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Having a “type” plus Life Crush List

11 May

Do I have a type? In an effort to find out, I have been in my mind categorizing people I’ve had feelings for. Ever. Dated/Crushed on/ Smiled at. Hmmm I decided to do a list of alllll the people I’ve ever had even a smidgen of feelings for in my life. Let’s see if I can remember.

Kindergarten. Claire. Female. Blonde. Had a make-a-wish doll that I thought would grant me toads to put in my window well terrarium. We kissed in a closet.

2nd grade. John. Brownish red hair, glasses. Brought me a stone from his vacation. I was taller than him. We held hands. He liked to read. I liked to read. Animorphs. Had a cool piggy bank.

3rd grade. Guy. Moved to China. Was handsome. Bought me an eraser shaped like a dollar and was on the Peer Counseling Team. Also taller than me.

4th grade. Brett. Red hair. We played basketball. I was good at it, and he had a trampoline.

6th grade. EC. Artsy, asian. Good at spelling. Made me an aluminum foil peacock and I made him a stingray. Jane made fun of me for sitting next to him on the bus. I made up a language that looked something like Arabic and teased him with it. Now he’s a banker.

7th grade. JF. Male. Was tall.

8th grade. JS. Male. Was tall.

9th grade. DM. Male. Was tall. Blue eyes.

9th, 10th, 11th, 12th, freshman year: TH. Male. Youth group leader. Inappropriate. But tall, funny, kind.

Brief period during 12th grade: TW. Male. Tall. Gay.

Freshman: ME. Female. Roommate. Bisexual, intensely intense. Got her eyebrow pierced, and I got jealous when she slept with a stranger. Bought her a book based on a movie she liked for Christmas.

Basketball boy. Thought he was cute until he gave me a rose. Then I flipped out and decided NOT to like him. AT ALL.

Sophomore: JT. Male. Atheist, smart, funny. Wildly unlikely dating pairing.

Junior: Janet. Female. Angsty, redhead. Cried a lot when she didn’t want to talk to me since I was “the man” eg residence life. Gave me the book Franny and Zooey, and we talked about London often.

Senior: JT Male (aforementioned).

Gap year: EW. Male. Happy. Younger than me. Didn’t last very long.

Grad1: DC. Male. Very attractive, but stiff.

JJ. Male. Soulmate, but had/s girlfriend.

Grad2: SM. Curly brown hair. Flakey. Easy-going, but passionate. Beautiful smile. Likes music. Likes to read.

2012: KP. Smart, pretty. Funny. Easy to talk to. Likes to read. Hard to transition to friendship.

Basically, I feel like tall, blue eyes, and curly hair  may be my type after all. And definitely funny. And  likes to read.

What is your “type”?

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Looking back

6 Apr

This is an essay I wrote when I first encountered very real feelings for another woman… it is interesting looking back and seeing how dramatic I felt about something that is now just another part of me. I definitely have “evened out,” but this was written maybe 2 years ago. Life has taken an interesting turn, and now what seemed so revolutionary is just a part of me that I accept.

In which a “straight” girl falls in love with a woman

My parents were always afraid that I would become “more liberal” when I decided to go to college in the “more liberal” of the two state schools. In a way, they were right. I was thrown into it.

I have changed.

I was raised in a conservative Christian household, where I was told to cover up,“So my brother wouldn’t stumble.” When I was asked a hard question about whether homosexuality was okay in middle-school, I said with relief and without blinking, “That is easy. It is wrong.”

I like to think that I haven’t changed in the most important ways. I still like coffee. I still consider people to be extremely precious. But I have since realized that I am attracted to passion, intelligence, kindness, humor, confidence, tenderness. And I have realized that not one of these attributes is dependent on male or female anatomy.

Past self did not know this, of course, but I think there were clues along the way. She cried just a little too long over the ending of certain friendships. She was not attracted to most males her age. She did not make promises to God that she could not keep.

This was demonstrated during a particularly charged youth group conference with music and tears and a visceral pain in our hearts for a God who loved a people who only knew how to reject him.

I made an oath to God that I would not have sex until I was 22. They wanted us to make oaths that we would not have sex until we were married, but I just couldn’t do it. Oaths are serious business. You do not just make an oath to the Creator of the Universe that you don’t know if you can keep.

I feel like this oath to God that I made in terms of my sexuality was literally a physical link to the person I once was. This person I mourn for. She was confident and insecure, and used her intelligence to fight and flail against a framework she took to be 100 percent truth. She whispered to her friend in bed once, “What if it isn’t real? Just for one moment, what if?” The friend said: “Stop. You’re scaring me.”

I think even then I knew. What if? What if I didn’t get married? What if I took a lesbian life partner? Of course those exact thoughts did not cross my mind, because I don’t think I had considered them in that way. However, what I did know is that if God was real, which I did and still do believe, he did not take kindly to false promises, to oaths that were lies or even good-intentioned half-truths. I felt that 22 was enough to get to know myself, to know if I was going to be the type of woman was married at 19 and who had a fence of all sorts surrounding me.

I was the type of woman who felt so deeply that I honestly thought dying would be preferable to living with knowing every person I looked at who didn’t know God was going to be in eternal pain forever.

Then.

I traveled. It began as a way to be closer to an older Christian man (“a brother”). I was the type of woman who had lied about her feelings and buried her heart underneath layers and layers of a constructed framework that I believed made me ‘right.’ Who was painfully insecure and who skipped meals and meals to be in control. Who wanted to be anorexic, but didn’t have enough self-control, and ended up as bulimic.

This traveling led to more traveling, and I have been happiest when I was on the rooftop with a man who had a separate love in a separate love. And smoking and drinking on this rooftop, I felt alive. And there was nothing wrong about it. I was not the destroyer and I think he might have been, but I was happy.

I was the type of woman who was okay with taking what made me happy.

I was the type of woman who wanted to breathe in thick flowery air and ingest it and taste it and take that risk when it presented itself. I was the type of woman who never wanted to feel that this was a common feeling, and who knew that this situation would never present itself in the same way again.

Which leads me to now.

To sitting at a place where my feelings are most intense for a “friend”. Who happens to be a woman. But more than that, a person. Whom I love. Romantically, sexually. Passionately.

I look at her, afraid. As I stare into her eyes, I gingerly take her wrist, and turn her palm up, bringing her wrist to my mouth and kissing it. Tenderly. I graze my lips against the thin skin there, noting the fragility. Her skin is translucent. She doesn’t move, giving her permission for me to continue. What am I doing? I honestly don’t know. I reach up and play with her hair, stroking it, putting it behind her ear. I like the way it feels between my fingers. It is silky, and fine, like the white wisps of a milky plant. I know that whatever I feel for this woman is not a coincidence, or the distant curiosities of a person who wants to experience the world. It is not the screaming in my brain commanding me to push away myself and be distant, and let ‘this’ happen. No. It is a knowingness, of a woman who is my family and whose intelligence does more than takes me aback, but astounds me.

This should be problematic, but somehow isn’t.

On breakups and telling your girl friends (not girlfriend) that you’ve dated chicks

3 Apr

My aunt, who happens to be one of my best friends, spent ALL– literally ALL of lunch telling me how stressed she was. As she carefully nit-picked the rice out of her chicken tortilla soup (she is cutting down on carbs) and simultaneously added fried tortilla to her soup– my heart fluttered faster and faster. As she blabbed on and on and on about kids and Sam’s club and how hard it is to shower all the people, (bless her heart) my heart slowed as I realized today really couldn’t be the day I told her about the past 2-3 years of my life (well let’s be honest 8 years… there had been my unlikely friendship and attachment to the very angsty and firey Christie* as well as that confusing but friendly kiss by Andrea* freshman year…)

How could it be if my dear auntie aunt isn’t going to ask “How are you?”

Then I could reply “Well, dear auntie aunt. Trying to follow the rules of this post (particularly items 2, 8, 9, and 11 of when it’s not OK) and it is killing me, and I kind of hate my life right now because I ended things with someone I really cared for because life is too confusing for me to make a decision, and indecision IS decision. Oh beeteedubs I think girlz are cute and I heart everyoneisgay.com and someday I may adopt a little baby girl with a lesbian lover and have a spiritually meaningful and intellectually fulfilling life of happiness if the fam could just get on board.” Pause. “And how are you?”

Telling my girl friends about my girlfriends has been kinda awkward. Mostly because I have not really been attracted to any of my girl friends with one exception, and I don’t want them scanning through our collective memory to like pick out a time when I was coming on to them or something. Because I wasn’t. I want them to think of me as the same and platonic and me thinking of them as platonic if that makes sense. I don’t want them to second guess the time we spent watching movies in a twin bed, or my overly drunk and touchy self insisting that “people are just so beautiful, aren’t they?” and reading into it too much. Sigh. Any similar experiences with your friends of the same sex/gender?

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*names changed to protect MY privacy 🙂

Do you have to have a “coming out” moment?

31 Mar

So, as you may have gathered from my previous post, I suppose I would technically “identify” as bisexual. I don’t wave flags though, and I didn’t check “men” and “women” on Facebook. In fact, it is something that only a handful of people know, although most of my closest friends know (alright, almost all of them!) And to be honest, I have much closer and deeper relationships with them because of it.

One thing they don’t tell you as new, “baby” queer of some sort (look at me with my lingo, God!):

You kind of have to come out again, and again, and again. The best case scenario: it is no big deal. Middle ground: surprise. A lot of surprise. Especially if you are the quiet about it type, and there aren’t too many rainbows in your wardrobe. Worst case: quiet self-righteous disapproval.

The best case scenario got me to thinking: do you really *have* to come out at all? Like make it this big moment? Or can you just mention your girlfriend casually in passing and not really make a scene of it and that is that, and you get back to what really matters like how obscenely delish roasted beets can be with goat cheese?

Or the question on my mind most often: Is it worth telling people your complicated attraction preferences (which damn it aren’t really that complicated) if they will give you the “I love you but I believe that a man and woman should be together” (read: YOU SINNER YOU). Can you still be you and leave out that component of who you are until you’re ready to settle down and have a marriage and what-not? (or civil union or whatever the kids are doing these days?) This is my temptation, but it is also a one-sided act to treat your relationships like a secret: it seems incredibly unfair to make a romantic partner feel like you are hiding them. And it is, no doubt, unkind. And someone you love doesn’t deserve that. But what is the balance? Where do the scales even out? Until I figure this out, I feel like I am pressing “pause”– but it’s not a thing to figure out like “Should I wear a dress today even though the Midwest is ALWAYS COLD?” So how long do you give yourself to make a choice to just tell a select number of people, or to just go ahead and tell everyone despite their hate? Or worse, their disappointment and their fear.Image

Sexuality

27 Mar

AFP photographer Gérard JulienI know that this blog seems like it will be a melange of thoughts and topics, and it is. I want to share my journey with you– sounds cheesy. Probably is. BUT it is mine, and maybe you can relate to some of it.

Let’s start with sexuality. Oooh. It has the word “sex” in it, so it must be scandalous, right?

Eh. Maybe, maybe not. As a formerly incredibly devote Christian, sex was meant to be something protected, only for your husband upon marriage, and not really a part of your life until that time. I still see some of those things as components of truth (eg– I do think sex can be more meaningful when shared with someone you have a deep emotional connection with, I would still identify as Spiritual), but that leads us to the OTHER things that have changed for me…

  • “Someone” for me can be male or female as long as you have that deep connection that passion, intrigue, and intellect can concoct in you.

This is the major theme of recent exploration for me– and it is still an aspect of my life I have a hard time meshing with the rest of my life. I see my sexuality as a component of my life, not my identifier. How many people do you know who say, “Hey, I’m Tom, and I am straight?” or “Hey, I’m Tom, and I prefer x,y,z sexual component to my life?” I feel like identifying myself as someone who also is attracted to the complexity, beauty, softness, and minds of women is akin to sharing with someone a preference for anything else sexual— it is not something I am ashamed of by any means, but it is mine and it is intensely intimate.

While some people seem to enjoy the identity and boxes that labels can create (which do not get me wrong, does have its benefits); I do not. Just because I have been attracted to or dated women does not mean I am attracted to ALL women, or even a MAJORITY of women. More accurately, I am attracted to a certain set of traits in people which tends to be rare. Would I be attracted to an intensely intelligent, passionate, funny man who happened to be older/shorter/balder/blonder over my go-to physical “type” of curly-haired, tall, brooding mountain men? Overwhelmingly the answer is yes. Similarly, why would the option not be present to also be attracted to a woman who had these alluring non-physical traits?

The answer has incredible repercussions for sexuality and our formation of families in this society, and these ideas are very new for me. Something that I had previously considered aberrant behavior, rebellious, unnatural, and literally “wrong” has instead become a very logical and wholly mundane possibility for human sexuality.  Love is love, I think, and whose business is it whether it is chosen or if you have opened yourself up to a very real and logical ideal of a different kind of love than your initial groomed physical attraction? Objectively, I recognize women as lovely physically— but it is the other traits that woman or man possess that astound me and endear them to me.

Can anyone else relate? Is it worth it to stretch so far in terms of comfort and cerebral ideas of attraction when the “natural” path of societal influence would be so much easier for someone who is not only attracted to the same-sex?