In a somewhat unexpected turn of events, I am now seeing a dude. As in, a biological, male-assigned and male-identified individual. I won’t say it’s not weird in some ways. Then again, I don’t think I’d ever date anyone that expected traditional gender roles or attitudes, so it’s not all that different from dating anyone else who respects equality and difference.
That said, anyone who had met me in the past 2 years didn’t necessarily see me as anything besides a lesbian, because I was in a relationship with a woman. “Lesbian” is not a word that fits me, and I hate the implications that come with the word bisexual (read: katy perry, promiscuity, indecisiveness). I came to use “queer” as my identifier for the most part. I had a friend call herself “heteroflexible” – meaning her primary attraction was to members of the opposite sex, but she’ll make exceptions for some of the same sex – and I realized, “homoflexible” was a good word for me. Like heteroflexible, but the other way around. But my primary attraction has been towards women for quite some time, and that was something I knew wasn’t going to change.
And then BAM I fall for a dude.
I wasn’t that weirded out by it. I’ve known him for half of my life, and as a friend, he was always very accepting of my homoflexibility. He’s a sweetheart in every sense of the word, and when we first started seeing each other and I tried to have that whole serious conversation on how I’m still a homo, he said “I get that I’m your margin of error, and I’m totally okay with it”. How great is that? My primary attraction is still towards women – nothing has changed on that front – and I’m glad that at least I don’t have to explain it further to the person I’m seeing.
That said, a lot of people have had a problem with it – and have gone out of their way to tell me that they’re ‘disappointed’ that I’m now seeing a cis-male. And it’s interesting how the most abuse always comes from the same people that always talk about how sexuality and gender are spectrums, not fixed identities. It infuriates me when people within the queer community can’t turn that lens upon hetero relationships. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – being in a heterosexual relationship doesn’t make me a heterosexual anymore than standing in a garage makes someone a car. I can see that it would be disappointing if I renounced my queerness, embraced heterosexual privilege, and acted like I’d never been anything but straight and narrow. But that’s not at all what I’m doing. I’m still vocal about my own grey areas, and still a staunch advocate for everyone loving whoever they damn well please as long as its consensual.
It’s frustrating having other people try to denounce my queer identity just because I am not dating someone who is visibly, openly “other”. My current partner doesn’t identify as heterosexual himself. And even if he did, we’d still be in a queer relationship because, again…I’m politically, socially, intrinsically queer. I just feel like the queer community needs to be more welcoming of people who “look” like they’re in traditional, hetero relationships. Even heterosexual relationships can have queer elements – take polyamory, for instance. I don’t believe that being queer ought to be defined by what others believe queer means – it’s all about how a person feels inside. Queer spaces ought to be welcoming to everyone, and as a community, we should be extra careful not to label people as soon as we learn small details about them. I didn’t turn into a “queer ally” by deciding to start seeing this guy – I’m still a card-carrying gaysi, thanks!