In this interview, written by Tara, Zoë discusses her outlook on how feminism is treated within the LGBT+ community!
Question one: If you’re comfortable sharing, what are your name and pronouns? Could you inform us of any lgbt+ artists, influencers, or business people you admire?
My name is Zoe and my pronouns are she/her. There are many LGBT artists I admire including Troye Sivan, King Princess, Halsey, Hayley Kiyoko, and Keiynan Lonsdale.
Question two: Which group of people do you believe are the most vulnerable in the community? Are other groups believed to have more entitlement over others?
I think that within the lgbtq+ community there are definitely groups that have more privilege than others. I think that anyone who is cis gender are more privileged over individuals who are not. And specifically trans women and trans women of color are not as privileged as other members of the community. But in regards to the cis gendered individuals a cis gender gay or bisexual man is more privileged than a cis gender lesbian or bisexual women. And any person of color is less privileged than a white person of the same sexual orientation and/or gender identity.
Question three: The encouragement of feminism within the lgbt+ community is absolutely necessary, however subtopics within feminism aren’t as commonly discussed. A few examples are non-binary and transgender people going through their periods, violence against transgender women of color, as well as bisexual and pansexual women facing discrimination within their own community. How do we achieve the proper recognition for all of these issues?
For feminism a same sex make couple is more commonly immediately assumed a couple than a same sex female couple. I think this is a result of society thinking that you need a man to be happy or there always is a man in a relationship. Often a same sex female couples are asked who's the man in the relationship. That's not to say same sex male couples aren't asked who the women in the relationship is. For nonbinary and transgender people getting their periods because unlike for cisgendered women its something that might make them feel dysphoric because only women get periods. But I think by normalizing that any gender can get a period it may help with this. (I do not know anything about being trans personally because im not, these are just my thoughts and opinions so if I am wrong about something, I apologize) Within the community there is violence that everyone experiences but trans women of color experience it more often of all the transgender people who have died from violence, the majority of them have been trans women of color. Also within the community there is discrimination. Like bi erasure if a bisexual man is with another man he is seen as gay and if he is with a woman he is seen as straight. but no matter the gender of his spouse he is still bisexual. And the same thing happens to bisexual women.
Question four: Something that has sparked a number of conversations lately is the usage and context of the word ‘queer’. Do you believe that it’s more of a pejorative than a reclaimed umbrella term? What are the implications of its usage today?
I think that today the word 'queer' has two meanings. one being an umbrella term used to say you are in the community or to address the community as a whole. It also can mean you are questioning. I feel like most people use it as almost protection once they are sure they are a part of the community or when they already know what their sexuality is. For example someone might not be ready to accept themselves yet so they may tell themselves they are queer and aren't ready to label themselves yet. or for when they are still questioning someone may be afraid to label themselves because they think 'what if i'm wrong?' I think that both these uses are appropriate for the word but more people should know that the word is used in different contexts.
Question five: Can you leave us with a few words of insight regarding the promotion of equality in general?
I think it's extremely important to promote equality because the more people show equality, society will pick up on it and start to actually treat everyone equal. a lot of discrimination that different groups of people experience is implicit biased that is based off of the stereotypes that the media promotes, but if we can take a step back when we assume something and ask ourselves, "why do I think that" we can start to tear down the stereotypes and judgements we have about different groups of people.