before i say anything about this (“this” of course being the “omg anne frank was bi” thing), i just want to be clear: i am in fact myself a bisexual jewish lady! so! that’s where i’m coming from here.
the thing is—yes, of course, this is important. yes, it’s worth talking about. under no circumstances would i prefer anyone who didn’t already know this about anne to continue in ignorance, and i certainly don’t begrudge any queer person any inspiration or feelings of representation they take from learning about it. but it’s just… a little bit frustrating, i guess, to see everyone suddenly become SO FASCINATED by anne frank now that you’re aware that you can potentially claim her as queer. i’ve never seen tumblr at large care quite this much about anne before—like, was she not interesting until now? was the identity for which she was in actual fact murdered not enough of an oppressed minority to be worthy of your attention? you’ve never seemed to especially care that her diary and the presentation of it were censored to deemphasize the specificity of her jewish experience and to mold her into the perfect nonthreatening victim for non-jewish readers to easily engage with (and, moreover, be implicitly forgiven by—like, please don’t for a second believe it’s a coincidence that “in spite of everything, i still believe that people are really good at heart” is its best-known quote), but now that it’s the censorship of her sexuality we’re talking about, well, THAT is an outrage!!!
and i am all for increasing discussion of the all-too-often overlooked stories of non-jewish victims of the holocaust; i think that’s incredibly important. but (a) that’s not even remotely what’s happening here—anne frank may well have been queer, but her persecution came entirely as a result of her jewishness, period, the end—and (b) the way we frame those stories can sometimes be kind of gross (i.e. stories of jewish victims are BORING and TIRED and OVERDONE—which of course often implies the “jews maliciously control the holocaust narrative” argument, how lovely—whereas other groups are what we REALLY need to be talking about now), and (c) the way we discuss this stuff often demonstrates a fairly serious lack of knowledge of how nazi persecution of lgbt people actually worked. (all of which is like, mostly—although not completely, if you look at some of the tags people have been using on that post—a slight digression from the topic at hand, but it still bears saying.)
i absolutely do not mean or want to imply that any part of anne’s identity is irrelevant—i’m always super concerned about people treating her as some kind of idealized archetypal victim symbol rather than as an actual person, and throwing away details that don’t fit a specific narrative does just that. but the way people have been reacting to this information is. i don’t know. it feels kind of weird.
because for me personally, as someone who is both bi and jewish, looking at how tumblr has reacted to this and comparing that to how it engages with the holocaust in general just… really throws into sharp relief which of my own personal identities you all do and don’t care about, you know? and i mean, it definitely isn’t news or anything, but it’s not particularly enjoyable, either. so.
I am also a bisexual jewish woman and I find myself resonating SUPER STRONGLY with everything here. I tend to keep myself to myself about both the bi thing and the jew thing because they aren’t what I want to spend my energy fighting about on tumblr, but, yeah. yeah.