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Queer Editorial

XS0824pinkcowboyhat.jpg Quiver

Is it time for us to don the Big Pink Hat Of Queerness…?

Last month I was in a pub with a potential new client. We’d met once before and were following up to discuss ways we might be able to collaborate. We had a couple of drinks and during the chit chat she asked, I answered “Annemarie” and she looked at me, smiled and continued, “and what does he do?” For the next half an hour we talked about a range of things, work and non work-related, I kept referring to my partner (when our partners came up) as “she” and the client kept not hearing it. In the wider picture of the terrible oppression LGBTIQ people around the world have to face on a daily basis it might not sound like a big deal, but it’s the thin end of the heterosexist wedge and it pisses me off that people can’t hear a simple pronoun. Maybe it’s time to get my YOUARETALKINGTOAQUEER t-shirts printed up. Maybe all us queers should wear some kind of big pink hat to help these people out? Confusion can be a funny thing (it’s the stuff of a lot of Brit sit-coms, after all), but this inaudible pronoun often leads to the moment when you have to out yourself AGAIN; and anyone who’s had to will know just how uncomfortable that can feel. Maybe, just maybe – in spite of all my queer awareness – I make assumptions as well? I’ll ask my partner and see what he has to say about it. (See how easy it is to spot it in print – so why is conversation any different?) I just want to say: people, listen up and pay attention to the pronouns. Language is important, so prick up your ears when someone is talking. Unless, of course, it’s someone like Michael Gove or Chris Grayling in which case you have my blessing to ignore, ignore, ignore.