One of this generation’s largest hurdles for minorities is one that many of us often unconsciously perpetuate in our daily interactions. It is presented in the way we speak about others within the community, how we act around one another, and the judgements we place on other queer people about their place within the community.
You will recall from your own life a type of aggression directed at you by another member of your peer group, with members striking out at one another as a result of this oppression. It takes many forms. Examples such as slut-shaming are also familiar to women, with racist or homophobic ‘preferences’, and many of the negative stereotypes associated with different sub-communities. One of the worst offenders resides in dating and hook-up app profiles.
This affliction I refer to is that of lateral violence.
Minority groups in society are scrutinised diligently for our actions, seeking to create a list summarising what it means to ‘be queer’. This seems fundamental to modernity; judging an unknown individual against a list of characteristics to see what their value is to us. In our diverse and unique minority, many of us are knowingly or unknowingly promoting a power structure with race, sex, gender expression, age, or wealth determining our place within it.
The mindset behind completely removing an entire race of people from your prospective relationship pool is puzzling, counterproductive, and realised through attempts at segregation. Unexamined prejudice on display should be constructively challenged where possible.
It isn’t good for the bigots either. Take a moment to consider the missed opportunities for love and pleasure that the phrase “not into Asians, sorry, just a preference” has caused. But much worse for the object of that daily prejudice, the person who tries to engage in this space to meet people to spend time with, likely read that they are not worthy of intimacy.
So-called preferences suggests that people outside the set requirements are worthless; while providing neutral language to describe it, instead of a more accurate term like lateral violence.
Most people have a type. Maybe more than one type. In the pursuit of them though, should I further chip at someone’s self-confidence, or just handle each interaction as it happens? Your profile is your first impression, and possibly your last. Perpetuate kindness instead.
No discrimination. Sorry, it’s just a preference.