A real life desperate housewife

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I have entered the land of the housewife… it’s a wild, untamed land that apparently is devoid of social rules when engaged in conversation with two lesbians.

Let me rephrase that, Cee and I went over to the house of our daughter’s friend. We had appies and wine with our daughter’s friends mom. We had a lovely time, but I couldn’t help but wonder, why the hell does the woman stare with such “blue steel”  brown eyes at me? “Blue Steel” was code for I want to eat you like a sushi buffet. Was she staring at Cee the same way? Was there something on my shirt? Or… I came to the realization that this 45 year old desperate housewife was hitting on me!

The reason I didn’t come to this conclusion sooner, was that I hadn’t really been expecting to be hit on and it had been awhile since someone openly flirted with me.

As the wine was poured and appies devoured, we spoke about our lives with lively candor until deeper subjects about family and personal lives were unearthed. We touched on lighter subjects about our lives first, then more personal aspects of being LGBT. Conversation gave way to how I discovered I was gay, then of course came the three letter word that usually only adults comfortable with one another speak of. Sex.

For some reason, people who were strangers an hour ago, feel it’s ok to speak of your sex life when you fall under the LGBTQ umbrella. It’s like there’s this insatiable hunger for knowledge that people outside the umbrella don’t know – and they feel it is ok to overstep regular social constructs to get said knowledge. Oh yes… she went there.

It’s been awhile for me– having a stranger ask about my sex life — so I was slightly caught off guard. Cee seemed to handle it better. I kept to one word answers mostly. “Who goes on top?” “Who wears the strap on?” Questions hung in the air like little cartoon bubbles. Her insatiable curiosity would be obvious as to why she was asking the questions. We had a barsexual ladies and gentlemen!

She assured us she was no barsexual, that she had had a threesome (which somehow included her husband watching but not participating?-which I think would be classified as having sex with another woman and having him watch, but I could be wrong…) Bingo. This lady totally wanted to fool around with us. I was more sober than not at this point and tried to steer the conversation off the topics it had settled to.

It was flattering knowing that if, and it’s a big IF we wanted to, we could. But we politely steered the subject to more lighter topics. I mentioned to Cee we should be going as I had to work the next day. “No, no, we couldn’t stay in the spare room,” I told her. Was I growing up? Being responsible? Yes. For everyone involved.

Later, Cee told me that that sort of thing happened all the time. “What sort of thing?” I asked. “That people just see me as bisexual and assume I want to have sex with everyone.” I thought about it. That didn’t sound fair. I didn’t assume Cee would want to have sex with everyone–but then I remembered— once upon a time, I didn’t date bisexuals for that reason — because they could fall in love with anyone. A stereotype I’m glad that I have seen myself break. Just because someone identifies as bisexual, does not mean that they will sleep with anyone and everyone.

Last night, I was flattered. But this morning I was glad that I woke up next to the love of my life. That’s what matters. And if nothing else comes of this friendship with our daughter’s friends mom besides being our daughter’s friends mom, so be it. Maybe we made a friend along the way. We could always use one of those.

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Female genital Mutilation

Trigger Warning, this blog post contains graphic content. If you are sensitive to subjects I suggest skipping this particular blog post. 

 

Female genital mutilation… Those words send shivers down my body, shivers that have nothing to do with pleasure and everything to do with repulsion, and disgust. Female genital mutilation is legal, accepted and practiced in some countries in the world, even today. It involves cutting off the root of the female pleasure center, the clitoris so the woman, or girl, cannot feel sexual pleasure. It is incredibly painful, not medically clean (in some cases), and incredibly inhumane.

It enrages me if I think about it for too long. Would men agree to chopping their scrotum or parts of their penis off? I bet they wouldn’t. And yet women are somehow lower class still, in most parts of the world ruled by men who are ruthlessly power and money hungry, which is why things like this still go on. It is ingrained into some cultures because of these beliefs that women should not be sexual, that they are only meant for procreation, but in my opinion, that is not fair. Women, just as any man should have the right to a healthy sexuality.

Why am I posting this on a lesbian blog you may be wondering? Women are an important part of society. Even though they may be considered second class, women are the nurturers, mothers, lovers, friends, intelligent and caring people. That’s not to say that men don’t hold some of those qualities, but it’s to say that women are equal too. Women are human too. And we have a right to be here, feeling safe in our environments and living to our fullest potential.

Sources:
Aljezeera

Huffington Post: Cultural expectations

TPR org: Unicef reports FGM

LGBT youth

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I remember once upon a time as I was realizing I was not a member of the heterosexual majority. There was a brief window in time when I was in a period of self discovery where I was an LGBT youth attending university. I had an intro English class about long stories. A girl my age named Meg sat next to me one lecture. She sported a bald head, bright eyes and seemed intensely curious about life. After class she invited me to hang out with her. She led me past the room of the university’s newspaper and into a room that was decked out in rainbows and had bulletin boards plastered with notices and sheets depicting human rights and gay friendly messages. I immediately went quiet and withdrew into myself like a turtle from harm. I had lost the ability to speak.  Who did she think I was? Gay? I was not gay! I told her I had to leave and never looked back.

I had felt bad about what I had done. But I had felt homophobia that had come from within. I was not afraid of gay men but when a gay woman had approached me, I had fled because I knew that on some level I was different too. I was not ready to accept that yet. Apparently I had a lot of internal homophobia that I had to peel away in the next few years.

Recently I started volunteering my time with a local LGBT youth group. One of my exes friends asked if I would be interested. I said I’d love to help out if I could. I have volunteered two nights so far (missed others due to illness) and I enjoy it. Most nights there is a topic that we discuss. The coordinator sometimes brings speakers or activities to the youth group.

Last night there was a large turn out of a dozen youth ages 14-20 who showed up. It was amazing to see how many youth had reached a place of acceptance of themselves and others at such young ages despite the possible pressures from family, peers and society.  We spoke about homophobia, growing up, the impact of words (such as dyke, queer and the contexts behind them.)

It made me smile. It gives me hope. The future is brighter with these new generations who will hopefully bring more acceptance into society.

Family acceptance

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Alright, I’m back. I need to resume this blog and continue. I’ve been off on a month-something hiatus due to stress and things that have come up in life.

I would like to speak on the topic of family acceptance and how important it can be to validate your relationship, and make both partners involved feel at ease with one another. I use the term opposite sex couples because not all opposite sex couples are generally heterosexual. Some people are bisexual in an opposite sex relationship. I shouldn’t generalize and say most opposite sex couples are accepted by the family of both partners, but I do think that they generally have it easier. Both opposite sex partners feel validated and accepted by society as a whole for the most part. Opposite sex couples don’t have to work as hard to feel validated by society when they want to hold hands, have moments of affection, or do things that any other couple wants. Every couple wants to feel accepted and left to simply living their life without the hassles of discrimination or prejudice.

Last Christmas (2013), I spent Christmas with my parents and my sister. I wanted to spend it with my girlfriend, but I also didn’t want to get involved with her family dynamics. She was having family from out of town come to visit-family that didn’t know about our relationship. She wasn’t ready, and rightfully so. I don’t blame her. This relationship we have formed is new to her. She’s never dated a woman before. I remember back to when I was 20 and was more or less outed (after several times of me denying it of course). One day I decided to roll with it and it lead to disastrous fall out and endless fights and screaming matches with my family.

Today, several years later, is a different story and my parents love and accept me. But it’s taken them awhile. They’ve met several of my ex girlfriends and now refer to women when they ask about my dating/social life. I admit it was definitely a rocky road. My family was conservative, I was offered with conversion therapy and I had a friend on speed dial who let me crash at a moments notice.

My girlfriend is an adult herself so I know that she might not face such drastic things, but I still hope that things will go well for her if she deals with the negatives of coming out simply because she has fallen for a woman-me. Growing up, I realize that sometimes we also create families outside of blood ties. Those are important to remember as well, I don’t know where I’d be without the bonds I’ve made in the past. I know my girlfriend has good family ties that aren’t bound by blood and that’s essential during tough times-if we should face them as a couple together. We may be in for a rocky ride but we can do this together.

Image(Photocredit: Woman of Worth)

10 Things NOT to say to a lesbian

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There are more than 10 things every lesbian detests hearing. I’m going to say again, that I do not stand for every lesbian, therefore my opinions are my own. But I do know that I am not the only lesbian that has faced hearing the things I’m about to discuss and talk about. Some of these things make my blood curdle and I sometimes have an Ally McBeal moment where I picture the one who said said statement being slapped or disappearing through a trap door in the floor.

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(Photo Credit: TrendsUpdates)

They are in no particular order.

1. You must have been hurt by a guy.
I’m not sure why people (mainly guys) think that women are attracted to other women because they were hurt by a man. Let me flip this around for you. If you’re a guy, and you were hurt by women in the past, does that make you want to “switch” teams and fall in love with men? Not likely.

2. You’re too pretty to be gay.
Please let me smash a stereotype for you. Not all women who are gay or in a same sex relationship would fit into the ‘ugly’ category according to you. Don’t objectify us in a form of pseudo flattery. This statement means that you thought all lesbians or women who liked other women were ugly? Where has your mind been? Gay women are not gay because they think they’re ugly and can’t snatch a man. They’re gay because they have the same sexual and romantic responses that you do towards the opposite sex.

3. Can I watch you and your girlfriend?
I can be found with a scowl whenever I hear this. Yes, heterosexual male, please let me put myself on a pedestal while you film us with instagram or our iPhone. I’m not a sex object. I am not an object you can jerk off to. I am not a third wheel looking to join your heterosexual relationship as a third wheel either. Go back to your heterosexual “lesbian” porn. I love myself more than being your sex object.

4. You are living in sin. You need to repent and come back to heterosexuality.
I personally do not adhere to any religion for the reason that I find hypocrisy to outnumber the good qualities that religions hold. But that is not what I wish to get into. If you choose to believe in religion that is great. Please do not tell me that a part of who I am is wholly evil. We are all human. We all do bad and good things. Homosexuality is not evil, it is simply a part of me just as heterosexuality is a part of you.

5. Don’t flaunt your gay lifestyle at me
Please calm down sir or mam. I am bombarded by heterosexual images and have been since I was born. Is heterosexuality a lifestyle or is it just a part of you? If I am just me and holding my girlfriend’s hand in public, that is the same as you holding your opposite sex partner’s hand in public. You are just being ignorant. Gay is not a lifestyle, it is a sexual orientation.

6. When straight men say: “You don’t have real sex. You should try me.”
This one makes me laugh. What is real sex? Sex to me involves intimacy, and things done in the bedroom to (generally) lead to climax. You don’t think two females can do that by getting creative and using what they have or shopping online? If they are in love leave them alone.

7. You can’t be gay. Your relationship doesn’t lead to procreation.
I’m sure there are enough people to procreate the world. If you haven’t noticed it is already overpopulated several times over. There’s always adoption options, surrogacy and invitro. And for some people maybe they don’t want kids. A relationship and family is not only about having children whether the couple is homosexual, or heterosexual.

8. I can’t be your friend. You might flirt with me. 
To the heterosexual women: Oh hun, if I was interested I would let you know, but I’m not interested in bigots. To the men: I’m sure heterosexual men feel the same way when they think of the fact that a gay man might treat them the way they treat women.

9. Wow. Being gay sounds so much fun. I wish I was gay. 
This is sometimes said by well meaning females but really I don’t think they’ve thought this subject through. Homophobia still runs rampant throughout the world, even in countries where same sex marriages or civil unions are legalized. We have to even worry about countries we travel to because same sex couples aren’t safe in some countries as heterosexual couples would be. I don’t think you’d like to wish being bullied, harassed by homophobes, outcasted or sometimes have to worry about your safety because of who you love. Why would you wish that?

10. ?
Well I left this one blank. If anyone has something to add do so.

When your girlfriend introduces you as her “friend”

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Something I’ve realized as a lesbian, is the fact that you will most likely date a woman who is closeted at least once.

My girlfriend is not closeted from everyone. Her close friends and kids know that she’s dating a woman (me). The rest of her friends do not. Her family does not. Work does not. It’s probably best that some of those mentioned do not know that we are dating. It is still early in our relationship. This is a whole new world for her. She has dated men for her whole life up until we met. She has met and been with women, but for some reason she decided that I had a place in her life. As soon as we recognized that we had both fallen for one another, we grabbed our invincible stars and dashed through the metaphorical Mario level of seeing stars and being love struck while the rest of the world blurred by.

For most heterosexual couples, introducing the person you are dating is simple: “Darrin, this is Sarah, my girlfriend.” That’s part of the privileges that heterosexuals have. Things go a bit differently when you date a person of the same sex who isn’t out of the closet as bisexual or gay. Introducing you as their partner isn’t always an option. Sometimes this is a safety issue because you’re not in a safe place to come out of the closet (ie: you live in a very homophobic country or rely on others who are homophobic). Sometimes it’s because you’re unsure of how the other person feels about you and you don’t want to damage rapport with the other person. Other times, it’s because your world has just topsy-turvied and you flipped over into a new realm of existence that you are struggling to make sense of dating someone of the same sex.

I have dated a few women where I was their first girlfriend. I am used to this. Sometimes it doesn’t make it easier to hear you introduced to friends as their friend. When the conversation carries into dating realms and your girlfriends friends ask her “Have you met any nice guys?” and she will reply with “No.” I admit it is a bit hard to hear her talk like that and trying not to feel like you were a kicked puppy. After all, when you love someone, shouldn’t you have the right to show that person to the world like any other couple? But I know that her situation is one that I was once in years ago when I was first trying to find myself as a person so I am able to empathize.

She pulled me aside the other day after a similar conversation and told me that she was sorry that she wasn’t able to be brave, yet but she felt that she had a lot on the line. I know how she feels in a sense. I am not asking her to be selfish on my part and introduce myself as her girlfriend to the public yet. I know the courage to do that seems impossible to muster. Even now, I feel out people and introduce myself to them accordingly. If the topic of dating comes up I do not tell everyone I speak to that I date women, I just don’t see the point of putting the effort in; I am pretty intuitive and I can also perceive if people will positively or negatively and so I’m not honest with them all because I have had some pretty nasty and scary responses to being honest.

I told my girlfriend that I loved her and as long as she was honest with me, and the close people in her life then that was good enough for me. I know that she loves me in return by her gestures, behaviors and words. She shows her love for me. I feel it. That’s all I need.

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(PhotoCredit: The Feminist Wire)

For now, I leave the figurative closet door open for when she’s ready, however long that may take.

Running into a (straight?) ex of yours

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I experienced this today. I ran into an ex of mine. I was out in the city running errands. I recognized my ex as a cashier at the store I was in. I was tempted to pull the guy behind me in line and tell him to go next when she annouced that she was ready for the next person. That would have been childish, I know.

I stepped forwards, and said hello to her. I was all bundled up in winter clothing. My ex was ringing some purchases into a till. I kept my head down and hoped she didn’t see me. Was this childish of me? Perhaps. Maybe she didn’t recognize me.

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(PhotoCredit: IvyLeagueInsecurities)

Years ago, she was the second female I ended up dating. We were friends while I dated someone else. When my relationship ended, we became closer friends. We started dating soon after. She went through the whole, “I love you. I’m gay, be my girlfriend.” to “You’re never there for me” (we lived over an hour apart). Our relationship progressed and in the second month of dating I met her parents who seemed nice but couldn’t believe their daughter was dating a young woman instead of a young man. We went out together on dates,held hands and did all the other things couples do. Some people where we lived called us dykes when they saw us holding hands (I love how mature men can sometimes be). Some guy tried to tell me to grow my hair out to be more beautiful. My girlfriend then stopped texting me. Communication became very difficult and she was not able to have conversations face to face. It became a very dysfunctional relationship, and our communication was so poor she was not even able to speak with me via text about her feelings. It was “I dunno” every time I asked a question even when I was trying to be gentle asking things. When I asked if she wanted to break up, it was “no”. I don’t want to assume she cheated on me, but I know that I couldn’t deal with a relationship like that. When she told me she needed a break finally, I was able to grieve. Hey, I was young, and it was my second same sex relationship. Kind of intense. She left me with “I need a break” and I knew what that meant even though it should have been said like “I am breaking up with you” to show finality.

Well anyway, I said hello to her. To me, she looked the same. I wonder if she recognized me, if I would look the same to her? I think some times we are snap shots in the lives of one another for a reason. We are there to teach each other things about ourselves, other people or find meaning in different ways. She played a snapshot part in my life, and now I can say that I am not the same young woman that I was when I dated her years ago. I know that I’ve grown.

Sometimes I think back and wonder how my exes are doing. Most of my past relationships involving exes that left me heartbroken, I still wish them well. They played a part in my life. I played a part in theirs. We went our separate ways and have (hopefully) grown into something better.

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

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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.

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(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)

Lesbros and the friend zone

Sounds sort of like a toy company doesn’t it? Hasbro, lesbro…

Lesbro is the term that is given to the best guy friend of a lesbian. Gay men have the depending on how you look at it, offensive sounding “fag hag” label for the best woman friend and lesbians have the “lesbro”.

I won’t give away real names in this blog to protect the identity of the innocent. Jay is my lesbro.

I met Jay at work. I was sketching in my sketch book on one of my breaks and he asked if he could sit at the same table. I’m always up for meeting new friends. He complimented my work which was nice. We got to talking about work, and life. We exchanged numbers and kept in touch. A few nights later he asked me out for dinner and I was hesitant. Did he think this was a possible date? Or was this just as friends?

When we went out for dinner, I could tell he was being funny and attempting to flirt. It’s flattering to be flirted with from anyone of any gender, but I began realizing that I had to tell him that I was attracted to women. I kept putting it off for a few more times of hanging out with him. My friends told him to tell him sooner because this guy had feelings too.

I dropped the news when I told him I was going to attend Pride. He didn’t quite understand what the big deal about Pride was but when I explained to him how I felt and that Pride was like a big celebration of being true to yourself surrounded by people who understood you, with similar stories about hardship, love and courage. He told me in guy fashion to have fun and go get laid. At the time I was single.

When I returned Jay asked many questions like most people when I tell them the news. He realized that I was indeed attracted to women and that he had been friend zoned because I only saw him as a friend in my eyes. Jay and I grew closer together as buds, and he accepted the perks of our connection. I am like one of the guys, except slightly different. We can go out, check out women, comment on how great women are, watch action/comedy movies, go long boarding and just hang out. Once a guy realizes you’re not interested, and he’s ok with that and still wants to be your friend, it can be smooth sailing. It’s like having a best bud without the drama that sometimes follows having a female friend. Not all women carry drama, but some do and do nothing to get rid of it. Guys seem to have less drama (for the most part) so it’s more relaxing just to kick back and enjoy time with your friend.

This reminds me, I have to spend more time with Jay, I’ve been a bad friend being so busy with work, my hobbies and my girlfriend. He’s been spending time at work and with his new lady friend. I tease him that he’s doing the “lesbian thing” by meeting her parents 3 weeks into a relationship because it seems to be moving so fast. I’m not sure if he’s aware of lesbian stereotypes but it’s fun to educate him on some of them even if they are stereotypes and can’t always be applied. With more education, this world will have less ignorance when it comes to things that exist outside the norm.

Orange is the New Black

In recent months, you may have heard the name of Netflix’s new TV show titled: Orange is the New Black and what a hit it has become. Or maybe you haven’t, in which case you should listen up.

You need to watch this show. This show deals with real life issues that people face, from drug use, crime, racism amongst different races, seedy deeds done to survive (inside and outside prison), and seedy things done to antagonize and control others. It deals with characters that regret the decisions they’ve made and now they have to deal with the consequences of their actions as the years slowly fade past while they’re locked behind bars. Homophobia and trans phobia is also shown. It sheds light on characters with families who are supportive, and some who aren’t. I’ve never been in prison but it also shows what prison life actually looks like, supposedly. I still couldn’t image being thrust into a system where you had no privacy and were treated lower than dirt.

It originates from Piper Kerman’s memoir after she spent a year in a woman’s prison. It follows the character Piper Chapman who was caught 10 years after someone ratted her out for carrying a bag full of drug money for a drug cartel, an offense she thought she had left in her 20s. Now that she has her life on track, she is thrust back into her past, where she must face the consequences of her actions that have finally caught up with her. She must face her fellow prison inmates, many of whom come from lower social classes and therefore feel inferior but treat her harshly because she’s a rich girl in their eyes. Piper must leave her family, good job and fiance Larry on the outside while she serves her time.

Image(Photocredit: bimagazine)

It has characters that have depth and complexity. The characters come from all social classes, are of different ages, different races, and they identify everywhere on the sexual orientation spectrum. It has lesbians, bisexuals, and even a Trans woman who has to go about living life in prison while her wife tries to raise their son by herself on the outside. These are real characters. They could be you, your friend, your sibling, your neighbor. The show sheds light on each of them and they are given a chance to show their back story and how negative decisions shaped their life that landed them in prison. Orange is the New Black is a story about dealing with the consequences of your actions, and trying to dig deep and find yourself.

Here’s the trailer:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nryWkAaWjKg

I admit I made an orange shirt emblazoned with one of the quotes from one of the characters. I’ve already watched the show’s season 1 twice. If I find more time this winter, I’ll test to see if three time’s a charm.