An online space for queer, questioning, lesbian, bi, trans and everything else in between women at Yale

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Post-Queer Relationship

Everyone spends their Spring Break in different ways. Some people go abroad, exploring the world and learning about new cultures. Others stay at home, watching TV, sleeping, and catching up with old friends. While I certainly did plenty of the latter, I also did something both more stressful and more rewarding than watching bad movies on TV: worked things out with my ex.

I’m not here to share the nitty-gritty details (disappointing, I know…) but I do want to talk about something that some of you might or might not relate to, because I’m struggling with it right now. My ex is a wonderful person—funny, sweet, talented, caring, good taste in women (…), and—dare I say it—very sexy. The other thing is that my ex is a guy, and we dated in high school, when I was still in that proverbial closet.

Strangely enough, I’m having trouble reconciling my queerness with our newly re-ignited relationship. This isn’t because he’s a man and I feel like I can’t be with guys, because as I may have mentioned in a previous post, I’m definitely bi. It’s more because he doesn’t know me as a queer woman—he knows me as his (formerly straight) ex-girlfriend.

Don’t get me wrong—he’s very accepting of my bisexuality. He’s not uncomfortable with it, nor is he creepily excited because he thinks girls who are bi are slutty or always open to a third party in the bedroom. I came out to him in November, two months after I was out at Yale and a month and a half after I broke up with him. He was understandably surprised, primarily because he thought it would’ve come up in conversation before. It was difficult for me to explain to him that the reason I never came out to him wasn't that I thought he would judge or attack me. He couldn't understand why I never felt like I could tell him! The simple answer, of course, is that I had barely admitted it to myself.

We’ve talked about it since then, multiple times. We’ve talked about what my queerness means to me, what it means for us, and even covered simple questions. “When did you know?” “Who was the first person you told?” And so on. But I'm still struggling.

I just don’t know how to be a queer woman in a relationship whose foundations are pretty damn hetero. How can I reconcile who I am today with who I was when we first got together? If you have any advice, please hit me up. I could definitely use some words of wisdom.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This is gonna sound preachy, and I don't mean to be, but how about -- just be yourself. The rest will follow.

No, really. Coming to know yourself as queer doesn't mean undoing a past that occurred when you couldn't acknowledge it yet. That you was no less real than this one. Your ex seems willing to accept you and move forward with your friendship/exship/whatevership with the new information he has. Take him at his word. For most of us "queer" is not a daily performance -- it is just a fact. Your identity is evolving and will continue to evolve, as all of ours do; just let it.