The “born this way” story of queer identity is one most people in modern developed countries know well. It is applied to people of all sexual orientations and to trans people, especially binary trans people, and tells us that the right way to be queer follows a common structure. We have to know we were “different” from early childhood, we have to struggle with our identity and try to become “normal,” we have to realize we cannot change and our difference is intrinsic to our most inner selves, we have to come to peace with that, and then we have to come out. This is how the queer life looks.
This narrative of queerness supports the idea that being different is only okay if you can’t help it. The “born this way” story says that having a sexual orientation other than hetrosexual/heteroromantic attraction is only acceptable if you cannot be straight. It is only okay to be trans if your gender identity is so deeply ingrained in you that you cannot change it no matter what. The utter failure of conversion therapies is seen as evidence that being queer is okay – we tried to change people and make then normal and it didn’t work, so the next best option is to accept people as they are.
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