Queer fellowship


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Opera RiotNot Gay Enough

The thing about not being 100% homosexual is that you’re not “gay enough” for some people. In the parlance of social analysis, it’s called “others othering another”. While a queer person in a heterosexual relationship is still a queer person, the perceived or temporarily-experienced privileges of heterosexuality are enough to illicit resentment and alienation from others in the queer community. Hell, even gold-star femme lesbians are harangued for compliance with perceived gender-norms.

Sure, there are nasty people in the world who do cruel things, but more often than not those people are damaged. Solidarity in the queer community is in part due to shared experiences, but a large component of those experiences is exclusion from dominant culture and all of the abuse, shame, and loneliness that results from it. To put it mildly, there are hard feelings. While it’s disappointing, “others othering another” isn’t altogether too surprising.

Anyway, if it isn’t obvious, this has been a large part of my own experience in the queer community. I’m a tomboy-femme, and while I’m predominantly attracted to women, I’ve (happily) been in a heterosexual relationship for years. While I feel like an alien in dominant culture, I also have the privilege to pass as hetero-normative and gender-normative in situations where it may be dangerous or otherwise unwelcome for me to fully disclose my sexual identity.

I really wanted to find more friends who could identify with my experiences, but this has been a complicated process. I’ve been accused of leading someone on by disclosing my sexuality; I’ve been accused of commodifying the queer community (as if I were not queer myself); I don’t feel any better known or accepted for my efforts.

Ultimately, I miss the friends I already have and wish they hadn’t dispersed over time. With school out for the semester, I have some free time to get back in touch, maybe do some fun things and meet new folks. But I guess, for the time being, I’m done actively seeking out this sort of fellowship. 23 months ago

Opera Riot 2 years ago

Opera RiotUntitled

I checked out the school’s GSA and was really irritated by how it was ran—most of the people seemed really cool, but the entire meetings were dominated by a handful of people who came together and were very loud and rude. I was sort of turned-off, and on top of that my work schedule changed so I couldn’t go to the next meeting anyway.

Coincidentally, though, most of the new friends I’ve made (through work and school) have been queer folks—nothing I sought out, but a happy accident.

As much as I dig my geeky guy friends, it makes me feel like so much less of a lonely weirdo to be spending time with new people who don’t just have similar interests, but also have similar backgrounds & experiences related to sexual identity. ;) 2 years ago

Opera Riotrevising

This is shifting from a specific desire for a specific type of relationship to a more general and less contentious aim. In previous entries, I’ve mused over timing and juggling a new relationship (with whatever boundaries)—frankly, it’s hard enough to make new friends, much less construct a romantic/sexual/non-couple relationship while being fair to everyone involved. Either it works or it doesn’t, and it seems like asking for trouble to push too hard to willfully manifest something like this.

Instead I’m aiming to build a sense of fellowship with other women, in general, and other queer women in particular. Maybe it’s typical for geeky, tomboy-types to have an easier time making friends with guys, and there are a ton of meaningful ways I connect to the guys I hang out with, but I still feel like a cultural alien at times (i.e. we may have the same interests, but how we’ve been socialized, how other people have responded to us, and how we’ve needed to navigate the world is totally divergent).

But I’ve inadvertently made progress with this goal over the weekend without even thinking of it: I’ve been invited to join in on a very informal running group, and I’ve been talking with some really cool ladies about playing music & maybe forming a band. Sometimes desire navigates. 2 years ago

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