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March 17, 2014 | by  | in Opinion |
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In our first proper column, I could educate you all on “how queer sex actually works” or “how to have safe sex”, but hopefully you have already looked into this, or are going to soon! Instead, I have decided to choose a topic to which some of you may not have given much thought, something that influences the everyday queer uni student, whether they be in Otago or our own beloved Wellington. This is the extreme dominance of the personification of ‘gay’ as your typical white, gay, cisgendered male in the queer community.

In the past, many of the members of the UniQ executive have been white cisgendered males, as has nearly every writer for Bent (myself included). Why? As students, or everyday members of society, we are bombarded by the stereotype of a queer person being your typical ‘sassy’ gay (I’m looking at you, Glee). I have plenty of friends who fit or exemplify this stereotype, but the worst thing about this is that homosexual males take nearly all of the attention away from other groups who are just as needing of acknowledgement and awareness.

Women have been fighting for attention and equal rights in our society for a hell of a lot longer, and the gay community within them isn’t really any different. Lesbians are often categorised into two types – dykes and lipstick. This is a terrible label because, as one finds out, lesbians are normal women (PEOPLE IN FACT?!) who just happen to like other women. Almost all of the information and sponsorship for the ‘queer community’ is more relevant for sex involving penis.

There is a substantial amount of information about bisexuality; however, there are also issues with stigmatisation (even in the queer community) about liking both genders. Some bisexuals say that it’s assumed you’re going to cheat – and you’re “either straight, experimenting, or a gay who’s not out of the closet”; others say they have been described as “selfish”.

Two of the lesser-heard-of ‘members’ of the queer community are asexuals and pansexuals. There is a lot of interesting information regarding the attraction (or lack thereof) these kinds of people have. As the year goes on, you will be more informed; however, the important things to remember are: asexuals have no sexual attraction (it’s possible!), but they are still capable of healthy functioning relationships! Pansexuals, on the other hand, are the kind of people where ‘personality is the most important thing’ isn’t a lie! Pansexuals can be attracted to many different groups and gender identities!

Also importantly, there are people who identify as trans*. It’s important to realise that being trans* is more an issue of your sex not matching with your view of yourself, rather than not fitting into society’s view of what female and/or male should be (i.e. men liking cars and beer, and women enjoying shopping and raising children). Expect more information in later Bent columns, as this is all really interesting to learn.

As a group that aims to be inclusive, UniQ certainly has an overrepresentation of white ci-gendered gay males, but with more and more people coming along, visibility is on the rise for all facets of the queer community.

Jonny Abbott

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