Press "Enter" to skip to content

LGBTQIA+CCTX

Facebooktwitterredditpinterestlinkedinmail

by Korbin Boomer Matthews

Pride is creepin’ back into the Coastal Bend, y’all! Get ready for another year of festivities and fuckery, which although not officially a part of this year’s itinerary are obviously implied and encouraged. But before we belt out Born This Way and burn effigies of Mike Pence, I’d like to ask that you entertain a hypothetical with me that might illuminate not only the reason why millions of people across the globe observe this time of LGBT+ solidarity but most importantly why it’s of the utmost importance that Corpus Christi is a part of that observation. Once you’re done reading this bit you can get back to either despising us vocal queens with a fiery passion or using Pride as an excuse to live out all of your bi-curious fantasies…or both!

While constructing one’s sexual identity many people often take for granted how much the “heteronormative” parameters under which gender and sexuality are presented throughout the earliest part our lives, dramatically plays a part in our understanding of the roles we grow into as sexual creatures and members of society as we age.

If you’re straight and wondering what I mean, attempt for a moment to reverse the perspective and assume that the majority of the world and what you know of it is entirely homosexual with no thought or concern given to any heterosexual visibility, influences, and so on. So there you are, a kind-hearted, doe-eyed little straight kid and you have no roadmap or even remotely educational explanation about your sexual identity and how to properly care for your health, both mental and physical, for your time on this blip in the universe.

That is the world in which queer kids find themselves even in our progressive times. When it comes to observing and collecting information to grasp what sex is, what romance, intimacy, interpersonal dynamics, and the myriad of other factors at play mean, it’s even more complicated if you have never seen accurate, honest, and defined versions of it around you. Those very important pieces that connect together when forming your understanding and your personal identity are kind of like a puzzle, but the LGBT+ people playing along are missing most of the pieces and don’t even have a picture to reference. When you only see representations of sexual or gender identities that fit the XX and XY biological principals, and you also repeatedly bear witness to the demonization of anything in opposition to those archetypes throughout your maturation, it’s easy to see how the way you view, present, and live with your own self is profoundly shaped, if not adversely affected, in response to those limited representations. As is often observed from public health professionals, when you don’t have access to a wider understanding of sexuality, and the fluid form we have now come to understand it inhabits, LGBT+ individuals find themselves ill-equipped and unable to understand or manage their sexual and general wellbeing. In addition to not having the proper tools at their disposal, throughout the course of their lives, these same men and women find themselves greatly disadvantaged across the board regarding their healthcare needs.

These lifelong disparities begin early on for LGBT+ people and stem from societal, cultural, and educational prudence imposed on non-traditional queer identities. For instance, LGBT+ youth across our country are not provided with proper sexual education at imperative times during their development and thus are often subjected to well-documented long-term disparities and medical issues that could have been avoided, or had their risks greatly reduced, if proper information pertaining to their sexual practices had been included in the required health education curriculum each student awkwardly studies during adolescence and pubescence.

Go with me on this:

How is a gay kid who finds himself exploring potential partners supposed to know how to make sure his partner is free of STIs, cares about consent, or will understand his personal comfort and expectations from their sexual encounter when that same gay kid has never even been given the chance to fully own or learn about his own health needs, let alone feel confident in expressing said identity or needs?

Or, when trans women make the brave step to identify as their true gender, how do we retroactively tell them that they will statistically find themselves objectified, violated, at risk, and sadly raped or assaulted at rates far greater than their non-trans peers?

Since there is no magic time machine to remedy our lack of inclusion, who is to blame when a closeted bisexual male, after years of anonymous dalliances with other men, is suddenly confronted with an HIV diagnosis because he only thought of condoms as birth control and not as an essential preventative STI component highly recommended for use by himself and his peers in the “men who have sex with men” hook-up culture?

How do we tell a young woman exploring her sexual boundaries that there is no shame in engaging in a romantic or sexual relationship with another woman because intimate encounters do not define your identity or perceived orientation?

Is it any wonder that my community finds itself struggling to remind people of all ages that their lives have value? That their well-being matters? That they are beautiful and important? That they shouldn’t kill themselves?

How do you tell people these things when for their entire lives they have heard the exact opposite OVER and OVER again?

These questions aren’t hypotheticals; they are the reality of the LGBT+ story. Instead of these men and women forming unspoken identities and fractured concerns for their personal wellness, it’s important that we begin these important conversations now, and as often as we can to any person, LGBT+ or otherwise, who will listen.

When we march together on the Corpus Christi bayfront year after year we are dramatically changing the direction of our community’s future and shifting it towards a safer and healthier tomorrow.

If you wonder why there isn’t a “Straight Pride” it’s because you don’t need one. On behalf of the entire LGBT+ community, I can say with my whole heart that we hope you never do. We celebrate, yes, but we do so because every other day we’re fighting for representation, respect, and reparations. So wake up, and get up. We need you to take a stand at our parades, marches, rallies, and candlelight vigils and we need you to listen to us when we say that Pride is the only thing that can help fix what our past mistakes have broken.

Comments are closed.