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 Since I've been in a relationship with Trish for most of my time in Oregon, folks here tend to classify me as "lesbian". This is fine for the most part - it doesn't really affect anything. Every once in a while, though, I'll be involved in a discussion about dating or men or whatever, and have my opinion dismissed with "What would you know/care about this? You're gay." 

Which is aggravating, but I never really know how to react? Mostly I just raise a skeptical eyebrow and let the conversation continue. But, y'all, I KNOW what an attractive man is because I have slept with A LOT OF THEM. I was married to a dude! I understand relationships with men! Just because I prefer to be with women, and am currently with a woman doesn't completely erase the fact that I was WITH MEN IN THE PAST.

People, ugh.

But I don't really care to get involved in discussions about my very personal grey areas in public, so I guess the eyebrow of skepticism will prevail.
grrltastic: (Default)
 National Coming Out Day, like most things endorsed by the HRC, makes me kind of uncomfortable.

Anymore it feels like identifying as gay, in that big ol' orientation binary gay vs. straight kind of way, just isn't really that brave. I understand that a lot of that comes from living in gay-friendly cities. I know that being garden-variety homosexual in a lot of places is a dramatically unsafe thing to do. But still, it's so widely accepted that gay people are "just like us! (They can even get married now!)" that I don't think it's a huge risk to make a banner statement on Facebook to people who already know you're gay about your gayness.

But I guess this is a frustration that's been building for a while.

Several months ago I was interviewed for a radio program. The final product aired last week, and was a really enlightening episode about the history of race in Portland. Which, I know, is very important issue to talk about here and, more often than not, ends up getting swept under the rug. (The show is State of the RE:Union - You can listen to it here.)

What we actually discussed in my interview were queer and feminist identities. What I meant when I said that being here was like "looking in a mirror" was that Portland is stuffed full of people who exist in a grey area. We're gender non-conforming and the default orientation is nebulous.

My identity continues to be fluid, and continues to be a point of confusion for me. More often than not, I feel like the label "queer" does a pretty good job of it. I like that it's open and encompasses all of my fluctuations. In terms of straight-bi-gay, I identify most strongly as that second hyphen, something like 75% gay. If you really want to get down to the nitty-gritty (which I evidently do, because booze), I'd totally be friends with benefits with a dude-identified-person if we were both single and DTF, but I really only want to pursue relationships with women-identified-people.

It's not that I don't want the baggage of the bisexual identity, it's just that I'm not bisexual. But, for some reason, coming out as "mostly gay" is not something that people take seriously outside of Portland. It wasn't until I lived here that I finally understood and started to get comfortable with how that part of me works.

So, like, it's great for you that you're REALLY GAY, but that shit doesn't make your orientation more valid than mine. And fuck your gold star, anyway.


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