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Deafeningly close

At 25, I’m only now learning about attraction and starting to navigate the emotional landscape of personal, intimate relationships. I’m definitely better at it now than last year, when I was basically a monkey in a china shop. I think I’ve made a breakthrough with figuring an important part of it out – but the problem has become this:

I thought she was cute, so I showered her with time and attention (fueled by genuine curiosity) but now that she likes me back, my feet are freezing up and I’m slowly succumbing to that persistent voice saying “RUN”. The box of reasons why I shouldn’t go any further with her has been knocked over and I’m fumbling around trying to shovel the grains back in.

That being said, not every reason strewn across the floor is irrational. She can’t eat gluten + I fucking love food. I love exploring the new restaurants in Toronto. I can’t do that with someone whose diet is so restrictive; She doesn’t have a stable job; She isn’t politically involved nor does she have an ear to the news. Everything she talks about is about being gay – it can get tiring, and reminiscent of the girl from last summer (…)

Yet I’m still not sure if these are real reasons or if it’s the “RUN” voice making excuses again. I should be head over heals about this girl if I liked her enough, but I’m not. I’m putting in a lot of effort.

There are so many blindingly obvious signs that she wants something with me. She was regretful about telling me she found one of my friends attractive. I didn’t react strongly that night, as far as I remember, but she was remorseful and abashedly told me to brush off anything stupid she had said, if I remembered.

Of course I did.

But I brushed it off, like she said.

I did fuck up though. After many nights out of nothing happening with her, I got frustrated and ended up making out with another girl in front of her. She was furious. She called me a “fuck boy” and stormed off. I walked her home, but trailed behind, sheepishly and drunkenly. But by the end of the night, I managed to diffuse the situation (for the most part) by talking about our deepest insecurities.

The day after I made out with the other girl at the club, we talked about this girl she had been sleeping with casually. She assured me there was no romantic attraction, but all I cared about was the fact that I was right – about her type. I don’t know why I’m obsessed with knowing her type. She’d mentioned this girl before and I’d brushed aside the fact that this queer girl was “her type”. We were supposed to go together, with a few film friends. But then she mentioned she would bring the other girl. Well… this was news to me. And my friends confirmed it was probably (definitely) a move to spite me for making out with that girl.

But it backfired on her because I gave her and the girl very little attention. I tend to lean away from couples – I absolutely abhor third-wheeling (This in itself warrants its own separate blogpost) – regardless of whatever attraction I had felt towards her. Luckily, I found a reason to remove myself from being near them. A friend of mine ended up bringing a queer femme friend and I gravitated towards her instead. She was cute. I like meeting new queers. Whaddya want???

She knows femme is my type and I’m sure she saw me giving this new girl all my attention. I wasn’t doing it just to spite her back – I genuinely thought she was cute and if She was going to get with the other girl, well then, great, all the best to ya, sayonara.

But I suspect it must’ve irked her. A few days later, she messaged me telling me she’d called it quits completely with the other girl.


It’s dumb, the games we’ve been playing. But it’s toned down. We’re more honest with one another… just short of admitting whatever feelings we may or may not have for one another.

It’s my fault.

She sets it up for me; She’ll lead the conversation and leave so many doors ajar for me to flirt, but I’m always too chickenshit. Instead, I remain a respectful guest in her house, mind my manners, dust off the doorknob, and close the door for her, before going back to the living room.

It’d be easier if I knew what I want.

It’d be easier if I wasn’t scared of hurting her.

It’d be easier if I didn’t care.


I don’t know. It’s Pride month. I’m meeting new queers. Let’s see where this month takes me. I’m ready to do it up.

Jealousy.

Last week, a new video came up on my feed from Stevie Boebi, celesbian Youtuber:

This stuck out to me because I’d initially thought jealousy was a symbol of affection. I would almost wear my possessiveness with pride and freely admit to being the “jealous type”. To me, jealousy “just meant that I cared”.

A part of me guessed this would (eventually) be a problematic characteristic in a relationship, but it never clicked with me that how I felt could’ve been because of how it’s been overly romanticized. In the video, they say that while it’s a human feeling, it’s narcissistic and selfish. Jealousy isn’t an indication of affection towards another – it’s an symptom of insecurity.

The more you know know.

Multidimensional, and also I was wrong.

I don’t know of many people who identify as Asian urban planners. Throw “lesbian” in there, and I would’ve claimed that as my predominant identity, on the basis that I’d be a rarity in Toronto.

So I wasn’t surprised at all when a brief urban planning meet-up with an acquaintance from the gaysian community extended beyond the workshop and lasted a full five hours. We mutually prolonged our time together, taking turns fueling our hangout with coffee place and artisinal shop suggestions for our (unplanned) next stop.

A mutual friend had introduced us a month or so prior after talking about us separately to each other. “You’d like her!” – these really are the most promising starts to friendships.

She’s an interesting one. We had a lot to bond over – our mutual interest and knowledge in urban planning  unwrapped a whole layer of conversation that I usually reserve for my… well, urban planning friends. She made it clear that her sexuality was low in her hierarchy of identity, and naturally, queerness came up not too often in our conversation – if it did, it was likely on my part. We got raw with our conversations fairly quick and she told me about her own insecurities as I reciprocated with my own. I’ve never had anybody open up so quickly and blankly before.


To my surprise, when I saw her again at a party last weekend, she was a different person from when I first met her. She was in her comfort zone and far louder, she wore a bigger personality, which I had difficulty adjusting to. I preferred her quieter, more honest. I suspected, given when we’d talked about, that she was compensating… but I’m still not quite sure which side of her is real.

Had it been the same time last year, I would’ve been completely fascinated by her. But at this point, at the speed I’m meeting (queer) people, I just don’t know if I have the energy or patience to figure her out.

But it’s wrong of me to assume I need to figure her out. Perhaps what I’d considered the greatest lesson of 2016 was wrong; perhaps closure (in this case, on what she is) is overrated and it’s just a bandaid solution for people who overthink. Closure is not the answer to overthinking, just as dropping a loonie will not cure homelessness. In fact, in seeking closure, you can often make things worse – it’s a falsehood alluding to being in power/having control, when in fact, you are so far from it. It can fix that dreaded, baneful feeling of powerlessness, but it will not take your foot off your mind’s gas pedal. Being able to shift gears, stop, and sometimes reverse, combined with knowing where to steer and in what direction – that’s a better way to not spiral out of control.

Mmm this post took a turn.

Sportsgay.

I took her to a lesbian ping pong party last Friday night.

I’d been conflicted about signals she’d been giving off… I’m fairly thrown off by people who don’t answer their phones often or quickly – it seems pretty clear: if I mattered to you as much as you did me, you’d be ecstatic when my name appears on the screen.

…I’m psychotic.

I really do want to invest myself emotionally. She’s cute, and I like everything that I’m learning about her – every new tidbit about her is interesting. She’s a sportsgay*, a redditor, she knows her TV shows, has good taste in music (soft, indie stuff), and…. I’m learning more as we talk more. Sure we text fairly slow, but I like the dry humour and occasional sarcasm she’ll pepper into her responses.

* Up to this point, I’d never even considered being with a girl who was into sports. It was usually a dealbreaker for me – though, a subconscious one. I’d always assumed I’d be with (and taking care of) a femme girl, but I suppose that’s just my mind

So you can imagine how off-putting it was when I got her tickets to the Hayley Kiyoko concert and she responded with “hahaha thanks bud :)”.

bud“.

Is any combination of letters more platonic and friend-zoney than calling someone “bud”?

I almost threw up in my mouth.

Learning from 2016, I’ve talked to several people about this and the (logical and obvious) conclusion they all individually give me is: “play it out”; “take it easy”.

Yeah…. let’s not think about it.

I really like the way her eyes fold when she laughs. But I wouldn’t be devastated if we don’t work out.

I’m cautious with my heart.

Good ones.

I had a massive crush on a girl in third year. It was the hardest (and purest) crush to get over because I didn’t fall for her immediately – I slowly (and deeply) fell for her personality. (I’d written about her before)

She’s a good person with great intentions, and she’s highly empathetic, perceptive, and conscious of other people’s emotions. Most strikingly, she’s the best conversationalist – she’s so engaging and outspoken. And although this package would seem to be one wrapped in self-confidence, she’s so humble, modest, and self-conscious. As strange as this may sound, she opened my eyes to self-deprecating jokes.

I tried (we all did) keeping in touch with her but she drifted after graduation, spending life with her boyfriend (whom she’d introduced to us once). But we met up again for drinks tonight, her, a friend, and I, after over a year of no communication (nothing deliberate – we just drifted). At one point, she congratulated me on coming out. She also took the initiative to ask me questions about my life, deliberately switching gears from the conversation – which I found so interesting (and nice).

She hasn’t changed much. Only me – I’m just looking at her with new eyes. And she’s as beautiful (if not more) a person as before.

You know how sometimes you meet a person and you’re just so happy they exist? And that they make the world a better place by just existing?

She’s one.

I’m glad I fell for her. Bisexual or not, she was a crush that, in hindsight, I’m proud of.

p.s. she still does that thing with her hair – she twirls it round and round her fingers as you’re talking. The only thing that’s changed is her curls aren’t as prominent and her hair’s straighter. Must be the boyfriend. 

Jesus, take the wheel

It’s like sometimes the universe knows.

I’ve been feeling jaded and overwhelmed because of everything unfolding recently and these feelings are so strong they’ve seeped even into my dreams (as I’d mentioned previously). I need an out break from the gaysian group.

Then out of the blue, I noticed it was twitter girl’s birthday on Facebook and without thinking, I decided to wish her a happy birthday. We got to talking and she asked me how things were on my end. Giving the timing and prevalence of what’s been happening, I let her in on the gay drama that was unraveling. We hadn’t spoken in months, but she hadn’t changed – listening with patience and empathy. Next thing you know, she’d invited me to a birthday gathering. I had made prior plans so I messaged her to give her a heads up.

Next thing you know, we’re making tentative plans for a monthly queer dance party. I’m assuming this is with her gay friends.

I have no residual feelings for her (I stress they were invalid in the first place and for the idea of her rather than her, herself), but I certainly respect her for her social activism and strong moral compass – just because we had no chemistry doesn’t change that fact. It’d be nice to reconnect and catch up.

It’d be nice to get out of this circle for a while.


Edit:

I’m still always shocked by how oblivious I’ve been my entire life, taking my family for granted. Upon listening to my other (Asian) friends lament the tension between them and their parents resulting from news of their queerness, I’ve begun to realize how unbelievably fortunate I am.

A friend – J – and I went for coffee today to air out some thoughts and completely unplanned, she ended up meeting my mom, who’d dropped by to drop off some food. Despite us just being friends and it not being a “meet the parents” kinda deal, she was nervous – I suspect it stems back to her bad experience with (Asian) parents and queerness.

My mom was also slightly awkward (but I was unsure if it was her being normal — now that I’m thinking back to how she meets my other friends, I suspect it was her normal. I guess she’s just a little socially awkward). I checked in with her shortly after, letting her know, “that was Jenny. She’s gay. We’re just friends.” Her response:

20170130_000216.jpg

I almost doubled over from the mix of guilt and emotions. On the one hand, I’m asking “what did I do to deserve this.” On the other, I feel like this is how parents should be.

It’s just that the latter is obviously not always the case.

Dreams.

I had a troubling dream last night:

I was either inebriated or tired and accidentally sent a text to my ex-person – something along the lines of “I’m sorry for how it ended”. When I realized what I had done, I immediately panicked and opened my phone to delete it, only to find she had texted back, essentially picking up our conversation from where we had left it… about a year ago now.

[Wow. It’s been about a year.]

It’s problematic that I apologized in my dream when I’m adamant I was not at fault – me choosing to end our friendship was an admittance that this person was not good for me and I finally had the gumption to walk away after over a year of periodic abandonment. Regardless, I’m inclined to think dreams are less about what happened, as much as they are about underlying feelings.

And these feelings are about the shit that’s been happening in my social life currently. I’ve feared for a few weeks now that meeting so many gay friends so quickly was getting me too entangled in all these social circles – I suspected a recipe for disaster as the gay(sian) circle is so small.

Lo and behold, in the past month, lines have been crossed, dialogue has not been open, and toxic feelings have been kept hushed. Several moving parts in my queer circle have combusted – and I’m affected not directly, but by association. It’s been a little overwhelming, developing such close connections and having things explode in your face.

I think that’s what subconsciously instigated the dream – I suspect my terror and jadedness from all this is deeply overwhelming and my subsconscious is telling me “flight” — go back to a less complicated time, go back to a safer time.

At the time she felt safe — she didn’t/wasn’t really; sober she never was a safe space; in hindsight she was an absolutely terrible influence on me; she would leave me behind in a second — and it certainly feels chaotic in my queer social circle right now.

It’s not that I’ve been thinking about her (at all) but she’s certainly crossed my mind more than I’d like recently. I know it’s a bad idea but when it comes to reaching out, there have been a few “what if…” thoughts, which I stamp out before it sets the whole forest ablaze.

Happy one year …

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…

In exile

I don’t know what it is but in the past two or so months, “condemned” characters have been playing a bigger role in my life. Last week, I finally got to meet someone who’d been “exiled” from the gaysian group. Given that C, F, and some others really seemed to like her, I’d been predisposed to liking her before actually meeting her. My gut feeling was right.

Since F and I let our walls down, I reciprocated her enthusiasm for meeting this girl. After one failed attempt, I finally got to meet her with F at an Out on Bay Street women’s speaker series event. Turns out she knows the organizer whom I’ve thought for a while was attractive, . We hit it off pretty well and it being open bar didn’t hurt. She was noticeably touchy, but it seems that’s just the type of person she is.

She made for good company and it was a good night over all. I let her in a little bit on my life this year, thus far (as documented by this blog, there’s no way I can fit my 2016 stories into anything less than a week’s worth of hanging out). But I did squeeze in my brush with anxiety (see posts from July), my dad being hard to read, me meeting Gaysians, and my other friend who’d been exiled.

I liked her spontaneity when we passed by a record store and either F or I commented “we should go here sometime”, and she said “let’s go now!”.

A few days later, we were texting and before you know it, I was going with her to the Christmas market down by the Distillery District. She was with a friend visiting from Waterloo, but it didn’t hit me until an hour later that I could’ve possibly been third-wheeling – the other friend mentioned AfterEllen and Autostraddle (flags don’t come in any redder hues) but she wasn’t her type (Asian?) from what I’d heard. I had to text her to make sure, and it turned out the other girl was 1.) 26 years old, and 2.) has a girlfriend.

Her friend ended up missing her bus to Waterloo and was deeply, visibly bummed by this. I tried distracting her friend with a story but I wasn’t sure if she was biting. That’s when she butt in subtly gently to console her friend. So either she’s acutely aware of other people’s feelings or she’s known her friend for a long time and is sensitive to her feelings. I was impressed, and added to the consoling, which worked by the brightening look on her friend’s face.

She’s a good time and her indirect separation from the other Gaysians makes me happy. I don’t like having everyone in one massive group – it seems to get messy. I suspect she’ll be a recurring character.

J.