Hi! My name is Charlie.
I am an English student at the University of Suffolk. I’m a writer. I’m an avid reader. I’m an Aries. I’m one of six siblings. I’m six foot tall. I’m blonde. I’m gay. I’m non-binary. I’m a vegetarian. I’m a horror fan. I’m co-editor of the LGBTQ+ section in this magazine.
Out of all the things that I’ve listed above, only two of them define me on a daily basis (more or less). Can you guess which two I’m referring to? Bet you thought it was the vegetarian and English student.
No, in society I’m defined by my sexuality and my gender. I have been asked – no – screamed at on the streets by people who feel entitled to know what my gender is, ‘Are you a boy or girl?’ or ‘I can see your p**** you’re not fooling anyone’. These are random strangers. They stare, they whisper and they sometimes say things. As much as I would love to say that this doesn’t affect me, it does. It’s upsetting to be placed as a spectacle to be gawked at.
People don’t question the books that I have read or the horror movies I’m into, no, they wonder what gender I’m attracted to or what genitals I have beneath my clothing (although, I must add, I have a beard so I always assumed it would be obvious).
My aim for this section is to share the community’s voices, whether you’re gay, straight, bisexual, transgender and any other gender or sexuality I haven’t mentioned. If the cisgender heteronormative people of the world want to place us in the spotlight and make a spectacle of us, we might as well do it on our terms.
I want to hear from the LGBTQ+ community, what do you want to address? What do you want to talk about? I’m open to all and any ideas!