I was suggested to write about being working class and queer and honestly I froze the moment that I saw it. Not because I was worried about the whole queer thing, fuck that. It was the fact that I was mentioning about me being working class.
Why the fuck does it even terrify mentioning both in the same sentence? I suppose when you are writing you can hide away and attempt to blend in with everyone else here. Let’s face facts most of the bloggers out there are 35 year old mums doing this in their spare time as they down a bottle of reasonably priced white wine, in a pretty suburban town house, where very little crime goes on.
I know that is a slight exaggeration but I’m stating a fact when I say this one point: The FTM tag is now taken over by First Time Mums.
I know this sounds like a stupid tangent to start this off, but I’ve learned after a year who the users are online, and they are the same middle class people who see being queer as a novelty, something strange and unusual. The moment I throw into the mix that I’m working class, I get the whole “oh it must have been such a struggle” bullshit, from the same people over and over again.
I don’t hide where I come from or my struggles, far from it. If you have been here long enough, you know that. But often people have used it as an excuse to pick me up or put me down. I also don’t hide the fact that I’m dyslexic but there are still one or two cunts out there who use that as a way to attack me. When you see it happen with one thing, you assume its going to happen with everything. I’m aware that I’m looked down on constantly because I’m queer and working class.
Kai and I went to an event in August and one of the guests throughout the afternoon constantly told me that “I scrub up well considering”. What the fuck is that supposed to mean? Because I’m queer? Because I’m not middle class? Because punks can actually look good in a suit? This considering comes out more often then you think. Unsurprisingly this was said also to one of the other attendees too, in fact they were the ONLY person of colour there by the same people. At this same event I was also referred to as “Kai’s friend” and not partner or boyfriend or better yet, fiancé. This happened throughout the whole day.Up until we decided to hide outside for the rest of the time.
I would like to say that this is the only negative bullshit I have received for being both working class and queer, but no, it’s a daily struggle sometimes. It is the reason why I don’t like talking to people at times.
In LGBT spaces it is often like being in school. You have to look, act, dress and talk in the same way as everyone else or you are suddenly an outsider. The moment you start talking about working class issues, places to hang out or living in an area that isn’t the main gay strip and suddenly everyone acts like you have murdered their first born. There is a huge class divide in the queer community and the middle and higher classed queers will always get the best jobs, the people to listen to them and more likely to be respected, whilst someone who is lower class, has to work 5 times as hard to fit it, and still will be shown the door, and often refused position because they “don’t fit the criteria” or are “too political”. Yes, working class people are political but that’s because politics affects us harder. We are using and working the volunteer and public sector. We are the ones worried about rent and tax increase not matching pay rises. The pool of shit is thickest at the bottom.
In working class spaces it is a double edge sword saying or being visibly queer. Whilst if you find others in the same boat, you will probably find great friends that you won’t want to leave. Finding people is however a complete nightmare though. It’s quite a homophobic and transphobic in some places However not as much as you would think. The media would have you believe that we are government spongers who drink cheep beer, have 8 kids, go on Jeremy Kyle, all are white and all chain smoke all the time. Basically just like an episode of shameless. We are not all like that. Not in the slightest. We are the most diverse class out there. Straight/gay/queer/trans, anyone from any gender or sexuality can be working class. We are all out there.
We are treated as if we should be pitied or worse that we are uncontrollable and need the middle class to come save us from ourselves. For starters no, we do not need your pity, we want your respect. Secondly, I nearly screamed at a middle class person once because they were trying to act posh in (insert terrible pizza chain) and they wouldn’t keep their damn mouth shut when they ate, and their elbows were on the dinner table. I ain’t gonna take any orders from someone who doesn’t have any good table manners. Also whilst I’m here, what we don’t want also is all the obvious statements or assuming our lives are hard because we are queer and/or working class. Actually what makes it hard is people just doing bullshit to us when we just want to get along with our lives.
It’s been quite therapeutic actually getting all of that out. Things shouldn’t be pent up inside and left to fester. Just remember kids that it’s OK to be working class and queer and it’s certainly OK to write about it.