I’m tired, babes. I’m tired because I thought it was a good idea to have six glasses of wine on a Sunday, but also because we seem to love sabotaging our own community in the name of being “woke” or in the name of being “victims.”
Yesterday mega-super-star singer Kehlani, tweeted hilarious and candid remarks about her sexual identity:
Lil poly pansexual papi hello good morning.
Seems like an iconic tweet, right? We liked it so much we decided it deserved to be bolded in PINK. It’s AMAZING that a famous singer publicly identifies as queer, right? We should be overjoyed at this awesome representation and real way of defining queer, right? Kehlani gave a non-vague, concrete, accessible description about what queer means to her. This is amazing as so many people ask about the meaning of queer. It’s also cool AF that Kehlani defines her queerness for herself. We should be celebrating that, right? We should be fantasizing about having a shot with Kehlani cause she’s, like, fine as HELL, right?
Because instead we whined like little babies or got on our high pseudo-intellectual high horses and started typing novels, lecturing Kehlani about how her imperfect her tweet was. Cool.
While Kehlani graciously accepted and learned this lesson, I think it’s bullshit that she felt she had to delete her epic, bold, queer tweet. I think it’s bullshit that we are attacking her for including trans people on her list when trans people are so often left out. She’s saying she thinks trans people are hot. She’s not saying they are a “separate category.” She’s saying she wants to make out with them. LET HER.
i retracted my queer tweet because i am being corrected about the way in which i listed the gender spectrum and i’m super super sensitive to being offensive especially when i’m only trying to appreciate. point is, i love love, and that love lies in every gender there is. 🧡
— Kehlani (@Kehlani) April 23, 2018
All Kehlani said is that she’s not bi. She didn’t say that bi identity isn’t valid, or is any different than what she described. She just simply isn’t bi. GIVE ME A BREAK, PEOPLE! I feel like this is an episode of the Twilight Zone and I can’t take it anymore.
I don’t want to live in a world where a celebrity is out and queer and proud and funny and cute, and then is bullied into retracting her queer and proud and funny and cute tweet. I don’t to live in a world where queer people bully other queer people or police how they choose to identify. I don’t want to live in a world where people think they have authority over other people just because they read “Gender Trouble” in college. Not to use a buzzword, but that is so damm privileged.
Young people who don’t have access to queer theory classes at an expensive college are empowered over a pop star’s unapologetic tweet about being queer, way more than by your semantics wars on the internet. Imagine a young queer person in a rural area, who feels the same attractions Kehlani described, feeling so seen by that tweet, and then how (another buzzword coming at you) “damaging” it felt to see her delete the tweet just because her semantics weren’t perfect.
Young people coming out are more tapped into how they feel, than how they identify. They are going to be scared to come out if we immediately attack and try to school anyone who uses the word queer. Isn’t that counter-intuitive to how we should be acting and supporting our community? I’m so over ya’ll.
Also, isn’t it extraordinarily wrong to attempt to silence a marginalized voice? Kehlani is of black, white, Native American, Filipino, and Spanish ethnicity. What about the kids that don’t identify with the hyper-educated, hyper-politically-correct white voice, but with HER, who doesn’t speak in intellectual tongues? Who talks like a real- ass person? Who might not be perfect but is authentic and raw and represents a wildly underrepresented demographic? Real talk: tweets like Kehlani’s are far more validating for young people that your internet elitist buzzwords could ever be.
This is not to say we can’t learn and grow and expand our understanding of sexuality and gender. We can and we should. But I fear that we are so obsessed with our egos (yes, this shit show of semantics is fueled by EGO, darlings. It would be another thing if this was really about education and awareness but it’s about the contest of who can be the most offended. Of who can write the most shared counter-essay. Both of which are rooted in the ego.) and policing one another that we scare people away celebrities with wide-reaching platforms, the less educated, people new to the scene, our allies, OURSELVES.
We’ve got to get a grip if we’re going to combat the real homophobia that’s on statistically on the rise. We need to stop trying to prove who is the most offended or the most educated and come together to have a gay old time! We can still do that, right? Or have we gotten so spoiled, so validated by being the most victimized, that we’ve forgotten how to unite, despite our differences, in love? Kehlani shouldn’t have had to delete her tweet. It was a beautiful celebration of her queerness. We need more of that.
Sexuality isn’t intellectual. It’s primal. So please stop theorizing sexuality, starting reveling in your own sexual prowess, and maybe then you won’t feel the need to harass celebrities over Twitter. We need more representation. Representation is what keeps the 12-year-old boy in Kansas from killing himself after his dad catches him trying on his mother’s heels. Representation is what gives the awkward 17-year-old the courage to ask the girl from her calculus class on a date to the movies. Representation is what gets us respect and rights and all that good stuff. We need to stop problematizing everything.
So next time a celebrity has the bravery to publicly say that they’re queer, maybe just say cool! Me too.