Thursday, December 11, 2014

ANONYMOUS' STORY

Name: Anonymous
Location: Europe


I have only been in the Girl Guide movement as an adult. I joined when my identity was clear to me and to most of the people I love deeply and dearly. That said, not being heterosexual requires "coming out" of the closet all the time...or choosing to stay in.  This pertains to life as well as Girl Guiding and Girl Scouting.

In both settings, either choices are good. People should be free to communicate as little or as much about their lives as they please. Non-heterosexual people should not have to feel the pressure of speaking with everybody about their gender identity or sexual preferences. Do heterosexuals? Is our gender identity all that matters? Are our sexual preferences all of the sudden the only reason why we do what we do? Is something as socially constructed as gender the filter we want to use to understand people?


I let you decide. I personally choose to embrace people and their diversity.
I started by using the words non-heterosexual rather than LGBTQI because I think this is how a lot of people see us: as the "non-heterosexuals" and therefore"others." Sexual preferences matter when they are not hetero-normative. No one wonders whether cisgender and straight people come out of the closet.  In contrast, people act surprised if they have known you for a while before you come out to them...or they "find out" you are lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, pansexual, asexual....

This applies to society and to the Girl Guide and Girl Scout movement, because our movement is just made of the same people who make society.

As a bisexual woman in the movement, I am invisible. While there are a few bi people who are out as lesbians and others who are only semi-out, bisexuality does not exist. If I happen to have a male partner, I am considered straight. If I happen to have a female partner, I am homosexual. For most of those who have witnessed my life with different partners, I am described as "confused." They often do not know what to say. They often laugh as if bisexuality was a joke.

The few people I have let in my closet are the few people I can feel safe with. They are those who do not judge my competences and passion for what I do on the basis of my sexual identity. They are a small number. I often wonder how many people would think differently of me should they learn I am fluid...should they know I am attracted to people and that I do not look for women who look like men or men who look like women; should they know that I actually reject the need to define people as male or female on the base of their genitalia or socially constructed identities.

In Girl Guiding, I mainly choose to stay in the closet. Occasionally, I do choose to let select people into my closet (which, by the way, is a beautiful and massive closet that can contain a large number of open-minded people). I do not chose to come out and do not feel compelled to. That said, I feel compelled to promote diversity and acceptance among Girl Guides, Girl Scouts, leaders, and volunteers.  Everyone deserves a chance to see how beautiful the world is and how many amazing people they could meet if they decided to wear "diversity lenses." I have also heard comments and opinions that have made me shiver and made me question whether I was in the right place, offering my talent to the right people...but hey, that also happens in the subway, in school, at work, at home.... I am not gonna let that stop me from achieving all I can achieve.  I'll just sometimes close the sound-proof door of my closet and stay there until those people are gone.

As Walt Whitman said, "I am large. I contain multitudes." Hopefully soon enough more people in the movement and in society will be prepared to see that and embrace it.

Till then I shall uphold my values, and come out or stay in the closet as I see fit.