To the Editor,
Every queer person has faced some form of marginalization, but when the balance of privilege is uneven, they do not work together despite these differences. Instead, those of privilege end up ignoring the more marginalized members of their community. The privilege dynamics in the queer community actively participate in the constant oppression of the rest of its more marginalized members.
Privileged queer people often have a sense of guilt when they are forced to see the people they leave behind and contribute to their marginalization, and always struggle to find a way out of it. The most privileged ones tend to be white cisgender gay men. The amount of privilege they have is not only greater than the rest of the queer community, but it also actively participates in their oppression. There is almost no solidarity among the privileged members of the LGBTQ+ community to those that are more marginalized than them.
I have heard conflicting reasons for this divide. Many privileged members disregard queer radicalism and do not keep themselves educated about the constant developments in our movement. Many do not like confronting the pains that come with being queer and use their privilege to hide away from that. They are too uncomfortable being in a group full of marginalized people and many groups get reprimanded for their focus away from the privileged LGBTQ+ members. However, when one compares these complaints to the complaints white people have about groups of color, especially from those that never participate in such groups, one can quickly see a similarity with white guilt.
The marginalized queer community is being left behind. The silencing of oppressed LGBTQ+ individuals is a strong issue contributing to the erasure of queer history and the abandonment of the ideals we once fought for together. Instead, that privilege is being used to conform to the gender roles and patriarchal society that is responsible for our own oppression. Privileged queer students of Lawrence University, it is time you give us your solidarity.
—Nebal Maysaud ‘17, GLOW president