Tuesday, May 19, 2009

navigating a furtive life

Before I was aware of the politics of sexuality, and before I understood what attraction was, I was aware of the pull of women. I was probably 8 or 9 when my first crush swelled from a glimpe of my neighbours newly emerging pink nipples; and after there were many more that elicited feelings I could not process as crushes, because those were what you had on boys.

I regret none of my relationships with men, but if I'd understood the role of attraction in sexuality I might have rejected the idea that all girls were meant to respond to the advances of boys. I didn't understand that attraction was not supposed to be something separate from my relationships with men, so it took me too long to understand my cultivated sexual relationships with men weren't normal as I'd always assumed, and what I was meant to feel with a man was what I felt with women.

Between my first girl crush and my realization that I'd been sleeping with men mostly because I was supposed to I defined that puzzling feeling I had about girls. I'd been having these feelings for a girl I went to school with. Everything she did seemed heavy with contemplation, and I used to watch the slow purposeful sway of her hips across campus, her hazel eyes as they reflected the conversations I observed her having among her friends, and her legs. God her legs. She was thin, with an athletic body covered in smooth caramel skin and slightly bowed legs that showed the flex of each muscle required to power her walk. I could not understand the peculiar effect seeing those caramel legs emerging beneath her skirt had on me, or watching the appearance and disappearance of the muscles as she walked ahead of me.

We were in the dining room one day, and I was watching her surrepticiously where she sat with her friends. The bank of windows along which her lunch desk ran parallel was perpendicular to the wall along which mine ran, and I had angled my body to the left so I could observe her without having to turn my face obviously towards her. Those were the only windows in the room, and the light that came through the glass panes poured all around her, highlighting the flyaways resting around her head and down her auburn braids, there was also a door to her left that deposited light which allowed me to observe her clearly, but didn't travel far enough into the room to allow anyone not sitting close enough to notice my observation. I looked around at all the other girls eating and chatting in the dining room and I was certain I was the only one having those feelings; and I knew they weren't normal because I didn't feel that way about any of them, or any of my friends so I resolved to figure out what made me so different. I don't remember now what questions I asked myself, but by the end of our lunch break I realized I didn't feel the way about her I did about my friends because friendship wasn't what I was interested in from her - I liked her in the way I was supposed to like a boy, and I wanted to do things with her I was supposed to be doing with boys.

I never acted on that crush because I didn't understand how to process those feelings - that and I was really freaked. It was until years later I somewhat grasped what it all meant, and perched it awkwardly among the definitions that that tipped me into the category of bi-sexuality.

Since childhood I have had the desire to be fearless in the truth. Though I didn't live the definition of bisexual I openly identified as that among my friends, and at the risk of my own life in a homophobic society, anyone who asked. And really, I think at that time the two had to be mutually exclusive, I could either be bisexual and be overwhelmed by the implications, or admit I was bisexual but not actually deal with it.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

Here is a link to an article I wrote about coming out, it is stuff from all over the place. I hope it helps maybe