Kelly Osbourne Thinks Some People “Aren’t Lesbian Enough,” and Seriously That’s a Load of Junk
Get out of here with that gatekeeper-y crap.
I’m not sure what’s up with Kelly Osbourne. More specifically, I’m really not sure what’s up with the “gayer-than-thou” attitude she flaunted all over a conversation with PrideSource. She said:
There’s this whole generation of young Hollywood girls who can’t find love where they think it’s supposed to be, and then they come out being gay and two weeks later they have a boyfriend. It drives me nuts! I’m like, I know you. I’ve known you pretty much since before you used to shit outside of a diaper. You are not gay! But I think outing somebody in that way is just as bad as outing somebody who has not come out of the closet. It’s one of those things I have to keep to myself … and it drives me fucking crazy!
I’m not sure what her criteria or requirements are when it comes to who she may consider is “actually gay” or not. Well, okay, that’s about half accurate, because a little later on in the interview, she said:
I think it takes all the proactive work the LGBT community has done and sets them back: ‘Oh, so now you’re gay?’ Then two weeks later: ‘Oh no, that was just a phase.’ You don’t get to do that.
I’ve marched till my feet bled for the right of equal love in the gay community, and you’re just gonna step in because it looks cool for you and now tell everybody that you’re a lesbian when you’ve never even seen another puss that’s not yours so you can get attention?
My whole rule is, never say never. I’ve never been in a relationship with a woman, but I don’t know that it’s not a possibility.
Where do I begin?
Straight up: this gatekeeper-y junk about “not being lesbian/gay enough” needs to fucking stop. It’s a long-running problem that’s plagued the LGBTQIA community since the dawn of fucking time. The last thing anybody within the LGBTQIA community needs to be doing is othering or otherwise putting their brothers, sisters, and siblings down for how they might feel.
Any cursory Google search for “lesbian enough” or “gay enough” or “queer enough” reveal that it’s this kind of condescending attitude that keeps questioning LGBTQIA people from fully accepting/realizing their feelings. And it’s not like they don’t already have enough pressure from the religious right to deny their sexuality, and again, the last thing any of us should be doing is adding to that pressure.
What’s more, Osbourne’s comment about being gay and then suddenly having a boyfriend is an incredibly insulting erasure of bisexual and/or queer people. Just because someone might happen to be in a relationship that—on the surface, because really, all you can see are outward appearances, pal—seems to be a heterosexual one does not necessarily mean that those people are heterosexual themselves. Bisexuality exists, whether you want it to or not.
Breaking that down further: trying to assume someone’s sexuality based on their appearance alone is strongly, strongly problematic. As people seem to prove time and again, what exists on the outside never really actually defines what’s on the inside. Speaking as a trans woman, this is something I find myself struggling with on a daily basis—whether I “pass” or not on any given day doesn’t change the fact that I know that I am a woman. That’s it. My appearance is just that: a skin-deep aesthetic that honestly changes as much as I’d like it to. The same can be said for sexuality and how people choose to present themselves, because hey, sexuality is fluid. And that’s fine.
What bugs me the most about Osbourne’s words, though, is that she believes “marching for equal love in the gay community” somehow earns her a badge that lets her decide who’s a lesbian or not. I worry that Osbourne may have missed the entire point of activism and marches like that, which is to fight for rights so that those who come after don’t have to. Showing up to an action or demonstration isn’t supposed to be about building credibility to achieve some kind of “status” or “rank” for your own self, it’s about being visible as a community at large. Touting your activism as if it places you above other people within the community you’re ostensibly fighting for is just straight up wrong.
Again: sexuality isn’t something that’s “earned.” Your feelings are valid, and nobody should be allowed to tell you that you aren’t “enough” to be who you are. Fuck that.
Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!
Have a tip we should know? firstname.lastname@example.org