Before I start, take a peek at this ad:
That ad was put together by a bank, ANZ, and you know, I get that it was intended to be supportive. I really, really do.
That said: fuck right off.
Let’s look at the slogan.
“When you feel like letting go, #holdtight.”
Are you shitting me?
Feel like? This isn’t “You know, today I feel like Earl Grey instead of Chamomile.” This is “Okay, those three people there are bigger than me, and before they see me holding hands with my husband, I’m going to let go.”
See the difference?
So, dear ad, I’m doing to disagree. Don’t hold tight in the face of a situation that makes you feel off. Instead, be safe. Trust your instincts.
Well meaning things like this are said to me all the time. “You should be able to hold your husband’s hand. You should be able to kiss him in public. It shouldn’t matter. It’s no big deal.”
In the same order, “Yep, I should. Yep, I should. Unfortunately, it does. And yes, it is.”
Crap like this gets me so freaking mad. Yes, when I’m somewhere safe, when I have backup or know I’m in the clear, I’ll go for that PDA. I do think it matters. Totally. But if a queer person feels off about holding hands somewhere, they’re the best judge.
Don’t tell them otherwise. Especially veiled in some sort of supportive “be courageous” crap.
Like I said, I’m sure the ad makers here intended this to be supportive. But the literal message here is “take the risk.” And for crying out loud, no. Don’t tell queer folk they have to risk it. We already fucking risk it enough. Trust me. If allies feel bad we don’t hold hands in public? That’s work for them. Not us.
Allies want us to feel safe? Go make it safer. Back us up. Until then, fuck off with your words of support and advice hinging on us risking it ourselves for you to feel better.
“Holding hands for some people is difficult,” the description says.
It’s not difficult for us. It’s fucking dangerous.