My sexuality is fluid and I consider myself pansexual. I am still queer-identified though I have been in a straight appearing relationship with a man for almost four years. Outwardly, we look straight and people make the assumption that I am straight. I wear a rainbow colored bracelet around my wrist for a few reasons -- mostly because I just like rainbow colors, but also because I enjoy having the solidarity with my queer identity. It's like wearing a wedding ring to signal that you're married, I wear my rainbow bracelet to show that I'm queer. It doesn't make me love my boyfriend any less or wish I was dating anyone else. I just really don't care about gender, that's not why I love him.
I was getting my hair done in the Mission area of San Francisco last week, and I was casually making awkward conversation with my stylist to pass the time. I mentioned my boyfriend in passing, and she interrupted me and said "Wait, your boyfriend? I thought you were gay!" and pointed to my bracelet. I replied with, "I'm queer, but yes, I have a boyfriend." She kind of stayed quiet after that and I could see her kind of pondering how that could be possible. It was complete blindness to the concept of a bisexual orientation (or the possibility that I or my partner are transgender). Even though I don't consider myself bi, sometimes I will tell people that I'm bi just to save the inevitable conversation where I explain to them what pansexuality is. I should take the time to educate people, but it can be kind of awkward when I don't know the person.
This is just one example about how queer identities that aren't strictly same-sex can be stigmatized or erased. If other people see me walking down the street with Mr. Boyfriend, they assume we're straight. There is no possible way I could have a boyfriend and be anything BUT straight. Bisexuality isn't really seen as a queer identity, it's just something that you do while drunk. It's not really a Big Deal(tm) that people don't see me as queer when we're together -- being pansexual isn't something I necessarily want everyone to see in passing while they walk by. But assumptions like the one at the hair salon happen all the time. I've had it mentioned in gay clubs before - "why are you here? You're straight!" or from other gay people - "You wouldn't understand because you're straight."
Sometimes, wearing that bracelet helps other LGBT people know they can connect with me. At the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco this year, I was wearing my bracelet. Someone in the game industry who I didn't know walked up to me and asked if I was going to go to the LGBT Game Developers roundtable. I didn't even know that mixer existed, and if this person hadn't spotted my rainbow bracelet and saw me as a potential attendee, I wouldn't have gone to what was a very interesting event. I've struck up conversation with people at coffee shops about local queer-geared events. Sometimes having my visible 'proof' has been a good way to meet people and find conversation about similar interests.
I own up to my privilege. I know that I'm a middle class white cis woman who is able bodied (at least for now) and has had a lot of opportunities that others don't have. But people can be privileged in some regards and marginalized in others. I don't think it's fair that I have to answer to straight privilege when I am not straight. This is why there should be more careful discussions around privilege when it's not necessarily clear how people themselves are marginalized. I don't know people's income levels, their sexuality, or their mental health status just by looking at them. We love to bucket people into clearly divided groups based on affordances, but we should be mindful that we're not making assumptions about people based on our own stereotypical preconceived notions of what marginalized people look like.