“Who are you to judge me!” is a line all of us have used at some point in our life in order to create a protective shield against the negative criticisms hurled upon us by our critics. Also the reverse i.e. ‘who am I to judge you!’ is a fairly common line used by the supporters of LGBTQIA+ rights. There is something inherently wrong in these utterances. I have the utmost respect for all the fellow queer mates, allies and their respective intentions that drive them to utter these but a close analysis of the two aforementioned statements unearth a gaffe and that is a subtle tone of abandonment.
Of the two utterances, the latter is a favorite among the closet homophobes as it saves them the trouble of taking a clear stand on homosexuality in public. When one says ‘Who am I to judge you!’ the person actually means that being a human being doesn’t qualify you to be the judge of another human being. Indeed a nice way of thinking but ‘not judging’ in this context gets translated into ‘not dealing with’ the subject of ‘divergent sexual orientation and gender identity’. When somebody says this, it seems as though there is a possibility that had the person judged, the judgment would have been against the queer community. And that overtone is problematic. Even if one’s innate qualities such as gender identity and sexual orientation be brought under the scanner, there isn’t the slightest possibility that something ‘wrong’ will be found. In fact the word ‘judge’ becomes irrelevant when it comes to matters of gender identity and sexual orientation. Then why use such an absurd ‘word’ at all while addressing these issues! Or for that matter, why shy away from getting judged if someone is still keen on judging us!
Let us think of something better to say the next time someone tries to bully us or we try to empathize with the bullied. Any idea?!