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ButchWonders: The Importance of Visibility

ButchWonders (blog) brings us more awesome by addressing the importance of Butch Visibility and it’s importance to queer youth. A segment of their article addressing this idea is below.

If I hadn’t been identifiable as gay, Doug wouldn’t have approached me.  But by being my normal self in the classroom, I did something good.  Visibility of regular ol’ gay people (even if they’re cramming subject-verb agreement down your throat) is invaluable to kids—and adults—struggling with self-acceptance.  It’s one thing to know in the abstract that life is improving for LGBT folks, but there’s no substitute for seeing gay people inyour community who are out and “normal” and happy: reading books at the library, shopping for groceries, going to movies with their partners.

Many of us think a lot about the perils of being butch.  To be comfortable in our own skin, we often have to be outsiders.  We get called “sir” in the restroom.  We get stared at in the department store.  And often, this sucks…(Continue Reading)

This article raised a few conflicting feelings for me. I do believe that visibility is important. It’s also necessary to acknowledge that some identities are less-visible than others, and they do deserve recognition. Without acknowledging that fact, there can be some erasure and alienating within the queer community.

The article highlighted the importance of visibility to queer youth by being an approachable and obviously gay figure. While the author did note their recognition of this privilege, there are other possible ways to highlight your identity without having an identity so visually-recognizable as butch.

  1. If you’re in a safe environment, out yourself to your peers.
  2. Let it be known that you’re an ally.
  3. Marriage Equality bumper stickers, anyone?
  4. Be a mentor! There are thousands of opportunities to support queer youth in locations across the globe. Being a mentor allows you the opportunity to pass on your experience as queer or your support as an ally.

That’s about all I can come up with. Can you think of anything else?

  1. bookishboi posted this