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Growth

This time last year I would’ve been hard-pressed if asked to name more than 7 queer friends. Hell, I had to recruit a girl I’d met on Tinder to join my queer ultimate frisbee team.

So imagine my shock when, after sending out Facebook event invites for a queer park hang, the RSVP list spat out a tally of 65 queer females. And this wasn’t even counting the queers who I had either forgotten or deliberately did not invite.

After months of floating the idea of a queer park hang oriented towards ultimate frisbee,  I decided to overcome the unnerving unknown of there being too few gays who would actually enjoy ultimate frisbee. I bit the bullet when I was most tired on a Thursday night, quickly drafted an event description, and sent out a swath of invitations.

I began remembering others who I’d missed and added them. Then BYOQ-style, people started inviting their own queer friends. I had amassed 90 (plus an additional 11 who cannot make it). Just under a third had committed ‘Yes’, a little less had thrown in a non-committal ‘Maybe’.

I’m excited, I really am. It’s a little tiring always having to meet gays in alcohol-themed settings. I love sports and I love park beers (beer is fine – hard liquor is a different story). Only a dollop of queerness could make these two things better.


A recurring theme in my life is meeting people when it’s too late.

In hindsight, it was sheer luck that her birthday caught my eye on Facebook – I’m usually rather oblivious and indifferent. And it was more luck that led me to privately messaging her “Hey, happy birthday!”.

“Thanks! How are things going with you?”

A deliberate opening.

We’ve been talking every day since for the past few weeks. A week into it, I learned she had recently become single.

Good. I never liked her ex.

I didn’t expect to get along so well with her though. I have such an appreciation for and attraction towards good conversationalists*.

* I’ve noticed someone who is a great conversationalist in-person is not always such over social media or online communication. The same is for the other way around. This is worth noting. 

So it really sucks that she’s moving to the west coast in a few weeks.

A week into talking, she’s already opened her doors for a visit if I ever go. It doesn’t feel like a complete loss, but I am rather disappointed she’s leaving. I would’ve loved to get to know her more. Her association with a certain couple of people had me weary and dulled my interest in approaching her, but she’s a fantastic, career-driven person and we have very similar taste in books and humour. We’re both fascinated by growth and challenging ourselves. She’s very into motivational speakers and clearly a very resilient person. She’s just good vibes all around.

I’ll see her this weekend for my meetup. Beyond our dynamic, I’m excited for the event itself.

Confidence

My Straights held our (/semi) annual feast in Port Credit this past weekend. I didn’t know how badly I needed to take a break from the emotional roller coaster of my queer life until I hung out with them this past weekend. It was purely good vibes.

I’ve recently noticed that I’ve gained confidence when making advances on girls, just like Vance Joy had said. I used to feel insufficient and very conscious of not coming off too strong on (/straight) girls, as if I was being careful to not stir any homophobia within them. I refused to play into “the lesbian boogeyman” borne from the egos of straight people; just because I am gay does not mean I hit on any female human being.

But now… I just don’t care.

If she’s attractive, Imma go for it.

Maybe it’s because I’ve picked up running and I’ve lost a bit of weight – I’m sure some iota of my confidence draws from that. But I think it’s primarily from three things I’ve done recently:

  1. Making out with (/fingering) that cute Asian girl at Pride;
  2. Getting a random kiss from my friend’s friend; and
  3. Knowing that showering a girl with (genuine) attention and interest plays out in my favour.

I’ve also gotten far better at banter and being the life of the party – straying far enough from my introverted side to be comfortable in the spotlight, but retreating back into being a quiet introvert at the end of the night. Despite what people say.

I’m not afraid to make the move. I’m not afraid to get physical. I’m not afraid of rejection. I’ve had a taste and I want more.

This past weekend I made a move on a bi girl that my friend had brought to the party. Twas going so well ’til I fucked myself over by drinking too much.

Oh well.


 

Either way, I’ve grown a lot. I wouldn’t have dared even touch her a few months ago. My right hand would’ve been nestled into my pocket and my left would’ve deliberately occupied itself with a beer.

I want to say I’m ready for the next step. But that might involve finding the right person. I refuse to settle for anything less than someone who is driven, curious, cultured, well-manneredhas a good sense of humour, and dresses well.

Is that too much to ask?

I have a few prospects in mind, not to mention that every night out on Church Street potentially creates another story, strings attached or otherwise.

I just gotta watch my alcohol intake.

For real tho.

When I fall

When I fall for someone, it’s usually too late. It takes me months to develop feelings for someone. I need to know them, their story, their passions, their individuality.

A friend suggested perhaps I’m demi-sexual. I was taken aback at first but when she paired it with me going on and on about “emotional beauty”, it didn’t seem as far-fetched.

The problem is, I hesitate when people advance on me before I have any inclination towards them. If anything, I neutralize it and make it as platonic as white bread. :/ And by the time I fall for them, it’s too late and they’ve moved on to someone else.

Perhaps the solution here is to voice this about me. Let them know to… well, not give up on me. The one thing I did learn and appreciate about J is, despite being an often-times awful communicator, she brought up the fact that she needs/likes when people ask her questions that help her elaborate, as she confessed she was bad at that. Not that most people don’t like this, but it certainly helped when she highlighted that about herself, and that she was aware of this about herself.

I guess voicing your flaws is a fairly vulnerable thing. But whether it’s an indication of trust or self-confidence, people like when you do it.

Whelp. I’d better let it be known that I take a while to develop feelings.

Conditioned by Media

It’s no surprise that the Gaysians I get along best with are “white washed”. They have solid knowledge of pop culture and I can throw in quick jokes making reference to whatever’s going on and they’ll catch them.

What did surprise me was when I opened up to them about my long-held preference for white girls, they shared the same memories. One went so far as to say “I first rejected the (Asian) girl I’m with now because I held on tightly to the idea of only being with white girls”. They’ve been together for years and they seem very happy.

It surprised me because I thought, given that most of my friends are white and the planners are almost all white (and the fact tat my sense of humour and taste in everything is white washed), it makes so much sense that I’d be into white chicks.

When talking it out with them, they told me it was because of media – all these tumblr posts, and the scraps of queer plotlines we get thrown (RARE AND DISMAL growing up pre-2011) would always feature white women. Too many minority identity markers and you’d lose the audience (or so thought network executives). So queer women, regardless of ethnicity, would gravitate towards this and idealize a white partner.

Oh, media.

So the last two Asian girls that I caught ~dA fEeLiNgZ~ for caught me by surprise. The first one was a complete 180 (although in hindsight and analysis, her conscious, thought-out flirting made it make sense), but the second one that followed made sense*.

*Long story short/ quick update: Caught feelings, we talked it out, we’re just friends, I learned more about her, and it helped to rationalize my feelings away. It’s better this way and I’m glad she brought it up. My only regret (if any) about the situation is I wish I’d asked her out and got rejected at face value – at least I can say that I tried, hah. But regardless, it’s better this way. No harm, no foul. Moving on.

I guess the only difference and the lesson learned from this is that I’m more open to dating people now. Being friends with the Gaysians, I can talk about things white people wouldn’t catch on to – e.g. things having to do with childhood, certain Asian foods, traditions, etc. Of course, on the flip side, there are certain cultural values that Asians hang on to that I have rejected, which I can “bond” with white people over. On the other hand, the bonding is mostly passive and complete obliviousness on their side and conscious rejection on mine.

I digress.

TL;DR: APPARENTLY I’M OPEN TO DATING ASIANS NOW?

The Final Thing

On our way to badminton tonight, an ominous, horror-movie-set fog had settled. My brother was driving and I was in the passenger seat. We seldom had quality one-on-one time and it was a great excuse to talk. So talk we did.

We talked about his girl problems. My girl problems. My bout with anxiety. Him smoking and trying to quit. Mom. Dad.

He brought up the question of when I wanted to come out to Dad. I consider myself pretty good at reading people… but my dad is a brick wall. He’s absolutely impossible to read. I knew at his very core, he’d love me no matter what… but his reaction to me being gay was unfathomable to me. My brother asked me again when I wanted to come out to him. I said I wasn’t sure, but it wasn’t anything urgent – not until I got me a gf anyway and was dying to show her off to my family. No rush, I said, it’s just something on my to-do list.

I was deeply irritated that my brother chose the rural route in the midst of this fog – our vision went no further than three metres and roads were icy. His rationale for not taking the highway made absolutely no sense and I won’t even bother repeating it. I forced him to pause conversation until we made it out of the fog.

Then we continued talking.


As we were pulling into our driveway from badminton, he asked again “so when do you plan on telling Dad?”. He usually never hangs on to something like this; something must’ve been bugging him.

I reiterated my answer earlier that evening (with patience of course), about how I wasn’t sure how he’d take it but he seemed okay with being on Church Street the few times I took him.

“He knows.”

I did a double-take.

Read More…

Gay Highlights from a Two-Month Hiatus

It’s been busy since my last update – two months (!!!) ago. A lot has unfolded and I’m not quite sure where to begin. But let’s give it a shot.

Lesbians play games too.

In news-that-is-only-shocking-because-I-set-myself-up-for-it, I realized I’d fallen for an Asian girl. If I break it down, it’s because she is dangerously flirtatious and rather manipulative. She’s part of the gaysian crew and it took a friend of mine revealing to me she had fallen for her as well (before I did) and gotten stood up by her, did I realize that the little things she was doing to me, she’d been doing to others. Interestingly, I’d met this friend over a year ago, at a highschool friend’s barbecue in San Francisco. I knew she was queer but being closeted, I distanced myself from her as best I could because I was afraid of being too closely aligned with queerness. Only after a year, or this past week, did we suddenly have a good talk – it seemed to come out of nowhere – and she revealed to me that she had had complicated feelings with our (lesbian) highschool friend, who led her on and played mind games. She was hesitant to tell me as she thought given our history, I was close with this friend and, like many in their friend group, I viewed her as a likeable, perfect socialite. By keeping her feelings to herself (and probably being invalidated when opening up to their mutual friends), she fell deeper and deeper into thinking this was “her fault” and “just in her head”. I guess that’s what happens when nobody believes you.

But I knew better than that. I’d seen our friend’s God complex and watched it grow through highschool. As F and I pulled our walls down brick by brick, she felt elated in learning this wasn’t just in her head. She’d been pessimistic about love for a long time, she told me, and this was giving her much needed hope. She proceeded to tell me about her experience with my then-crush, and with each sentence, my own outlook on love began to plummet. Everything she was revealing was all-too-familiar.

“brb. My mom’s visiting” – a half-lie that gave me time to process it all. I took this time to rant to C.

But I did eventually come clean to her about my own feelings for this girl. It gave me some twisted sense of relief every time she expressed anger when I told her things that the girl had done, which, I was beginning to realize, were emotionally manipulative. Her anger trickled into my own.

It wasn’t until this that I realized she knew so much about me, but I knew so little about her. Again, like Buckley’s, I had to swallow it to feel better about reality. It took a few days of distancing myself, but I am, for the most part, over her. I don’t want to sever my friendship with her, but I will need to exercise viewing everything she does as platonic, no matter how flirtatious.

The lesson? Don’t keep things in your head. Whether it’s game-changing information or a new perspective or validation, it’s something you cannot possibly get by yourself.

Mine’s a gay story – get used to recurring characters. 

Remember that time I drunkenly chased down a girl for her number? Well, I saw her again at C’s Halloween party – my friend who’d been there with me that first night, E, invited her and her girlfriend. Later that night when we went to a gay bar, it seemed like all the  queer characters (well, except the one that really started it all) from my summer were under one roof: Maryia – the emotionally unavailable blonde (who I don’t think I wrote about), C’s gaysian crew, E, and the tall blonde. All under one gay bar roof.

Then, as if by gay law, when so many gay mutuals from all areas of life congregate, gay drama unfolded. Here’s a copy and paste from an fb messenger recap:

So I met the girl that [the tall blonde] is now seeing. She’s super chill and we all get along- I don’t know if she knows how I met [tb] though. So at one point at Cream, I’m grabbing a drink and [tb] comes over by herself to get a water. We end up chatting and she ends up telling me that she’s finding it hard to connect with her gf. I tell her to talk it out with her. So she tries and while we’re all dancing, she looks kinda upset but her gf doesn’t really seem to care… Then [tb] disappears…

I ask her gf and she says she lost her phone… But they’re still dancing and not helping her (???) so I try to find her and I call her phone to see where it is, and I end up outside… And she picks up…

Turns out she was about to leave the bar but she comes back and she looks fucking miserable. She didn’t get a straight answer from her gf and she’s debating if this relationship is even worth it. She asks me why I’m going after her when I can see she’s unhappy but her gf isn’t. Well, it’s cuz she has a shitty gf… but I can’t tell her that.

Then she tells me we should go back to my place. And I say no that’s a bad idea. Then her gf and [E] come out and she’s just being a totally shitty gf, so oblivious to how [tb] is… Even [E] asks if she’s okay. Then her gf fucking leaves to go home with [E] (they’re sharing an airbnb) and just tells [tb] to text her when she’s home. Wtf. So I grabbed my jacket and took her to McDs to let her talk it out and give her my take on everything and rant too.

It was just such a weird fucking night. I was planning on being in bed by midnight… Then all this happens

She ended up breaking up with her girlfriend and rumours began to spread, sides were taken by the Twitter gays – primarily, her ex-gf’s side. I went for brunch with her this past Thursday and after a bit of hesitation, I invited her to the queer potluck I was hosting. The reasoning behind this is I’ve learned queer people need queer friends; there are holes that simply cannot be filled by straight folks. It wasn’t in me to walk away (as with that night at Cream) when I knew someone was in need, and this need was evident when we talked over brunch.

She got along well with the gaysians, but I’m not sure if how much of a recurring character she will be from hereon.

Breakups within a friend group.

Meanwhile, I’ve started hanging out with a friend who’d been “exiled” from the planners – him and a friend of mine had broken up and with almost everyone was on the girl’s side, he’d essentially been cut off. It wasn’t until recently that I made a deliberate effort to hang out with him – He revealed to me that he had endured depression, anxiety, and suicidal tendencies. It broke my heart to learn he was alone in all this, and it angered me to know my friends could go to bed having let this happen.

This whole bullshit with “taking sides” after a breakup is so ridiculous. It was also Her reason for not dating anybody in the gaysian group – anticipating a bad breakup and inevitable exile. This was a pathetic reason in my view to not pursue someone. If you find someone you love, nothing as petty as “friends taking sides” should stop you from being with them – were they even good friends to begin with if they’d take sides? Be an adult, get over your feelings.

I have a hard time saying the last part as it seems starved of empathy. I’ve never been in that position, but I can see how it can be absolutely devastating post-breakup. I just feel one person’s dilemma shouldn’t have such a disruptive ripple effect on those around them. Perhaps this view that I hold is indicative of other things about me – but they won’t be explored today.

Potluck roundup

She disappeared with another girl whom she had been seeing for 30 mins. Although She told me she’d called it off, I could only worry about the other girl. I went up to her privately shortly after and said “I’m only going to ask you one thing: Are you giving her the closure she needs?”. She replied yes, and I didn’t press further. That’s all I needed to hear. This had become less about her and more about the other girl – whom I’d come to learn was emotionally sensitive.

Oh and also a friend of mine tore every ligament in her foot last night at my potluck when she was on the rooftop and as tears streamed down her cheeks and her girlfriend panicked, I had to put on a brave face, console the both of them, and act as if it wasn’t the worst sprain I had ever seen in my entire life. Then I had to go back into the potluck I was hosting and pretend everything was fine when all I wanted to do was go home.

Except I couldn’t because I was already home, and I had 20 people to look after.


 

I haven’t even mentioned the networking, conferences, and interviewing I’ve been doing while all of this is happening.

Plus the parking tickets dataset I’ve been working on for the past couple of months.

I’m so emotionally drained.

Brief Update

I’ve noticed I’ve developed two habits when I get drunk:

  1. I go on and on about emotional beauty, and it being “my type”.
  2. 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“.

Read More…

More than Anything

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.

Oy vey.

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.

I’m getting tired.

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.


edit.//

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.

Emotional Availability is a Scarce Resource

In short, I find the most meaningful friendships are ones that result in you taking on their emotional baggage. This doesn’t stem from values or obligations held by everyone – I can only attest to this for myself.

By the sheer number of people I’ve met these past two months, it was inevitable that a handful of these would end up being deep connections. Drunken talks until 5am on someone’s patio/balcony; Brunch sessions that were cut short after four and a half hours only because the cafe needed to close; Two and a half hour frisbee-tossing one-on-one sessions in the sun*. Being suddenly entrusted with mental health baggage by someone you’ve known for a long time. And so on.

* This happened today. I wanted to embrace my inner introvert and avoid all humans, but she was hinting at really wanting to get together, despite the others being unable to join. The great thing about tossing one-on-one is we’re far enough to play, but close enough to talk. And so we did. She’s a few years younger, but had been seeing an older woman for a few weeks. I found it easy to relate to her in that not only was she a babydyke (came out in July), but she also primed herself on her career – whereas most queer women we’ve met were louder about their sexuality than their careers. I’m taking her to a queer women’s networking event on Tuesday. 

I’m delighted that my connections have all been with queer women, although I’m not sure if there’s a correlation to the experience being richer. I’ve never been able to make such connections before and that in itself may have a wealth of possible explanations, including not being a good storyteller and/or having a new sense of confidence that allows me to be vulnerable. I have found that I’m more comfortable showing people my vulnerabilities because I don’t believe them to be weaknesses – if anything, they make me stronger and the stories accompanying are often gems.

An externality of showing your vulnerability and presenting yourself as a safe space is other people feel comfortable opening up. This is great, but brings me back to my opening point – I empathize and feel inclined to take on everyone’s baggage as my own.

I’m feeling burnt out.

It’s my own fault for letting myself be emotionally invested in someone else’s problems. I simply feel inclined to help them – sometimes when I don’t need to.

I was telling the person I had brunch with something along these lines, prior to feeling this. I told her we have limited time (and energy) to have too vast a social network. Specifically, we were talking about “best friends” and why we can’t be “best friends” with everyone – we simply don’t have the time to spread ourselves out so richly. Think peanut butter on toast out of a one-time-use-sized packet. Peanut butter is your time; Toast is your social network.

You simply cannot grow your social network at the same depth as you’ve had your existing network; you’d do so at the expense of your existing connections. Using myself as an example, since meeting and connecting with these great folks, I’ve spent less time with my original confidantes. I’m not even talking about time spent in-person; I’ve just been texting them less because I’m using this time to bond with my new friends. And once I’ve let out whatever’s on my mind, it occupies a smaller space in my mind, and the urge to tell someone (i.e. from my original network) dwindles.

There’s nothing intentional about it – it’s simply that maintaining a plethora of deep connections is not feasible. There’s only so much baggage you can take. It’s simply the anatomy of human socialization.

And I’m feeling burnt out.


I feel like this may be contradicting my men vs women post. Perhaps I should revisit this another day, when it’s a.) not 3am and b.) I’m not starting to drift into unconsciousness.