Are you two friends? Roommates?

Featured

The other day, I crossed the Canada/US border with my girlfriend. Something I’ve noticed is that the US border agents are pretty serious. I mean they have a serious job of making sure terrorists, traffickers, drug runners and other criminals don’t enter their country. And that makes sense… but I am not trafficking or a terrorist.

When we were speaking with the US border agent, we were asked the usual questions. “Where are you coming from? Where do you live? Where are you headed?  Why are you headed there? How long will you be?” And… “Are you two sisters? How do you two know each other? Just what is your relationship? ” Wait. What??

Is it because I seem close with my girlfriend?  I mean when you’re dating someone of course you seem close to them. You’re best friends. You laugh, cry, love and support one another. How would you not be close?

But these questions and the manner of questioning were said in a malicious and probing manner. I looked to my girlfriend and the border guard.  “We’re friends.” If there’s something I’ve learned upon coming out and being true to yourself is that sometimes you have to lie and sacrifice the truth in order to remain safe. Is it ideal?  No. Does it hurt? Yes. Is it upsetting? Of course. Who wouldn’t want to live a life of just being able to be honest (not just when asked) and tell everyone you meet that the love of your life is the person you’re with no matter what biological sex they are? But it seems to be a problem even in the 21st century even when world countries and states (in the US) slowly pass Same sex marriage laws.

Silent vieled bigotry in the form of questions such as “How are you two related?” Are things we face. Had we answered honestly who knows what the border agent would have done of said.  Would we have been turned around and told to stay in our country and denied entry to the US? It’s possible. As a border agent who has powers of deciding who enters her country, who knows what she could have said to deny us the power of entry simply because she didn’t like the look of us.

Anti-hate laws aren’t exactly formed into the US constitution or laws like they are in Canada. And even if they were, from my experience, I’ve found homophobic or ignorant people find other excuses to use in order to spread ignorance and homophobia. Is it fair? No. It reminds me of the closet door I have come through and tried to keep open. It reminds me that sometimes it’s safer to lie because I am different than the majority. It reminds me that some people will never approve of who I love and I try not to let it reflect on me because I know in my heart that I’m not a bad person. But this is why we continue to fight for human rights and stamp out bigotry and ignorance. We do so one person at a time, educating them about ourselves to show that the only difference is that we love someone of the same sex. Our love is otherwise the same. We still want the same things that other couples want: health, happiness, love, support. Maybe one day ignorance will die off or at least be a distant,  faded memory. I hope I get to see such a day.

Advertisements

It’s a gay life after all..

Featured

It seems like some people have pictures in their mind on what it’s like to be different types of people. I think this goes for people of different races, cultures, and those in different careers. We use these ideas and ideals on how things (might/could) work to make sense of our world. We base these things on our experiences and things we’ve been told. These can form stereotypes or ideas on what it means to be a part of a subculture, culture, gender or race.

Sometimes these things can be hurtful to me. I sometimes find they can be amusing and sometimes they aren’t worth provoking a reaction for.

I have a deep and fulfilling connection with my girlfriend. We connect on all levels. Our relationship is based on mutual love, trust, respect and support. There are no things that I feel the need to hide from her, unlike some of my relationships I have had in my past. I feel so blessed knowing that we are part of a unit and team. She won’t judge me and I won’t judge her.

Well the other day we were discussing the lives of lesbians. I am the first woman my girlfriend has dated. Although she falls in love with the person, she has just never fallen in love with a woman before. She was saying that her friends were so surprised that the lives of lesbians weren’t so over the top. I asked what she meant. I think she was basically saying that some people think that the lesbians have a more wild and kinky sex lives than the average person, with more threesomes, possible swinging and less vanilla (if you know what I’m saying.)

I was surprised at hearing this. Maybe this is why people have such issues with gay people? If we as a group are perceived by shows like “Queer as Folk” or “The Lword” then I suppose I can understand where these preconceived images are coming from. I’m not sure on what it’s like being gay elsewhere in the world or if it’s more wild and kinky in other parts of the world but where I come from – or rather where I currently live there is a small gay scene but we don’t line up and swap each other around faster than one showers. These images, while amusing because I know the people who had them would not be amusing to someone who is ignorant to what it’s like living a “gay lifestyle”. (I hate that term lifestyle. More on that topic another day.) But education is key. If we are to shatter the stereotypes that are damaging and can at times cause hatred on an intolerable level (in some parts of the world more than others), we need to educate people on how we simply want to live, love and laugh. We don’t want to indoctrinate children or convert people “to our side”. We don’t want to take away religious freedoms from those that believe in religion (by the way, some gay people are religious). We just want to live and have the freedom to do so.

Our partners in the GLBT community may look different in that they are at times same-sex partnerships but other than that, there are no differences.

We all want to live, love, hope, dream, and have support in a partner don’t we? That’s all I want. If that’s gay, so be it.

Responses I’ve gotten to coming out

Featured

One thing I’ve learned in the exploration and realization of my sexual identity, and sexual orientation is that Coming Out isn’t just a process that you finish once and then you’re done. Unless you’re Ellen DeGeneres in which case probably everyone who knows about her sexual orientation via her Tv shows that she’s starred in or hosted knows about whom you’re attracted to.

These are some of the responses I’ve gotten over the years in telling someone or people that I’m gay.

1. Oh… well I’m not gay!
That’s good for you. I wasn’t hitting on you but good for you.

2. That’s… good for you.
This is usually followed by an awkward pause from whoever made the response to you.

3. When did you decide to become a lesbian? 
Um, it was a Saturday. Yep. A saturday and it was a new moon that signified new beginnings.

4. Cool. Can I watch?
No.

5. “Do you think I can join you and… your girlfriend?” or “Can you join me and my girlfriend?”
No.

6. So like… do you do… *makes scissor motion*
Yes I make arts and crafts but not in the bedroom.

7. Did a guy hurt you?
No.

8. You’ve not had me. Hahaha.
No. And you’ve not had my purple friend either. Haha.

9. *silence*

10. Do you date gay men then?
No. Being gay signifies same sex relationships.

11. Do you know Ellen DeGeneres?
Got her on speed dial.

Sometimes Coming Out requires patience, for yourself and to refrain from face palming yourself to the point of leaving marks on your forehead. People may start to question why it looks like someone has hit you in the forehead or eye from face palming so much. But it could be worse. To some people you are the first gay, lesbian, bisexual or trans person that they have met. They may be completely in the dark about sexual orientations other than heterosexuality. Sometimes you have to remember that.

To the very least, coming out is an amusing, disclosure of your identity that will never end. And that’s alright with me. I could live in fear of leaving my door with my partner. I’m glad I will never face that.

Confessions: Two women kiss in a bar…

Featured

…more often than not, they are not gay women. They are barsexuals. From my experience, (and I say my experience because of course this is not a blog about knowing all facts, just my experience as a gay woman,) when two women kiss in a bar, they are generally doing so to attract the attention of men. I’m not speaking about women in gay bars or lesbian bars. I’m speaking of your average club, or pub. I’m speaking more so on the night club or strip club sect of bars.

I can’t rememer where I heard the term barsexuals. It was years ago before the Tyra Banks episode where women who called themselves barsexuals were featured. But basically this is what “Barsexual” means. A barsexual is a straight woman that kisses other women for the attention of straight men.
Image

I remember when I was single how irritated this would make me as a gay woman. How is a gay woman supposed to differentiate their dating opportunities from those who are actually interested in the same sex to those who aren’t interested? The answer: Very carefully. Sometimes I get it wrong, but I would say that with more experience with dating women and fine tuning my gaydar, *fiddles with electronic gadget in my phone* I can learn to get it right more often.

The weekend prior to this one, I was at a night club with my girlfriend and some friends. I’m not sure if it’s a thing for people who aren’t gay to break the boundaries and try to fire up and attract someone who is gay to fondle and “play with them”, or if it is just my experience. I had friends of a friend we were at the club with, attempting to sit really closely, give me lap dances, give me kisses… And that’s great. Really. But I wasn’t single. And I am still not single. I have boundaries and I did my best to make them clear in a polite way by pushing them aside and moving over in the booth that I was sitting at. I love my girlfriend, so much. I am not going to mess up what I have with my lady with some woman who is likely a barsexual to have 5 minutes of fun fondling someone’s breasts and making out with them at a club, much to the chagrin and entertainment of other barsexuals and men around.

For me, being a gay woman has been hard enough. To fight for expressing and living as honestly as I can, while facing discrimination, learning the rules of dating the same sex while trying to find your niche and place in the world that doesn’t openly accept you (at least not fully), is so hard and downright exhausting sometimes. But when you face the opposite, where everyone accepts you but either misinterprets you or assumes you don’t have any boundaries and attempts to break them even though they know you’re dating someone, I find that a hard pill to swallow. To me, that isn’t fair for anyone. Although I do know of some women in hetersexual relationships that are allowed to have flings with women of the same sex because for some reason, “that’s not cheating”? How is that different? Is it because another woman is less of a threat to your relationship?

Just some food for thought. I like to keep barsexuals out of my boundaries. As a single gay woman, I prefer to play with women who actually want to go home with me (bisexual and lesbian women who aren’t looking for a side to another relationship). As a gay woman who declares herself in love and taken, I’ll keep my lady by my side.

Let Me be Straight With You: “This is my friend. She’s gay.”

Featured

Sometimes I shake my head.

How many times have I heard this in the past? Some people have no tact. Some people think that somehow everyone must know my orientation when I am introduced to them by one of my friends. In the past I have had to pull aside my friends and tell them, “Look, I appreciate that you accept me for me. But please do not introduce me as your gay friend. I am a person. I am (insert name here). That’s it. If it’s my wish to tell people that I am gay, then I will tell them.”

Tell the world that I like chicks. Please.

Image

(PhotoCredit: troll)

I had this chat with another friend the other day. I do not encounter this situation as often anymore; Now that I’m getting a bit older people seem to have some sort of tact and at least do not discuss this in front of me when they discuss me to their friends.

It’s not that I’m closeted. In fact, I’m not. I’m out. I’m not ashamed of being gay anymore. I’m open and people that know me, know that I’m gay. Granted, I’m not “Ellen open” because let’s face it, I’m pretty sure the whole world knows at this point. That’s what happens when you’re a celebrity and it’s broadcast around the globe.

Straight people don’t introduce their friends like this: “This is my friend Bob, and he has sex with women.” That’s basically what you’re doing when you introduce me as your gay friend. Why can’t I just be your friend? And add the full period stop, and cut.

My sexual orientation is not the most interesting news of the day or your day. It is not news to be broadcast. I am not your pet. I am not your play thing or your five o’clock news. In fact, after several years of living life as an open lesbian, I have learned that in a world that still sees heterosexuality as the norm that I will have to come out as being gay for the rest of my life because it is news to people. For me it is a reality. It is a price I pay for living honestly. It is worth it in the end because I will be true to myself. But I don’t disclose my sexual orientation to everyone I meet because I don’t see it as necessary and sometimes I just don’t see you as being worth the effort (not everyone is pleasant to people who identify as having a sexual orientation other than heterosexuality). I just want to be able to come out on my own, on my own terms rather than people immediately thinking of how I have sex before they get to know me as a person. My sexual orientation is only part of my identity as a person. I am me.

Image(PhotoCredit: Rlv ZCache)