Let’s Talk About Ex(es?)

Y’know, part of me wonders if social media is making things better or worse for all of us.  On the one hand, I can learn about things that are happening to other people I know with a quick glance at my Facebook or Tumblr feeds.  On the other hand, I can learn about things that are happening to people I didn’t want to know about with just a quick glance at my Facebook or Tumblr feeds.

For instance, I can learn that a couple coworkers went and saw a terrifying movie, and I can be glad that I’m not going to have nightmares that involve things with too many limbs or possessed children or people in animal masks.  I can check to see if my friends in flood zones or fire hazard areas are okay (or if my friend whose building roof caught fire has a place to stay).  So I think it can be good for a lot of things.

Unfortunately it’s also a great way for me to indulge my curiosity and to check up on what my exes are doing!  YAY.  And I’m pretty sure that until Facebook starts tracking who is looking at your profile, I’m going to keep doing it.  I don’t know why, and I don’t really know what makes this seem like a good idea.  Every so often I get the urge to compare myself to my exes – the ones I am not still Facebook friends with, anyway.  So in their name goes to the search bar, and then there’s some clicking, checking on their profile pictures and career moves… It’s not totally creepy, is it?  (Is there a way that I can talk about this without seeming creepy?  Ah, well…)

Today I learned that the ex who cheated on me is in a really super-happy relationship with the woman with whom she cheated on me.  It kind of sucks, and not because I wish her unhappiness or unkind things, and definitely not because I’m unhappy with my own relationship, but… There’s a part of me that didn’t want that to work out.  If I’m going to be completely honest, if I had the power to change this I would.  I would make it so they couldn’t be together, because I’m still not 1000% over having been cheated on.  Let’s be real – being cheated on SUCKS and it hurts to feel like you’ve been replaced.

Today, though, I also learned an important thing:  I am better off letting go.

Look at me, look at what you just read through.  Checking on this particular ex, and learning what I know now, has made me feel insane.  Not the madcap Ace Ventura brand of crazy, but the “I AM GOING TO STALK YOU AND PUT DOLL HEADS IN YOUR MAILBOX AND SET THINGS ON FIRE” kind.  That’s a really terrible feeling, and it’s a little confusing to have these feelings about a girl I haven’t dated for 7 years (yeah, I know – old lesbian is old).

I can’t really identify what it is that makes people revisit past relationships.  If we didn’t do this, we wouldn’t have movies like High Fidelity, or any rom-coms, and probably Friends would have been an awful TV show.  But I think what might be most important about this revisiting isn’t realizing the good or bad things that are long since past, I think it’s realizing how much you’ve grown since that relationship ended.  I’m definitely not the same kid I was when I broke up with this girl, and I can’t tell you how much of a good thing that is.

Every relationship is a learning experience, hell, everything we do is a learning experience.  But I think people come into your life and touch you in a way you never expected (and in ways you TOTALLY expected!), and I think it’s important to realize that you don’t have to hate your ex.  I don’t hate my exes.  I don’t like a lot of them, and I don’t stay in touch with most of them, but they aren’t necessarily bad people.

And really, I’m not a bad person for checking Facebook.

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Oh Hey!

Hey everybody!  I’m not dead!

I’m about a trillion percent sorry that I haven’t updated in… Um… Oh balls, since April!  What’s wrong with me, why do I neglect you so?

I don’t know about you, but I have had a bit of a whirlwind few months.  I joined a band, graduated from college (no really, I wore the stupid little hat and a dress and everything!), and the biggest one…. I GOT ENGAGED!!!!!!

Image

I’ll have details on all of this stuff if you ask for it, but first I gotta know, who the hell is Googling sexy pictures of Tank Girl and finding this blog?  Shine on, you crazy diamond!  Shine on!

Anyway, the good news is that things are settling down in my existence, and there’s a lot of LGBTQ-related things happening in the world.  Fortunately for you, this means lots of new post ideas, hoorayyyyy!

Stay tuned, kids!


Gay Family and the Holidays

This is going to be a combo rant-advice time, which I realize might frighten some of you.  Sit down, things are gonna get intense.

The holidays (Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, Solstice, etc.) are generally celebrated by gathering with family.  In most cases, this means biological family, which means seeing people you only see kind of rarely.

This, for me, was the first Thanksgiving where I was not living with my parents, so I got to stop by casually to see everyone.  Another fun fact: I have a staunchly conservative, Catholic grandmother who is somewhere in her eighties.  I’m not out to her.  I made the choice not to come out to her after I saw “defend marriage!” and “we hate abortion” flyers in her car a few years ago.  It just seemed like the responsible thing to do.

I have learned, over the years, how to deal with the grandma questions.  You know the type – the ones about relationships and marriage and children and crap.  For instance, my first Christmas home from college we were all in our pajamas and eating chocolate on Christmas morning, and apropos of literally nothing, my grandma turned and said, “So, do you have any special boy in your life?”  Super-amazing deflection response: “No, grandma, I’m really busy and haven’t thought about it.”

Two years later for Christmas I got a really nice box of silverware, but it had a card that was basically like, “Just in case I die before it happens, here’s your wedding present!”  Really uncomfortable; I said thanks and we’ve never talked about it.

Fast-forward to Thanksgiving 2012, greeting everybody and saying my hellos as a visiting family member.  My older brother whispers to me, “When are you gonna tell her you’re gay?”  While talking about Black Friday shopping with my grandma, I mention my “roommate” (secretly my girlfriend, for those not in the know) had to work a really stupid shift at her retail job.  Not two minutes later, my little brother went, “So… Roommate, huh?  You should just tell her.”  A little while after that, my mom felt it prudent to take me aside to remind me that my cousin had already come out, and that “grandma is totally okay with him being gay, so you could tell her.”

What does this have to do with anything advice-wise?  A couple of things, actually, that I consider pretty important.

If you have a family member who is LGBTQ and they are not out to another person, family or no, it is NOT your job to tell them they can come out.  We do not require your permission on this front.  I don’t need you to tell me when I can or cannot talk about my personal life, or in what terms, and it’s really quite condescending and paternalistic for this to happen.  If someone comes out, it is because they have given themselves the permission to do so, not because some straight person has deemed it “okay”.  If you have a queer family member, don’t you dare tell them this ever, because it’s rude.

The second issue is that people are different, and people are viewed differently by other people.  My grandma, for instance, might consider me her favorite grandchild (or maybe not, I don’t know), but the point is that she might view me in a different light than my cousin.  That being said, she might not react as well as everyone seems to think if I were to come out to her.

The third issue is that the holidays are not just about one person.  I don’t want to make a big scene and make Christmastime or Thanksgivingtime memorable to my octogenarian grandmother because that’s when she learned I’m gay.  It’s about togetherness and family and being glad we have what we have, it’s not about coming out.  Not for me.

At this point, I’m very thankful I can be out to the family members who do know.  Further, I’m thankful I can still make my own choice and that nobody has outed me (as far as I know) without my permission.

So please, take a step back and consider, if you have to, the position your non-heterosexual family members might be in.  They will come out to the people they choose, at the times they choose to do so.  Don’t be a douche and try to push them to do it any sooner than they are comfortable.


How to: Not Talk To Gay People About Sex

Do any of you have something that really just grinds your gears and gets you every time?  I happen to have a lot of them, and if I were to list them all it would require more time and dedication than I could ever hope to expect from any of you.  Consider this an act of mercy that I’m only focusing on one moderately upsetting thing for today.

I had this particular thing in mind for today, because it happened to me last night.  Sometimes being gay can really stink, and a lot of those times happen when you’re interacting with other (mostly heterosexual) people.  One of those interactions I despise is when someone decides it’s a good idea to ask The Question.  You’ve probably encountered it, either in a movie, with friends, hell – maybe you’ve even asked it yourself.  The Question is, for me, as follows: “What do 2 girls, like, DO, y’know… In bed?”

It’s almost always followed by lots of nervous giggling on the part of the asker.

There are a couple of responses that I use for this question, and the one I pick depends upon how well I know the person asking me, and how much I want them to not hate me.

In this case, I was at a bar, so I was able to be all, “I haven’t had enough tequila for this talk”, and that seemed to work pretty well.  (Other fun responses are things like, “Let’s go find out” and “Please shut your face”, but my favorite is, “Well that depends. Are we sleeping or fucking?”)
I’m not a particularly private person.  I’m loud, kind of annoying, and really obnoxious.  I’m outspoken about a great deal of things.  And yet, this one single question leaves me feeling utterly flabbergasted.  I really think this is a prime example of straight privilege, because nobody asks a straight couple what THEY do in bed, right?  Because everyone knows.  But apparently asking gay folks is not only a) super appropriate and acceptable but 2) going to give you an answer to apply to every gay person ever (because we’re all the same, duh!)

I was told that I handled the question like a champ, but I’m still really riled about it.  I also told the particular asker to check things out on the internet.  It’s a wonderful place and there are TONS and TONS and TONS (etc. etc. ad nauseum) of resources on how two ladies might get it on.  Betcha you’ll never guess what happened next.

“I FEEL DIRTY DOING THAT.”

But you feel perfectly alright asking someone you don’t know very well TO THEIR FACE about their sex life?

It would be completely different if this person were asking me about things to do to make one’s sex life more interesting.  I personally feel I have a lot of really brilliant sexytime ideas, and since I’m obnoxiously outspoken, I find very little shame in sharing them.  This, however, was a whole ‘nother scenario.

The moral of the story this week is pretty simple: don’t be an ass.  I don’t care if you’re drunk, I don’t care if you once asked a gay person in a pride parade and they answered.  I’m a different human being, and you should fucking respect that.

We’ll be back for regularly scheduled shenanigans later on.


Self-Help Books Can Actually Be Helpful???

Okay I’m sorry, I didn’t fall off the planet, I’ve just been shirking my duty as your faithful advice blogger for… Well for long enough to risk falling off the planet, I suppose.  I haven’t really done much, apart from the usual going to the gym, going to work, and eating food routine that most people seem to have.  So exciting.

One thing I have done is finish reading a book.  An advice book, no less – something I normally avoid like a cat avoids water.

I’m not usually one for self-help books. I tend to find the advice therein trite, condescending, and in some cases enabling of the behaviors the person reading needs help with. Of course, when my mom handed me this book I went, “Yeah, sure, I’ll read this. Eventually.” Because my mother likes to hand out advice, wanted, warranted, or not, I really just rolled my eyes. And then my girlfriend read the book first. And then something ridiculous happened – she told me it was good. Not just good, but something that I should be reading.

Thus, I just finished reading, The Defining Decade by Dr. Meg Jay, PhD. The book is broken down into a few sections, on love, work, and being a grown-up. Really, the whole book centers on acting like an adult now instead of later, and getting your act together before you’re 30. There are a lot of examples that Dr. Jay uses to describe exactly what she’s getting at, whether it’s the twentysomething boy who was essentially homeless because he grew up in an unsettled divorced parenting situation, or the young Korean American woman who had grown up being teased for being different and a virgin in high school, so she never stopped to consider the sort of qualities she actually wanted in a partner – she just wanted to be wanted.

I wish I couldn’t identify so well with each of the people in this book. I’m way overeducated for my current job. I know this, and I know what I want to be doing, I just don’t know if I can actually put in the work to get there. I just keep assuming that everything will fall into place, because that’s what I’ve been taught to expect. I’ve also been hearing, “You’re young, this is what you’re supposed to do” an awful lot, too.

I think, contrary to popular belief, “YOLO” (you only live once) is part of this problem that leaves folks screwed over in their thirties. The twenties are apparently to be spent partying, traveling, working as a barista at Starbucks, and generally not giving a shit about the future because you’ll think about it “when you’re thirty” or “way later”…. Draw a timeline of how you want your life to go. If you have a picture like that, and “babies” and something like “medical school” are in the same place… You might have to reconsider what you’re doing.

What resonated most with me, for a silly reason, was the entire section on love. Every time my girlfriend and I have had problems of any sort, I have been advised by at least one person to break up with her and find someone else. I’m always told that I will have plenty of time to find my perfect someone, because my girlfriend and I are “so young” (I’m almost 24, for the record). I think getting together at a pretty young age, relatively speaking, is seen as a thing of the past. I have a friend who just got married, and she’s a couple years younger than I am. Do I think that’s too young? Maybe. I don’t know.

The point I’m trying (and failing) to make is that I feel really lucky in love. I don’t think I care if my perfect soul mate life partner match from heaven is out there in the world somewhere. There are another 7 billion people on this planet, of course. But, at this point, I think instead of stressing over whether or not my girlfriend and I are completely 100% totally perfect, I am going to focus on all the great things about being with her. At least in this respect, I feel like I have my shit together.

I wish I had an idea of what I want to be when I grow up. I wish I knew what I wanted to DO with my life. I want to do a million things, and I’m so afraid of all the possibilities that I don’t know where to start, and so I’m just paralyzed by all of them.

This paragraph I just wrote isn’t in the book, but there are a bunch like it. It makes me feel less bad, being as concerned as I am about my career future, because Facebook and the media seem to keep telling me that I should be gallivanting around Europe half-naked and fucking my way through hostels or something to that effect. Those same institutions tell me that I should drink more and do stupid shit because, after all, “you only live once”.

While that’s all probably a good time, I will take my amazing girlfriend, our tiny apartment, and a half-cooked plan for the rest of my life over drinks in an English pub any day. I may not know where I want to go, but I know who I want to get there with, and I really think that’s a big step in the right direction.

I’m not advocating for or against settling down at an earlier age, and I’m not even knocking working for Starbucks.  All I’m saying is that this book is pretty great, I recommend it, and I think we could all stand to get the ball rolling on the rest of our lives a little faster than age 30.

A little ambition never killed anyone.

…Right?


Fantastic Queer Superheroines!

I know you were all waiting for this.  This is probably the nerdiest thing I’ve ever written, except for that time I wrote some fan fiction for Gundam Wing.

I know.

And even if you weren’t, that’s okay.  Whoever follows me on tumblr (ahem ahem shameless plug) will have noticed a pick-up in the superheroine-type things I’ve been reblogging.  It happens.  It started with me wanting to learn more everything about Wonder Woman and went on from there, so without too much ado, I present in no particular order, some really amazing super- and meta-human ladies!

Holly Robinson

I can’t be the only one who sees it

Did you guys know Catwoman had a sort-of sidekick?  Who was gay?  Because I didn’t until I started looking into these things.  Holly manages to stab Batman in the leg and then end up at a convent.  At some point she comes back, takes over being Catwoman while Selina is on maternity leave, dies, but not really, and she’s Selina Kyle‘s BFF/roommate/probably girlfriend sometimes.  At least, that’s what happened In My Head.

Sailor Neptune/Sailor Uranus

Image by AmayaKouryuu at deviantart

I have to include these ladies as a pair, because they’re a couple.  I don’t really care what the English dub of “Sailor Moon” that you watched on Toonami said, they’re not cousins.  Cousins don’t have pot points like Sailor Uranus (Haruka) kissing Sailor Moon, or dressing up as Tuxedo Mask, or, y’know, sexin’ up Sailor Neptune (Michiru).  I really love the two of them, because Haruka is super flirty and Michiru is quieter and super-polite.  They balance each other out so well and I can’t help it, they’re so effin’ cute.  Seriously, I’m still not sure how I was so naive to think lady cousins should be so friendly.  I know better now, and so do you.

Renee Montoya

Look at that striped shirt and blazer. Hot!

So Renee Montoya is was a cop, which is pretty sexy and superhumanly in and of itself.  HOWEVER, she’s also The Question!  AND Batwoman‘s girlfriend, for a hot minute!  Can I sum it up decently by saying she’s a fabulous representation of a person of color (her parents are immigrants from the Dominican Republic)?  No.  I can’t really sum her up neatly, she’s more complex than that.  This lady has some srs bznss in her background and I would need more coffee and at least three blog posts to cover it.  She dated Batwoman, has alcohol issues, and kicks the crap out of people.  And she wears a tie while doing a lot of these things.  Unf.

See? Ties.

Knockout

I think I’m in love

Holy CRAP, this woman.  Those biceps.  Wikipedia says “Her hidden identity was that of a super strong stripper who worked at a club called the BoomBoom Room”.  Does this explain what I’m about to say?  Maybe.  Knockout is really more of a villain than superheroine, but this is my list so hush.  She’s been on the Suicide Squad and the Secret Six, and has died or almost died a couple of times.  No, really.  It’s canon.  I like Knockout because 1, her name is a great pun and 2, she’s like eight feet tall and 3, she was dating the next lady on this list…

Scandal

Also: tattoos

Scandal scares me a little bit.  Maybe it’s that crazy combat mastery, or her really freaky weapons (seriously, “lamentation blades”?), but it’s probably more that she can re-grow her guts.  Her dad’s immortal, so what do you expect?  But I do love a lady who’s tough, and she’s fought freaking Talia al Ghul (a sometimes-Batman girlfriend) and lived through being shot and almost blown up and such.  I think she’s a big softie, judging from her reaction to her girlfriend Knockout’s death, so… I like her.  Is it weird that I find the tough girls attractive?

Batwoman

Kate kissing Not Renee (Detective Maggie Sawyer)

I couldn’t notput her on this list.  Kate Kane‘s Batwoman is easily the most recognizable of the women I picked, not to mention the most gay.  She gets booted from a military academy for dating another (female) student, and gets it on with attractive lesbian cops a lot.  Mostly I love how complicated she is, she’s not just the token gay title character.  Seriously, I can’t tell you how big a deal that is.  Also she’s a redhead with tattoos, and that’s never a bad thing.  If you’re not interested in the storylines of the most recent Batwoman issues, just go for the art.

Look at this, it’s beautiful, now go get it!

I’m pretty sure I’m missing a good deal of lesbionic butt-kickers, because not every superheroine who doesn’t necessarily need a dude to save her or partner up with is queer, so drop me a line on Twitter, or tumblr, or down in the comments and talk to me about your favorite queer superheroines!


Soapbox: Gay Marriage Edition

Alright, so in case you have been living under a rock lately, you have probably heard that Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama have both publicly voiced support for same-sex marriage.  After that, Jay-Z and even the NAACP have endorsed marriage equality.

I bet even he’s heard, though.

After all that has happened and all that is being said, I have some feelings about it.  How could I not?  It’s a big deal.  It’s a massively huge ridiculously big deal, to be more precise.  And it effects my life in a very direct way.  So if you don’t want to read about my feelings and issues with all that’s going on, I advise you to stop now.

A lot of friends of mine on Facebook posted links to the video of President Obama describing how he came to this new attitude toward gay marriage, explaining this evolution of sorts.  Unfortunately while his words were really heartwarming and it was awesome to hear the President of the United States, while in office, say outright that he wants to allow folks like me and some of my best friends to marry our partners…. I didn’t feel it.

I know.  I know.  I feel like such a terrible American!  How could I, noisy obnoxiously gay lady that I am, not be celebrating with glitter, rainbows, and unicorns like the rest of the population that is okay with gay marriage?

It’s a combination of things.  First, it has brought out some of the worst in people.  Some people that were very vehemently opposed to gay marriage have gotten even worse.  North Carolina passed its stupid Amendment One, which bans everything except marriage between a man and a woman.  What’s tragic and stupid about this, in my mind, is that gay marriage was already illegal in North Carolina.  This just added that into the constitution of the state, while also dumping on straight couples who wouldn’t really go for a traditional marriage.

By making this announcement prior to the November election, the President has potentially pushed away voters that like progressive things but not gay marriage.  I’m just really, really nervous about this.  I think that it’s all going to be okay, given that the other presidential candidate is big jerk bully Mitt Romney.  Speaking of which, have you read about some of the crap this guy has done?  Seriously, what a d-bag.

Perhaps what is worst about this is people like this pastor.  I know he’s probably voicing a minority opinion here, and I know that he’s only got like three people agreeing with him on that video… But it hurts.  I don’t like the vaguest notion of locking up any group of people, let alone a group of people to which I belong.  It makes my skin crawl and my stomach cramp to know that there’s a a guy like this saying things like that, and to know that there are some humans who will actually listen.  Pro tip: If you want to not be considered an asshole, don’t suggest rounding up and jailing all the “queers”.

None of this, though instills in me the need to fight, to push, I don’t have this feeling like I am actually supported or that marriage equality is actually supported by my President.  They’re just words.  I do not mean to belittle what is a large step forward – that would be naive and unfair.  I don’t think this is a moment to celebrate.  Instead of cracking some champagne and enjoying this moment – undoubtedly a big moment, at that – I find myself becoming more the angry lesbian caricature.  I guess it’s in part because I felt shortchanged after the 2008 election and the Prop 8 insanity that happened is happening in California, but also in part because there were some people who straight-up (no pun intended) told me that I should be glad this first step was taken.  There were a few comments that had the, “Isn’t this good enough for you” tone, and I resent that.  It did nothing to make me agree and be happy.  It felt condescending and super straight-privilege-y.  Needless to say, I’m not a fan.

If I could give you one bit of advice, in all this ranting I’ve done, it’s this: don’t tell people that this is good enough.  Don’t tell people that they can stop asking for it because a man in an office said some pretty words.  Instead, look for a local chapter of PFLAG or GLSEN, make an It Gets Better video, just don’t make empty promises.

Something less depressing will probably be in the next post.