I’ve noticed I’ve developed two habits when I get drunk:
- I go on and on about emotional beauty, and it being “my type”.
- I rant about not fitting into a subcategory of lesbian.
One time after Crews, I’d ranted the second point to a friend of mine who had been with her girlfriend for four years. I elaborated on wanting to find a label so that I could understand where my partner’s role would “fit” in my life better. She stopped me immediately.
“Don’t think about that, man, that’s ridiculous. That really fucked with my head when I was with this girl before – we were sorta together but because she felt I wasn’t “butch enough” for her and it didn’t “balance out” the relationship, she ended up cutting it off with me. So don’t even think it, that’s dumb“.
I’ve never been to a conference with such strong undertones of camaraderie as Out on Bay Street’s 10th annual celebration this past weekend. While we were all there to network as professionals, there was an aire of understanding that we were all held together by one common marginalized element – our queerness. During conversations about careers in finance, there was an underlying comfort in knowing it was a safe space – whether this was true was another thing – I can only describe the honesty and authenticity of everyone there as palpable.
On the first night there, I’d attended a women’s speaker event on gender equality. Strangely enough, I’d had a dream last week and in the murkiness of it all, I could only remember a brunette, who I wrote off as a side character – an extra – in my dream. It wasn’t until she took the podium at this conference that I realized that it was a member of OOBS. I’d spoken to her briefly at a women’s speaker event in August and hadn’t thought twice about anything. I should’ve talked to her at the conference but I procrastinated until it was too late.
Life happens without you when you hesitate.
Anywho, at the same event that she had led, I’d unknowingly chatted with the President of OOBS. He came by after giving a grand closing speech to let my friends and I know that the OOBS lesbians were going to Crews and that we should join them – an extremely kind gesture. After much hesitation, we decided to go.
Funnily enough, I ended up bumping into the French illustrator while in line for Crews. I dragged her by her (gay) jean overalls and we decided to meet up at Crews (as she went to grab her bag from a friend’s place).
She has a knack for showing up in my life after 1am when I’m unknowingly emotionally constipated and direly in need of a rant. She’s my Fairy Gay Mother. We vented and ranted and I told her the story of Maryia. Oh, right:
Maryia’s an incredibly cute blonde chick who I danced with a few weeks ago at Cream – a queer lady dance party. We left without getting each others’ numbers, but my friend ended up matching with her on Her, a lesbian dating app. Learning about this, I broke my (non)vow and re-downloaded the app.
I spent three two hours trying to find this girl.
But I did, and I messaged her, chatting back and forth and leaving her my number.
She ended up asking me out to dance at Yes Yes Y’all and I reluctantly did, after the conference’s first night. After getting preoccupied with chatting with my friend at my place as we pre-drank, she called me on my phone as I’d stopped responding to her texts. I froze… but it was a guy on the other end. It was her friend. He was calling me from her phone, which I found this incredibly endearing because it indicated she was shy.
The whole thing quickly went to shit when got there and found out one of her friends was her ex, and that she was actually emotionally unavailable. She was so distant and depressed that she couldn’t even dance.
It was maddening. It was saddening. I felt sad that she felt sad. How fucking ridiculous is that? How do you turn this empathy off. My empathy is broken. She’s practically a stranger, I should’ve detached completely when I had the chance.
Anyhow, against the advice of my friend, I texted her asking if she was ok. We cleared up the air, and I’m glad we did because there was a chance we’d see each other again, given how small the queer women circle is in Toronto.
Anyways, that’s my update – very fruitful in terms of my career, but absolutely devastating in my personal life. C’est la vie. C’est ma vie.
I want to be successful, more than anything in the world. I want it so badly, it’s rooted at the very core of my being.
My goal in life is not to be “a successful lesbian“, but “a successful person who happens to be a lesbian“. The difference is not so subtle, but only after bringing to light. I’ve mentioned before that I refuse to be defined by my sexuality. Take Suze Orman for example – she doesn’t make her sexuality a big deal. She doesn’t need to. Her primary identity is a financial guru.
Success is subjective. I don’t even know if I can define it for myself. Very loosely, it’s loving and being good at things that I do.
I’m the type of person who gets quiet and gets sorely disappointed at herself when she messes up – this is so evident when I play sports: when I miss a shot, make a bad pass, miss a catch – my eyebrows furrow and I shake my head in disgust. Sometimes I’ll yell. I like being good at things and hold myself to ridiculously high standards.
Something that’s been bothering me is my lesbian identity – or the ambiguity of mine. I’ve ranted about this before, but I’ve a new issue that adds to it. It bugs me now more than before because I’ve recently asked other queer women what I’d be typecasted as (e.g. as butch, as femme, as a sporty gay, as a bookworm library lesbian) as I’ve struggled with coming up with one myself. The best any of them have come up with is “lite femme, lite hipster”, which is barely better than “well you don’t have to define yourself with just one label”.
It’s even more unsettling this time around because I feel anxious not knowing where my partner would fit amongst this mess (me). How I should act, my role in the relationship, her role in the relationship, expectations… I can’t even define myself – how would they know where they could fit?
Yup, my lesbian identity crisis is resurfacing because I need to know how I’ll “fit” with my partner. For example, if I were a clean-cut butch lesbian, I would feel more confident in taking on a more traditionally masculine role in the relationship. If I were more femme, I’d feel less pressure to be the decision-maker, the protector, the-…
As I’m typing this out, I’m hearing how ridiculous and outdated these expectations are.
It’d be so much easier if there was a how-to book on same-sex relationships.
But then again, set roles in any relationships are dumb.
So herein lies my dilemma – some days I’m a sporty gay, butch AF, loudly dropping weights at the gym. Other days (heck, other minutes) I’m a femme gay trying to match accessories with my dress.
How can I expect anybody to keep up, when I can barely keep up with myself?
Because the thought of being in a relationship has been knocking on my door, the pressure to figure out my identity has resurfaced. “Do I make the first move?” “Am I the one who will do the pursuing?”
In addition to all the above, in the process of “doing me”, I’ve been skeptical of whether I’ll have time or the emotional availability for someone else in my life. I’m extremely busy and constantly on the go – I keep myself this way. To be successful.
Am I willing to compromise my success for the sake of finding someone? Do these two things have to be mutually exclusive?
Success. Identity. Expectations.
I’m posting at 2am again – two days after I’m supposed to be updating this blog, too. No breakthroughs are being made, just mountainous balls of stress. I’ll put this on hold.
What’s up with gays flaunting their gayness?
I still consider myself relatively new to the scene so I’m reveling in how unabashed my newfound queer friends are in their queerness and the visibility of their own sexuality. But sometimes it gets hard to escape – it seems like every punchline is related to being queer, to queerness. It seems like when they praise the phrase “my sexuality is not the most interesting thing about me”, the admiration they have for this quote does not align with what they truly believe about themselves.
I’m sure, like all jokes, this will get old… It’s striking to me that this still feels new to the others, despite them being out for so long, while I’ve only been out-and-about for only a few months. I’m getting tired – I’m unsure if it’s from the intense re-use of queer jokes and the intense focus on sexuality, or if it’s my introverted side talking. Perhaps it’s both.
I’m also getting tired of how hard it is to find someone. To let my walls down to. It’s frustrating because I know I’m not in a place right now to be in a relationship, yet I want to be with somebody – perhaps it’s because I want to prove to myself that I can be in one. Perhaps this wanting is riding on the inertia of coming out and being immersed in several circles of gay friends.
I thought I clicked with this one girl – I’m sure we did, I felt it – but not long after we met, another one of my queer friends asked her out.
C’est la vie.
I’m not even mad.
Disappointed? A little. But nobody’s to blame here. Move along.
I’m getting tired of trying to keep up with others and neglecting myself. I need to just do me. I need to keep doing dope shit.
This post came from a tired (obviously) place. I’m exhausted from today’s Island Day with the gays. A lot of good things happened this week – my old boss offered me a position at the firm, a lesbian offered to put me in touch with HR (specializing in diversity and LGBT inclusion) at a large bank, and I got contact info for an Out on Bay Street Women’s Speaker Series speaker after approaching her post-talk.
Yeh life is good.
I’m just tired right now.