I’ve been dating Jacob now for eight months, and as often happens when I’m dating someone who identifies as male, I think a lot about my visibility as a queer person. Dating Jacob has added another layer entirely, which is my visibility at work since he’s also a coworker.
Now many coworkers of mine have met my English girlfriend [name withheld due to privacy concerns], and they know of my pansexual polyamorous ways. However, when you work for a company and are employee #38, after one and half years, and now there’s 130 and counting Mozzers… maintaining visibility is even harder. Confounded by new people meeting me and Jacob as a couple. And these are the people that I spend the vast majority of my time with.
But let’s back up… Why do I care?
I truly believe that nothing has propelled change in attitudes about queer people more than visibility. More than celebrities, the average queer person standing up and saying, “I’m queer, and I am a person who deserves to be treated like a human being. Oh, yeah, I’m also someone you might care a little about as a human.”
I care alot about human rights and about equality. Statistics show that you’re more likely to support, like, and understand an oppressed minority group if you have a friend, family member, etc. who is from that group. This is pretty logical that you wouldn’t want harm to come to or happen to someone that you care about.
Interestingly enough, studies have also shown that this kind of visibility also works with representations in the media. Don’t know any queer people? Do you like Modern Family and like Mitch and Cam? Then it’s pretty close to knowing someone in real life.
I also believe in being a visible role model or at least a safe person for other queer people to talk to. Not everyone, unfortunately, can be out, and not everyone feels comfortable sharing about themselves. Continue reading “Visibility Conundrums of Being Queer”