I recently mentioned the Tyranny of the Binary and how it forces people to conform along rigid male/female and gay/straight dichotomies in ways that do not reflect human diversity.

In reading the top featured article today on BoingBoing.net, I came across this quote in a section discussing the difficulty of describing the sexual orientation of people who are attracted to trans men and trans women. I am a huge fan of free expression of sexuality, and of sex in general, but sometimes I feel as if the non-straight, gender queer population is inventing enemies that were never there.

Well, I guess it’s unfair to say it’s the queers who are doing it, the straight mainstreams are doing it, too. Homosexuality and gender queer…iality have been a part of humanity for as long, or even longer, than history. It’s just that it wasn’t so important to our identity that we had to name it. The Greeks* didn’t think of themselves as gay, they just went around banging adolescent boys. They still got married, they still made babies, they just didn’t go around screaming “Hey! Pay attention to me! I’m not gonna let you categorize me no matter how many words you invent!”

I understand that it’s a hot topic today: the conservative mainstream found a label that they can use to oppress people and make themselves feel more important, or self-righteous, and the people who are actually being oppressed don’t want to be under that label. But the thing is, it’s not the label that’s oppressing you, it’s the mainstream conservatives who hold power. I know you have to scream loudly in order to be heard in today’s political chaos, but I would respect you a lot more if you’d pick your battles with foes you can conquer: like fighting the media vs. fighting the English language.

*The “Greeks” were men. According to them and according to historians, women aren’t important enough to warrant mention.