Tag Archives: Sexuality

Discover Your Truth & Claim It

15 Feb

The greatest thing you could ever do for yourself is discover your truth and claim it.  As I was winding down my relaxing, snow-infested, wine-infused evening on Valentine’s Day with a best friend, I decided to check Twitter.  The first tweet and essentially every one thereafter rattled off congratulations among other things to talented actress and all around articulate individual Ellen Page for coming out at the HRC Time to Thrive Conference.  Needless to say my little lesbian heart stopped and began to fill with love and happiness for her.  I don’t think I could have asked for a more appropriate and warm ending to Valentine’s Day (unless maybe… if I had like an actual girlfriend).

Standing tall and proud at 5′ 1″ with a fiery passion in her voice, Ellen Page’s presence engulfed the room and touched my soul through my laptop.  While she was visibly nervous (appropriately so), the mission and purpose of her speech rose above it.  She so eloquently narrated the struggle that countless people are experiencing day in and day out.  She took a community of people and hoisted them upon her shoulders while simultaneously standing beside them.  Not only did Page reassure the LGBTQ community that she hears them and has too crawled through the dark spaces in the closet, but she reminded the entire world of how simply being less horrible to one another could make a significant difference; a seemingly easy task that so many people cannot master or even practice.  Prefacing her coming out with 5’30” of poetic prose describing poisonous Hollywood standards and stereotypes, the importance of finding community, and the significance of everyone’s story demonstrates that she is honorably taking on the behemoth monster that is equality.  She said it herself:

“Maybe I can make a difference.  To help others have an easier and more hopeful time.  Regardless for me, I feel a personal obligation and a social responsibility.  I also do it selfishly because I’m tired of hiding and I’m tired of lying by omission.”

Oftentimes when spotlight figures come out, those who have no grounds to make comment tend to do so in the most careless ways.  High atop pedestals, there are some heterosexuals who feel as though what they have to say is valuable and warranted when it fact the opposite is true.  Comments such as “it’s about time she came out” or “this is news because…” or “I knew she was gay” or my favorite from heterosexual men: “what a shame, she’s good looking.”  I say this to them: until you’ve carried the burden of being closeted, the fear, the hopelessness… there is nothing you can say to that individual that can take away their truth and journey.  Commenting on someone else’s truth and experience is meaningless especially when you’ve never experienced anything resembling it.  Hell, even if in your mind you think you’ve experienced something resembling their experience, I can assure you it is not the same.

Ellen Page coming out is important for endless reasons because there are still an endless number of human beings struggling in silence, on the receiving end of abuse, and a plethora of other byproducts leftover from living your truth when it does not fit into societal standards.  When I was younger and still in the closet the only examples of gay women near my age were fictional characters.  While I found support from those fictional characters, I’m confident that the impact would have been far greater if I had had a significant, real life example.  I can guarantee that hundreds if not thousands of young teens and beyond gained some courage and confidence last night after hearing Page’s speech (the same can be said when Michael Sam came out).  So yes those questioning, every time an important figurehead discloses their sexuality to the public, it is important and it does make a difference. In addition, Page is showing her immense bravery as a member of Hollywood, an industry where image and reputation is the most important factor (mind you she is in the upcoming X-Men film).

“Love, the beauty of it, the joy of it, and yes, even the pain of it is the most incredible gift to give and to receive as a human being and we deserve to experience love fully, equally, without shame and without compromise.  There are too many kids out there suffering from bullying, rejection, or simply being mistreated for who they are.  Too many drops outs, too much abuse, too many homeless, too many suicides.  You can change that and you are changing that; but you didn’t need me to tell you that…”

The closing statements of Ellen Page’s speech that left me teary eyed said it all.  Coming out matters because love is one of the most incredible experiences we can have as human beings.  It matters because you help pave the path to equality a little bit further.  It matters because one day we won’t have to come out anymore.

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?

Terms “Googled” To Find My Blog

3 Jun

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I really love WordPress and all the data they offer you in terms of the visitors to your blog.  I thought I’d share just a few of the search terms people use to get to my blog.  Based on the search terms I’d say there are a lot of people out there who are quite curious about lesbian dynamics.  That’s why I decided to start writing about my own experiences/perceptions as a self-identifying lady lover.  I thought I might as well add something to the public mix because there are women out there searching for answers or advice.  You really can never have enough resources.  You can never have enough perspectives.  Maybe someone can relate to my perspective better than one of the numerous other lesbian blogs/vlogs available.

I know this doesn’t constitute a real post, but I thought it was important to inform my viewers just how many eyes come across my page.  I’m actually surprised how many views I get daily because I hardly advertise the URL.  This means that people are actively searching out for things of the lesbian persuasion.  I’ll continue to write about all aspects, theories, thoughts, observations, and personal experiences.  I might not have the most eloquent or technically sound writing, but I always try to be as real as possible; no matter how unfavorable my perspective may be.

Keep on reading.  Keep on commenting.  Ask questions.

Jam out with your clam out.

Sexuality, Race, Dating.

9 May

I googled "interracial couples" to find these images

It’s the subject people hardly like discussing because… well because we’d all like to think that in 2013 this is not an issue or a factor in our decisions/thoughts, but in reality, whether consciously or subconsciously, race does have an influence in our mind.

I’d like to start out with mentioning that I love discussing race/ethnicity often, especially as a person of color.  I love hearing various perspectives, asking questions, and navigating the thoughts of others, specifically those of the caucasian persuasion.  I wish more people could  discuss this important topic in a scholarly and non-threatening manner, but as I said earlier, it’s a sensitive topic.

I will start by building a platform of myself.  If I am walking down the street, 100% of passing strangers will classify me as African American.  That is a correct observation.  I grew up in a predominantly white neighborhood.  I went to elementary school, Jr High School, and High School in an environment that was quite diverse.  In fact, the diversity that I grew up around seemed to be an anomaly of sorts as I grew older and talked to more people about their childhood.  Even with all this diversity, my childhood/current friends are still predominantly white.  This is most likely due to the classes I was enrolled in during school.  I’ve taken advanced classes since I was in 5th grade and it just so happens that ~96% of my classmates for seven years were white.  I received my bachelors degree in 2012 at one of thee whitest Universities  in America.  We’re known as the “Public Ivy League” and the average student seemingly is wealthy, preppy, stuck up, attractive, and well… white.  If you only spend a short amount of time on that campus you will certainly come to those conclusions.  However, I spent four years there and I truly couldn’t imagine going to a different University.  Granted, I probably would’ve fit in much better at numerous other institutions but I like a challenge when it comes to people.  In 2013 my friend group, which feels large, is still predominantly white.  One thing I hear often from them as well as strangers is  “you’re not really black…” and a variation of this statement.

Personally I think my perspective of race, behavior, and relations is far more mature than most people.  I feel like could write a dissertation on the matter.  But I digress.  There’s a reason we as humans stereotypes and compartmentalize different groups into categories.  It helps us quickly make judgements about people in order to protect ourselves.  It’s an unconscious evolution thing (I think).  How does this innate human behavior affect us when it comes to dating?

We can’t help who we’re attracted to.  My history of attraction with real life people just happens to be 100% white women.  Now if you put celebrities in that percentage then we’d need a pie chart to illustrate.  Nonetheless, I think who I’m currently attracted to comes from the environments I’ve spent the majority of my lifetime in.  I’m not saying that I could never be attracted to a woman who is not white.  Actually, every time I’ve gone to visit  friends in cities that are  breathtakingly diverse, my attraction shifts to just about every woman who is not white, or at least my interests greatly diversify.  I love that I’m able to do that.  My worry is that the majority of others aren’t able to do that.  For me, dating outside of my race has never even been a concern.  Not once have I ever been fearful of being attracted to someone who is not African American.  My siblings display the same philosophy as well.  They too have never dated anyone who was African American (not to my knowledge).  I think my concern lies in the fact that I know it’s hard enough to come out as LGBTQ, but then to lay on your friends and family that your partner is of a different race adds another complex dimension.  No one wants to make things harder than it already is, so why would they take that risk?  Maybe I’m just lacking confidence in the human race as a whole.  My faith in people and their willingness to explore things and people different from them is pretty nonexistent.  I often hope I’m wrong.  But then I remember that not everyone is the same and those people who live with tunnelvision eyes are not for me.  There are people out there who are attracted to the person and not what they look like.   But what happens  if you fall for someone with tunnelvision eyes?  I live my life carrying a grandiose personality and I try to throw it on every one who comes near me.  However, I walk through life subconsciously thinking someone will miss out on me because they’re not attracted to someone of my color.  Again I know that’s their loss, but what a terrible occurrence.  People immediately dimiss others because they’re not attracted to them, because their race isn’t in their history of attraction.  I do that too…

So how do we deal with this?  Just keep being yourself.  Be the best you and the right people will hopefully gravitate towards your presence.  If you ever fall for someone and they don’t like you back because of your skin color, well most likely you’ll never know.  How often will someone tell you they’re not attracted to you because you’re not white, black, latina, etc?  Rarely, because most people are respectful enough to not be explicitly assholish.  My last advice:

BE OPEN TO WHO YOU LOVE.  YOU NEVER KNOW WHO YOU COULD BE MISSING.

(I’ll try to follow my own advice)

(P.S. yay for television/media trying to become more diverse with programming.  Opening minds.  You still have a ways to go)

(P.P.S. Sorry if this was so scatter-brained.  I have so many thoughts about this)

You’re The Only Single One… In Your Group… Of Straight Friends…

10 Apr

Month after month, your friends and acquaintances repeat to you “Be patient… there’s someone out there for everyone.”  But is there really?  Truly, in the depths of my hopeless romantic soul, I do believe this.  But then reality slaps me back into this atmosphere, eyes wide open, and I can’t help but to observe it’s happening for everyone but the lone lesbian.  Or at least seemingly everyone (because obviously it’s not all of my friends… yet).  It just seems so easy for them to glide in and out of relationships and hookups.  Where do I sign up?

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How do you even date in the lesbian world?!  If you’re currently in an environment where there are no quality lesbian bars to choose from (or none at all), you’re pretty much stuck in a rut.  When you go out with your straight friends, you go to straight bars/clubs.  They’re kind of the most depressing places on earth because you have to get drunk enough to: 1) dance with whatever gross guy approaches you with no rhythm.  2) ignore the fact that all your friends are making out with someone and there you are swirling your drink(s).  3) build up enough bravado to approach the women you find attractive (and most likely get graciously denied).  I think the Tumblr post above states it best:  “Dating in the gay world is like finding a job.  You either do it on the internet or get referred.”  Well I must be doing something incorrectly because I have yet to be referred or found Internet gold in the dating or job world!  Not that I’m in a hurry or anything but I wouldn’t mind having a little distraction.  Also, having people repeatedly ask me if there are any girls in my life is getting tiresome.  I know being a lesbian automatically put me in the category of “get ready to never date anyone” because only ~3-6% of the American population identify as something other than heterosexual, but I didn’t think it would be this difficult.  Again, I know my environment at the moment can account for some of the difficulties I’m facing.  Although I think I’m thankful that I’m not caught up in a lesbian scene because based on personal accounts posted on various websites, it can get messy and everyone seems to have been recycled.  I mean, you know “The Chart” (Another L Word reference…  DO YOU SEE HOW MONUMENTAL THAT SHOW WAS TO LESBIANS EVERYWHERE?!  CAN WE BRING IT BACK PLEASE? OR SOMETHING LIKE IT?!  IN AMERICA?!).

 

P.S. all my pictures all clickable to the original source of the photo.

So how do we handle this situation?  Luckily we find ourselves in an era where hundreds of digital dating tools are at our fingertips.  We have dating websites like OkCupid and whatever the name of that site Facebook constantly advertises on my page (Sapphos, I think?).  We also have iPhone apps like Tinder and Grindr.  I’ve briefly browsed OkCupid a few times and each time I’m either underwhelmed with the suggestions or creeped out by the approach of many of its users.  Maybe one day I’ll return and give it another shot.  As for Tinder, I’ve heard it’s kind of fun and creepy to use but they do have a “girls only” option!  Now you may be thinking to yourselves ahh tech dating… yeah right.  Believe me, I still think that way in a sense.  My mind (or heart) still believes that I’ll find a version of love during some random encounter like in the movies.  However, it’s 2013!  Why not make use of all your resources?  If none of those suggestions specifically created for dating work for you, maybe you’ll get lucky and find some random on Tumblr or in the comments section of a lesbian website.  You just never know…

Sometimes when I’m left alone with my thoughts I often wonder if I were straight, would I have a boyfriend right now?  We’ll never know… I have a handful of guy friends who I think came into my life because we are soul mates.  I think they are truly the greatest and kindest souls on the planet and yet somehow every single one of them are single.  When we talk about dating and our chronic singledom, they always tell me that I’m much more interesting and intriguing than the straight girls they’ve met (I mean I probably am, haha).  In response I always tell them that they’re much easier to deal with than the lesbian/bisexual/bicurious girls I’ve ever met.  It’s a hilarious cycle of conversation.  Maybe I’d feel better if I had a really close lesbian friend who was also single and could share my sentiments.  Until I get that friend or have Fate place a stunning lady in my path, I think I’ll make an honest effort in concentrating on improving myself and reaching my goals.

Where are the Lesbians Between the Pages?

26 Mar

In the waning era (Hallelujah/hopefully) of Twilight and Fifty Shades of Grey, my inner-lesbian-spirit has been indefinitely vomiting all over the place.  As I wrote in an earlier entry (Read Here), all of my friends are hot blooded heterosexual women and some of them have read and even thoroughly enjoyed reading these series of… novels?  Imagine myself as I sit trying to comprehend the appeal and want to find a charming, dominating, heroic, type of man.  I can’t, because I don’t want that obviously.  Not all heterosexual women want that either of course.  What I’m gathering at is that in 2013, it is like searching for a needle in a haystack trying to find any inkling of a lesbian romance in a novel.  In fact, finding a lesbian romance between women over the age of 17 seems to be a made up concept not available on mainstream bookstore shelves.  Although, some material may be available in smaller, more independent book stores.  Or maybe a feminist book store like Women & Women First.

If you don’t watch Portlandia then you probably have no clue about this. You should watch this show though because it’s hilarious.

The first time I sought out a story that my lesbian spirit could relate to, I thought Barnes & Noble would be a great place to start because they seem to have everything and if they don’t they can find it for you.  I eagerly walked in and headed straight to the desk where I asked the attendant where I could find the LGBT section in the store.  He then proceded to tell me that they were in the process of eliminating that section because people have been arguing that segregating the books into their own category is not conducive to progression… Or something like that.  Basically, treating the books as something different than other books is not ideal.  Personally, I’m okay with the section because it makes it easier for me to find the things I want!  Nonetheless, there was one book case that had a shelf labeled “Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered” nestled between I believe African American and some other marginalized culture.  I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised to find half a shelf of material for me to pick from.  None of the choices were fiction, and there was some erotica, personal accounts, and short stories.  The book I was looking for was located in the Young Adult section, which makes sense but I was hoping to find more than what I did.  I’ve read two books so far that explore young girls discovering their sexuality while unsuspectedly falling in love with another girl.

I think both books are proficient in describing the pain, fear, and sometimes denial from loved ones, that comes with acknowledging one’s sexuality for the first time.  I completed  Annie on my Mind today.  While the book’s 1982 publishing date is a bit dated, I thoroughly enjoyed the story of Liza and Annie.  It’s nice to get a perspective of obstacles faced by the LGBT community growing up in a time before the Internet and explosion of user created content.  Your information either came from small entries in Encyclopedias, or if you were brave enough, you checked out books about homosexuality in the library.  Keeping You a Secret was published in 2003 and does a better job illustrating a more modern day homophobia.  The type where people have the opportunity to be appropriately informed about homosexuality, but choose to remain ignorant about it.

2003 was a decade ago and I think it’s time for more romance plots to be between two girls (or women).  There’s been a clear increase of lesbian visibility on television so I’m hopeful there will be a change in the literature department soon.  Obviously this will require more lesbian authors to emerge or those willing to attack such a controversial subject with accuracy and passion (also publishers and whatever else comes with publishing).  I know there is an infinite number of lesbian short stories and fan fiction available online, but it’s not the same as holding a physical book in hand, knowing that someone thought your story was important enough to print and publish to the world.  Young girls struggling with their sexuality deserve to see themselves in the books they read.  If anything, they deserve to escape to a world where they can feel comfortable and safe inside the pages of a book.  If I don’t see anything soon maybe I should try writing something like my story.