I ain’t no lesbian
In the 15 years between age 14 and 28, I have run the gamut from being absolutely desolated by my attraction for women, to coming out as a lesbian, and finally to adopting the identity of “queer.” When I use this word, I am not using it as an umbrella term – that’s what “LGB/T” is for. Queer, for me and others, is a combination of queered politics and an attraction for all different types of people, all genders. Up until 2010, I had been a “gold star” lesbian – a term which I despise now that I understand its relationship to discrimination on the part of heterosexual and homosexual people toward folks who aren’t a perfect Kinsey zero or six.
The first few gents that I interacted with sexually were very gracious when I insisted that I was still a lesbian. I didn’t like the idea of being bisexual because my perception of bisexual women was that they are almost always attracted to feminine women and masculine men. Women. And. Men. Bi. Sexual. Only two options there. Nothing in between, nothing fuzzy, no room for anything deliberately blended. At the time, I knew myself to be attracted to masculinity, regardless of the format of the person’s physical configuration. It is curious to me that I was not the first “lesbian” to find any of these men attractive, and I was not even the first “lesbian” to sleep with them. None of my predecessors had relinquished their lesbian identity, so I felt comfortable maintaining mine.
More recently, though, there’ve been some wrenches tossed into the gears – culminating with the workshop in February. I was profoundly delighted by the brilliant diversity of bodies and identities, all of whom were so unique and attractive in their own special ways. Instead of being solely attracted to masculinity, the message that had been coming at me more and more strongly over the past year or so finally came to the surface of my consciousness: I can and do experience desire for all kinds of people – femmes, gender queer/gender fluid folk, and so many luscious varietals of masculinity.
You may have heard me say that my (albeit somewhat deferred) coming of age happened within the lesbian community, so that I am “culturally” lesbian but I am not really a “practicing” lesbian… like it’s some kind of religion. Well, since the workshop it has become clear to me that I can’t keep running around behaving like I have been and still claiming lesbian. You should see me get all dreamy eyed and grinny when asking someone, “May I touch your beard?” Or how about the part where I blush so hard that I can scarcely talk when approached by a dapper genderqueer person? My attraction for femmes has resulted in another revelation: topping is fun and I’d like more practice! It just doesn’t seem right to call myself a lesbian anymore.
I’m finished dragging around the corpse of my lesbian identity behind me.
I ain’t no lesbian.
I’m just plain old queer.