There is a complex relationship between privilege and discrimination based on sex, gender identity, and sexuality. In some ways, I’m seen as “other” because I am female and because there has been systematic oppression of my sex throughout history. However, this also places me in a unique place of privilege that often goes unrecognized. I’m queer. My sexual identity exists outside of the established “norm,” and I experience discrimination as a result, whether it is from my family, my hometown, or my government. Nevertheless, my gender identity and presentation appear traditionally female. People don’t identify me as queer based on my appearance alone, meaning I’m assumed to be straight in most situations.
In some ways, the negative assumptions our society makes regarding sex, gender identity, and sexuality mean that I’m privileged while I remain a member of such a society. However, very important aspects of my identity are invisible, which can lead to my exclusion from a group that I view as “home” in a world that often unknowingly oppresses me. In my case, being denied my identity makes it more difficult to function in our society when it means that, in many ways, I’m forced to stand alone. Privilege and discrimination can be relative — I know that I occupy the most fortunate place for someone of sexual identity, but at the same time, it is difficult to withstand discrimination from multiple directions.