Fear Level - Queer Joe 02-12-24

How’s Your Queer Fear Level?

I’ve been noticing some trepidation about being visibly queer in public lately. Thought I’d check in on readers’ fear level.

Indications Of Rising Fear Level

I bought this hat from a local, lesbian-run business a while ago. I thought it was a great take on re-defining MAGA to explode a few heads. But honestly, it scares me to wear this hat. And in this particular case, I fear the hostility from both sides. The liberal side because a misread, red cap might be misconstrued. And obviously from the MAGA side.

I’ve also noticed that I’m a little less carefree in what I post in social media. If I’m just stoking outrage, I reconsider posting something. In one local forum (Nextdoor), I’ve even changed my name so that I can be more anonymous in my posting.

Anyone else having similar feelings? Censoring yourself to attract less potential antagonism from the haters?

Just thought I’d check in with you all.

Current Knitting

In other news, I’m taking a lot of joy in my current knitting. One of the great things about these Emotional Support Chickens is that you can do really fun things with lots of different types of yarns. And they create such cute results…no?

This latest one come out fantastically well (I think). Love the odd colorway and find it very appealing. I also have five different color eyes I can possibly use on these little beauties. So I try out each eye-color before securing it on. This amber-brown color eye was my favorite for this Chicklet.

Chicklets 02-12-24 03

Finn is pretending to not notice…but inside, I can tell he approves.

I’ve also started the next one and I’m really liking this colorway too.

Chicklets 02-12-24 04

They knit up relatively quickly. Which is another great aspect to these chicks.

11 comments on “How’s Your Queer Fear Level?

  1. Well gee whiz. I saw that it on a head at the beginning of this whole Trump thing and thought it the best thing ever. I still do, so I am sorry to hear you feel trepidations about wearing it. A very sad commentary on the state of things. I am not gay, so I’m sure as heck not going to tell you what to do in this regard. The amount of hate mongering against all people who are anything other than straight white conservative “Christian” people by those same people (and Russian bots) is pretty insane. We need to remember that those people are actually in the minority. They are just loud and mean.

    That last chicken is the best yet. Hang in there. We all need a little emotional support these days.

  2. I stay somewhat anonymous, unless you notice that I haven’t worn a dress in decades. Most of my friends have figured it out or I told them. We live in a MAGA county which votes for a GOP representative over and over. Our lefty votes are cancelled out in every election but we keep voting 🙂
    Fear? Not so much now that we are in our 70s and 80s. None of our neighbors care about two old ladies.

  3. I live in Boston, so a blue bubble, and have almost always been single so I can move around pretty freely. Also, as a woman in my mid-60s, I am pretty invisible. I’m still aware, though, and careful. For instance, I spend a lot of time in Maine and I would never have a bumper sticker that relays any political opinion, and I probably wouldn’t be brave enough to wear your hat. I also think women are more used to feeling, if not unsafe, then at least cautious in public.

    1. I’m glad you mentioned the general caution woman feel all the time. It also reminds me how shocked I was to first hear how fearful people of color often are around cops. I wish I had thought to include others who navigate dangers on regular basis in the blog entry.

  4. I came out just before Trump took office. I’ve been very cautious since his election. The atmosphere hasn’t improved much the last few years. I fear it will get worse before it gets better. Just my opinion.

  5. I completely agree with your sentiment. While I’m not gay, I know and love many people who are. I served as a nurse in NYC’s Greenwich Village (St. Vincent’s) for nearly 40 years.

    The parallels between certain aspects of Nazi Germany and our current societal landscape are starting to emerge, and are concerning. History has shown us the dangers of complacency and how easily authoritarianism can creep into society when we’re not vigilant. I’m curious as to if you’ve given any thought to renaming Queer Joe (given the current climate), possibly after “yarn chicken”…

    Your cautious approach to social media posting is not only understandable but also wise. In an age where online platforms can amplify polarization and hostility, it’s crucial to be mindful of the content we share. Striking a balance between expressing oneself and avoiding unnecessary conflict is a delicate task, but prioritizing thoughtful discourse over stoking outrage is a step in the right direction.

  6. I feel awful that you feel the need to be so cautious. I live in a place that is very accepting of all manner of people. My comment of your hat: I wouldn’t let my husband wear it—not because of the message (of which we approve)but for the style. To me it is an old man’s style and you seem not to be!

  7. I’m more afraid now. I’m Latina, grew up in the Bronx, went to NYU… I’m 61 now, retired. Live in a small town in Wisconsin. I love the country, but this hate, it is big. I detect a willingness now. A willingness for violence. There is no moral high ground. No shame in being called out. This is the safest place I’ve ever lived in and yet. Those Trump fans scare me. Republicans scare me. I don’t see a rising tide washing away extremists. And I don’t see justice in the courts. Too many people don’t give a damn. This has happened before. I don’t wear my politics anymore. I saw it in schools just before I retired. The level of hate against gay kids, trans-kids, from other kids! I saw danger.

  8. I live in Palm Springs, so no fear here. I am preparing to move back to Oklahoma City, though. I am MUCH more careful there, depending on where I am in the city. I’ve lived there before and have developed awareness, but I will say I am more cautious than I ever was before.

  9. Thank you, Joe, for your essential comments regarding today’s fearful climate. While I continue to pin pro-gay images, including two rather hot pin-up guys knitting, on my “Ball Sack” project bag, and I’ve kept the small sticker on my car’s rear bumper shaped like a megaphone stating “Say Gay,” I have removed a few other stickers from my car. Here is a passage directly from today’s GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network) newsletter:
    “In September, the Center for Democracy and Technology released a new report exposing public schools in the U.S. for filtering and blocking LGBTQ+ and race-related content at higher rates than other texts.
    In fact, according to our National School Climate survey, 82% of LGBTQ+ youth reported feeling unsafe in school — and these censorship laws only cause more harm to Black queer students, who are already some of the most marginalized and excluded youth in our nation.”

  10. Hi Joe, I know I’m late to this conversation but I have thoughts. (Yes I realize I could keep them to myself). I live in Oregon, which is pretty much a beautiful blue bubble. The city I live in, Eugene, has the most lesbians per capita of any US city. The local cultural museum had a whole show about the history of lesbians and Eugene. In general, I see that it’s more dangerous being a gay man- for some reason that gets the MAGA people more upset.
    I teach middle school, and I have a ray of hope to share. 12 years ago, when I started, young people reacted with fear to people who are different- gay, of color, trans, neurodivergent. Now, there is more curiosity and openness. This generation sees so many different kinds of people on social media, and to them, it’s normal. As much harm as social media has done and can do, it has also made it impossible to live in a bubble, only seeing people who are just like you. And social justice is something they think about and talk about all the time. If we can just hold on til they grow up, I think society will be more tolerant.
    Your chickens make me so happy.

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