Thank you for writing such a compassionate and thoughtful piece. Your friendship with Bridget sounds like it was lovely, and it such a great illustration of how a lot of the LGBTQ intra-community wars about who "belongs" in queer spaces and who is an unwanted cishet "invader" could use a lot more nuance. Often, how a person behaves and how they strive to connect with others tells us so much more than whatever identity labels they have or do not have.

I've often found myself trying to excuse the sexism that I see in some queer people, particularly from gay men in gay bars. I'm very aware that gay bars can get overrun with entitled, oblivious straight people, particularly bachelorette parties that can swallow up the entire building. So I've sometimes ignored it when I've heard gay men let off steam by calling a woman a bitch or a slut or something like that.

But I have also heard from so many women -- queer and straight alike -- that gay men will sometimes fondle or objectify their bodies in gay bars, or say horrendous things to them, and use their gayness as an explanation for why that behavior couldn't possibly be predatory. They don't seem to realize that behavior is never OK, and that it's still sexual harassment even when you're not sexually attracted to the person you're harassing.

And just because a lot of us within the community call one another bitch and slut sometimes in affectionate or gender-bending, campy ways, that doesn't rob the words of their sexism when they're directed at women. In fact, even when we direct them at one another, we are at risk of using the terms in a way that perpetrates sexist beliefs and stereotypes. So thank you for the reminder.

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