October 13th, 2014

asleep at mal 9/09

National Coming Out Day...

Oops... I missed this Saturday. Not that I really have anything left to come out about, but from my point of view making myself visible is always good, and my thinking about who I am has definitely become clearer over the years.

Basically, I'm queer, bi/pansexual, genderqueer, hard femme, and polyamorous. But I didn't always know all of that - some of the terms weren't around when I was younger and trying to figure out who I was, and I've grown with time too.

Queer became a part of my life as a teen - when I started working with Act-Up and the gay community to fight for equal rights and proper treatment. At that point, I knew I liked girls but other than the occasional kiss I had only been involved with boys, so I was questioning but not yet bi/pansexual.

I knew I liked girls as well as boys when I was still in school, but I didn't identify as actively bi until my first relationship with a girl when I was in my 20s. And pansexual (which is a better definition), didn't come about until years later and is less known in the mainstream - but it means I'm attracted to people everywhere on the gender spectrum.

Genderqueer and hard femme came into my life in my 30s - I wasn't aware of them until then, but they are both excellent descriptors of who I've always been. Gender is very performative for me, and I deliberately chose to present myself in a way that fits those labels when I was 20 something. I strongly dislike pants (as in I have two pairs in my closet - for the motorcycle), so skirts and dresses with an edge are my daily wear, and I don't like makeup etc so I skip parts that are expected of women and girls even when I'm going out dressed up.

Polyamorous took the longest. I failed and failed at monogamy in my late 20s and early 30s, and then when my ex and I got involved we agreed on an open relationship. We had very few rules, the main ones being don't lie to me (including by omission) and always have safe sex. At first, it was very unbalanced in that he wasn't okay with me seeing other men, just women, which really limited me. Meanwhile, he was hetero and slept with whoever he wanted. Eventually, that changed in a few ways - I got involved with a great male friend, and I had a successful relationship with a stunning and smart woman like me, and somewhere in there I sorted out that I was polyamorous. That basically means multiple loves. In practice, I don't get involved with many people, but knowing that I can and dating someone who does the same is important for me. I'm currently involved with an amazing man who's also involved with a wonderful women with whom he has a newborn (and very cute) daughter. And there are friends who might become more to me - only time will tell. Sometimes poly is complicated, but I'd rather deal with that than fuck up every relationship I have - or not have at least one partner on a regular basis. But I also understand that poly/open relationships don't work for lots of people - this is how I'm wired, it has nothing to do with being queer/bi - and lots of people of all genders/sexualities are wired for monogamy. I thought I was monogamous for years, but as I grew up I realized that I don't do jealousy and I wasn't happy dating someone who acted as if they owned me (which caused friction and was part of the failing from 25ish on). I have too much room in my heart to only love one person and to have them think that loving others (sexual or not) isn't okay, so poly it is.