Nov 17, 2013

Thoughts Answered

Often, I have tried to figure out the moment I decided I was gay, or I first knew I had a girl crush, or I knew I was attracted to girls, at least sexually because I fantasized about them while I made out with my boyfriends - going back in time to try to understand why I never knew I was gay.

And then I met someone. I stopped asking. It didn't matter anymore why I hadn't known at 13 or 15 or 17, because I met my love and that was all that mattered. Her friends accepted me in a way that I had never known before, because all they saw was my out and comfortable side. Over the past months I've settled into a beautiful serenity with myself that I've never felt before.

And then last night I had this dream. It came out of nowhere, my last thoughts of the night solely focused on British TV show Doctor Who, and somehow answered all the thoughts I'd left alone all those months ago:

We arrived in New Zealand, my lovely boi and I, and were driving to a little vacation spot, eager to see the exotic animals and the rainforest. The water was pouring down and the road was narrow, slicing a thin path between two vast bodies of water, but we were so happy just to be together.

We arrived at the camp to see a few others, a man and his girlfriend or wife, and another girl with them, mingling in the main kitchen. They greeted us and helped us with our bags. Before I knew it I had been dragged off by the separate girl, who was offering dry clothes and towels. She brought me into a bedroom where I gratefully took a towel from her to help with my hair.

And then she started pushing, asking about having sex with men and why shouldn't I just try it? She kept talking about how much she enjoyed it, how much she enjoyed the taste of men and I couldn't handle it. I wanted to find my boi. I stalked into the kitchen where my boi was wrapped in a towel at the table, and clambered to sit at the tabletop where I felt safe.

"Why are you in a towel?" I asked.

"My bag fell in the river and everything is wet," she responded and I laughed, heart relaxing.

"Sorry. I stole a shirt and underwear to sleep in. I'll get them, they're in my bag," I offered with a smile and a kiss. The lighthearted moment faded as I pulled away because the girl was in the doorway again.

"I don't understand why you won't just try it. You'll like it," she promised. I wanted to rip my hair out, I wanted to scream. I wanted to tell her about the time I was almost raped in high school, or when I was molested in college, but I knew I'd only be proving her point by showing her my bad experiences.

"I have tried it," I insisted. "I have had it sweet and nice, I have had normal relationships with men, but it was never right. It was always wrong, so inherently wrong, and no matter if I gave consent to them I wasn't giving consent to myself because it was never what I wanted. It always felt like being molested, and I can't even blame anyone but myself because it was me who allowed it to happen," by now I was shaking and crying, but I could feel their eyes burning me.

"So can we drop the subject now, please?!" I slammed my fist on the table and turned into my lover's side, not wanting to hear what anyone had to say. What I felt mattered, and I had said my piece.

I was worried about my boi's reaction, but I shouldn't have been, as I felt an arm protectively curl around my back and I cried into her shoulder.

When I woke up, I realized that maybe the moment doesn't matter, maybe I don't need to know exactly when I figured it out, or why I didn't realize it earlier. All those years of discomfort still take a toll on me occasionally, still sneak up on me when I don't expect it.

When I think about girls who are coming out later, I can't help but wonder at the sneers they endure from lesbians, at what other pain they must have to face. Do they also have years of giving consent to others without giving self consent burdening their backs? Though I'm now part of the "always been gay" club when I go out, I have to remember never to pass judgement. It wasn't that long ago that I wouldn't have been accepted.

Jun 12, 2013

Feeling Proud

LA Pride was a big hit with me. Of course, you know that I live in a little tiny village where my neighbor churns butter and we all sing in the streets as we bake bread and open our shops, so Pride seemed huge.

I spent the day with the boifriend and a bunch of friends. There's something about being surrounded by people who are happy and excited, by people who are a part of our culture, by people who smile when I hold hands with my boi, or we dance together, or kiss. There's something about making friends with the people standing nearby, walking down the street, passing too close, ordering at the bar - something about the easy way our bodies ebb and flow and belong to everyone and no one as the good vibes keep rolling in.

The parade went on for forever and a day and I made out like a bandit with stickers and a free flag and lots of other stuff. I was fairly tipsy and warmed from the sun by the time we decided it was going to continue forever and moved into the shade of a bar. I don't drink a lot, especially in the beginning when my boi's friends made me nervous and I wanted to make a really good impression.

I felt so comfortable, so alive, so happy and free, so in love, that I felt free to drink and keep drinking, though I had water between - felt free to enjoy myself and my relationship and our friends and this beautiful community full of beautiful, glittering people all around us. I felt connected to all of them.

Of course there was some drama, I mean, we're still lesbians, but none of it was between me and my boifriend. I feel so lucky for that. Lucky that I feel like we're on the same page. Lucky that I feel so loved, lucky that we're communicating, lucky that we fit in all these little jigsaw ways, lucky that we can see an outline of something on the horizon that doesn't seem crazy, that's not a complete compromise for one of us.

I feel proud to be gay, proud to be part of this family, proud to have found friends in my boifriend's group, but the most proud to be with the one I love.

Jun 1, 2013

Radar

Some people spend every minute of their active days noticing the people looking at them. Maybe it is the touch of makeup he is wearing or maybe she is paranoid because she is still so closeted and uncomfortable, or maybe because the danger of being gay is still so very real in our society. But they walk down the street and they worry.

I don't ever think about watching, because no one looks twice at me. Some days I stop to peer into the faces of passers by with a broken heart, wishing that someone would recognize me for what I am. Some days I long for a kindred spirit, for a judgemental glare, for some sort of reaffirmation that someone else can see in me what I see in myself.

A gay woman.

But they all keep walking, so absorbed in their lives. I'm not pretty enough to turn heads, nor odd enough to attract attention, and so I am invisible to them as they talk on their cell phones or rustle up their children or dig their keys from pockets and purses.

And I spend long afternoons with my boifriend's head on my lap or our fingers interlaced and my heart swells with joy. Our eyes meet and there's so much between us and I know someone is seeing me, really looking into me.

I'm so glad someone else can see it. I'm so glad I can have this loving, caring relationship with someone so wonderful and beyond my wildest imaginings.

But I also can't help but wonder sometimes what's wrong with me, that everyone else pings on the radar, and I don't.

May 12, 2013

Slam Poetry

If I could perform slam poetry
I would stand up with the women
Whom I admire so greatly
Who SPEAK
with simplicity about complexity.
The spoken word is our
HISTORY
Passed down from mouths
To ears to hearts.
Stories of victories, losses,
Lovers, and legends,
All preserved throughout generations.
Literacy replaced
With rhyme and rhythm.

If I could speak with such
VORACITY
I would tell the world of my own
SHORTCOMINGS
Of my misdeeds, my misheards
My mis-nameds, my Miss Less.
I would tell of how I got to be
My age
Without becoming a
WARRIOR
Without learning how to defend myself
Or manipulate the field.
Of how sometimes I am
Cornered
And I don't ever fight back
Instead going silent,
Retreating into my
TURTLE SHELL.
If I could breathe slam poetry
I would not be the victim
I am the survivor
Without needing to take up the
Spears and daggers of this
VIOLENT world.

Mar 13, 2013

Grief/Silence



When I need it most, my brain goes quiet. In the ugly radio silence and white noise, the ruined meat shudders and whimpers over all the collective thoughts I should have, should have had while I had the chance. As if I were suddenly rebooted into some safe mode without networking or the capacity to connect to my drives, I curl up, cut off from all possible methods of recovery.

Of course, I’m still talking and functioning. I still laugh and think about other things, still call my boifriend and have full conversations. But once I hit this trigger I shut down. I become useless. I refuse to call my best friend back and talk about the memorial arrangements.

And then this sick, awful part of me wonders why this hit me so much harder than my grandfather’s. Why is it my family's deaths are so normal for me but my friends' tear me up inside? Is it all the broken promises? Is it all the unfinished business? Is it that I know my family knows I love them unconditionally but maybe my friends felt less than cherished, less than cared for?

Because I don’t think he knew how much he meant to me. I don’t think he knew everything he did for me or how he shaped my life or brightened my day or saved my family. I don’t think he knew that he made such a huge impact on us, or how much we all loved him. How his laugh could make all the horrible things of the week run for the shadows, or how his crinkling eyes always reminded me of the kindness and wisdom I imagined in Dumbledore’s.

When I was a freshman in high school I was teased and told I didn’t belong in a certain group because I wasn’t smart enough. He was having trouble with a case and asked us for help finding a defense. I don’t think he really expected any help, but I piped up with a pretty solid way to get the warrant thrown out. It was a totally “Legally Blonde” moment, and it boosted my confidence by a million miles. He always had faith in me, even when I didn’t have faith in myself.

I’m going to miss that.

Jan 28, 2013

Complexes/Femme Invisibility

Last night I had a dream where I was at some sort of summer camp and all the lesbians I've ever known were outside playing/having sex/joking around/whatever in the water trough/pool area outside. I felt hurt, embarrassed, left out. My friend Lauren was with them even though she's always been straight and since we were the closest, I joked with her first, calling across the courtyard.

"Lauren, what the hell?" I tried to laugh. "Did you think I wasn't cool enough to invite or something?"

She looked at the girl next to her and then smiled at me, "We thought you were busy otherwise we totally would have invited you." She swam to the edge of the pool near me and I knelt down in front of her. I could feel them, all of them, staring at us while their hands skimmed along skin under the water.

"I can handle it," I assured Lauren, and then out of desperation and anxiety and fear I grabbed her and kissed her quickly. I felt nauseated. I wasn't attracted to her and everyone knew it. She was my friend, my good friend, and instead of making myself fit in I was just floundering further, drowning in the sea of manipulative games and subcultures and titles. Lauren looked at me - angrily, harshly, and I tried to backtrack. "Look, this doesn't mean you're gay or that I like you, I just-" I tried to explain that I wanted to prove myself but she cut my off.

"I don't know what you take me for," I'd never heard her so cold and harsh, "but I'm not gay. And if I were, I'd definitely go for the pretty femmes." I recoiled. Which you're not was implied in her sentence. I'd never been attached to the title of femme, but the way she tore it from me left me reeling - empty handed and wanting to cry.

I feel this a lot. I feel this all the time. Constantly defending and proving and feeling like my sexuality is not broadcast clearly enough. Constantly feeling as though "lesbian" is an exclusive club to which I am not invited or wanted. Constantly aggravated because I'm subjected to male gaze and overtures while easily passed over by lesbians and dismissed as less than or an outsider.

Maybe I'm not femme, but Femme Invisibilty seems to apply to me so easily.

I understand that it is my own shortcomings and brainwashings and past manipulations that have given me this not enough complex, but just because I know that doesn't make it go away. It's a trend in all my writings - not enough - and I'm trying so hard to tamp that down but then it rears up in dreams like this and I know it's still plaguing me.

Jan 24, 2013

Personalities

Victoria over at Musings of a Lesbian Writer picked up this fun link from a blog she reads, where you type in your blog address and it tells you what sort of personality you have. I thought it would be fun to try. Try your own Typealyzer here. It was pretty spot on, however, I think my brain would be more focused toward the intuition/symbols quadrant rather than organizational. The only time I'm ever organized is when I'm working at a desk job :)

Also, how well dressed is my drawing? Thanks, much!

ESFJ - The Socializers

The social, warm, enthusiastic, energetic, structured and opinionated type. They are especially attuned to the feelings of themselves and others. They tend to be very aware of the values of their peer-group and tend to see things as either right or wrong, good or bad. They tend to be traditional and value their friends and family the most. People love to be around ESFJs and they are extremely good on bringing out the best of others.

They take pleasure in other people's happiness. They give generously, but expect appreciation in return. Sensitive to the physical needs of others, they respond by offering practical care. As expert people readers, ESFJs often adapt their manners to meet the expectations of others. However, they may have difficulty recognizing the shortcomings of loved ones.

The Socializers are down-to-earth, practical people and very keen on making sure everyone is alright. This quality makes them enjoy social work places. Since they enjoy being and keeping things neat and tidy, they often also enjoy working in such environments.

Common satisfying careers: Teacher, Office Managers, Administrative Manager, Child Care, Special Education Teacher, Counselor, Dentist and HR Manager.

Notable ESFJs: Harry S. Truman, Bill Clinton, Tom Clancy, Barbara Walters, Tyra Banks, Jessica Alba, Jennifer Garner, Woody Harrelson, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Biel, Victoria Beckham and Mon Mothma.

Jan 23, 2013

Dreaming/Reality

If I talk about my date you're going to think I'm lying, or making it up. It was that fantastic. I wasn't dreaming. It really happened.

It's the kind of date you see in movies - fun, full of laughter and warm fuzzies, a wholly unnecessary sappy love song playlist not-so-discreetly playing in the background at the restaurant - when the table seems to shrink and it all feels very intimate.

And then the setting moves and I love being in the car with Prince because we sing and we talk and we're so close and I can't help but touch, constantly, compulsively, because touching is so rare across the distances and in public places and in not-friendly-to-gay areas and the car feels safe and warm and comfortable and I want to touch and be touched.

But then it has to be a movie because I've never seen the sun set over the ocean like that, never seen someone smile at me with heaven in the eyes, and I feel so amazed, bewildered, content, and I don't even want to run off for sex because I just want to stand here, forever, drinking in the sunlight with our arms brushing, laughing at the little girls next to us and all their questions and comments.

I could have sat forever and watched as the city flickered to life at our feet, almost as the Egyptian Pharaohs must have done thousands of years ago from their golden thrones and their city blazed to life in the darkness. I felt like royalty from my stone seat, hand in hand, the world laid out before us, the stars shining overhead, the moon casting a silver blessing over us, so bright, so clear.

And it's laughter, laughter, between all the other moments and places and quiet and feelings, there's this laughter. When Prince laughs it's the most wonderful sound in all the world - the sound I want to hear every moment of every day. I want to be the cause, I want to hear when others inspire it. I want Prince to laugh all day long and I want to be there for every moment and open myself up and fill myself with golden laughter, because just maybe there is real magic and this laughter is it.

Maybe I'm just an idiot :)

I don't have a five year plan and I don't know what I'm doing or where this is going. But I know I never want to hang up. I hate going to work and sleeping alone, and I get really nervous and pack two weeks of clothes for a three day trip. I know that I'm flawed, so flawed, and I want nothing more than to be better - than to be the best - than to be deserving of everything Prince is.

Jan 19, 2013

Special Days

Today was one of those special days.

The ones without any snot or tears, where your kid runs bang on into a wall and instead of melting down like she usually does, she shrugs and sits until she stops feeling queasy and then joins in again.

The ones where moms come up to me at the park and say things like:
"That's the first time I've heard a parent say 'Watch out for the person behind you,' all day. Thank you."
"Why you got like four kids on you? Either the redheads or the Mexicans aren't yours."
"Do you have Mary Poppins pockets in your dress? Where are all those water bottles coming from?"

It's the kind of day where I notice how far Mexican culture has come, because there were four little boys in colored skinny pants and converse and that never would have flown fifteen years ago. When I smile because Abuelo still uses a bandana instead of a bandaid, and little Crystal realizes I can understand her 3 year old Spanish as she begs me to push her on the swing.

It's the kind of day when "Mom," slips out more than my name and I remember that the kids fall into this charade as much as I do. When we laugh and make brownies and lick the bowl and learn to crack eggs on our foreheads. It's when a king size bed seems too big for four people because we're all piled on top of each other.

It's when she's in the bath and I come in to check on her. "Are Mom and Dad home?" she asks.

"Yes," I smile.

"Oh," her brows are furrowed and she's thinking. She doesn't seem excited or ask if she can rush to greet them. "Will you wash my hair?" she asks instead.

"Sure," I murmur and she leans forward for me and we don't discuss it further. She knows I'll stay until she's tucked in bed.

Perhaps we've all grown too dependent. Perhaps my life is too entwined with theirs. Perhaps when they hold me and refuse to let go, or read the bedtime books with my voice bound in each page when I can't be there, it is a sign we should all pull back.

But I've taught them how to ride a bike, how to make a sandwich, how to properly eat whipped cream from the can, how to do a handstand and make it across the monkeybars. The time for pulling back passed eons ago.

Jan 15, 2013

Dating

This may possibly make you want to throw up, because I'm going to be that girl right now.

If I was exceptionally quiet here, it's because I was on a date. A lovely date. A very lovely date with the person whom I've been crushing on.

Real life gets in the way and you can't stay on a date 24/7, but I'd like to. All day at work yesterday, I was reminded by the small piece of folded paper in my pocket, by the picture on my phone, by the taste of cherry cough drops and chapstick - all tangible evidence that I wasn't dreaming.

It's the smile, the eyes, the hair, the skin, the tattoos, the way the waitress comes up to the table and I blush because I'm pretty sure she can see what we're thinking when we stare at each other like that over our water glasses. It's those stares. It's the collar tugs and the hands in my hair and the sweet, amused glint in the eyes when I just can't stop myself from feeling all that soft skin.

It's the door opening, the effects of two beers, the laughter when I'm awkward and silly, the sleepy smiles, the hot hand on my back through my jacket, the singing and the dancing. It's the protector and protected, it's the talking and the not needing to, it's how everything feels like we've done it already - the easy rhythms and moments that should feel so uncomfortable but don't.

It's in the way I didn't feel self conscious once, about my body or my hair or my makeup. It's in the way I felt proud, in the way I never wanted to let go, in the way I wanted to hold hands and show off the amazing person I was with. It's in the quiet way I wanted to go unnoticed, in our little bubble, invisible and free to make out without my hatred for PDA getting in the way (looking back on it you'd have no idea I hate PDA.) It's in the way we say things and then look to see if we got the reaction we wanted, and if we didn't, we try to fix it. It's in the way we listen.

If I go quiet here, it's because I'm finally speaking out loud.