I recall being in a conversation with a gatekeeper once (the sort of “monosexual is a homophobic term!” “MOGAI means kinky people count as queer!” “asexuals don’t belong in the queer community!” type of asshole) and they said of a fictional character: “He’s definitely gay. Totally gay. Maybe bisexual. Queer at the very least.”
That’s when it clicked for me: Gatekeepers honestly think that any sexuality beyond straight and gay is just Gay Lite. Bisexual is half-gay, asexuality is, like, 0.05 percent gay, and just identifying as “queer” is a quarter-gay, maybe.
This is why they lose their shit so badly whenever someone thinks a character is bisexual and not gay, why they accuse others of erasing their representation. A bisexual is just half a lesbian, so how dare you try and water down our portrayal in the media! Asexuals are such Lite Gays that they might as well be straight, so don’t you dare take away my representation with your ace headcanons!
Never mind if the source material itself is ambiguous. If it’s not gay or lesbian, it’s not real representation. If you don’t want real representation, you’re siding with the straights.
It’s such a pathetic and limited way of looking at the world. I’d feel sorry for them if they weren’t such jerks.
Having. Your. Identity. Erased. Is. Not. A. Privilege.
Asexual and/or aromantic people do not experience straight privilege. Being straight means that you are romantically and sexually attracted to the opposite gender. We are not sexually and/or romantically attracted to anyone, therefore we do not experience straight privilege.
Being seen as straight and facing erasure fucking sucks but listen to this, just bear with me.
Being an undercover gay™ makes me feel so powerful. It’s not good to assume everyone is homophobic but there are those stereotypical homophobic looking people. It’s so funny when I’m out in public or at work or something and I see a priest or someone who’s probably homophobic and I have to interact with them.
It’s just so funny to me because like I’m that big scary gay™, sitting right next to you, and you’d never even know. I’m that big scary gay™ taking your order and serving you.
It’s like being a secret agent. I’m literally your biggest nightmare, your worst enemy, and you’d never even know it.
WWC frequently receives asks wondering if it’s alright to have PoC distant from their culture, outright not having one— or even if it’s okay to make something up to fit what the person wants to write about. And we feel the need to ask: why? Why do you only want our looks, our cultural trappings, without ever having a culture? Why do you want to perpetuate the pain of assimilation, of abuse, of violence? Why do you wish to create something “better” for your own gains, instead of taking us as we are?
That is what you are doing, every time you do not put in all of us, or create something to fit your own whims over our reality. We are more than our skin and outward appearance of difference. We are more than a collection of traits. We are more than stereotypes of what you think we are. Our ethnicities colour every aspect of our lives and, while we aren’t thinking about it all the time, we are aware of it. We were built by it. We live it every day.
Representation is more than simply “I have brown people.” It is “I have this segment of culture respected in my story.” It means “this character is me”, which means this character must be built by the same factors that built us— our culture. Our real culture, not modified with “artistic licence” to make a “better” plot.
By stripping us of our ethnicities, you are stripping away our hearts. You are stripping away our homes. You are writing stories that simply remind us the world sees our bodies and cultures as playthings. As if our souls can be fragmented and split apart so you can tell yourself “I’m being diverse.” How can you say that when we do not see ourselves in your work? You are not doing anyone any justice. You have failed to understand the concept of what representation even is: a person’s life in media.
While we are no different from the majority in terms of our minds, our passions, our ideas, we are different in where we come from. Our experience was shaped by our culture and in order to show us as true characters, you must give your own characters our ethnicity’s history. Our comforts will be different from yours because we grew up being comforted by different things. Our favourites will be different because we hold different things at higher value.
Assimilating us with your actions— refusing to do the proper work involved to truly build a character of Color with as rich a background as white characters— simply perpetuates the pain of being marginalized. It’s lazy.
That also isn’t to say that people without complex relationships to their ethnicities exist, but ask yourself: are you the person to tell this story? Chances are, you are not. Leave narratives of pain to the people who’ve lived it, where they belong. We are not your stock plots.
Respect us enough to take all of us, not just the parts you want. To do anything else would be an injustice.
That time of year again! Really crept up on me this year,
not prepared atall lol. Feels like it comes round faster every time. Had
a lot of trouble drawing this as ink kept clogging in the pen and
copics were drying out, but did what I could! Starting
off with some bnha fanart (arguably the coolest hero design in the
series too), plan to do some original characters too this year though