I was trying to figure out why it has been so stressful trying to explain my break-up situation to my straight friends, and then I saw this video and it occurred to me that it is simple – I’ve been in a lesbian relationship! Seriously, I could take you step-by-step through that video and give you examples from my relationship. Except, replace “take-out” Indian food with “home-cooked”, of course.
Well, regardless of the fact that I was dating a man, I already knew it was a queer relationship because we both identified as queer and made efforts to make the relationship non-heteronormative. However, our straight friends and acquaintances were often oblivious to our queerness.
Despite being a queer woman mostly attracted to women, I dated this man because I was attracted to his personality, I thought I could make it work, and I genuinely believed I could transcend gender… but, I’ve realized that I don’t think I can.
Some of my straight friends seem dumbfounded by all this. They think that I was a lesbian once and then I wasn’t, and now I’m a lesbian again. Or they’re confused because they assumed he didn’t know I was queer (they don’t know that he’s kinda queer too) and now he must be shocked. Or they’re confused because they expect him to be mad that I’m questioning my sexuality again, and instead he’s being understanding.
Oh jeez. I could have prevented all of this awkwardness by taking the time back then to explain to my straight friends the concept of queer and feminist relationships between men and women. The *few* times I tried it went straight (no pun intended…) over their heads.
Anyway, I keep thinking about how I’m supposed to be feeling, and how this should be playing out. In the films the woman is usually leaving the man for another woman, and she has only just realized that she is even attracted to one woman. And the man is heart-broken, falling to pieces, furious at the other woman. This script doesn’t really fit for the woman or the man in my situation. My bad.
I’ve been avoiding talking about this break-up with most people, because its lack of drama is ironically too complicated to explain. However, I never thought to tell them, when their puzzled looks surface, “yes, this is how queer-feminist relationships end sometimes! Get over it!”
I could do that but that would involve a level of “out-ness” on my part that I use to be better at, but have recently been slacking. After I started dating this man, I have been queerer than ever… but only in front of him, and my closest friends. I’ve realized that I’ve made it so easy for others, especially desis, to pretend that I’m straight. I called him my partner but let others assume he was my “boyfriend” – a trivial example, but still.
A lot of my sorta-close straight friends don’t remember, or don’t even know that I’m queer, so they don’t understand why a seemingly perfect relationship is screeching to a halt. A lot of my straight friends thought I was so lucky to find a sensitive, feminist guy who respected me AND my culture – and, don’t get me wrong, I was. But there was so much they didn’t know; it wasn’t until now that I realized how much those friends were missing by not knowing about my sexuality.
With the queer friends that I’ve spoken to, I don’t know… I can’t tell if they saw it coming, if they’re not surprised, or if they’re just taking it for what it is because they’re just cool like that. I am relieved to not be getting puzzled looks and ignorant questions from my closer friends.
And then there are other things to consider with this break-up. Straight or queer, I don’t want to feel judgments coming from any of my friends for the fact that I’m breaking up with him. I feel I could be judged because he has done a lot for me and made sacrifices for me, while I should have been more careful getting involved with a man, especially a man with a child, when I knew I was queer.
But I have to remember that these judgments I expect from others are only projections of my own insecurities, and I just need to be okay with my own decisions. My partner made sacrifices for me, but he chose to, and I made sacrifices too… and I don’t regret any of them. I also know that I am thankful he and his son came into my life and I have every intention of staying in their lives as a less significant other.
I have had almost three stable years with this man who has been consistently there for me, and I was never really scared. It was a relationship that was well worth it and I learned the worth and meaning of truly loving and being loved. Now I need to find my passion and face my fears.
He made me feel like a princess but I don’t feel like I should need that anymore. Now I need that scary passionate love that isn’t safe, that I don’t know will be there when I get home or wake up in the morning and I need to be okay with that for a while.
Maybe I will find out later that this was the one, but I don’t want to settle down with the first person I ever truly loved (at the age of 19!), and then regret not taking the opportunity to live and love more.