i’m underrepresented, but i’m not “marginalized”

Lately I feel like every time a minority gets any attention or achievement, or anything at all, the majority plows forward with righteous indignation.  “All lives matter!” “Monogamy is okay!” “I’m proud to be straight!” “Actually, you know, being a cis, white, hetero man is the real challenge today.”  Yes, I’ve argued with -that- guy. Don’t ask me why I bothered. I have no clue.

This is my genuine sympathetic gesture to the legitimate frustrations of the majority.

I understand that sometimes righteous indignation is fair and justified.  For everyone, both the undertrodden and the probably sort of kind of also trodden upon (I’m doing my best to be funny here, let it go). Please understand, though, that when you have more privilege than most, I don’t have any spare emotional support spoons to spare on your behalf. That doesn’t mean it’s ethical to treat you poorly or excessively badmouth “your kind” in front of you. To deliberately put you down as “other” and unworthy of basic human respect. 

Unfortunately, in the world we live in, I am forced to triage people’s pain OR drive myself into an emotional and physical fatigue. I don’t know what to do about it, either. I know it sucks, but if you’re at risk of getting your feelings hurt- while someone else is abused or threatened or at risk of being killed– you aren’t my priority. Which means, when I see someone attacking you, unjustifiably, I may say nothing.

Tomorrow, it will be different. I am creating a world where I can help even you. When I can openly have a polyamorous, gender ambivalent (boys can be any kind of boy they want, girls can be any kind of girl, no rigid gender roles, etc) family, without judgment or risk. When the stupid, petty issues that preoccupy my time- which somehow manage to simulatenously put the safety and well being of those I love at risk– go away.

I promise. I will listen to you, too. Just not now.

Because, really?  YOU are the belittled, injured, terrified ones?  You- the cis/white/mono/males- are the ones that nobody listens to, that nobody understands? Life is worse for you than for anyone else?

Please don’t respond with, “But my problems are valid, too, just because they aren’t worse or as bad as yours.” Trust me, I know. I’ve heard the frustrations. I don’t need to hear them a million times- I’VE ALREADY GOT THE MESSAGE. If you need to vent privately to your friends, feel free, but to me, the stranger? Trust me, I already have heard it from someone. You needn’t enlighten me with how even [insert majority here] has been told [insert cruel or ignorant statement here]. I know.

Excuse me while I play the world’s tiniest violin while crying over the world’s tiniest river.

Still. I’ll allow for some leeway. The fact is the majority can get screwed. And that’s shitty, too. When the group- perhaps a small fraction of that group, but nevertheless a representation of that group– that is attempting to gain basic equality and acceptance allows their resentment and anger to unfairly punish the majority. Because not all men are horrible. Not all monogamous people are jealous, possesive, and close minded. Has every queer person dealt with a bigot? Yes. That doesn’t mean that every straight person is homophobic. And it’s uncool when a section of the queer community bashes all non queer folk. And this bitterness and unchecked anger DOES exist.

My friend is a cishet (which autocorrect wants to call “cashew”) male.  Not self identified so much as, well, that is what he is.  He was born male, assigned the gender “man,” and he refers to himself as a man.  He is attracted to women.  But it’s not a huge part of his identity, so far as I am aware.  At least he doesn’t really make a point of mentioning it.  But he also can’t talk critically about sex and gender, without someone shutting his opinion down or telling him he’s transphobic.

Once he was even told, BY a cishet male, that “every time a cishet male has an opinion, a feminist falls over.” BY another straight, cashew male, for what it’s worth. As if cishet men can’t be feminists. It was almost hilarious in absurdity. Yet that comment passed by, with nobody bothering to correct him. Which is total bullshit.

It shouldn’t be acceptable and politically correct to bash cishet men. We should no more shame the straight, cis, or mono than we should shame anyone else.

Sometimes it may feel like it’s trendy to be poly, queer, or trans, but it’s not. Maybe folk aren’t always great at expressing themselves. It annoys me, as much as anyone, that poly folk say they have “too much love” for one person, as if monogamous people aren’t- platonically- loving with many, many people. As if they are better for having greater ability to love*. But people say stupid and thoughtless things.

Please. Let it go. Or gently call them out on it, if you must. Just remember, 1) they probably don’t mean anything malicious and 2) it’s not always about you. Please don’t take it personally, unless it is obviously meant that way.

I’m speaking here AS a minority, in certain aspects, taking the devil’s advocate role. Acknowledging what “my” side might be doing wrong, too. Nobody is perfect.

There has to be a way we can discuss relationship choice, sexuality, gender, and sex– without anyone resorting to name calling and dismissal.

If this helps, I’ll offer this as an olive branch (maybe an olive branch-ling),

I will not refer to myself as ‘marginalized.’  Because, yeah, that sounds critical of those who are not.  And I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad.  Instead, so long as it is true, I will refer to certain aspects of myself, or our society, as ‘underrepresented.’  Simple, judgment free statement of fact. To the best of my ability I will not play the” ____ card.” I will not overly complain about how I’m treated poorly BY a certain group while in the proximity of people OF that groupso long as they are trying to do the right thing and they personally are not contributing to making me feel worse or unsafe as a polyamorous, bisexual woman.

It’s a small step, I know, but I believe it’s at least movement in the right direction.


*For that last one, it might help if folk in mono relationships didn’t say things like, “How do you have time to do more than one relationship?” which is basically saying that the Romantic relationship is the only one that takes any time and effort. Nobody ever says “OMG, you made a new FRIEND? Don’t you ALREADY have a friend? Why do you need TWO? A friend takes up too much time and energy, your relationship with them has HEIGHTENED EMOTIONS that make life too complicated to balance two friendships.”

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top