(This post is part of a series. You can read the first post, in which I discuss passing privilege, here.)
Many of you probably have at least a general idea of what Impostor Syndrome is but if you don’t I encourage you to go read Bridie Marie’s piece which describes the phenomenon and gives a healthy dose of kick-ass encouragement to help overcome it. What I’d like to talk about here is not necessarily the same but is functionally similar enough in the anxiety it inspires.
Queer Impostor Syndrome
In the great scheme of things I’m still pretty new to the world of intersectional feminism. At the same time, and largely because of it, I’m also still understanding, processing, and actively creating my own identity. Since I’ve been exploring my identity and confronting privilege at the same time I’ve had to remain constantly vigilant that I’m not using privilege to assume a socially marginalized or oppressed identity to which I don’t have a right*. This is basic respect and something we should all maintain awareness about but over time that constant vigilance and empathy has also resulted in what I think of as a kind of “queer impostor syndrome”.