multiple genders. Trans, being different than sexuality, being about gender. So, identifying as a gender that's different from the one you were assigned at birth. And then there's the Qs, right. There's queer, there's questioning. The I in the acronym stands for intersex. So that is a variety of conditions in which a person is born with either a reproductive or sexual anatomy or biology that doesn't seem to fit the quote unquote typical definitions of male or female. So, anatomy, chromosomes, anything like that. It could be a combination of male and female biology. It's way more common than people think it is, also. And then there's the As of the acronym. So the As could stand for asexual, having little or no sexual or erotic desire. It could stand for allies, for all the badass people in our lives that show up for us and are really like allies and co-conspirators for us, for our rights and our wellbeing. And there's so many more, right? We could add so many letters to this alphabet soup. And tonight we're talking about the Q. We're talking about the queer. What does queer mean? And how do I know if I'm queer? How do people know if they're queer? So, to me, again I'd really love to hear from y'all, what does queer mean to you? For me, queerness is a lot about non-normative, right? Just about kind of messing with what's considered normal. I use queer a lot as a verb in my life. Like, oh let me queer that up! We were just talking about, on my livestream last night, we were talking about queer relationships. And using queer as a verb, like to queer a relationship to queer up our concept of relationships is to like kind of fuck with it a little bit, right? Taking what we think of as normal or what we're taught is normal, quote unquote normal, and then fuckin' with it, right? Playing with it. Queering it up. And queer as a noun, kind of in the same way, to me means like non-normative. In a really broad sense, it can mean like basically not straight or not cis. So, in some ways it could just be like in relationship to what it's not. Like, well I'm not straight, or I'm not cisgender, but I don't wanna define myself otherwise, so I'm gonna be queer. The beautiful thing about the word is that it can mean whatever you want it to mean and it intentionally seeks to defy labels. There's a very like, resistant piece about queer. That's kind of just like, it's like an anti-label. Okay, Chu was sharing I've only recently started identifying as queer. Awesome, congratulations. And I'm still figuring out what that means to other people and in the community. For me it mostly means non-binary and not like fitting into the standard molds. Totally. I seriously use queering archeology. It's a thing, it's wonderful! Oh my god, Chu, I would love to hear how you fucking queer archeology. I really wanna hear about this. I could totally geek out about that. Awesome. I know nothing about archeology, but I could really geek out about like queering anything, kind of academic. Or you know any kind of field. We could queer all sorts of fields that we're in. So yes please, if you wanna share any examples of how you're queering archeology, I wanna hear this. Bisexuelle, I love that screen name so much, is sharing that queer as I've come to understand the word seems to mean non-cishet and or on the Aro or A spectrum. Awesome. But that's just the many ways I've heard the term used. Queer does mean out of the ordinary so I could see it being a broad term like that. Totally. Awesome. For anybody who is not familiar with these terms, cishet is like an abbreviation that we'll often use for cisgender and heterosexual. So you identify with a gender that you were given at birth and you are attracted to the opposite gender, you're heterosexual. So queer meaning anything that's non-cishet. You know, not straight, not cis. Or on the Aro or A spectrum. So again, for folks who are not familiar, Aro is short for aromantic and ace is short for asexuality, or identifying as asexual. So yeah, anywhere on that spectrum of like aromantic or asexual as a kind of queer identity. Yeah, totally, totally. So in so many ways, queer can be this kind of anti-label, right? It can be this like well, I know I don't fit in this quote unquote normative box and I'm not gonna put myself in another box, and so I'm gonna use the word queer. A little bit of the history of the word, I'm not a historian, but a little bit of history that I'll share that I do know, originally the word was used as a pejorative, as an insult and as this offensive word that would be thrown at gay people, lesbian people, trans people, gender nonconforming people, it was hurled as an insult, right? So to be called queer, there was a time when that was like a major insult. Now in the 80s, that word was reclaimed by lesbian and gay and trans folks, it was reclaimed as a like okay you know what? You're gonna call me queer? Yeah, I'm fuckin' queer and I'm proud of it. And it was reclaimed as this act of power. Like taking how a lot of oppressed communities do, they'll take an insult and then kind of claim it and use it as a marker of pride. To take the power back. It's a really badass thing to be able to do. In that context though, I will also say not everybody is comfortable with the word queer. Not everyone is comfortable with the word queer for political reasons. And I'll talk a little bit about the way the word holds a political ideology in a bit. And not everyone is comfortable with the word because it used to be an insult. There are people who won't use the word, are not comfortable hearing it based on age, you know? They grew up during a time when it was used as an insult before it was reclaimed in the '80s, it can be a really triggering word for them. To either use for themselves or to use for anybody else. I know that my parents had to stretch before they well, I mean it didn't take too much stretching for them, but they had to check in with me multiple times. Are you sure it's okay that we use this word to talk about you? Like, we know that you use this word for yourselves and we're used to this word being an insult. And my parents are straight, they're cisgender, beautiful lovely people. And so for them to use this insult, or what they considered, what they had kinda grown up hearing this as an insult, they felt completely uncomfortable with that. Which is beautiful, I like that. I like that people have that kind of awareness and that respect around it to check in, to ask. And now they're comfortable, we've had a lot of conversations around it and they're comfortable with it now, it was a process, right? And so to just be mindful too. I'm curious if anyone on the stream doesn't like the word for that reason, because it used to be an insult. Super, super valid. And again, identities are, identities and labels when we use them, at their best should be empowering. And so if a word is not empowering, don't fuckin' use it. We should not be pushing anything on anybody. Whether to use the words, not use the words. Identities are up to the individual claiming them. Thank you, Ionna. I'm curious which insights you're talking about. That's the problem with the lag in the text, I'm never sure what people are actually talking about. But yeah so, that's a little bit of the history of the word. The other thing about this word queer, it's very often associated with a certain political ideology. And I'll talk a little bit more about my story shortly. When I was first kinda coming out to myself, I was in my mid-20s. When I was first coming out to myself and other people, it took me a minute before I embraced the word queer. Because I didn't know if I knew all the right politics yet, right? I was politicized, and I was politicized to a point. I wasn't what I would consider radical, yet. I was semi social justice-minded, but I was probably more on like the liberal end. I wasn't as radical as I would consider myself today. And I wasn't as, I was like half way there, maybe, when I was first exploring my sexuality, my gender. And I knew what I knew of queers, was like these are the like activists. These are the folks that are on the front lines, they're organizing things, the folks that are doing all the social justice work. And I wasn't as deep into those communities yet, and so I was like I don't know if I can claim this word. Do I actually belong? And it was because of this political ideology. I remember having a, actually overhearing a conversation, between a new friend of mine who was queer and a cis white gay man talking about that term and how he was very adamant like, "No, I will never call myself queer "cause those aren't my politics." and the queer person, I can't remember actually what, it wasn't an argument between them they were just talking about the meaning of the word and I remember that it stuck out to me that this cis straight white, not straight, cis gay white man was very clearly, I will not identify as queer. Like, I don't agree with those politics, blah, blah, blah, whatever. And the queer person, who I was like much more aligned with politically and like, learning a lot from, describing their politics and like what the differences were. And so the queer political ideology is very often focused on social justice, based in this intersectional feminism, based in queer theory, based in racial justice, not always doing the best that it can in terms of racial justice but at least trying to. There's a lot of white queer communities that aren't, I should say specifically, there are a lot of white queer communities that aren't doing what we could be doing with racial justice, right? But often queer comes with this political ideology that's around, like, intersectional social justice. Gettin' our people free, gettin' everybody free. Very connected to other issues. So, yeah, that's another thing that this broad label of queer can mean, it can mean this sort of politic. Any thoughts or questions so far? What else can queer mean? Other terms that can fall under queerness, there's trans, gender queer, gender fucking, non-binary, like I identify, gender fluid, agender, androgynous, bi-gender, third gender, demisexual, demiromantic, we talked about asexual and aromantic, well there's demisexual and demiromantic where folks who identify this way typically need a strong emotional connection before they have sexual feelings for someone or have romantic feelings for someone. Pansexual, I just read this great article about the differences between pansexual and bisexual, basically that there aren't many, right? They're just two different words to describe something. Other identities like bears and femmes and butches and studs and masculine of center, feminine of center, right? All these different words to describe people's genders and describe people's sexualities. Two spirit, an identity, specifically an identity only for indigenous people, in my opinion anyway and in a lot of people's opinion, I know there is some disagreement even amongst some indigenous communities too about that. In general, two spirit is an identity that was coined by indigenous folks who fit in some way in a like, queer sexuality or gender, right? So, people can identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, gender queer, any of that. And if they're also indigenous, also Native American, it was a term that was coined in the '90s by indigenous groups around the country to come up with a term for had historically always been for people who had historically always been part of their communities. But then colonialism came and disrupted that. So that again was a kind of reclamation of people who had always been there. But yeah, two spirit is another thing that queer, sometimes two spirit people identify as queer, sometimes queer folks identify as two spirit, they are indigenous. But all of these terms right, all of these labels that can overlap with queer, that can be related to queer, can be different from or the same as queer, you know it's just such a broad label. Mecky got lost, okay. Oh wait, no I missed a few, okay. Let me see, let me see, let me see. Yes, okay, lovin' the love that's happening. This is great. This is great. Cool, cool, cool. So yeah, as we're talking about what queer means, where was I going with that thought? Do you ever have this thing happen where you just have like 12 thoughts interrupt each other in your brain at the same time? Nope, I lost it. It was something about... Well, anyway, I'll come back to it if I think of it. But basically the summary being queer can mean anything we fuckin' want it to mean. Let me catch up. Chu was saying, that's one I know and connect to a lot actually. Though I'm not native, I have a lot of reverence for it. Beautiful. Yeah, yeah. Reverence for it is really beautiful. It is a very beautiful term. And there's so many terms that we can use as white people, too, that are not two spirit but can get at a similar kind of thing, right? Nonbinary is one of them. It's one that I use. Bigender is a beautiful one. Multigender, right? We have a lot of words that we can use that aren't necessarily taking something from native communities that is specifically theirs, like we as white folks love to do right? But no, that's beautiful to have such reverence for it. Yeah, I'm curious what other labels do you all use to describe yourselves? Do you use the word queer? Are you comfortable with the word queer? Are you uncomfortable with the word queer? Are you questioning? You're like, I don't fuckin' know what I am or am not. But how else do you define yourself? What other labels do you use? Or do you not use labels, are you like fuck labels I'm just me? And for those of you that have figured it out, how did you first know? What helped you find your identity around something? I'll share a little bit about my story. So when, let's see, yeah, I mentioned earlier I was about 25 before I started really really considering my sexuality, then it was another couple years before I really started considering my gender. And I always felt like such a late bloomer, right, which is not true at all. But the narratives that I had heard was like, oh, you know when you're six years old or you know when you're a teenager, like, that you know really young. And I didn't. I was genuinely attracted to cis men in my tiny little hometown where I grew up, right. Like, there were not that many options. No queer role models, really no queer people that I knew of in my hometown. There were two out gay guys in my high school, I don't think were outed by choice, I think they were just effeminate and then horribly bullied because of it. And so, right, there were like no role models. And I was genuinely attracted to guys, to the cis guys that I knew. And I had some successful relationships, I had some not great relationships, but I had some really beautiful, successful relationships. And so, I just assumed that I was straight. I didn't know that there were other options. And so yeah, I was maybe 25 when I started seriously talking about it and thinking about it. And that was when I was meeting more queer people, too. And just being like why am I connecting so deeply with these people? Why do I feel so at home in a way that I never felt at home before? Another piece of it too, I had deeply internalized this idea, I haven't talked about this in a while. I deeply internalized this idea, this very liberal, kinda white liberal idea. My parents were liberal, I grew up in a super, super conservative town. Politically conservative town. But I was raised by really liberal parents. And they raised me with this idea of openness, acceptance, that love is love no matter who it's with. So I just grew up thinking like oh well love is love, you know I could just as easily fall in love with a woman as I could with a man, I didn't know there were other genders back then. But I was like oh I could just as easily fall in love with a woman as I could with a man. It's about the person. I thought that up here, but I never never let it drop down into my body. I was too scared. I think I had a really good survival instinct. I am deeply queer pansexual, I am attracted to all genders. So that part is genuine and authentic. And I think on a deep level I knew the town I was growing up in I knew I was already being bullied for being a smart kid and I knew if I was any kind of queer, I would be terribly bullied. All subconscious, right? My body just knew this. And I carried a lot of deep shame around sex and sexuality anyway. And so, survival instinct, I just repressed the shit out of any actual attraction to like physical body attraction to women or to other genders. So I thought this really liberal thought in my head, and believed this liberal belief in my head, but it never dropped below the neck, right? It never dropped into my body. And because I was also genuinely attracted to boys, to men, I dated as a straight person. I thought that I was a girl, I was raised as a girl. I had no concept of what transgender even was and so like I just made it work and it worked. Until it didn't. It worked until I was in my mid 20s and I was just unsatisfied and just feeling really stagnant in life. And then I started really meeting more queer people and I was like oh... Oh. And I waited. Subconsciously I waited until I was in a safer environment, 'til I was out of that hometown. Even though my parents would have been, I'm really really blessed. My parents would have been very supportive if I had come out at age six or age 12 or age 14. My town would not have. So I waited, like, subconsciously waited until I was in a safer environment. And then I was around queer folks. I think I was living in Seattle at the time, I was back and forth between Seattle and New York. Surrounded by queer folks, I found queer folks, I found trans folks, and then was like oh, I can actually start looking at this. And let this belief drop down into my body. My process around labels and terms, I really liked the word dyke and latched onto that for a while. Like I said, I was a little hesitant to use the word queer 'cause I wasn't sure if I knew enough of the politics. And then the more I got politicized, I was like oh, fuck yeah. Totally, in all of this, I agree with all of this. And so, I guess before dyke too, I first started identifying as bisexual, which is still a label that I love. I liked the word dyke so I still used that sometimes. But I still knew I was attracted to men, too. That attraction never went away. So then I started identifying as queer, but I tried on pansexual for a little bit but it's too long, personally. I love the word, but it was too long for me to wanna use. Then I used the word queer. And I loved that, fell into it. Loved it. I was also coming out as poly, at the time polyamorous, not monogamous. Which was also deeply liberating in the way that I did relationships. And then like a year after that, maybe a year or two after that, I started really looking at my gender. I think I met the first gender queer and nonbinary people that I had ever met and I was like oh that's an option, I can be trans and I don't have to transition all the way to the other end of the binary and be a man. Which was really liberating for me, too. Because I didn't feel like a woman and I also didn't feel like a man. So, having this nonbinary option was brilliant for me. It was like oh, that is deeply who I am, this fluidity around it. And then it's just been like fun and playful, kind of since then. Some hard days for sure. Sitting with questions at different points. But in general it's been this like, okay I'm queer. That's this beautiful expansive unlabel label that I can swim around in and change and shift from day to day. I'm nonbinary trans, so that also means that my gender is super fluid and shifting and changing. It also made my attraction to men make more sense. Because it was like my gay boy part of my identity, like the ways that I had so often related to men in this like somewhat feminine way, but not a woman feminine way, it was like a boy feminine way. And so it just made a lot more about my gender make sense. And the best word I can use to describe my gender is also very queer, expansive, fluid. It can't be really nailed down, it's watery, it just is what it is, it's gonna flow where it's gonna flow. So yeah, that's kind of my story in a little nutshell. I wanna catch up on what y'all are saying. Yes yes yes. There's some really beautiful things being said. Okay, Bisexuelle is saying I spent many of my high school years thinking gosh, I wish I were bi so I could date girls too. But it wasn't until I moved and found a queer community that I realized oh wait, I am bi because I wanna date people from multiple genders. I love that so much. I really love that I mean that's like in the sentence right. Gosh I wish I were bi so I could date girls too. Like obviously, there's the wanting to date girls element of it. That's so, yeah, I can actually kinda relate to that in terms of the realization of like oh wait. I just love that so much, thank you so much for sharing that. Yeah, and that's so beautiful right, once you were around that queer community, that's when you were like oh right, I can actually be authentic with my desire. I can be true to my desire. Totally. Tracy is echoing, I feel the same way, I don't know if I'm queer or not. I tend to not fully accept and embrace being bisexual because I'm probably 95% attracted to cis men, but I want to date women too. Awesome, awesome. Welcome Tracy, by the way, I don't know if I said hi to you when you came in Again, I love what you're saying, Tracy, about a hesitancy to use a label because there can be these expectations of well what is queer enough, or what is bisexual enough, like what counts? And honestly, bi folks get shit on all the time for not being queer enough, not being straight enough, like not picking a side. All that bullshit, right? And so that can make the label hard enough to just embrace by itself, let alone like then thinking well if I'm not a straight up 50/50 then does it count as whatever? I say all of it's bullshit. Those really intense requirements we put on things and put on labels can just be judgey for no reason. I love that you're sharing that because that's a real struggle. Can I embrace this label if I'm like 95% attracted to this gender and like 5% attracted to this other gender? Because people are judgey, right? People love to shit on people and say that label's not for you, right? Thank you for sharing that. And also bisexuelle is also sharing back Tracy, you can use whatever label feels most right to you. Yay! Maybe bi, which doesn't have to be 50/50 attraction to men and women is right. Maybe bi is right. Or maybe queer feels better. Or maybe there's a different one that's right for you. I've heard the words heteroflexible or homoflexible. I really love those. Which are kind of like a lot of overlap with bi, right, just attraction to multiple genders. But also gets at a little more of the nuance of like okay I'm mostly hetero, but I'm flexible about it, like shit hot people are hot people. Or like, I am really into these other genders, too. Or homoflexible, like I'm mostly gay, but I'm not gonna turn down whatever. I think I just love the flexible piece of it that's just cute labels. Yeah, yeah I love this. Missy. Hi Missy! Is sharing thanks so much for sharing the letters and what queer is. You're welcome, absolutely. Also I read through those real quick so if anybody has any questions, please. I'm happy to share more and slow down a little bit. I relate to being queer although I'm cis and I'm pretty sure that I'm het, not 100%, but really feel I can relate to being queer as I feel different. Maybe I'm Q for curious and a bit queer. Yeah, you could be Q for questioning, too. And I'm curious about the differences that you feel if the differences are related to sexuality and gender. I think it is true, I do feel like most people, at some point feel different, right? Just feel like I don't totally fit in. There's something also that I just wanna like... I don't like the word normal. But normalize I guess, something that I just wanna... validate, maybe that's the word. That I just wanna validate. I think it's just part of the human experience in a lot of ways, to feel really fuckin' different sometimes. Like, I don't fit in with XYZ group, I don't fit in with these folks, I don't fit in with these folks, like whatever it is, to just kinda feel like we're the odd ball out. I know queer people across the board tend to share some kind of experience like that. And also non-queer people feel that all the time, too, right. We live in a really -- This gets back to the judginess. We live in a really judgey society and so that is all about you've gotta be this and you gotta be this and you gotta fit into these narrow standards. There's overarching mainstream culture that exacerbates this. And it's full of white supremacy and patriarchy and all this capitalism work ethic and all these things. And then each sub community has that too and so it's easy to feel like I don't fit in with this, like, script that I'm supposed to be doing. So I guess to just also validate, like, feeling different doesn't have to mean anything around queerness, right? It could or it could not. There were a lot of ways that I felt really different as a kid that were actually really deeply related to my spirituality and the way that I saw spirits and resonated with energies around me and ways that I interpreted the world that were not about me being queer and that were actually deeply around like my spiritual way of being in the world and I was really fuckin' different. And there were a lot of ways where like, I was a queer little kid. So also that element of being different. Thank you for sharing that, Missy. That is a beautiful nuance that we don't always get to. And I love also what you're saying, like you can relate to queerness, that queer narrative, that quote unquote queer narrative of like not fitting in, maybe being picked on, being bullied, being ostracized in some way, just being different, right? That is the queer narrative, it is also the narrative of so many people whether they're queer or not. So thank you for bringing that in. Relating to Tracy, that fluidity of gender is also something I'd like to explore. Yes, Missy, explore it! It's great, it's great. Come on in, the water's fine. It's great. Explore that fluidity. 'cause gender's such a social construct, too, right. Like at the end of the day, it's made up. It doesn't exist. But it exists, so I'm not gonna get into like deep gender theory now 'cause it's too confusing even for my brain. But yeah, the fluidity of gender is beautiful to explore. Let me see, Chu is sharing so I mentioned queering archeology, and this came out of a group of women in archeology that decided that binaries are bullshit and there should be more fluidity and ambiguity in using terms. They applied queer theory to archeology to do that. In ancient maya, which is where my study was, the accepting ambiguity part of it was what resonated with me, and made me start rethinking how that applied to me. Chu, this is fascinating, my god. I need to check out... Shit, yeah. I really need to check out all of this around queer and archeology. This is fucking brilliant. I'm rereading it, this is so cool. Binaries are bullshit. Embracing more ambiguity and accepting more ambiguity. Absolutely, 'cause especially hard sciences, quote unquote hard sciences, archeology I'm sure falls under that category. Like this is true this is false this is fact this is evidence you know this is a very hard I feel like they exist to sort out ambiguity to get rid of ambiguity. And I love this way of thinking like no, let's just fuckin' roll with the ambiguity, let's swim in it. yes! Oh I'm into it. Thank you, Chu. I'm totally gonna google this when I get off the live stream. Missy is sharing, I'm in my 30s and I wish I was bi so I could date girls, LOL what a great way to say it. Yep. Heterosexable is a good one, absolutely. Like heteroflexible, sweet sweet. Right, they're beyond adorable. I love them. They just make me smile every time because it feels like a wink. Any time I hear the word I picture someone like oh yeah I'm homo... Flexible. You know? Like, it's just so cute. Awesome, awesome, awesome. Thank you for the tips, thank you for the tips I so appreciate it. Thank you, thank you, thank you, yes. Oh my god, Chu, please send me that article, yes! Ionna, just drop my email address please. I would so love that. Thank you, this is exciting. Missy is also sharing it's such a great time to be alive, we are all learning that we don't have to conform to what we were taught, we were meant to. It's okay to be who we are. It really is. It's a beautiful, unfortunately it's also such a violent time, right? It's like a time of so many differences getting exacerbated and so much fights getting exacerbated and at the same time it is like this, I see more and more examples of it, of people really just being who they are and being supported in it. And sometimes getting more fight back because of it and also a lot of support, a lot more support in larger numbers than we've necessarily had in the past. It is really beautiful to see more and more queer kids these days. Again depending on where they live, depending on the society, depending on the town, depending on the part of the country, you know? More and more places, more kids being born who like... So I was talking about that queer narrative, right? Feeling different, feeling like the odd ball out, being bullied, being teased, whatever. That's not the narrative. There are queer kids being born these days where that's never gonna be their narrative. Their narrative is only ever gonna be one of acceptance around their gender and sexuality. Maybe not acceptance around other things. I mean, we're still not there around gender and sexuality either, but definitely not around race or class or disabilities. It still warms my heart that there are more queer kids growing up not being, just being totally accepted for their gender or for their sexuality and not being the only one. It's just getting more common, too. That just warms my heart and inspires me. Yes, bisexuelle is also googling this. This is so cool! I love it, I love it. Yeah, Ionna is also sharing This is what Oschool is all about let's be the change that we wanna see. Sweet, awesome awesome. Oh yeah, absolutely. We take requests for streams. I take requests for streams. If there are specific things you want to talk about at Oschool we have a lot of content that we cover and then we are also gathering a lot of our content from y'all, what do y'all wanna hear, what do you wanna talk about? Let's do it! And yeah that's what I love to do, too. Again, I'm doing a lot of streams on queerness this month. If anybody has specific requests around that, particular topics you wanna talk about, let me know. Thank you Ionna for dropping my information, you can go to my website, email me, you can hit me up on social media, the Instagram and Facebook and Twitters and all those things. Yeah, Missy what you're saying the violence of the world is so sad I hope we can overcome it somehow and lose all the judgementalness. I swear the judgementalness is such a huge, huge part. A friend of mine, who is also a brilliant, brilliant streamer on Oschool, talks about how in the US specifically, we're suffering from a clinical lack of empathy. And that is so, so true. That's one of the best ways I can think of to sum it up. Yeah, we are clinically lacking some empathy here. And it's causing a lot of violence. I've also really been geeking out, I know I'm really late to the game on a lot of things. But I've been listening to one of Renee Brown's books on shame. Actually, it's like a long talk that she did, it's not her actually narrating the book. I can't tell if it's a book or a talk, but it's like five hours long to listen to. The way that shame and violence can go hand in hand and then empathy being the antidote to that. All of it, all of it. This is turning into another stream if I keep going down that road. Maybe I'll do a stream on it. But yeah, I think that in terms of queerness I'd love to hear from y'all if there's anything you wish you could have known when you were younger, what would it be? If there's anything you could go back and tell your younger self, what would you tell yourself? Related to these identities and labels, related to gender, related to sexuality. Or something you'd wanna tell yourself now. Hell, like we're still learning and questioning and growing through things. But what would you wanna tell yourself. I know for me... Gosh, what's that answer for me? I would wanna go back I would wanna go back and tell myself hey, this isn't all there is. And it might be a minute before you find more, but you're gonna find more. It's gonna be great. 'Cause I honestly don't know that I would've wanted to come out to myself at an earlier age. I think where I was growing up it would have fucked me up more, which I would have also recovered from and been stronger for as a result and I am kinda grateful that I kept closeted even to myself for those years and was able to come out later. A lot of people are not able to do that. I would have loved to know that there's other options. There's a whole world of possibility out there. I also would have loved to know that any of the shame I was feeling was not deserved, like to externalize it, right, to exercise it, to get it out of me. This shame that I felt for just my sexuality. For being a sexual being. For having desires that then I deeply suppressed. Yeah, I'd love to go back and tell myself hey, that shit's not you, that shame that you're feeling, that does not belong in you, that does not have anything to do with you. You're beautiful, you're perfect. 'Cause that shaming's powerful. And it took me a while to extract, to unlearn. Oh god, the other thing I would love to tell my 25-year-old self who was in process of coming out, I would love tell my 25-year-old self you're not late, just embrace it. Just be questioning, be in the question. 'Cause you're not late. You're not late to the game. I had a lot of built up perfectionism around like also this is a lot of whiteness shit, like I had a lot of this like whiteness hangup about oh I'm not supposed to not know, I'm always supposed to be an expert, I'm always supposed to know and have the answer. And so, to like be 25 and just now be questioning my sexuality and my gender. Like, oh god I must be a failure, I must be late. How did I not figure it out earlier? That's a bunch of white supremacy bullshit. I would love to just go back and tell myself like oh, just be in it. Be in that ambiguity, right Chu? Embrace the ambiguity. It's okay to not know, you don't have to be an expert in anything. You're beautiful and brilliant. Embrace not knowing. And embrace being a newbie. Just be a fuckin' noob. It's great. Missy is sharing, I'd tell myself not to feel guilty about being me and to love my own body. Yes, and others. It's not bad to do stuff, whatever that may be. Absolutely, as long as you aren't hurting anyone. Yes, yeah! That includes lovin' up on our own bodies, right? That includes masturbating. That includes fantasizing. That includes playin' with other people, experimenting with other people. As long as it's consensual and no one's getting hurt. Or if you're getting hurt 'cause it's consensual and it's kinky, right? Like as long as it's consensual, essentially. It's not bad because we're humans with desires and those desires are beautiful. And their as varied and expansive as we can imagine. Yeah, thank you for sharing that, Missy. That's so beautiful. Especially the piece around the body love. Like shit, how much we're taught to not love our bodies. It's ridiculous. Thank you for sharing that. Thank you for telling your younger self that. Bisexuelle is sharing I would go back and tell myself that one, you can be attracted to more than one gender in more than one way. Two, sex and sexuality is nothing to be ashamed of. Yes, get rid of that shame. And three, gender is very fluid and it's okay to not feel 100% like the one you were assigned. Absolutely. I love it, I love it, I love it. Thank you for sharing that, thank you for telling your younger self that. Yeah, that's beautiful. Y'all have been fantastic. Thank you so much for this stream. Let's see, I'm doing another stream on Sunday about what do we do when we're queer. Things around coming out, I need to check what the stream is actually about, but I think I'm talking about like, what do we do when we wanna come out, if we wanna communicate that to people, how do we find community, all of that stuff. So if you are interested on Sunday or if you know people who would benefit from that kind of a stream, who are maybe newly or recently out or just exploring queerness or have been out for a long time and are wondering hey, I've been out for a long time and I haven't come out to this member of my family and need some support around that or I just moved to a new place and I need to find community, how do I do that? Or just, you've been out for a while and you're burnt out about something and wanna talk about it. It's gonna be a stream about a lot of those things. So that is gonna be Sunday. Sunday at seven pm East coast time. So seven pm East coast time, that'll be four pm West coast time. That will be, what will that be in Egypt? All right, if it was eight pm Six hours ahead, okay, so that would be seven... Oh, that would be like one am Egypt time. And then I don't know about Europe and all those places. So that'll be Sunday, seven pm East coast time. Join me there. Follow me on all the social media, find my website and all the things. I need to update my website, I need to get around to that. I'm so slow at the technology things sometimes. But I'm gonna do it. On my list. Thank you Ionna for being such an amazing moderator. You've been fantastic, it's so great to share this space with you. Thank you all for your participation. Thank you Missy, Absolutely Missy, find me on the net. Thank you bisexuelle. Thank you Chu, great to see you again. Thank you Tracy, thank you Mecky, thank you everybody for being here. Thank you for everyone who is listening in the background. You all have been really fantastic. And yeah, love up on yourself. Also month I'm doing a queer love series every Thursday. It's gonna be every Thursday for the rest of the month at three pm Eastern time so definitely tune into that one. We're gonna be talking about all the ways that we love each other, how we can love each other better. The differences between friendship, romance, sex, queer and family constellation kinda thing, chosen family, all sorts of things. Tune into that as well. Thank you bisexuelle. Good, good, good. I'm so glad. I'm so glad it was a positive empowering experience. Thank you for sharing everything that you shared. Y'all have been fantastic. And Chu, I already sent you a way-too-long email. That's fantastic, great. I love it, I love it. Yes! Thank you all, have a great night and keep in touch. I'll see you all again soon. And if you're inspired and you have anything extra, tap on the tip jar. We love it we, appreciate it. And no pressure, your presence has been such a gift. Thank you, thank you. Have a good night everybody.

How Do I Know I'm Queer?

Date
Sat
Jun 9, 2018
|
3:00 pm
|
Calendar
Saturday, June 9, 2018
|
3:00 pm

What's the definition of Queer? How is it different from LGBT? Have I always been queer? Join Roan to chat about the many expressions of queer and exploring what it means for you.