UndercoverQueer


Beginnings
September 10, 2010, 12:48 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: ,

What I meant to say was something
other than my hand against her
braceleted wrist…

-Frankie Paino

It was women who first sexually excited me, not men at all. Even as a very small child, I was both puzzled and thrilled by the idea of the female, of something enclosed and kept hidden. I wanted to know why it was women didn’t take their shirts off in mixed company, and why my grandmother considered it inappropriate to wear skirts above a certain length. I glimpsed real, naked breasts occasionally, but the nudes in my encyclopedia set were what enthralled me. I thought the female form was beautiful and perfect, and I looked at it with a longing that as an eight-year-old I didn’t fully understand. Women’s bodies featured curves and crevices that men’s bodies simply didn’t have. I wanted to look at these bodies more often. There seemed to be no good reason to hide anything.

Freud might have had something misogynistic and vaguely perverse to say about my longings. But – then and now – these desires made sense to me. My eyes sought out soft curves and firm, rounded outlines. It’s those particular physical features that first attracted me, and even when I became older and began to evaluate others on the basis of their characters, rather than their first physical impressions, those features excited me most.

My first female partner was a girl who became my best friend, who functioned more as an older sister than a lover. Although I’d had sex with males before I met her, I’d never experienced any closeness, any sort of returned affection. With her, all that changed. I did not question my sexuality so much as whether she would remain my friend after we first fumbled into each other’s underwear, lying chest to chest and half-drunk at night in a public park. She remained my friend, through many more encounters drunk and sober, and I still thought of myself as straight, although I never used the word. When I left the city and she decided to stay with a new boyfriend, I felt that I had lost not only my best friend, but something I felt I would never find again. I couldn’t name it.

Next post: how I learned the term “bi,” and how to discard it.

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Undercover Queer

You dare to gag me

With this limpid pink ribbon

You forced me to wear?

A friend penned this haiku recently, and I immediately loved it. In fourteen succinct words, she summed up the problem of being a female in the world we live in. While being conditioned to fulfill the stereotype of what a woman should be, we’re also strangled and slowly being murdered by the rigid confines of that role.

But it’s not just about females. Males are forced to wear a false self too; they’re conditioned and coerced to fulfill roles that aren’t realistic or indicative of their true feelings and interests.

This is the inaugural entry for a blog that’s intended to explore not only that conundrum, but many others, too. This is a blog about relationships, about choosing and being chosen, about finding things deep inside that you weren’t aware of, about daring to move outside the boundaries of what’s considered socially acceptable.

I am a polysexual female. I rejected the status quo, the assumption of hetero-normativity long ago, but that doesn’t mean it’s no longer being imposed upon my person.

When I dated girls, others assumed that I was a lesbian. I never took offense, but that’s not the case. I identify as queer, because I feel it is a term that of it’s political and social connotations. I’m attracted to females, but neither did I intend to limit my choices for lovers to the female continuum.

When I met my current partner, several acquaintances from my queer community began to make comments that I didn’t know what I wanted, or that perhaps I was making a mistake. The same comments were being echoed on the other side, the side that assumed that I had been confused all along, that I couldn’t make up my mind which I liked better – males or females or anyone neither or in between.

My partner is a bisexual male. I had dated relatively straight men before, but never an openly bisexual man. It wasn’t a prerequisite that my next male partner be queer too, although I had decided I wasn’t dating straight men anymore. Actually I had considered avoiding men altogether.

The fact that my partner and I began a non-traditional relationship – that looks and seems fairly hetero-normative on the outside – and that it worked, and that it’s still working for over a year, is testament to our commitment to moving outside the binary scale of gender relations. At some point in both our lives, we decided to reject all sets of expectations and any assumptions that others knew and interpreted our sexuality better than we could. We created our own rules.

Many other male and female bisexuals form successful relationships, and like any relationship, they are all based on different beliefs, views and expectations. I can’t speak for these, just as I don’t presume to speak for all poly females, or for the queer community at large. I’m just going to tell you about how my relationship plays out in daily life, about how our orientations and politics influence our desire and experiences and the subtle, quiet communication that forms the background to what we call “our life.”

We may look like the average hetero anarchist punk couple to you – and we probably smell like one, too – but like you, like anyone, there’s more to us than meets the eye.By accomplishing a basic human action – choosing to act upon our desire – we play a part in the subversion of gender binary culture from the inside. We’re queer, and we’re undercover, and none of it is quite what anyone expected.