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The Worst Comedown

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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.

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:

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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?