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Impromptu “Interview” With MTV’s Ari Fitz

29 Jan

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There is a reason I stomp around preaching the benefits of developing an active social media presence (and defending my addiction) because sometimes it will lead to an opportunity, great or small. The right tweet sent at the right time with the appropriate handles addressed and relevant hashtags can get all the right eyes scrolling in your direction. I recently experienced this when I tweeted at current MTV Real World: Ex-plosion badass and visionary Ari Fitz concerning a small blurb I wrote about her in a previous post.

Screen Shot 2014-01-29 at 11.29.29 AMIn what seems like typical Ari fashion, she happily responded to my tweet and eventually the questions I sent to her via email.  She is a wonderful example of maintaining an active social relationship with her fans as well as those she has an interest in working with professionally. My questions were not the most eloquent or engaging considering they were hastily thought of in the context of my life experiences and what I’ve been reading lately, but still she took the time to reply in which I will share with you. As I addressed in the previous post, these questions (on a very basic level) revolve around the idea of intersectionality and how it poses difficulties navigating through the world of self-identity and dating.

Have you always been aware of your sexuality?

Ari Fitz: Not really. It was never a big realization for me. I just fell for a girl (like hard!) one day and when it continued to happen, I just smiled about it and kept going.

Were you hesitant when you discovered this aspect of yourself?

Ari: No, not really. It’s just another part of who I am, if anything if teaches me a new way to view identity, love, body issues, gender, etc. In short, I have a gift because of the way I love. It’s called unique perspective.

Were you raised in a predominantly white environment?

Ari: Nope. I grew up in Vallejo, Ca which was mad diverse. My best friend is 4’11 confident, tough and Filipina & Puerto Rican. I have really close good friends from where I grew up that are White, Black, Filipino/Pacific Islander, Asian, Hispanic/Latino, etc… Something else I’m thankful for that’s given me perspective.

Your ex on the show is white, have you always dated white women?  Have you felt guilt for doing so?

Ari: Ashley is half Chinese and half “White” (Italian, Irish). She’s the girl I’ve dated that isn’t Black or Latina. She’s one of my best friends, she’s stood by me when I was absolutely nothing and she’s supported me since day one so I have absolutely no guilt about being involved with her.

Were you ever worried your partner would say or infer something racist and not be able to understand why that was problematic?

Ari: Sure and I’m equally afraid I might say something that offends her upbringing as Ashley was raised traditionally Chinese. She and I are human. She and I make mistakes. I know her heart is pure, even purer than mine at times so if she makes a mistake or says something “outta pocket”, I know that’s a conversation we can have and she’ll genuinely apologize/correct.

As you grew and became more educated and experienced adult life, has your perception of being a black and gay woman evolved?

Ari: Oh man. Yes, yes and yes. How could it not?

*BONUS*  For shits and giggles, what are your opinions on sex toys?  Welcomed in the bedroom?

Ari: Quick answer is, I love them and click on my Good Vibes page. Boom! 😉

From what I’ve gathered thus far it seems as though Ari Fitz is quite the motivated creative who is exceptionally conscious of herself and the world surrounding her.  What more could you ask of a woman working hard to have her visions seen and stories heard? Stories that speak to a community who are otherwise starving for any kind of sustenance.  Luckily for us Ari is developing a presence in the film community. Check out her short film The Anniversary costarring her equally gorgeous ex, Ashley:

 

I do believe she is currently working on a prequel to The Anniversary so look out for that.  I don’t know about you all but I’m excited to see what the future holds for her. Keep up with her shenanigans on Twitter and don’t forget to watch her in action Wednesdays at 10pm on MTV.

Lesbians Get Me To Watch Bad Television

10 Jan

ladytragik.com

arifitz.com

The first thing that comes to mind at the utterance of “bad television” is of course reality… I mean “reality” television.  It’s cheap to produce, essentially writes itself,  no complexity, no sets, and there will always be hoards of desperate citizens lining up to audition for their 15 minutes of fame.  What a great business formula.  My first memories of watching reality TV and being completely enthralled lie with Cops, Rescue 911, early American Idol, and of course The Real World.  The only one I’m still very devout to is The Real World and all spinoffs that have born and died i.e. Road Rules and subsequent challenges.  Currently I am watching VH1’s Couples Therapy (shudders in disgust) and The Real World: Ex-plosion because they have resident lesbians and I am weak and cannot resist.

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First on the menu is the lesbian world’s volatile poster-couple Whitney and Sara.  Or is it Sada now?  When did she change that?  Anyway, they’re on television airing out all their dirty button ups.  After the first episode I was just thrilled to seem them on my TV screen.  After the second episode I was ready to throw myself off the nearest elevated point.  Clearly I understood before viewing that Whitey and Sada would not be the focal point of the show, but I don’t think their participation is enough to keep me watching (totally kidding it is).  I am only watching the show because I crave real life lesbians on my television even if it’s through the lens of unsavory VH1 programming.  I will accept the fact that this is no The Real L Word  and there is no lesbian sex, no other lesbians, and will listen to the wild stories brought to me by the other quasi-famous heterosexual couples.  No offense hetero world but the only celebrity heterosexual couple I care about is Beyoncé and Jay Z.  Maybe Whitney and Sada will tell us something we did not already know about their relationship.  Here, have a laugh at AfterEllen’s Couples Therapy recap by Chloë, she’s quite the looker.  Oh and here’s the second episode recap.

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Next on the menu is the delectable main course and she goes by the name Ari Fitz, The Real World’s resident lesbian.  Mind you, as you should know, The Real World is the the origin of reality TV and they did it right.  The show hasn’t always been on my list of crap television.  They used to tell beautiful stories by sticking seven strangers in a house.  Now… exaggerated, alcohol-fueled drama gets the views.  After airing for 22 years I can see how the charm faded.  Before you continue reading here, check out the informative interview AfterEllen conducted to learn a little about this magnificent and gorgeous woman.  Ari Fitz.  The name just seems appropriate for a sensible badass, in which she fulfills.  A young woman of color, with natural hair, who is open about her sexuality?  I am so onboard for this season and her experiences.  After one episode I have a feeling I am going to love her presence and relate to her more than any of the other 29 seasons of cast members.  She seems ambitious, compassionate, and confident with her being.  If I ever had the opportunity to interview her, many of my questions would attest to her intersectionality:

  1. Have you always been aware of your sexuality?
  2. Were you hesitant when you discovered this aspect of yourself?
  3. Were you raised in a predominantly white environment?
  4. If so, did that affect your opinion of other blacks who were raised in predominantly black or mixed environments?
  5. Your ex on the show is white, have you always dated white women?  Have you felt guilt for doing so?
  6. Were you ever worried your partner would say or infer something racist and not be able to understand why that was problematic?
  7. As you grew and became more educated and experienced adult life, has your perception of being a black and gay woman evolved?

These are just a few of the questions I would ask because as a black and gay woman myself, I’ve asked myself the same things recently.  Being a part of two disenfranchised groups and yet assimilating (if that’s what she did) is truly a unique experience and the story should be told honestly.  Sometimes we watch TV to escape and others we watch to see ourselves and our stories.  While it is not Ari’s or Mtv’s responsibility to tell that story, it would be pretty awesome if viewers could catch a glimpse of it.  Either way I am quite ecstatic to see her story unfold.

Disclaimer: I did not talk about her physical appearance  because she’s more than that but hot damn is she not sexy?  I mean she is a model but wow.  I am so very attracted.  Shout out to all the femme lesbians of the world, she’s making you visible!  I am a dater of femmes so I am extra pumped to watch her do her thang.

Hooray for indulging in trash TV.  Sometimes you need it to cleanse your refined palette.

The Art of Rejection

22 Dec

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After sitting in my drafts for a bit I’ve yet to come up with any new, profound points about experiencing and consequently rising above rejection.  I’ve also been temporarily paralyzed by my (most recent) personal meeting with rejection.  Hopefully I avoid sounding like a whiney millennial because… none of those are here right now.

In the last two weeks I made it to the final round of candidates for a dream position of sorts, had quite the encouraging interview (with encouraging activity from the interviewers), and waited for a week in high but realistic spirits.  A week later I was smacked in the face with the most generic rejection email.  It was almost as though I had never talked with anyone affiliated with the organization.  I refreshed my inbox several times to insure I did not read the message incorrectly.  But of course, there it was, the rejection just comfortably sitting there–mocking me.

It’s almost comical how many instances of rejection we will experience in our lifetime.  That little girl didn’t want to hold your hand in the sandbox.  Your body rejected your first navel piercing.  The girl with a constellation of freckles (damn I’m sounding like Thought Catalog…) and honey eyes politely rejected your offer to take her on a date.  Your professor rejected the topic for your final paper.  Your dream job and others like it send you a sugary coated e-reject on a weekly basis.  The list infinitely continues.  Rejection is the gift that keeps on giving (among the other “gifts” that keep on giving).  Yes, it is a gift if you take the necessary steps and use it as a catalyst for growth and success!

Here are my steps:

Step 1 is a completely natural response to disappointment and should not be skipped.  After every other failure comes back to haunt you,  I think it’s appropriate to spend a short amount of time acknowledging your sadness.  What a great way to remind yourself that you have feelings, meaningful goals that you would like to accomplish, and have made efforts to reach them.

I find myself suspended in step 2 whether or not I’m going through the stages of rejection.  I know my generation is supposedly stuck in the “existential vacuum” and I am completely corroborating that notion.  However, existential does not necessarily equal nihilistic, apathetic, or lazy–which are additional terms that often get thrown into the vortex of immobile millennials.  

Step 3 is somewhat like a passive rebellious phase for me. My mind begins conjuring up images of me traveling to exotic destinations and being transparent; rejecting western values, corporate America, and the white picket fence portrait (Note:  I already generally reject these notions to lesser degrees).  Ultimately, I am all bark and no bite.

Alas, the light at the end of the rejection tunnel reveals itself as step 4 slaps you back into reality.  Your friends and friendly strangers are there bandaging your wounds, giving you lollipops, and offering you all kinds of next steps that never even crossed your mind.  Confidence regenerates and you’re feeling stronger than ever.  You even appreciate the rejection because with it came experience and evidence that you are trying to level up in life.

Leveling up requires the final step of getting back out there.  Change your approach and typical patterns that seem to result in rejection.  Maybe there’s a different strategy or perspective you did not consider because it’s unfamiliar to you.  Tweaking your routine will yield other results and get you one step closer to that life goal.

This is the simple way in which I experience rejection.  I probably sound dramatic but it’s not my fault because I’m involuntarily hyper-aware of my emotions. Embrace rejection.  You were rejected for a reason so kindly thank the Universe for nudging you in more correct directions.

Blue is the Warmest Color: Not a Lesbian Film

18 Nov

**Spoilers Ahead**  Also  jumbling of random thoughts as the film is very long and I will probably be piecing together my feelings until I see it again.

After months of anxiously waiting, Googling, and Youtubing the internationally acclaimed film Blue is the Warmest Color, I finally got to indulge myself in all 179 minutes of emotionally charged  glory.  This is the first film involving a relationship between two women that didn’t register as a “lesbian film” in my mind but rather a story about self-discovery and exchanging energy rivaling that of the sun.  I walked out the theatre feeling emotionally exhausted and headed straight to the sushi bar with my friends to share reactions and alcohol.  Despite the length of the story I was enthralled the entire time because (obviously) I’m biased towards illustrations of same-sex relationships.  The shots were beautiful and simple, often with warm glows accompanying scenes of intense passion or happiness.  Extreme close ups were used during the most intimate scenes such as eating, kissing, and sex; something we’re not used to seeing in American films.

The infamous and well-lit sex scene started off sensually from my perspective.  I could feel their raw passion being released as they deeply explored each others bodies.  But the longer it progressed the more uncomfortable it got (not to me per say) and I really did not see how the addition contributed any more to the scene or film as a whole.  The male gaze was strongly present here as many articles have pointed out but it didn’t ruin my experience because I received the scene as another step in the evolution of their relationship and demonstration of human beings succumbing to their visceral, carnal desires.  Either way, I thought it was pretty damn sexy.  Another point of probable contention was Adéle’s infidelity with her male coworker, occurring approximately a few or so years into their relationship. Some saw this as the typical queer narration of the “straight” girl going back to guy.  Clearly that is not the case here.  Emma focused much of her time and energy in her work, which made Adéle feel undesired and under appreciated so she sought out another being who could fill the voids.  Attraction of any sort due to proximity is very common and so her decisions or mistakes have some validity.  I’m not condoning her cheating, but Adéle’s condition after Emma ferociously dismissed her from their shared home was indicative of her not “going back to men.”

It was almost physically painful to watch Adéle begin her monotonous life devoid of passion and energy.  She regresses back to her High School self, sleeping sprawled out and child-like, having sexual fantasies, and being mostly alone.  One of the most heartbreaking scenes came towards the end when Emma met Adéle in a café to reconnect.  Adéle’s intentions were obvious even before Emma sat down.  She was waiting poised, primped, and had ordered a glass of white wine, of which she called Emma’s stepdad to make sure it was a favorite of Emma’s.  Emma refused the wine and instead ordered a coffee.  Typical questions of ex lovers were passed back and fourth until Adéle asked Emma if she was sexually satisfied with her new lover (who has a child).  After ambiguously responding, Adéle aggressively and I suppose passionately kisses Emma and directs her hand to the crotch of her tights.  They briefly continue the heated moment in the public space until Emma stops, ultimately ending Adéle’s last efforts to win the love of her life back.  Emma then eloquently states that she has a family now but will always have “infinite tenderness” [for Adéle].  That was when mine and Adéle’s tears flowed in harmony, continuing as Emma got up and walked out, back to the love waiting for her at home.  I teared up because I could see and feel Adéle’s burning desperation.  Her emptiness.  I wanted to jump through the screen and give her words of advice from Sheryl Crow, “the first cut is the deepest.”

Overall, Blue is the Warmest Color met and maybe exceeded my expectations.   I enjoyed watching the passage of love between two very different individuals.  I am delighted the film was French not only for the beautiful language but for the French aesthetic.  Little dialogue and a lot of Mise-en-scène, cigarettes, and eating.  It forced the viewer to  focus on emotions told through eyes and mouths.  In an interview (they are so adorable and attractive) Adéle described the story as one about “skin, close ups, mouths, itching, and cumming” so they had to let their bodies speak.  It is perfect example of showing not telling and that really resonates with me.  The high-tensioned moments were dispersed among mostly uneventful scenes, which may be a more accurate portrayal of love than your average love stories.  The fact that my mind truly did not register this as a distinctly lesbian film, I think means that love honestly was the focus and not the sexuality of the characters.  I am looking forward to seeing how Blue performs during award season and the impact, if any, it makes in the future of film in terms same sex relationships.  Who knows, maybe we can get an actual queer person to write and direct one day!  If nothing else, see the film to gawk at the beauty (and bodies) and talent of Léa Seydoux and Adéle Exarchopoulos.

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I’m partial to Adéle.  The shape of her lips are so curious and irresistible to me.

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I Don’t Want To Be Gay

15 Nov

I was in the midst of writing a post about my current favorite music acts when suddenly I scrolled passed something on a Tumblr (I’m have tech ADD and on any regular day you can find at least 14 tabs open in 2 different windows) that made me sad.  Although this is not the first time I’ve heard or seen this statement from a member of the LGBTQ community, it still makes me cringe and ultimately evokes some emotion within me.  “I don’t want to be gay,” the young blogger posted followed by a series of questions asking her why.  Her response was simple, “I just think it would be easier.”

She is completely right and I am sympathetic toward her.  Life would be twice as easy if we didn’t self-identify as LGBTQ.  I don’t know about other members of the community, but when I came out the last thing on my mind was how difficult life would be if I came out.  I just knew that keeping the secret and those thoughts hidden would be more difficult than anything else.  After being out for almost 7 years now, there have been utterances resembling “I don’t want to be gay,” mostly in the context of dating and social life.

The discouraging reality is that if you don’t live in a major metropolis area such as L.A., Chicago, NYC, D.C., and the like, your pool of potential mates probably resembles the number of Blockbuster stores left.  The  selection of bars and clubs are most likely teeming with heterosexual clients making it doubly difficult for your gaydar to be perfectly calibrated and detect true lady lovers and not “strategic lesbian seekers” (no seriously, strategic lesbianism is a thing according to this Vogue article).  Visibility is such an annoying barrier when it comes to dating.  Your city probably doesn’t have a designated gayborhood like West Hollywood, Boystown, Dupont Circle, etc, for you to stroll the sidewalks and shops looking for a reliable pack of queer friends.  Luckily for me I’ve recently become closer to a couple of queer folk and it has done wonders for my comprehensive outlook on life.  It’s really quite nice to express your fears, happiness, concerns, and problems to someone who is looking at life through a similar lens as you.

In addition to dating being a herculean task, watching television and film  repeat the same heterosexual story lines and stereotypical “queer” story lines is just plain exhausting and again, discouraging.  I don’t have to go into detail about this because you all know… we just want to see something we can relate to every once in a while damn it.  There’s also the whole thing regarding laws and regulations that don’t protect us against discrimination when it comes to housing, employment, marriage, and benefits (making strides though).  Walking down the street holding your significant others hand might be a trying experience especially if you’re not in a progressive city.  The process of trying to have your own child appears daunting while adoption still has it’s hurdles as a same-sex couple.  Concluding findings:  of course it’s difficult being gay.  So how do you deal with your conflicting feelings?

The first step is embracing yourself.  You can’t be something you’re not, so why try to be anything else?  The faster you do this the more quickly you can use your experiences to your advantage. You acknowledged a nagging feeling within yourself and made the conscious effort to address it instead of running away from yourself.  That takes strength and you deserve all the credit in the world especially if you partook in the journey alone.  As a member in a marginalized group you have a perspective that is unique and valuable.  You have a special community spanning the globe that would most likely welcome you with open arms (that is if you don’t have to deal with racism, which is a whole other topic on intersectionality).  Your sexuality is not the defining characteristic of your being, but you should be proud of it.  You don’t have to ride with the Dykes on Bikes at the pride parade or sport rainbow colored everything.  Just love yourself for the progress you’ve made, love your significant other in a way that shows you’re proud of her, love your family and friends for supporting you and making efforts to move society’s acceptance along, and finally accept that none of us ever wanted to be gay… we just got lucky.

You Got Your Orientation Wrong

11 Nov

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Exhalation of relief…  You’re feeling weightless and naked.  After all of these months, years, you’ve finally come to terms with yourself that you are indeed sexually and/or romantically attracted to people of the same gender.  With such bravery and confidence you bare your soul and come out to the people in your life who mean the most.  They accept and support you more than you could have ever asked.  The road before you is paved and ready to discover life as you’ve always imagined it could  be.  Bright, colorful, vibrant, exciting. Exhalation.

A couple of years have passed since your revelation and you’ve bloomed ever so beautifully into your being.  Girls have come and gone, which is fine because you’re exploring what you like and don’t like.  You mostly frequent heterosexual establishments (because there are no gay bars around) and have no trouble catching the attention of male admirers (No offense to the male population, but all a woman has to do is exist and you swarm.  This is also my discontent with women not approaching me with such ease, manifesting).  With all of this male attention your mind starts to wander back over to the land of heterosexual, one that you’ve actually never visited.  A sort of panic rushes over you.

These thoughts of being with men start to intrigue you and your curiosity grows.  You become confused because you can’t figure out if your curiosity for men stems from your lack of attention and relationships with women or if you’re genuinely curious.  In reality, experimenting with a man for the first time after many women is not that big of a deal.  But in your head and your heart it goes against everything you’ve been piecing together about yourself since childhood.  What does it all mean?  After all, you are a red blooded woman and your biological urges still exist despite your declared sexuality.  I’m talking about sex.  You get urges and maybe you start to realize that for you, it doesn’t matter what gender the person satisfying you in that arena is.  Does this mean you’re not gay then?

This brings up the whole complex web/umbrella/scale of sexuality of which I claim to be no expert about at all.  Sometimes you can be sexually attracted to both genders and only romantically attracted to one or the other.  How do you deal with that?  Mention having a fling with a man and your friends will respond  “Told you!  We knew you were straight.”  Or maybe your parents will clasp their hands together thankful that your “phase” is finally over.  Obviously both responses are irrational because sexuality is not  black and white, but most people find it difficult to grasp that concept.  How does that affect you emotionally?  I imagine  the emotions are similar to coming out as something other than heterosexual.  It must be even more difficult especially if you’re a “Goldstar Lesbian” because it’s like My Whole Life has Been a Lie: Part II.  All of this could be avoided if our culture wasn’t sustained on a three choice orientation system.

You’re either gay, straight, or bisexual (but they get a lot of shit).  If orientation was taught, discussed, and accepted more widely on the scale system like it really is, we wouldn’t have such a need to declare a sexuality.  We  would also be less fearful to admit to ourselves and others when our desires and attractions change. We are human beings.  We are meant to grow, evolve, and discover ourselves.  Discovering who you are is both frightening and rewarding I know.  It takes practice, but eventually you’ll make all the decisions that correlate to your happiness.  I’m still working on that too.  We’re all getting there.  We’ll get there someday.  You didn’t get your orientation wrong, you just found something else that also floats your boat.

My Coming Out Story.

18 Oct

At 23 posts I suppose it’s about that time I share my “coming out” story with my readers.  My apologies for my lack of posting (if anyone cares).  I’ve been a tad busy trying to be a real adult, which is rather challenging…  And my apologies for how wordy and unnecessary the following stories will seem:

I consider myself quite fortunate to be one of those lesbians who subconsciously knew she was different at about age 10.  I recall chasing girls around the playground and wanting to hold their hands much more than the boys; and that didn’t seem strange or abnormal to me at all.  I just knew that it was girls who made my stomach do backflips, and it felt good, and I wanted more.  To this day I still remember the girl that stole my heart at the jungle gym.  She’s married now (holy shit I must be old.  23 isn’t old), but even still when people ask me when did I know I was gay, I always mention her and my heart flickers a bit because she’s the one that started it all.

In 8th grade when girls started to experiment with boys and talk about them all the time I remember participating in conversations but I felt disconnected.  But like every year of my life it seems, there was a girl I had a crush on and we had this (what I thought) was an unspoken attraction.  I didn’t know what we had and I was probably misinterpreting everything per usual, but there was a reason I cried the day she moved and I never saw her again.  Such a sap I am.  In between her was another crush on someone who used to be my best friend (I know we were 2 way crushin’ on the first girl) and we played softball together.  GO FIGURE.  All the attractive and cool guys wanted her and she eventually picked one of them to be her long term boyfriend.  I was devastated especially because I thought we had some weird unspoken attraction as well.  I’m hardly wrong about those unspoken attractions.  Fast forward a few years and what do you know she’s dating a woman and they’re still together to this day!  All the while with these crushes, my ultimate crush was on this “gothic” beauty Amy Lee from Evanescence.

If you took a peep at all of my notebooks and binders from 7th grade though High School there was a 96% chance that Evanescence symbol would be scribbled somewhere.  This woman was the first significant female celebrity crush I had.  I owned every poster, magazine cover and article, CD, saw her in concert, and even had some autographed concert tickets and a belt buckle she apparently wore during one of her concerts.  Needless to say I was completely obsessed.  Fast forward to the latter days of High School and I was ready to come out to my friends.

The great thing about my High School friends (who are still my good friends) is that they were and still are the forward thinkers, the intellectuals, and the “hippies” so to speak.  I couldn’t ask for better friends.  I told different groups of friends at different times and they all had the same reaction: Explosive laughter and a bunch of “we’ve always knowns.”  What a relief. I  knew they would react that way but your first time coming out to meaningful people is difficult.  Fast forward to my freshman year of University and I was ready to come out to my parents.  *cue foreboding music*

Ah yes, the dreaded coming out to your parents.  What a stressful and anxiety ridden period.  Before I came out I bought Chaz Bono’s (then Chastity) book Family Outing: A GUIDE TO THE COMING-OUT PROCESS FOR GAYS, LESBIANS AND THEIR FAMILIES and studied the pages as if I had finals that week.  Once I felt confident enough in myself with the backing up friends and my roommates, I plotted my plan (I’m so grateful for the friends I made at University because they really helped me through a lot and I truly could not ask for better confidants).  I decided the best way to communicate with my parents would be to write two heartfelt letters because I wanted to make sure I was as thorough and clear as possible.  My parents are divorced so I had to do this twice.  I strategically gave my dad his letter a couple hours before he left for a week long vacation.  Mind you it took me at least an hour to build up the courage and hand it to him before I ran away and buried my head under pillows.  He read it, cried, hugged me, and apologized for making gay jokes in the past and proceeded to explain to me the kind of environment he grew up in and their opinions on gay people.  I eventually gave him the Chaz Bono book and he still has it in his desk drawer.  I’m unsure if he ever read it or not.  Overall I think it was a pretty successful coming out.  Although I was told a year or so down the road that he thought I was going through a phase.  That was about five years ago and surprise I’m still falling in love with ladies.  Giving my mom the letter was much easier.  I stopped by her house when she wasn’t there and left the letter in one of her drawers.  I called her and asked if she got it and of course she didn’t because I put it in the one drawer she never looks in.  After she read it she called  and laughed at me saying she’s known since I was in 6th grade.  Who knew?!  She then called the local PFLAG organization and had a conversation for whatever reason.  Coming out to my mom was a success as well.  I’m sure there were some feelings of sadness because I am her only daughter and you guys know how moms are.

At 23 years old I have the joy of saying I’ve never been rejected by any family members or friends.  At least not explicitly rejected.  My parents and I have never talked about my sexual orientation since I gave them the letters, which is understandable.  My family doesn’t really talk about dating or people we’re interested in because we’re all very much our own  private entities.  Whenever I do have the pleasure of finding a girlfriend I will not hesitate to introduce her to my family.

One thing I didn’t talk about in my story was the  depression and void I felt before coming out.  I think I touched based on it in my previous post, but if you can imagine it was horrendous.  I didn’t even feel like a real person.  It was more as if I was watching someone else on a little television with bad reception in a dark room.  The closet is truly suffocating and you’ll never be able to start your life until you acknowledge those feelings.  It’s one of those clichés that are overwhelmingly truthful.  So for anyone that has yet to come out, I highly encourage you to.  Seek the right people out if you need help whether it’s a friend or a stranger online.  Seek me out.  Life is much better on the outside, I promise.

Anatomy of this Personality

8 Sep

E: 33% N: 50% F: 50% P: 11%

I haven’t taken the MBTI  since my sophomore year in college. One of my best friends and I took a course designed for students who were trying to find any sign of their life-path hidden under residual debris left by the shit storm known as Life.  We had recently switched our major from the soul-sucking field of Chemistry (I still love science) and were hoping that a series of questions followed by some guidance could help us.  I know some people are hesitant to trust a test that details your personality, but I guarantee Myers-Briggs will describe you quite accurately.  My memory evades me of my first results but I’m confident they resembled the ones above, which is what I got after taking the MBTI a few weeks ago.

According to the Myers Briggs, I have the personality type ENFP: Extraversion, Intuition, Feeling, Perception.  How does Myers Briggs describe this?

  • ENFPs are initiators of change, keenly perceptive of possibilities. They energize and stimulate others through their contagious enthusiasm. They prefer the start-up phase of a project or relationship, and are tireless in the pursuit of new-found interests. ENFPs are able to anticipate the needs of others and to offer them needed help and appreciation. They bring zest, joy, liveliness, and fun to all aspects of their lives. They are at their best in fluid situations that allow them to express their creativity and use their charisma. They tend to idealize people, and can be disappointed when reality fails to fulfill their expectations. They are easily frustrated if a project requires a great deal of follow-up or attention to detail.

I can’t express how precise this description is… of me.  This also partially explains why my “coming out” period was especially difficult,  why I fall so hard from such great heights for ladies, and why (I think) my never-wrong Gaydar is modified to curious “straight” ladies.

Lets briefly discuss Extraversion and my coming out.  Imagine being the most boisterous and obnoxious kid in every classroom.  You always shouted answers, said hi to everyone, were probably classified as crazy, and were mostly full of enthusiasm that you wanted to share with friends and strangers.  Next, picture the exact moment in time  you discover the word defining your feelings for women, and that it isn’t normal.  Your internal sun burns out indefinitely and you crawl inside yourself only to fall to the darkest depths of your being. Depths so devoid of light that you pray (even if you’re not religious) no one else has to feel their way through it.  I’m sure closeted-introverts  have found themselves in similar darkness, but as a notorious extrovert it really took a toll on me.  Thankfully my internal sun has been burning brighter than ever for a while and I’m back to regularly scheduled enthusiasm.  People call me the life of the party and generally look in my direction to reassure themselves that it’s ok to start dancing in a bar where no one else is dancing.

I had to mention my habit of falling from such great heights because honestly, how the hell could this test know that my personality is the type to idealize people and be highly disappointed when expectation does not meet reality?  How the hell?  My friends will be the first to tell you how devastated I am when someone doesn’t meet my vision of them. I don’t know why I do this and I wish I didn’t because it steals so much energy from me.  However, I feel a bit better knowing that it’s a personality trait that is natural to me and it’s something I can work on.

Finally, lets chat about my magnificent Gaydar that needs re-callibrating.  Having a working Gaydar can be the most helpful tool a lesbian can have especially if you’re more of feminine-ish lesbian attracted to mostly other feminine lesbians.  Really there should be awards handed out to fem lezzies who find other fem lezzies because it’s thee most frustrating activity ever and I wish there was an easier way.  There isn’t one so we rely on Gaydar, or in my case Bi-dar or curious-dar.  As an ENFP I am keenly perceptive of change, able to anticipate the needs of others, and work best in fluid situations where I am able to use my charisma.  I’m thinking that this is a deadly combination for reeling in all the curious, feminine straight girls.  I can perceive which ladies are feeling me, anticipate what they might be missing from boys (and fill it in), and then I use my charm in situations to catch them.  This cycle continues for a while until they get freaked out and run away or push and pull me until I’m done.  Nonetheless, thank you Myers Briggs for helping shed some light on my tendencies.  Maybe one day I will stop this vicious cycle.  Or maybe I’m addicted to it in some sick way.

I hope this didn’t make me sound like some cocky asshole tootin’ her own horn.  I’m just reporting results.  ENFP’s are known as “Champions,” which means that when they “speak or write,  they are often hoping to use their convictions to motivate others to participate in advocacy or they hope to reveal a hidden truth about the human experience.”  What a coincidence, that is precisely the reason I started this blog.

What’s your type?

I Hope I Have A (Longterm) Lesbian Co-Worker One Day

12 Aug

Adulthood.  What an intimidating word.  Images of bills, endless responsibility, distancing friendships, and full-time+ work.  Eventually your coworkers become a family of sorts  because you spend the majority of your time with them.  I genuinely consider many of my coworkers (past and present) a part of my family.  They make me feel safe, they give me confidence, confide in me, share things with me, and make me laugh.  These things are great, but there always feels like something is missing.  Like I can’t be myself completely because they just won’t understand an important part of me, and that is no fault of theirs.

I’ve held a job since I was old enough to drive myself back and fourth to work during the summers.  Out of those 7 years I’ve only had one open-ish LGBTQ coworker, and the experience was unlike any other I’ve had.  We only worked together for a few months before she left, but I cherished our time together.  We could talk freely and openly about our lady experiences together.  I know it’s possible to have that conversation with heterosexual coworkers, but the same connection and understanding would be impossible to have.

For all my heterosexual readers: Imagine that you worked in an environment where you were the only heterosexual identifying employee.  How would that make you feel?  How would you feel listening to two men talk about their night at a gay club, or girlfriends talking about where (or what… hehe) they ate the previous night?  Maybe they share stories about being discriminated against because they held hands walking down the street or the people they’re attracted to.  Maybe you wouldn’t feel so out of place the first time.  But imagine that happening repeatedly five days a week for 3 decades.  You possibly start longing for an acquaintance.  Someone who can uniquely relate to your experiences.

I dream of working in a corporation where my boss identifies as LGBT or at least a handful of coworkers.  I’m sure their sexuality would be non-factor in business operations, but I would feel an unspoken connection and pride working for/with them.  My heart would swell with joy knowing I could be wholly myself and talk about my troubles without worrying about the consequences or unsolicited and inappropriate commentary.  I dream of working with professional lesbians because I don’t know any.  Everyone likes a role model, and I am no different.  I’d love nothing more than Bette Porter ordering me around the office or Ellen Degeneres critiquing me on what I could improve upon, while Lena and Stef have lunch with me.  Hell, I’d even take out J. Crew president Jenna Lyons telling me how disgusting my style is.  I think you get my point by now.

Now… I’m sure my chances of ever working with a lesbian in a workplace resembling corporate America ( not as dusty or traditional) is very slim.  Until then I’ll just continue my journey of finding some really good lesbian girlfriends.  Still don’t have any of those either.  Actually there is one girl and she’s awesome and understands the way my brain works and she’s currently dating a girl so we share things.  Baby steps people.  Keep hope alive.

Love who you love.

Orange Is The New… Obsession

29 Jul

OITNB

Orange Is The New Black has been available for our viewing pleasures for approximately 2.5 weeks.  If you’re one of the unfortunate souls who has yet to binge watch all 13 episodes in a week  (or 2 days), WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?  Do you remember that girl you had a crush on who consumed your thoughts your every waking moment?  The girl who could flip a switch on every emotion you carry within yourself?  This show is that girl.  Our eyes, brains, and souls have been waiting for a show like this.  A show created by a kickass woman (Jenji Kohan, the creator of Weeds) that features even more kickass women characters.  Frankly, this show has increased my lesbian pride ten-fold because I am just in awe and lust with every contributor to this project.  My initial interest in the show was sparked because I saw a gif of a naked Piper Chapman and Alex Vause in the shower; and that was all the motivation I needed to dive right in to this treat of a show.  However, the show moves far beyond our lady-on-lady prison fantasies.  Each woman has a story and their stories are raw and emotional.  Their personalities are vastly different offering us a smorgasbord of traits to love, hate, and connect to.  Obviously my mini review of the show will not rival the hundreds of “expert” reviews online, but I thought I’d share my perspective anyway.

I have a favorite character, but truthfully, I love each character and what they have to offer the show.

Can we just look at this cast?  Hot Donna.  Britney Spears’ BFF from the movie Crossroads. The lesbian sent to reform camp in But I’m A Cheerleader. Talents from the stages of Broadway.

Look at the diversity.  We have black, white, Russian, Latina, transgender, feminine, masculine, skinny, chubby… And that’s only the characters in this photo.  Other characters are a butch lesbian, a yogi, the side bitches, etc.  The variety is just unreal.  The other great thing about the show is that the characters don’t feel stereotyped at all.  Each dialogue feels natural and each inmate gets their time in the spotlight.  We learn their backstories.  We see their transformations and begin to feel for these women.  Can you guess who my favorite character is?

Thank You Jesus

Alex Vause is my favorite inmate because the way I lust after her is something serious.  She reminds me that I am definitely a dyke.  Her swagger is truly off the meter.  The way she seems so confident and unafraid on the outside, when in reality she’s so broken on the inside.  She’s not invincible like her body language gives off, and just like any other hot-blooded lesbian, she’s been destroyed by a “straight girl” (re: So You Fell In Love With ANOTHER Straight Girl).  She’s intelligent and resilient.  She’s unapologetic about her love for the female body.  Those black framed glasses and her subtle yet sexy mannerisms just top the sexy sundae that is Alex Vause.  She surpasses Shane from The L Word as being the lesbian with the most swagger.  For those who keep saying “there will never be another L Word and this sure isn’t it,” well of course it’s not.  You have to remember that this show is not just about lesbians.  In fact, the way sexuality is addressed in this show is phenomenal.  It’s normalized and mocked among the lesbian (or previously curious) characters, while simultaneously scrutinized by some of the other male and female characters.  Their interactions and relationships are just so wonderfully complicated and thoughtful that I still can’t believe this show exists.  I haven’t even touched the surface of the show in terms of what it offers to viewers.  I could write a 20 page essay on the show but I would need to watch the season over a few more times.

So just do yourselves a favor and go to Netflix right now and start watching.  If you don’t have Netflix there are other places where you can watch all 13 episodes.  You will laugh with tears streaming down your face.  You’ll cry and you’ll cringe in disgust and discomfort.  You might even have to go change your panties a few times.  Either way this show will make you feel some things a show probably hasn’t made you feel in quite some time.

Happy watching and feel relieved that season 2 is already a go.  Let me know what you think!