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Friday, August 31, 2012

223

Racist Girlfriends, Plush Closets, and Sufficient Queerness

I took a decade-plus long break from dating/relationships etc. to figure me out, and all that junk. After finally reconciling all my spiritual/sexual/familial-type issues, I feel confident in who I am and am ready to date. So, I started seeing this one chick who was pretty awesome. We get along really well and I really like her. We've been seeing each other for a few months, but she's not comfortable putting any kind of label on our "relationship" and she frequently refers to it as "hanging out" (for the record, when I "hang out" with my friends, I DO NOT do the things that I do with her). But then, the other night we were out and she mentioned three distinct different ethnicities that she "hates." What??? People like that are still out there? People that are in a protected group against discrimination can hate other groups? This is mind boggling. I know I need to end it with this chick because, first of all, hate does not sit well with my spirituality. Hate does not sit well with my humanity for that matter. And one of my closest friends happens to fall into one of those people groups she hates. Plus there's the whole bit about her not really wanting to be in a real relationship with me...

So yes, I know I need to end it. Am I a bad person because in spite of these clearly big issues, I still really like her? Also, how do I end a relationship that isn't really a relationship? I should end it, right? Can I just be passive aggressive and stop responding to her texts and emails (I'm texting her right now, because I don't know how to stop this)? Could I just change my phone number (I really hate conflict/confrontation)? And final question (that is more of a future question) ... is it possible that there's a tattooed, lip pierced, Jesus-loving, non-hateful/racist lesbian out there? 

Let's start with the easy one: there are just so freaking many tattooed, pierced, Jesus-loving, non-racist lesbians. If you threw a music festival and only allowed tattooed, pierced, Jesus-loving, non-racist lesbians to attend, you would still run out of beer in less than two hours. You should not have any trouble replacing your crappy, commitment-phobic, bigoted makeout buddy with an upgrade. Obviously this will be easier if you live in a big city with an active queer scene (go to a gay-friendly church! hit up Dyke Night at your favorite bar!), but even if you're in a smaller town, there is someone who fits that description within a 10-mile radius and you will find her eventually. Probably on Craigslist.

But of course, before you can get yourself a shiny new girlfriend, you need to jettison the old one. You're not a bad person for still being attracted to her despite her myriad flaws, but – as you're already aware – you can't in good conscience continue dating someone whose beliefs are antithetical to your morals. You know how you have that friend-of-a-friend (or wife-of-a-cousin or whatever) who's always making nasty homophobic comments, and your friend or cousin is always like “Don't hold it against her, she has really good qualities too!” and you're like, ugh, I hope you stub your toe? Please do not be that person. Do not make excuses for your awful racist umfriend. Do not condone her behavior by continuing to reward it with orgasms. Get rid of her, seriously, she is revolting.

(I didn't skim past the part in your letter where you talked about her not wanting a serious relationship; obviously if the two of you want different things out of your interactions, that is reason enough to ditch her. But that's not a character flaw on her part, just a point on which you disagree. The racism is a character flaw, and a dealbreaker. Even if she wanted to marry you and have your babies, I would be telling you to get out of there.)

Obviously in a perfect world, what you would do is look her in the eye and say “I don't want to sleep with you anymore, because you are racist, and I don't want your racist cooties in my vagina.” She needs to understand that her prejudices are repellent to all right-thinking people, including the ones she wants to see naked. However, I understand and respect your desire to keep confrontation to a minimum. You do need to break it off with her for real, though, not just stop answering her calls. Use your words. Say something like “We disagree on too many things, and I think we need to stop seeing each other, because I don't want your racist cooties in my vagina.” Then get out there and find yourself someone better.

I'm a 19-year-old bisexual woman, and I hate myself for liking men. I feel like I'm not queer enough to have a say in LGBT issues or to call myself a butch or own a strap-on, and I fully realize that this is stupid. I wish I were a lesbian, because I feel kind of hated and left out in the gay blogosphere/community, and I don't really feel any desire to plunge into heteronormative straight culture. The problem is that I keep having strong heart/vagina feelings for dudes. I know that this should be okay with me, and I should be able to say "fuck the haters, I like this person regardless of gender," but every time I’m out with a guy in public I feel guilty. I also really hate feeling closeted when I'm dating/screwing a dude, and I feel much more positive about myself when I'm with a woman. It feels more rebellious and anti-patriarchal to sleep with women, and I'm wondering how I can get over this and just enjoy being with people, because I'm ending up blowing off guys I really like and sleeping with women who treat me badly so that I can be with the more "ethical" gender. I hate biphobia and bi invisibility in real life, and I hate myself for participating in it, and it's probably anti-feminist of me to judge myself for my own desires. HELP!

Oh, to be 19 and politically queer! Look, I know this is going to sound hideously condescending, but I think that a lot of what you're feeling will just naturally mellow as you get older and settle more comfortably into your bi identity.

You've gotten really into the idea of being The Biggest Homo Ever, which is totally understandable when you're young. You're recently out, you've just discovered that there's a whole thriving queer community all around you (and on the Internet!), and you're buzzing with your newfound freedom. You don't have to hide anymore! Stick it to the Man! Et cetera. And that's all amazing and thrilling and inspiring and so forth, but it starts to become a problem when you're avoiding the relationships you want because you're afraid they're not rebellious or anti-patriarchal enough. All of a sudden, you're not empowered anymore – you're right back in the closet, hiding the truth about who you are and who you want because you're afraid someone else won't like it.

But you know what? Being actively, proudly bisexual is a pretty radical way to live. People really get uncomfortable about it. If you date a guy, they'll want to proclaim you cured; if you date a girl, they'll say you were gay all along, they knew it. But when you insist on your right to your own identity, your right to self-define even when it disrupts someone else's ability to fit you into a category, you'll feel way more powerful and anti-patriarchal and rebellious than you ever have before.

As you get older, as you continue to define yourself as bisexual (and correct people who miscategorize you), you'll probably become more confident in your identity, secure in the knowledge that your queerness is not going anywhere, no matter how many boys you make out with. You'll feel more established in the queer community you've found, and less worried about being kicked out of it because you failed at the Secret Dyke Handshake. And you'll probably just stop caring so much about the statement your relationship makes, because you'll be having too much fun – and too much awesome sex – to spend a lot of time stressing about it.

For right now, rest assured that you are not betraying The Cause by dating people you find attractive regardless of their gender. Instead of worrying about being sufficiently queer, just worry about being you — whether that means being butch, wearing a strap-on, sleeping with dudes, letting your boyfriend ride in the sidecar at the Dykes on Bikes parade, or dating a girl because you want to and not because you should. And if you're really nervous about being out with your man in public, buy him one of those t-shirts that says “I'm Not Gay, But My Girlfriend Is.”

I have a weird problem. I came out when I was 19, and though I had rough patch with my mother, she eventually caught up to the rest of my family, and my parents and five siblings have all been incredibly supportive since. I'm now in my mid 20s and something unexpected happened about two years ago — my older brother came out to me. He has been gay all along but never said a word, and is now nearing 30 and still in the closet. At first I thought it was great that he felt comfortable enough to come out to me — we went out to the bars together and had fun! — but lately I've become more and more irritated with his stance on life. This is a man who is incredibly successful in every other realm, owns his own house and is terribly good looking. And yet he is ashamed of who he is, and has told me many times that he wishes he was straight. The worst part is, he thinks he's won. He enjoys all of the privileges of the straight world while still dating men secretly. I know this sounds mean, but I feel like his continued lifestyle is actually hurting mine. For every gay person who doesn't come out, all of the out gay people suffer. 

I asked him once if he would ever come out, and he said he would if met the right person. I'm not sure I believe him, but we haven't spoken of it since. The truth is, we could not have a more supportive and loving family, so I'm mystified as to his decision. We did have a somewhat difficult time growing up; we were on the poor side, with parents that were too stressed out to treat their children with patience, which meant excessive yelling at times. I've learned to forgive my parents and love them for who they are today, but I don't know if my brother ever can. He has a good relationship with them on the surface, but I sometimes feel that our childhood had a more lasting impact on him. Our family can also be oppressively close at times, and although it's all out of love and respect, I think he feels weighed down by their presence. All of this is my best guess to explain his decisions.

I worry that the longer he stays in the closet, the more warped his brain will become. My siblings and parents have asked me multiple times if he is gay, and I always say I don't know. How can I talk to him in a loving way and tell him I'm worried about his mental and emotional health? I want him to be a happy and healthy gay person, like I try to be. But I just don't know how to get through to him.

Is there any particular reason why you're worried about his mental and emotional health, besides the fact that he's not out yet? Your letter doesn't indicate any deeply worrying behavior on his part – you didn't mention mood swings or binge drinking or a fondness for the later seasons of Alias – so I kind of think you might be drawing unsupported conclusions here. “Closeted people are miserable; my brother is closeted; therefore my brother is miserable” makes some surface-level sense, but you can't know for sure unless he's told you – which it sounds like he hasn't.

I would be unhappy in the closet. You would be unhappy in the closet. A lot of queer people would be (or currently are) profoundly unhappy in the closet, and maybe your brother is one of them. It seems likely. But fixing his life is not your responsibility, and outing someone who doesn't want to be out is one of the nastier things a person can do. Coming out needs to be his decision, and it will happen (or not) on the timeline he chooses.

As far as your assertion that his lifestyle is hurting yours ... I mean, you can make the case that the more gay people come out of the closet, the more people will realize that we're everywhere, we were here all along, and we're actually pretty great (mostly. Some of us are douchebags). So in some abstract sense, every person who's passing for straight is setting us back on our journey toward that hypothetical future date when all intolerance will end. But that's just an abstraction. In the actual, literal world, how is your brother refusing to come out causing you harm? If anyone is suffering because of his choices, it's him, and possibly the guys he's dating.

It would be great if everyone felt totally ready to come out at 19, like you did, but sadly we don't live in that world. There are a lot of reasons why your brother might prefer to keep his dude-on-dude activities a secret, and they might or might not have anything to do with his relationship with your parents. If he's unhappy with who he is – if he really does wish he were straight – I don't think even the most loving and supportive family in the world can make him embrace his sexuality before he's ready. All you can do is love him, be there for him, and keep introducing him to every hot gay guy you can find. Hopefully with enough positive examples around, he'll begin to understand that being queer is nothing to be ashamed of. If nothing else, maybe he'll come out because that will make it easier to get laid.

I’m starting to really seriously think that I am asexual. I’m 25 and I’ve never had sex, but I do masturbate to climax (at irregular intervals, usually when I’m bored and can’t think of anything better to do?). I can’t really complain; I don’t feel unfulfilled without partner sex, don’t particularly care about my virgin status, but I am about to turn 25 and that has started to feel like A Major Life Milestone for some reason and part of my brain is being sneaky and asking, “shouldn’t you at least try it?” But the rest of me answers that sneakbrain with “meh.”

So really, how can I tell if I’m just being Cher Horowitz-shoe-level picky with who I let at my vagine or if I really will never have an interest in sex?

Ooh, who wants to take bets on how many times the phrase “saving herself for Luke Perry” will appear in the comments?

If you're not interested in having sex, that's totally fine, and I think the correct way to handle the situation is don't have sex. No one should ever have sex that they don't genuinely desire. I suppose this might just be a question of never having met anyone who pushes your extremely specific buttons, but it seems to me that if that were the case, you'd have someone particular in mind – like, “I only get it up for Halle Berry,” or “I'm only interested in Olympic swimmers,” or whatever. That actually sounds like a way bigger pain in the ass than just being asexual.

So how do you know that you're asexual? Not being asexual myself, it's hard for me to say for sure, but I think it's probably analogous to how someone “knows” that they're gay. Occasionally, less-than-open-minded individuals will say things like, “But how can you be certain that you wouldn't like sex with a man?” or “Maybe it will change when you meet the right woman.” Which, Okay, sure, maybe. Maybe I'm really a cowboy, but I just don't know it yet because I've never been on a horse. Still, I can be confident enough in my preferences to name them based on what they feel like to me (i.e. queer, non-cowboy). If you're pretty sure you don't want to have sex with anybody, you don't have to wait until you're looking back from your deathbed to say, “Yep, I never did bone anyone, guess I was asexual!” You can call yourself asexual if it feels right. If the day ever comes when it doesn't feel right, maybe you'll start calling yourself something else.

As for Major Life Milestones: I certainly feel like my first sexual experience was a defining moment in my life, but I don't know that it was more defining than, say, the first time I shaved my head, or the time I went skydiving – and I would never tell you that if you haven't buzzed off all your hair or jumped out of a plane you're having an incomplete human experience. Just because something is a Major Milestone for a lot of people doesn't mean it's necessarily something you would find meaningful, or even enjoy. If you want to do something special to celebrate turning 25, why not take a vacation somewhere you've never been, or build a house for Habitat for Humanity? You get to decide how you'll mark the milestones in your life, and that doesn't need to include sex until and unless you want it to.

Previously: Filed Nails, When to Move, and the Coded Mixtape.

Lindsay Miller is also on Twitter. Do you have a question for her

Photo by Anna Sedneva, via Shutterstock



223 Comments / Post A Comment

@serenityfound

I want to hug A Queer Chick for the answer to the last LW. And that last LW. Because I totally get it.

social theory

@@serenityfound yep. LW4, you can come sit over here by us.

celeec4@twitter

@@serenityfound Yes, such an awesome response from AQC to the last LW.

Also, totally swiping "sneakbrain" as a descriptor of shitty things the back of my brain has said to the front of my brain.

20of50

@@serenityfound - My first comment ever on hairpin and YESSSSS to AQC & LW4. I'm there. Here. 35 years old. Cis-Female. Virgin. Happy with it. Dear LW4: You have nothing to prove to anyone and only you can decide if you are happy. Anyone who says otherwise is selling something.

Virginia Smith@twitter

@@serenityfound: Personally, I wish A Queer Chick been a bit more in-depth. I don't disagree that asexuality is a Real Thing, but there are a lot of things we don't know here. The LW says she's cool with not having partner sex. Okay. But is she cool with not having a partner at all? Or is she actively dating? If she's dating, is she dating sexual people or asexual people? If she's seeking a partner among sexual people, they're probably going to want sex. If she's not dating, is she truly fine with being alone, or does she feel inhibited around people she thinks she might like? Does she have any factors that could be inhibiting her sexually or socially--social anxiety, a history of depression, use of birth control pills?

A close friend of mine thought she was asexual. She had a one-night stand with an intoxicated young man to test whether maybe she wasn't. (Like the LW, she thought she should try it.) She didn't particularly like it. But now, at the ripe old age of 26, she's revisited the idea and is currently enjoying an energetic FWB relationship.

I don't mean that anecdote to "prove" that the LW is not asexual. But 25 is still young. And I don't think the LW should write off the idea of having a partner (with or without having sex with said partner). It's hard sometimes to get adequate social support in America, especially if you don't live with family. I personally believe it's useful (not to mention fulfilling) to have a life-partner. She should consider the pros and cons of seeking an intimate romantic relationship, and how that might intersect with her openness to partner sex, as well. (There is dating within the asexual community, of course, but it's a far more limited pool.)

I just wish A Queer Chick would've gone more into the pros & cons of dating, of partners, and of experimentation, etc... I do kind of think you should try something once before writing it off, especially if you're not sure about it. (Unless that "something" is dangerous or harmful, of course.)

@serenityfound

@Virginia Smith@twitter I, too, have a friend who identified as asexual but is now in a committed lesbian relationship. That happens sometimes. But it doesn't make her identification as asexual at the time less valid. As Queer Chick said, "...I can be confident enough in my preferences to name them based on what they feel like to me (i.e. queer, non-cowboy). [...] You can call yourself asexual if it feels right. If the day ever comes when it doesn't feel right, maybe you'll start calling yourself something else."

I also think we should keep in mind that LW wasn't asking about dating or partners. Just about sex - didn't mention anything at all other than the sex part. Yes, being asexual can have an impact on your dating life, finding a partner, etc, but I don't know that concerns over those things should keep someone from identifying as asexual if that's what s/he feels. It should probably go the other way around - identify then find a way to build a life that works with that. Just like a straight person would. Just like a gay person would.

Finally, I'm also a "try something before you rule it out" kind of person, but not when it comes to your body/sexuality. I don't need to try out a tattoo to know it would be painful to get and wouldn't like its permanence. I wouldn't ask a lesbian how she knows she doesn't want to have regular sex with a man if she hasn't tried it. I always feel like you should be open to new experiences, but that doesn't mean doing something you don't really want to "just cuz".

mattewmc

:O Gold. Pure gold.@t

Lustful Cockmonster

"letting your boyfriend ride in the sidecar at the Dykes on Bikes parade" is possibly my favorite thing I've ever read on The Hairpin.

I just love it so.

BadWolf

::clapping, cheering::

xoxo,
28-year-old femme bisexual woman, in a freakin' relationship with a dude, and toting a huge amount of queer feminist guilt about invisibility and betraying the sisterhood. Well said, Chick, thanks! I am looking into that t-shirt for real-real.

automaticdoor

@BadWolf Not going to lie, I cried when I read the answer to that letter. 25 year old everything else you said, ♥

AnalogMetronome

@automaticdoor 21-year-old ditto ditto ditto :)

Thanks, AQC (And LW, for bringing it up).

@BadWolf Today you get all the hugs. Oprah style: And YOU get a hug, and YOU get a hug, and YOU get a hug, everybody gets HUGGGGS!

xoxo,
Lesbian, age 25

Lurkasaurus

@MademoiselleML MY PEOPLE. (I.e. I am a 23-year-old all of the above.) AQC rocks so hard.

BadWolf

@S. Elizabeth Hugs! Yay!

Hot Doom

@BadWolf Yep yep. 28, bi lady and married to a dude. NEED that shirt.

Drink All the Coffee

@BadWolf You guys! I'm a 25-year-old queer* femme, currently in a totally badass and fulfilling relationship with myself.

*QUEER is what I like to call myself instead of bi, and here's why:
bisexual = attracted to men + women
queer = attracted to men, women, genderqueer/fluid, transpeople, etc. etc. etc.

BUT it took me a long time to find that, define it, and get comfortable with it. To the 19-year-old conflicted LW, I say: you will find your identity. I was once where you are. Godspeed on the journey, it can be a lot of fun <3

whateverlolawants

@BadWolf I don't have much guilt now, but sometimes when my friend tells the girls at burlesque night or whatever (who see me a lot but don't really know me) that I have a straight-dude boyfriend, I get some weird looks sometimes. I don't really like that. Since I'm very femme, I try to look at the bright side: "Those queer chicks totally believed you were JUST like them, so at least some girls do realize you're into girls too." :/

Mohawk Chick

@Drink All the Coffee
I get what you're saying, and I totally respect your choice of identity and your reasoning, but personally I define "bisexual" to mean "sexually attracted to similar and different genders" not "men and women" or "two genders". Biphobia in the form of etymological nit-picking is one thing that makes me feel unwelcome or at least "not queer enough" in the online queer community. Plus I find it's easier to come out as bi because everyone knows what that means, whereas queer often requires explanation. (Because I'm rather butch I often get "oh, so you're a lesbian.") As much as I love sticking it to the patriarchy I get tired of having that particular conversation with uninformed heteronormatives.

Drink All the Coffee

@Mohawk Chick
I didn't mean for my comment to sound biphobic, and I apologize if it did. Making you (or anyone) feel unwelcome is one of the last things I want to do, so thank you for pointing that out. (That's an honest thank-you, btw, not a sarcastic thank-you.) I honestly hadn't considered the possibility that other people might frame their bisexuality in a different, less-dichotomized way, so I feel a little silly now. Live and learn!

And you're right about bisexuality being a lot more accessible to most people. Sometimes I do use bisexual to describe myself when I'm in a situation where I don't feel like explaining myself, or don't think the explanation will be well-received (enter the uninformed heteronormatives). Fun with limiting labels!

Mohawk Chick

@Drink All the Coffee
It didn't, I just thought that maybe you hadn't thought of it! I do like the term "queer" as an umbrella term though, and I describe myself that way sometimes too.

BadWolf

@Mohawk Chick You are saying all the things that I always want to say, but can't seem to articulate. I wish I could buy you a drink right here and now. (At 10am on a Monday. Whatever.) Thank you!!

Lurkasaurus

@Mohawk Chick Haha, thanks much from me too! Your eloquence is way beyond me, but I definitely agree with what you're saying. And @BadWolf it's now 5 pm where I am, so drinks for everyone! :D

Lush Life

@BadWolf HURRAH! You will rock that t-shirt.

Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood

When i was dating this girl and we were driving to athens, GA from atlanta to see Joanna Newsom, we pulled up next to 2 white kids in a top-down at a stop light. The 2 white kids were playing some southern hip-hop (i think Big K.R.I.T.) and wildin out. at the time we were listening to a mix i had send her months before, and Das Racist's 'rapping 2 u' came on. she said "oh! lets turn it up really loud so those white dudes can hear!'. i asked why and she said 'because this is white rap'.

yo is that racist?

sidral mundet

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood Yes!
On a lot of levels :(

sidral mundet

@sidral mundet D:

Megasus

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood Yes

Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood

@Megano! @sidral mundet well after the Joanna Newsom gig she dumped me in a waffle house at 1 AM so i guess silver lining?

TheUnchosenOne

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood Yes.

m. marie

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood Yes, because it took place in Georgia. (I KID! But I don't think poking fun at the way white people tend to listen to rap is racist, and usually when people talk about "white rap," it's doing that more than it is insulting "blacker" rap. Like, "look at me! I'm so enlightened for listening to Atmosphere and Common and Das Racist, I hate rappers who rap about parties, drugs, and bitches, even though all of the classic rock bands I revere do the exact same thing and usually worse".)

Megasus

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood Only if you had fries.

sidral mundet

@m. marie OMFG
WTF
Everything you said was so incredibly racist. Get out of here with that shit.

m. marie

@sidral mundet I think it's possible you are misreading that! Care to explain why you think it's racist?

sidral mundet

@m. marie Nope, I'm not. It's funny that white people listen to rap? "Blacker" = parties drugs bitches? "White" = smart (even when the artist is non-white)? Fuck. That.

sidral mundet

@sidral mundet It is literally so racist it made my head hurt.
Uggggh. Disgusting.

m. marie

@sidral mundet Yes, I was correct, you are misreading that. I thought that the sarcasm wasn't that oblique, but you seem genuinely lost so I'll explain: when I said that some rap is "white people rap," I'm obviously talking about the rap that white people approve of more often, not make, since obviously, Das Racist isn't even white. "I listen to rap, but only the GOOD stuff, like Common" is as much of a clicheed statement of "white people taste" as "I listen to everything but rap and country", and yes, I do think it's a little funny when people fall into predictable categories like that because it shows a common misconception about music and "good" msuic. I even explicitly spelled out how the attitude I'm poking fun at is racist, because it tends to stereotype the rap that's more popular among black people as trashier than it really is for touching on themes that are common in all music. Do you understand now?

I mean, if you're really confused, think about how people will let white kids get away with more stuff, like wearing hoodies and walking around at night, whereas a black kid has to be a model citizen not to be stereotyped as a thug, because it's like that, but with the amount of sexy talk you can get away with in a song.

sidral mundet

@m. marie Oh shit! You're also a condescending asshole. Wow, fuck YOU.
PS, no for real, you're racist.

Creature Cheeseman

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood Yea, das racist.

m. marie

@sidral mundet LOL, um, ok.

Summer Somewhere

@m. marie Is your argument that the racism is in associating "high brow" hip hop with white folks and "low brow" hip hop with non-white folks, or that making the distinction between artysmarty/commercial is problematic full stop?

adorable-eggplant

@m. marie Hi, m. marie! Coming out on the side of I think your comment was being misconstrued. What I gathered (mixed in with some dark humor) was: it's racist to suggest the distinction between ethical/sexist rap can be mapped onto a white/black divide. And people who do make that characterization are hipster tools.

I'd heartily agree.

wallsdonotfall

@m. marie Hesitant to get into this, partly because what the girl said in Josh's original quotation was totally nonsensical. But for clarification: are you saying that when people talk about "white rap," they are usually making fun of it for being an arbitrary and racist distinction? In other words, that the term "white rap" isn't generally used by the people who only listen to Common, Das Racist, etc.?

nonvolleyball

@sidral mundet @sidral mundet I'm white, so I realize this isn't necessarily a conversation I should be jumping into--& I also certainly don't think it's your job to educate m. marie--but I think there's an extent to which you're both talking past each other that's (maybe?) obscuring some potential common ground.

I initially agreed with m. marie's post because I thought she was (rightly) calling out the hypocrisy of white America's propensity to appreciate/appropriate nonwhite cultural objects (music, fashion, etc.) even while criticizing & looking down on POC for their engagement with same.

reading closer, I'm actually not sure what the point is exactly. (m. marie, do you want to clarify further?) but I think the confusion stems from what Josh(etc.)'s ex was doing. was she "poking fun at the way white people tend to listen to rap"? I'm not sure I agree--it seems to me that she was making fun of them for listening to Big KRIT, trying to say that her taste was more erudite. which is sort of what m. marie was saying--except that she said it wasn't racist, & I agree that it totally is. because that false "good rap" vs. "bad rap" dichotomy is rooted in racist thinking.

...or maybe I'm just misinterpreting everything here & am only making this worse. we'll see, I guess!

m. marie

@Summer Somewhere Ummm, I think it's kind of neither? I think what I'm saying is that you hear a lot of people say they don't like rap because it's so trashy (too much sex, drugs, partying) and sexist, but then they approve of similarly trashy and sexist songs by white artists in white-dominated genres, where singing about sex is suddenly sexy and singing about parties is just having fun. I guess it's closer to "making a big deal of the artysmarty/commercial distinction ONLY when talking about different rap artists is racist," like you think meaningless sexy shallow pop by Britney Spears is "fun" but meaningless sexy shallow rap by Nicki Minaj is "trashy" but idk.
@adorable-eggplant Yes, I mean, I literally thought this was a common joke that people were familiar with, I didn't plan to have to explain something that was basically cliche. You know what I'm talking about when I say "anything but rap and country!!!!" right? I thought it was like that. BUT IDK I should probably shut up now! Hahaha

adorable-eggplant

@wallsdonotfall From what I gather, the point is that it's a totally absurd statement all together. What makes Common or Das Racist so-called "white" rap? The assumed approval of a "more enlightened" (racisit-ly presumed to mean white) audience. Which is a totally crazy, racist assumption.

Also, lampooned, in m. marie's comment was classic rock, which is a genre of deeply entrenched sexism that gets about 1/10th of the guff that rap does for the exact same issue.

In fact, if you aren't talking about eminem or vanilla ice or house of pain (or any other self-identified white rappers) then using the term "white rap" is probably indicative of some deep-seated racist beliefs.

adorable-eggplant

@m. marie No, sarcasm is just hard on the internet! And this is a sensitive issue, so I totally get thinking, "This person is making sweeping stereotypes, and now I'm angry and don't want to dissect what they may have meant."

But yes, I think the point you were trying to make was valid, and I think the point as @sidral mundet interpreted it was genuinely racist (but not the point you were making). Annnd clearly I'm a middle-child and my work is done here.

m. marie

@wallsdonotfall I guess maybe you're all so confused because of what the girl said. If she's making fun of Josh and herself for listening to "white rap" which is kind of how I interpreted it, then it's not racist (or at least that's gonna be my opinion, no matter how many people tell me that means I should fuck off and die. But I mean, maybe that's my interpretation because I'd rather listen to Ludacris than Das Racist pretty much always.) If she's telling them their music is trashy and they should listen to GOOD rap like Das Racist without any irony, then that would be the same sort of cliche I was making fun of. Done FOR REAL now, though.

sharkbyte

@sidral mundet that was way harsh, tai.

Summer Somewhere

@m. marie I see what you're saying. Kind of like when people vilify Chris Brown but are totally silent about white male celebrities who abuse women (Charlie Sheen, Axl Rose, I'm sure there's a list of these jerks somewhere).

BattyRabbit

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood
This thread is going elsewhere and I'm sorry you had a shitty experience with a racist but thinking about Waffle House in Athens is making me really homesick. Don't let that lady stain them for you! Go all the time!

sidral mundet

@adorable-eggplant Actually, what she said was:
But I don't think poking fun at the way white people tend to listen to rap is racist, and usually when people talk about "white rap," it's doing that more than it is insulting "blacker" rap.
And then 180'd to:
I guess it's closer to "making a big deal of the artysmarty/commercial distinction ONLY when talking about different rap artists is racist."

Those things are opposites and one of them is insanely racist.

adorable-eggplant

@Summer Somewhere Fucking Paul Simon was an abuser to Carrie Fischer (so I've heard, but please tell me I'm wrong). Which made me so sad to hear. But now I'm sharing it. Sigh. Graceland was so fucking good. Whhyy..

m. marie

@sidral mundet Um, no they're not, and you still don't know how to read. Maybe you don't know what a quotation mark is? Look it up and consider that sentence again maybe. Or don't, I don't actually care, but it's clear you are being willfully ignorant of my point. Those sentences are saying the exact same thing, that being that white people only give a pass to certain kinds of rap music.

Summer Somewhere

@m. marie @sidral mundet http://www.systemcomic.com/2011/08/03/so-youre-mad-about-something-on-the-internet/

thebestjasmine

@m. marie I literally don't understand why anyone thought what you said was racist. It was kind of exactly the opposite, you were calling out the innate racism in how people approach rap music. Is it that the people who are mad are doing that "being mean to white people about racism is the worst kind of racism!" thing? Can someone explain this to me?

sidral mundet

@m. marie Oh, right--I'm just black and illiterate!

adorable-eggplant

@sidral mundet Yeah, one statement is characterizing the (racist) attitudes of others and the statement other is expressing an opinion.

But this is where middle-sibbling taps out, goes to her room, and turns up illmatic to drown out the yelling. (childhood, glad it's over)

m. marie

@thebestjasmine I mean, I honestly think it's either bad reading comprehension on her part or arguing in bad faith so she has a chance to tell someone to fuck off, but she's basically choosing to interpret "white rap" (as in "possibly-mediocre rap that gets more possibly-undeserved white fans because it has fewer naughty words") as "rap that has earned status as Honorary White Music by being less trashy".

@sidral mundet Don't worry, I wasn't assuming you were black. I assumed you were in high school, and thus eager to get in a fight over perceived racism without bothering to read something thoroughly before getting angry about it. However, that doesn't make you any less wrong about what I wrote. I am sorry for upsetting you, but I hope it's clearer what I meant by now.

Judith Slutler

@m. marie this is imho a problem that tends to happen when you try and explain how a racist remark was actually an ironic remark resting upon other people's understanding of what is racist and what is not? When actually, the girl from Josh's story was probably just being plain old racist

adorable-eggplant

@Summer Somewhere Thanks for the laugh. You are better that 1-10 hitlers.

stuffisthings

White people, play this for your black friends. Black people, smack them.

sidral mundet

@m. marie And yet you keep going back to that old standard, "I'm smarter than you!" I guess it makes you feel better? I'd rather be direct than condescending. It's clear that you're not actually as well-versed in this shit as you think you are. Words have nuance that travels beyond "but I used scare quotes, so it's ironic." Calling something "blacker" and then equating it with "parties, drugs, and bitches" is racist. If your intent is to call out the way other people think, you better be explicit about that shit. And if your first reaction to offending someone with your racistness is "she must be too dumb to get meeeeee," check yourself.

stuffisthings

So is Yelawolf blacker than Common then? That's the real question.

tee
tee

@sidral mundet The thing about the internet is that people have no idea what colour you are unless you explicitely say "I am a ____ person"! They literally cannot see you! Weird right?

stuffisthings

@stuffisthings Eminem is definitely blacker than Tyler, The Creator. Definitely. But is Kreayshawn blacker than Angel Haze (she's half Native American I think?) Is Timati blacker than all other Russian rappers, or whiter? I mean he's Tatar, and my friend's Russian mom used to use that word the way an old racist American granny might say "negro" ("Stop listening to that Tatar music! You're cutting those apples like a Tatar! Etc.) He does talk about parties a lot, but not always. So I dunno.

stuffisthings

@stuffisthings Also I heard Jay-Z is Jewish.

Reginal T. Squirge

@everybody

Yikes.

hahahaha, ja.

@Reginal T. Squirge: wellthatescalatedquickly.mp3

hahahaha, ja.

@stuffisthings: I heard Dr. Dre isn't a real doctor.

nonvolleyball

@m. marie I feel like a lot of well-intentioned white folks with ally aspirations end up hanging out in circles where racism (while probably not completely nonexistent) is universally accepted as a Bad Thing. so they automatically assume they have the benefit of the doubt when trying to engage in conversations like this, because obviously they would NEVER intend the potential negative interpretations of what they're saying.

I feel like that's what happened here. the sad truth is that there are SO MANY "not racist" white people--particularly on the beautiful, semi-anonymous internet--who continually express Actually Racist beliefs & then look around all "who, me?" if they get called out. & when you only have a limited amount of information to respond to, it's hard to differentiate between someone who had a valid point but maybe didn't state it as thoughtfully as they could've, & someone who's perpetuating racist ideas. particularly when the waters are muddied by irony & sarcasm.

white people have the luxury of believing that racism is the musty, antiquated domain of elderly grandmas & backwoods hicks, but the reality is that POC are exposed to "educated," "tolerant," people saying really offensive shit all the time. so it's worthwhile to make sure you're being as explicit as possible when you're entering into these conversations. kind of like if someone with a male-sounding handle jumped in a Hairpin thread about rape to say "I mean obviously we aren't talking about drunk bitches, right? because they're asking for it." that guy might think his remark was too absurd to be taken seriously, but he'd probably get a negative response from the commentariat, & rightly so.

all of which is to say, I sympathize with the shittiness of being accused of expressing ideas that are actually antithetical to your beliefs (giving you the benefit of the doubt here, one honky to--I assume--another), but I also understand why sidral mundet took issue with what you said, particularly in light of her last post.

@Summer Somewhere, do you have a cartoon about mediating other peoples' arguments on the internet, hopefully one suggesting that it's really effective & a productive use of one's time?

adorable-eggplant

@nonvolleyball Ok, so I am mostly on board with you here, except assuming that m. marie is white, because really let's not make white the default color of the invisible internet. I'm not even going to assume she (?) is American (?) because what the hell do I know?

Also, white people call themselves honky/cracker drives me 'effing crazy (it's not you, it's me? this could just me having a weird pet-peeve) because I get that it's supposed to be self-deprecating and minimizing of the privilege gap and maybe some kind of humble, but it's also a term with a history of hate and divisiveness and ugh. Do folks have reclaim every slur? Have you ever been called honky in actual anger? Have you ever been in a situation where you felt afraid for your safety because someone was calling you that word? Umm. Yeah. Just curious, I guess.

And as conflict avoidant as I clearly am: I think it's important to talk about race, have it be reeeeaally uncomfortable, and have everybody walk away with something to reflect on. Because yeah, when some one reacts to something strongly, even if it's not what you meant to say, then it's probably because that something is a big, painful issue. So hugs to @sidral mundet for responding with his/her honest reaction and hugs to @m. marie for defending him/herself and attempting to clarify. Also, hugs to the people who made me giggle.

Summer Somewhere

@nonvolleyball I think you're being sarcastic, but I can't tell, so I'll respond to you as if you're serious: everyone lost this argument once the name-calling started.

stephanieboland

@Summer Somewhere I wish Andrew Ti was here.

nonvolleyball

@adorable-eggplant valid points. I don't consider "honky" a slur, but it's also not really part of my personal lexicon--I was just using it here as an attempt at levity (possibly misplaced). I also agree that the assumption of "white 'til proven otherwise" is infinitely problematic & ought to be avoided; in this instance, though, I figured it prally would've come up by now if m. marie didn't identify as such.

stephanieboland

@adorable-eggplant Also, pretty much every possible etymology of the word 'cracker' makes it a word you shouldn't want to 'reclaim'. Ooh, I'm ironically using a word that came out of the time when my race had slaves. Um...?

insouciantlover

@Summer Somewhere Word. It's pretty unpleasantly surprising to see that on the hairpin.

adorable-eggplant

@nonvolleyball Yup, exactly.

adorable-eggplant

@adorable-eggplant Was on my way out the door when I realized that probably sounded smug! What I meant was, "Yup, you've put your finger exactly on my objections. Thanks for reflecting/responding." Gotta dash!

runner in the garden

@m. marie Yeah, I'm with you on the substance, but telling someone "you don't know how to read" means one thing if you're (say) in a snarky college debate team practice, and maybe something different if (say) your great-grandparents were legally forbidden from learning to read.

It's a constant struggle but let's all try to remember to be kind.

thebestjasmine

@runner in the garden Okay, I have to say that the whole you don't have to read means something different if your great-grandparents were legally forbidden from learning to read is an incredibly condescending statement. I don't really think that the meaning changes. Is it a bitchy thing to say? YES. But seriously, let's not be all "oh those poor black people, their great great grandparents legally weren't allowed to read, we have to talk to them in a different way." If something is racially charged, that's one thing, but that was not a racially charged statement.

And since apparently one has to say so in this conversation, yes, my skin is the color of my avatar.

Blackwatch Plaid

@insouciantlover This has all been far too reminiscent of tumblr.

Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood

@BattyRabbit Well i live in MA so it won't really be an issue, as we dont have them here. she did give me a 'I <3 Waffle House' pin tho

pollykettle

@Josh is like Germany Ambitious and Misunderstood i read all this instead of my copy of The Little Friend, gotta go to bed now, hope you're happy

Ten Thousand Buckets

@glittercock I logged in specifically to +1 you, and to say: ugh, tumblr.

Virginia Smith@twitter

@sidral mundet "If your intent is to call out the way other people think, you better be explicit about that shit."

Using scare quotes is being "explicit about that shit." m. marie said, But I don't think poking fun at the way white people tend to listen to rap is racist, and usually when people talk about "white rap," it's doing that more than it is insulting "blacker" rap. Like, "look at me! I'm so enlightened for listening to Atmosphere and Common and Das Racist, I hate rappers who rap about parties, drugs, and bitches, even though all of the classic rock bands I revere do the exact same thing and usually worse"

To break it down and put it in slightly clearer language, I believe she's saying, "The girl was making fun of the fact that she and her partner (both of whom are clearly black by their description of the other kids as 'white kids') were listening to what some people would call 'white rap.' The girl wanted the white kids to realize that it's not just white people who listen to high-quality rap: black people do, too."

In her discussion of "white rap" and "black rap," m. marie was talking about the way people categorize good-quality rap as "white" and pop-quality rap as "black." She was not, herself, calling bad rap "black." If she were, she wouldn't have used scare quotes. (Unless she didn't understand what scare quotes were. It's true that some people mistakenly think that quote marks add emphasis, rather than adding skepticism, to a sentiment.)

Using scare quotes completely eliminates any possibility that she agrees with the people she's referencing who think rap is "white" when it's high-quality and "black" if it references partying and drugs.

I understand that some level of misunderstanding is inevitable on the Internet, but next time you think someone may be saying something shocking, you might want to ask for clarity before calling someone a racist. Conservatives already sneer at anyone who points out racism (real or imagined) as "playing the race card." Considering how frustratingly effective that sneer is for swaying middle America--and how frustratingly prevalent racism still is--it's really important to avoid false accusations muddying the waters. (Not to mention alienating allies.)

[Sorry to be so late to the party, btw...]

Virginia Smith@twitter

@thebestjasmine & @runner in the garden: Saying, "You obviously don't know how to read" is insulting no matter who you're talking to, and usually not helpful, in any case, to making one's point.

On the other hand, if you've made your point pretty clearly, and someone is consistently misunderstanding you, insulting you, and attributing viewpoints to you that you don't hold, I understand the desire to declare (even in an insulting fashion) that the point your opponent is claiming that you've made is completely the opposite of what you said, and that you'd have to be illiterate to think that or believe that about your post. It's insulting, yes, but it's also an attempt at self-defense.

stuffisthings

@Virginia Smith@twitter I find it's helpful to say "That (statement, comment, whatever) was racist" rather than "You are a racist." There is a world of difference between those two statements, especially if the intent is to educate rather than dismiss/call out -- I mean obviously "Yo you know burning that cross on my lawn is racist, right?" is not going to get you very far. But "That thing you said about rap music sounded pretty racist to me" is a much better starting point for a thoughtful discussion than "Way to be a huge dumb racist there, Bull Connor."

stuffisthings

@Virginia Smith@twitter Also, let's please recognize the real victims here: rappers who make high-quality music about partying and drugs.

Summer Somewhere

@Virginia Smith@twitter Listen, I don't understand why it's so important to split hairs over whether or not this shit is racist. Can we all agree that the dominant culture in the U.S. is white supremacist, and therefore most things are racist? "This is racist" gets the benefit of the doubt over "this is not racist" in that case. That sucks, and that is a part of life. There's no ruler to measure racism. There's no impartial jury to rule on whether or not something is racist, and a "not racist" vote wouldn't free anyone of their white privilege anyway. I think what's more telling was how quickly things escalated to personal insults, which are not helpful at all ever, and undermine the legitimacy of the insulter's argument.

@stuffisthings When one is accused of racism, the impetus is on the accused to not take it personally and react defensively. It's not up to anyone else to coddle them. I do agree with you that we all should realize "you did a racist thing" does not mean "you are worse than 1-10 hitlers". See also: http://www.amptoons.com/blog/2005/12/02/how-not-to-be-insane-when-accused-of-racism/

stuffisthings

@Summer Somewhere I'm not going to disagree with your argument that "When one is accused of racism, the impetus is on the accused to not take it personally and react defensively." But you know, just keep me posted on how that works out for you in real life!

Anyway I need to go get some coffee from the white supremacist break room. I like it not too black (just like my rap).

entangled

I want to hug LW2. She is so very 19. I've struggled with some component of these issues myself so I don't mean to make light of them, but I'm pretty sure that the biggest benefit of getting older is learning how to actually internalize "fuck the haters."

ETA: and I want to add it's not the feeling guilty or not wanting to be invisible as a bisexual that people will or should grow out of or whatever. That's a totally legit issue. It's feeling like having sex a girl who treats you poorly is fucking up the patriarchy or that being with a good dude who treats you right is buying into the heteronormative picket fence.

allinmycar

@entangled Right? I mean, I think it may be less of a function of her being 19 and more a function of her being more-newly queer. I'm fairly fresh out as bi and I still catch myself falling into that pattern of thinking. "Hm, she kind of sucks... but she's a chick, so extra points for me! Wait a second..."

Jawnita

@entangled @allinmycar YES exactly. I use all sorts of gender-neutral circumlocutions when I mention my wonderful, supportive boyfriend of almost two years, but I catch myself flat-out saying "my ex-girlfriend" when I mention a lady I long distance dated for a couple of months, who basically couldn't be bothered to make sure I'd gotten dinner when I was stuck in her apartment with the worst flu I've ever had, and who never once visited me in my city. Like, woohoo, I landed myself a female significant other! Even though actually dating her pretty much sucked. And it kills me because, what am I supposed to be proving here? The only time it's actually important for people to know about my sexuality is if I'm trying to date them, and I'm happily monogamous, so I'm clearly subconsciously trying to make a political point out of my sex life. Which is terrible.

Mohawk Chick

@entangled I am LW2, and I now consider myself hugged :)

But I'm not really that freshly-out, I actually came out to everyone when was 14. I think maybe it's that I'm newly politicized; I discovered feminism when I took a women's studies course two years ago in order to meet more lesbians and I've only lately gotten really into queer politics on my own. I'm trying to internalize "fuck the haters" but it definitely takes practice, especially now that I'm aware of how many powerful haters are out there.

SarahP

The word "sneakbrain" is so perfect! I have a lot of sneakbrain thoughts, too, lady. And I liked A Queer Chick's response to this. If you don't actively want to have sex, don't force it. Sex will still be there if someday you change your mind and do want it.

Quinn A@twitter

RE: LW2: I think AQC gave some good advice here, but I think we probably need to address the fact that LW2 feels hated in the queer community. I remember a couple of years of feeling really frustrated because lesbians seemed to dislike me on sight, though I did just fine with bisexual/pansexual ladies. Offhand, I can't think of any really specifically bi-friendly spaces (online or otherwise) to recommend to LW2, but I think that if anyone does have any suggestions, they might be helpful. It's always that much harder to accept yourself when other people are refusing to accept you.

RE: LW4: I suppose this might just be a question of never having met anyone who pushes your extremely specific buttons, but it seems to me that if that were the case, you'd have someone particular in mind – like, “I only get it up for Halle Berry,” or “I'm only interested in Olympic swimmers,” or whatever

Not necessarily! My girlfriend is about to turn 25, and she says I'm the first person she ever actually wanted to have sex with. She'd dated other people, and felt an attraction, but not an attraction that translated to "hey, let's start touching some genitals!". She definitely didn't have a type in mind before we met.

LW4, you might be asexual, or demisexual. And as long as you don't feel unfulfilled, it's not a big deal. Just keep answering the sneakbrain with "meh" unless/until your whole brain starts going "YES, THIS PERSON RIGHT HERE!".

Mohawk Chick

@Quinn A@twitter "Offhand, I can't think of any really specifically bi-friendly spaces (online or otherwise) to recommend to LW2"

I keep asking for them but I honestly don't think there are any. I've found a few bisexuality 101 sites but nothing with a community or an active comment section.

Quinn A@twitter

@Mohawk Chick Possibly we 'Pinners ought to create one! There are several frustrated bisexual ladies downthread who might be willing to join in...

Mohawk Chick

@Quinn A@twitter Excellent idea! I would be on board

anachronistique

Wow, a lot of this hits way too close to home for me, I think I need to lie down behind my desk for a while. Thank you for being amazing, AQC.

Daisy Razor

Aw, LW2, don't sleep with anyone who treats you badly, regardless of gender! There's nothing anti-patriarchal about jerks.

Jaya

@Daisy Razor Seriously! If a woman is treating you badly, she's probably not all that "ethical."

entangled

@Jaya I feel like LW1's umfriend is an excellent example of this.

Aunt Ada Doom

@entangled Is "umfriend" a term? Because I have never heard it, but it's amazing. Where have I been?

entangled

@Aunt Ada Doom it is excellent, but I can't take credit for it. A Queer Chick used it herself in the answer to LW1 and I've seen it at least once before in an Ask A post.

femme cassidy

@Aunt Ada Doom I've used it in AaQC before, but it's not mine either - I stole it from a friend in high school. It's useful for the person you're making out with but can't introduce as your girlfriend, as in "This is Mary, my... um... friend."

wee_ramekin

@Aunt Ada Doom, I believe A Queer Chick coined this term riiiiiiight...here.

Aunt Ada Doom

@entangled @femme cassidy @wee_ramekin Which just goes to show that I should never stop reading the Hairpin, even when on vacation. Otherwise things like this happen.

wallsdonotfall

Also, how do I end a relationship that isn't really a relationship? I should end it, right? Can I just be passive aggressive and stop responding to her texts and emails (I'm texting her right now, because I don't know how to stop this)? Could I just change my phone number (I really hate conflict/confrontation)?

No. Nooooo. As your racist not-GF demonstrates (on a much worse level, obviously), being cute and queer doesn't give you license to be a jerk.

The Lady of Shalott

@wallsdonotfall GOOD GOD YES. Just because your girlfriend sucks does not mean you get to be a jerk also! Suck it up and break it off cleanly. Nobody like passive aggression.

wee_ramekin

@wallsdonotfall Yeah, and also? The "lovely" aspect of this break-up is that you're not going to be hanging out with this woman again, ever, because she is hateful and racist. It's not like this is a break-up where you both really get along but something just isn't there in your intimate relationship, so maybe you can try to stay friends. No. This woman is someone you need to excise from your life, if not on principle, then because she is saying horrible shit about your best friend.

All of that is to say, you don't need to worry about fall-out from this break-up. You don't have to be *mean*, but since she's no longer a part of your life starting NOW, you can be very, very honest and let her know that your beliefs don't jibe and that you don't want to see her any more.

Lady up and lady out of this situation in a respectful and firm way. Good luck!

dtowngirl

@wallsdonotfall
Also, maybe nobody has ever told her she's a raging racist. Maybe others who have broken up with her before did it for the exact same reason, but offered different excuses as to why they didn't want to date her anymore in an attempt to avoid a very uncomfortable conflict.

So, maybe if you actually tell that you're breaking up with her because of her racism, it will give her a chance to reflect on that and maybe change her thoughts/behaviors. Or maybe she's just a juicebox.

I'm Not Rufus

LW1: You're not a bad person for still liking her; emotions are hard to control. But do break up with her. You don't want to date a hateful person.

LW2: The goal is for people to be able to love who they want to, not to piss someone else off, right? So love who you want to! Anyone who judges you for that is small-minded and wrong. Don't let the opinions of small-minded and wrong people guide your life.

RNL
RNL

"Just because something is a Major Milestone for a lot of people doesn't mean it's necessarily something you would find meaningful, or even enjoy."

This is great stuff.

fondue with cheddar

@RobotsNeedLove There was so much great stuff in this Ask a Queer Chick. I mean...there always is, but this one is especially great.

thatgirl

LW2, let's hang out. We can engage in the Queer National Sport of brunch (and maybe I'll even sneak you a mimosa if you want), and we can check out the sexy humans of all sorts around us, and then we can debate the merits of various dildo harnesses (seriously, I'm in the market for one and I am overwhelmed, can that be next week's bargain bin?), and also relish in the fact that we can use them on people of any gender.

And bi invisibility is shitty. The gay community isn't always nice to straight-passing bi people. But there are a lot of us who are making it work, and it can definitely be awesome. I found that people chilled out a lot after college, honestly. Myself included.

Summer Somewhere

@thatgirl I came out when I was 15 but felt isolated from other queer people for almost 15 years after that no matter who I was dating. I even had a gay friend tell me that bisexuals should "get your own community" and stay away from hers. That conversation ended our friendship and is probably the most hurtful thing another queer person has ever said to me, but there was some truth to the first part of her offensive statement. Once I met and befriended other out bi/pan/nonbinarysexuals in person and did queer stuff with them in public I felt a LOT better. Actually, befriending queer people of all stripes, most of which are older than I am, and hanging out with them on the regular has been really awesome.

Tangentially, when I hear people refer to "straight-passing bi" women as recipients of "femme privilege" I want to ask them to please introduce me to this fairyland where sexism is over and femininity is privileged. (I know that's not what you were saying. The phrase just reminded me of it.)

Blushingflwr

@Summer Somewhere I think there are very specific instances where femininity is privileged. If there are two women in a situation, and one is on the butch end of the spectrum, and one is on the femme, they will likely receive different treatment. Depending on the setting, that will likely be better treatment. Women who (on the surface) conform to gender expectations get different treatment than those who don't. Women of all kinds still get treated badly, but the patriarchy is sometimes a little easier on people who it thinks are on its team.

Summer Somewhere

@Blushingflwr That has everything to do with: a) context and b) whether or not the femme is the "right" kind of femme. I find that in contexts where people around are/want to be/are pressured to be cool with queerness of gender and sexuality, they tend to transfer their ideas about men to masculine presenting people, and masculine mannerisms tend to get one farther socially. In a more heterosexist context, yeah, I agree that there can be benefits for femmes over butches that can't/don't pass as cismen, but those are always contingent on whether she's the right kind of femme - pretty enough, skinny enough, straight enough, white enough, submissive enough.

It just makes me crazy to see femmes put at a disadvantage in queer groups and then made to feel bad about their (our) "privilege". But policing the borders of one's own community is generally unproductive garbage anyway.

Springtime for Voldemort

@thatgirl Brunch!!! But then everyone mistakes you for SATCing, and not Queering. I suck at finding women offline, except in specifically queer spaces sometimes if I'm not too socially awkward.

Also, I like the jaguar? Eden Fantasys had a NYE sale in January where it was on massive discount, so I got two, one in cherry...

thatgirl

@papayalily Yeah, visibly queer brunching can be hard. I make sure to drink enough to lose control of the volume of my voice so everyone can hear me talking about heteronormativity. And harnesses.

I am looking into the jaguar! Most of my friends use Aslan leather, and they all really like them. But... money. Oh, money.

Springtime for Voldemort

@thatgirl I like to turn the conversation to really graphic descriptions of queer sex. Just in general, not even necessarily for political reasons.

Mohawk Chick

@thatgirl
I wish we could brunch, its definitely my favourite sport (after hockey). Fortunately I'm Canadian so I can actually order a mimosa if I like but I appreciate the offer :)

I actually made my own strap-on harness out of a flexible o-ring, some parts that I raided from a sleeping bag and nylon webbing(and padded it cause that stuff chafes). I used this http://pervocracy.blogspot.ca/2011/01/how-to-make-your-own-simple-strap-on.html pattern but made it a 2 strap style because I'm not crazy about thongs. Lately the nylon has been fraying from machine-washing, and it's not super comfortable, so I'm thinking about buying a RodeOH harness. I heard about them on autostraddle and they are apparently extremely sturdy and comfy

itiresias

i was never intimate with anyone at all until i was 19 - which seems pretty tame, but was starkly unusual for the social circles around me. i considered it, but wasn't sure if i was asexual - although i never had overwhelming sexual feelings, i just knew i had never felt like i really wanted that with anyone i had ever met, and the idea of being with someone i didn't overwhelmingly want or care about really disgusted me and seemed terrible and cheap. my perception slowly changed when i met someone i had feelings for, and while it was great to learn what it was like to love someone, it made me really sad and guilty to know that a little part of me wanted to be like "SEE, high school classmates? I'M JUST AS NORMAL AS YOU ARE." i think we all just feel pressure to fit in, whether we like it or not, and a big part of growing up and really finding happiness with yourself is to learn how to make peace with never fitting into a mold and instead learning how to live in a way that makes you feel good.

laurel

There's something wrong, intellectually and emotionally, with bigots. Do not date them, 'cause they're bigots, but also because they make shitty romantic partners.

TheDragon

@laurel And if worse comes to worst, you could end up with a whole clutch of little baby-bigots.

yeah-elle

@Dragon Cackling because this made me think of someone opening their evening purse to display a small collection of bigots. Shhh, Todd Akin, get back in your shame purse. If only.

fondue with cheddar

@yeah-elle Like worry dolls! Someone might have to get on this.

TheDragon

@yeah-elle I was actually using clutch in the "technical term for a group of baby birds" sense, but I like your definition better!

femme cassidy

@yeah-elle I'm pretty sure "shame purse" is what Todd Akin calls a vagina.

fondue with cheddar

@femme cassidy YOU WIN AT THE INTERNET. WE CAN ALL GO HOME NOW. :)

laurel

@Dragon: I'm picturing some very angry (baby) birds.

yeah-elle

@femme cassidy Just cackled EXTRA LOUDLY at my desk.

yeah-elle

Great advice to the possibly-ace LW4. Great advice all around, really. Bravo, A Queer Chick!

TheDragon

LW 2: I feel you. Nineteen is confusing. At nineteen, I felt like I should be bi or gay because I'm a wildlife science major, feminist gal who wanted to sock it to the patriarchy. Also, women are beautiful.
I neglect to remember that that's not who I am. While I support queers, I'm just not one. I've been a boy-obsessed man-chaser since I was old enough to know the difference in genders. And that's ok.
There are better ways to fight the patriarchy than by making yourself unhappy in order to make a statement. I know that struggling with my much-more mainstream identity was complicated enough, and I am not condemning you for feeling how you feel. Just trying to help you understand that it's ok to do what will make you happy without analyzing the message it sends to the world. The world is pretty bad at interpreting messages, anyway.

adorable-eggplant

@Dragon Yes! I've had this same struggle (not in respect to bangin' dudes, because dudes in my life are feminists and queer allies, period) but in respect to my career choices. My father secretly (not so secretly) rooted for me to become a mathematician, chess champion, boxer, in part because he wanted to counter the message from society that I couldn't be any of those things. But now I work securely in the pink ghetto, and part of me feels some remorse for not being a trailblazer in, say, the tech industry.... argh.

So far as I can tell, it's not possible to win this one.

And it's gotten worse since I was 19, perhaps because I was more optimistic then. Now I'm worried that not enough change has happened in my life time, and that I'm not doing enough to make that change happen, and that in fact things are getting worse. And then I watch snippets of the RNC and make jokes about the Handmaid's Tale happening right before my eyes while quietly dying inside.

Maybe it's just been a tough week...

lenka_V

@adorable-eggplant @TheDragon Both of these describe my life I feel like, or at least since starting college. I tried doing the tech thing but I really have only a passing interest in the non-consumer side of computers and it was just not enough to keep my grades/eventual career afloat. So now I'm back to my artsy, still male-dominated (but less obviously so?) major, which I love, but definitely feeling guilty about not being an ass-kicking girl programmer.

adorable-eggplant

@lenka_V I feel your pain. But it's so much easier to be good at doing something you love. And being good at what I do is a reward in itself. So enjoy your major, be subversive, only angst the bare minimum (for example, today I feel 100% less angsty about this particular issue). :)

Mohawk Chick

@adorable-eggplant Fortunately I don't have to deal with that particular worry because I'm a mechanic, but it's nice to know that someone can empathize

Oh, squiggles

My boyfriend is bi, and gets a bit of flack from our mutual friend, who is gay. He doesn't take my boyfriends 'queerness' seriously. Which sucks, because my boyfriend only recently has felt comfortable coming out to close friends/family, and it would be nice if he had a supportive community during this time.

And I just wish we could all just be supportive of everybody. or "wouldn't it be nice, if everyone was nice"

fondue with cheddar

@Awesomely Nonfunctional That would be SO nice.

packedsuitcase

@jen325 That would be super nice.

Mohawk Chick

@packedsuitcase As Frank Burns would say, it's nice to be nice to the nice!

B.Pym

I have to say I disagree with the response to LW3. Apart from the more abstract issue of whether closeted gays hurt the rest of us, I think the writer's brother is quite clearly hurting her by enlisting her in his own secrecy and deception. Asking your sister to lie repeatedly to your parents and siblings is toxic! I think she deserves some more credit for the love she shows in the letter and the thoughtfulness with which she's tackling this problem.

fondue with cheddar

@B.Pym That's a good point.

Judith Slutler

@B.Pym Yeah, she gets to share in his closet - not the most happy kind of sibling togetherness.

Maladydee

@B.Pym Yeah, I would feel all kinds of conflicted if I had to lie to my parents' and siblings' faces about something that hit so close to home. Her brother put her in a bad spot by coming out to her alone, and if it were one of my siblings, I would be upset with them for making me keep that kind of secret.

anotherkate

@B.Pym That's definitely one way to look at it, but in my opinion LW is being equally put in the middle on this issue by the rest of her family. If they want to know if older bro is gay, they should ask him directly. I have a fairly drama-heavy family, and learning the phrase "if you really want to know, why don't you ask Jane/John yourself?" has saved me a lot of grief.

Clare

@B.Pym And further, what's stopping LW3 from saying, when the rest of her family asks if her brother is gay, "Why don't you ask him?"

Clare

@anotherkate Jinx.

JaneDoe

@B.Pym
It doesn't say that he asked her to lie, he may not even know his family has inklings about his sexuality, and therefore may not think they would ask LW.

aeroaeroaero

I am a totally boring hetero gal, but I LIVE for Ask a Queer Chick. Great advice, as usual.

clipse

LOL secret dyke handshake? I'm picturing salacious things not involving hands.

Also sex is always going to be "the secret handshake" from now on. Boyfriend will be so excited!

fondue with cheddar

@clipse I love "secret handshake" as a code phrase for sex!

boysplz

@clipse I read "secret dyke handshake" and immediately struck upon fisting. So I think that it could involve hands!

annepersand

@clipse We actually just scissor each other.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@annepersand It can be awkward in public places, but, hey, anything for sisterhood.

wee_ramekin

"Liquor in the front, poker in the rear!"

Oh Shane. <3

Mohawk Chick

@boysplz Me and another bi friend made a secret queer handshake! You both make the vulcan hand sign and then put your hands together so that your hands are scissoring. It has yet to catch on.

boysplz

@clipse I'm totally going to start doing that now! Also, I'm wearing my shirt with two hands doing the Vulcan sign and hi-fiving with Sci-Five written beneath, so PERFECT TIMING.

truelove

I totally feel the bisexual 19year old. It does mellow out and it is all a blessing ultimately. I've been through a lot of similar angst and couldnt understand how id ever be with a dude. But you love who you love. I feel there are many ways to express your queer self no matter what. Youll find what you need dear, just stay open and loving. Im currently with a wonderful straight (but so open and loving) man that I love -- and he's the one with whom I bought my first strap on! And he loves it. So it all works out. Enjoy the messy beauty of this queer life.

Mohawk Chick

@truelove Thank you

Inconceivable!

A Queer Chick, you give the absolute best advice anywhere on the internet.

EmmaBlogs

To the second letter-writer (bi 19-year-old). As a bi chick who only came out (to herself, and everyone around her) AFTER starting a serious LTR with a boy, I definitely get where you're coming from. Sometimes, I feel like I don't belong in the LGBT community either, as my only experience with girls is making out with them and one half-assed tryst that I cut short because I was actually already dating the LTR boy. (For the record, that was four years ago, he knows, he forgave me, we're over it.)

I think it's common for bisexuals to feel marginalized by both sides of society; heteros want to tell us we're really one or the other, and homos get mad when we date heterosexually because we can "pretend to be straight." But here's the thing. We are not straight.

I agree with A Queer Chick. If you have heart/vagina feelings for boys, go for it! Maybe tell him that you like girls, too, and get another chick involved. The bf and I talk doing that all the time, and if we find the right girl, we will act on it. It's one of the biggest perks of being bi, if you ask me :)

Mohawk Chick

@EmmaBlogs Thanks for the kinda words and advice.
I've had more than my share of threesomes for a 20 year old and they're really fun for the most part. Definitely a huge perk for being bisexual, but actually the best one I ever had involved me and two other women! I'm sure I have many more ahead of me though.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

Question to the bisexual ladies:

My galpals and I were talking about how it's mean when lesbians harass bi ladies for not being gay enough or whatever, and then someone spoke up and said, "Well, how many bisexual women do you know who end up marrying a woman?" And now that we're at the age when people start really coupling off For Forever, we could only think of one of our many bi friends who didn't end up in a hetero relationship.

My question is this: is this your experience in the bisexual world as well, or are we weird for noticing it? (Also, I hope this isn't offensive; I'm actually quite curious.)

Judith Slutler

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Statistics, babe. Most people in the world consider themselves heterosexual and the dating world is still super heteronormal, so imho it would be super unlikely for most / many / all bi people somehow ended up in same-sex partnerships!

I hope we aren't weird for noticing this, because then I guess we'd just have to be weird together.

Quinn A@twitter

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose I know several bi or pansexual ladies who have ended up in long-term relationships with women.

I hope that person who spoke up wasn't trying to justify the way lesbians treat bi women. Probably more queer ladies would end up with women if lesbians didn't tend to be so hostile toward those of us who have slept with men.

(And yeah, @Emmanuelle Cunt is right about the numbers involved in this)

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Emmanuelle Cunt Yes, that makes sense. I didn't know if it was just my group of friends, and regardless, we can still be weird together.

@Quinn A@twitter I think she sort of was, in a way. And not all lesbians are hostile toward bi ladies who have slept with men; I personally think it's not my business. For some lesbians, I think they just don't get it, in a, "if they know how awesome women are, why sleep with men?" sort of way. Or they view bisexuality as a phase, because the bi women they know eventually end up with men as their life partners. Anyway, like I said, not really my business. Just curious.

BadWolf

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose I think in some communities, bi women end up with men because the dating pool for women who date women is already limited, and when you feel like you can only date other bi women because the lesbians won't have you...that is not a huge population. And there are, proportionally, many dudes who will happily date bi girls (and they are not the same dudes who are exploitative and misogynist and gross about girls making out in bars, which is key). So that might factor in considerably.

In my circle, I know several bi-identifying women who are in long-term relationships or marriages with women, and a bunch more who primarily/only date women, and I think the ratio of women like me who ended up with men is pretty similar. I have, in my own experience, never felt very accepted as "gay enough" by the LGBT community (it doesn't help at all that I'm pretty femme and don't have an Autostraddle haircut, so I read as fairly straight), and had really shied away from even trying to date women in the years before I got with The Gent, because I just couldn't handle the judgment. It was really painful. I get so mad about things like "If you know how awesome women are, why would you date men," because men can be awesome, too! Why can't everyone be awesome? But the only people who seemed to understand that were men. It was a very confusing time, and sad.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@BadWolf Oh man, I'm sorry you felt left out. That's a shitty feeling. And I'm sad that it happens so often. I feel that way sometimes because I also read as straight, but only date women. And yes, men can be super awesome! I am surrounded by awesome men.

I hope you can accept that there are some lesbians who don't see bisexuality as a lesser version of the ideal, and that if you meet one of us, we'll buy you a drink and tell you we're sorry for the rude people in our community and we'd love to hear all about your Gent.

BadWolf

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Aww, yes, yes, I do accept that! I've got lovely lesbian friends these days, and you and your crew sound just tops. I'm sorry if I sounded so so bitter and angry - it was a really hard time in my life.

austengirl

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

My experience is that most of the bi women I know are in LTR/married to guys, including myself. I'll admit my sample size is pretty small, but I went to a women's college so many of my friends sit somewhere along the queer spectrum. What I actually spend more brain power pondering is the number of friends who were out as lesbian now married to men. As one of them said, it goes to show how fluid sexuality is, and I haven't really asked them how they identify now (FB walls aren't really the place, amirite?)

I certainly struggled with some of the same stuff as LW2; my campus was outwardly very queer-friendly, but bisexuality didn't have quite the same level of visibility. If I hadn't met my husband and my BFF didn't have hers, we totally talked about getting gay married in Canada. God forbid anything happen to my husband, but if we ever did split up, I think it's as likely I would date women as men.

I've had a couple of thinly veiled 'fence-sitter/not counting as really queer' comments from lesbians over the years; thirtysomething me is kind of over the need to prove my queer cred to anyone. I do miss some aspects of being more involved in LGBT stuff, but I'm going to a lesbian handfasting in a couple weeks, so that will make up for some lost time. ;)

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@BadWolf No, I think it's totally fine to be bitter about mean people. They're jerks. I feel like most people are doing the best they can, so why harass anyone?

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Quinn A@twitter You know, now that I'm thinking about it, I think some lesbians might be sort of resentful of bisexual women because not only can they experience the awesomeness of other women, but they can choose to wander over to the man side again, which is viewed as more socially acceptable and "easier." You know what I mean? Not saying that I feel that way, but I could see it coming from someone who has perhaps had a rough go with accepting herself as a gay person and then getting jealous that her ex can go and hold hands with her new boyfriend in public without getting yelled at.

Quinn A@twitter

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Well, sure, but I don't think that really justifies being preemptively dismissive of or hostile toward bisexual women. Bisexual women aren't the ones making life harder for queer people. I don't see why they should have to deal with being treated badly by both homophobic straight people and people within the LGBTQ community.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Quinn A@twitter No, it doesn't. Nothing really does. It's a shitty deal. And, as I offered BadWolf, if we ever meet, I'll buy you a drink and apologize for the rude peeps.

Summer Somewhere

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

The numbers are skewed for a lot of reasons. One is the limited dating pool @BadWolf mentioned. Another is that we live in a heterosexist patriarchy so the cards are stacked against lady/lady couplings in the first place. Lady/lady marriage is not legal federally (which is where most of the rights are attached) nor is it legal in most states. Even in states where domestic partnership/gay marriage is legal, that lack of federal recognition can really fuck you. For example, in my state, being on my (state registered) partner's medical insurance cost her several thousand dollars in federal taxes every quarter - money that straight married couples do not have to pay. We don't have the same rights as married couples, but if we decided to break up, we have to fill out the same fucking divorce paperwork that straight couples do (aka $$$ hire a lawyer $$$). Generally, two women who want to get married have to fight for it and pave their own way. A man/woman couple who want to get married find the way paved before them and probably even feel some pressure to join the institution - the opposite of the lady/lady couple's experience.

If two women DO decide to bond for life and call it marriage (a lot of us don't bother), there are still battles to fight every step of the way. How does your landlord feel about renting to a lady/lady couple? What about your real estate agent? What about your neighbors? What if you want to raise children? How are you going to get them? Will your neighborhood accept you? Will the other kids at school accept your kids? Will both you and your partner be recognized as parents by various institutions? I have been completely shut out by my partner's family due entirely to my gender. I'm glad that she's young and healthy, but if something happens, their wishes would probably trump my own (despite our flimsy contract with the state) and there's a good chance I could be left out in the cold.

That's not even getting into the pressure younger/less committed couples feel before getting to the marriage stage. And relationships are difficult enough without stacking all of that shit on top of it.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Summer Somewhere Oh, I'm quite familiar, as I am dealing with that same stack of shit in my life. In my state, I can legally be fired and legally get kicked out of my apartment for being a lesbian. There are no protections. It sucks, and it's a lot of pressure to put on a relationship, which is hard enough as it is.

Summer Somewhere

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

Right, ok. I didn't realize you identified as a lesbian. So you know how hard it can be! Well, imagine how difficult it can be on the "lesbian" side - the other side has its own problems (sexism!) but it also comes with delicious cake. I admit that I sometimes feel disappointed when a queer woman I know or admire gets hitched to a dude, because I feel like they've dropped out of my secret rebel club, but then I have to remember that shit is none of my business and that one relationship doesn't erase the rest of who they are. And there's a lot of cake over there, I mean, look at it, who can blame her.

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@Summer Somewhere Hahahaha. We can all have cake. Let's all eat cake and be nice to one another in our rebel club.

BadWolf

@Summer Somewhere I feel like I want to say that I didn't choose my relationship because of the heteronormative, patriarchal cake. I actively work to avoid the cake if I can't share it - I have absolutely no intention of getting married while the Secret Rebel Club can't, for example. Or even at all, since, even though I love my particular partner, the idea of being a man's "wife" is problematic to me, personally. I chose my relationship because this specific person, who happens to be male, means a lot to me, and not because it was easier than dealing with institutionalized and casual homophobia. It is certainly not easier than feeling guilty, and like I let the Secret Rebel Club down. I just want everyone to have cake.

sarantium@twitter

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose do the math. Let's say roughly 10% of people are queer. This is probably an overestimate, but let's go with it. Thus, 5% of people are dudes who like dudes (and also possibly ladies), and 5% of people are ladies who like ladies (and also possibly dudes). 45% of people are dudes who like ladies, and 45% of people are ladies who like dudes.

If you are a lady who is equally attracted to men and women, you are going to meet *nine times* as many guys who are interested in you than women. So, in the shock of the century: most ladies who like men *and* women end up dating/marrying men. Dating: it's a numbers game!

Signed,
a very cranky bisexual woman in a relationship with a man

I'm Right on Top of that, Rose

@sarantium@twitter I like this take. I like your rationale. You can have cake, too.

Summer Somewhere

@BadWolf I was thinking of Portal when I wrote about the cake. In that game, you are promised cake at the end of a series of difficult and dangerous tests. In the end, though (spoiler alert) there is no cake, just a big boss battle. I know from experience that it's not as easy as it looks from the outside. I wanted to make a physics metaphor, but I know fuck all about real science, so I used video games. I'm sorry if it came across badly - and my secret sad feelings are a symptom of my internalized homophobia, not a reason to exclude queer ladies from the secret rebel club. Cake for all!

BadWolf

@Summer Somewhere Oh, man! That makes so much sense, and is an awesome metaphor. (I am more of a Bioshock girl, which definitely makes for a...less awesome metaphor.) I am sorry for getting all defensive and, as sarantium said, cranky. Cake and video games for everyone!

Blackwatch Plaid

@I'm Right on Top of that, Rose Personally, I'm a bi lady who is more romantically attracted to men. So, my long term relationships have been guys, but when it comes to sex, all bets are off.
(Well, actually I'm pan and totally into more than just those two categories, but that's not really the point here.)

Summer Somewhere

@BadWolf I totally understand and was not offended by your response. I get cranky about that shit too. Also, Bioshock is scary!

Jawnita

@sarantium@twitter Yes, absolutely everything you said. Especially when some portion of that queer-ladies 5% is the lesbians who won't date a bisexual woman. (And especially when one has a STEM-y career and therefore one's peer group is [big number]% dudes in the first place.)

Mohawk Chick

@austengirl OH that's something I've always wondered; am I allowed to go to things that are advertised as lesbian-only? (Not sure what a handfasting is so if it's not a queer-specific event, forgive me) I pass as lesbian rather than straight so I when I go to the local dyke bar there isn't a problem but I always feel a bit awkward.

JaneDoe

@Mohawk Chick
Handfasting is an ancient Celtic ceremony of (temporary or permanent) betrothal or wedding that dates back to pre-Medieval times and usually involves the tying or binding of the hands of the bride[and bride] and groom[and groom] with a cord or ribbon. Such ceremonies are widely practised in the Wiccan religion."

Mohawk Chick

@JaneDoe That sounds so romantic and amazing. What a privilege to be invited.

sarantium@twitter

@Jawnita yes, that! my field and my university are 70/30 -- which means that roughly 63% of the people in my field are dudes who like ladies, and 3% of them are ladies who like ladies. Which means I meet *twenty-one times* as many dudes who are into my gender as ladies who are into my gender. Which, um, tends to mean I don't meet that many ladies I want to date/want to date me?

Inkling

TIP FOR RACIST-DUMPING:
Whenever I dumped that racist evolutionary psychology guy, I just read Yo Is This Racist every time I felt sad. It made me socially upset and reminded me why I'm right to not tolerate that shit.

However, some of my friends were like "He says stuff to be shocking" and "he's not really that bad", sort of treating it like I was dumping him on principle, not because I actually did not like him? So, yeah, that was weird.

PS: Telling racists that you don't wanna hang out because they're racist is the best, please do not skip this opportunity.

adorable-eggplant

@Inkling Ugh, evo pschy. Do not even get me started. Yay for the dumping. :)

Inkling

@adorable-eggplant
Ermahgerd. I could go for days. Can't stop won't stop.

runner in the garden

@Inkling Yeah, how weird is it that "not that bad" is supposed to be a reason to keep dating someone? The default should be "not dating." If you don't REALLY REALLY like someone, you should not be dating them. Breaking up with somebody is not sending them to prison; you don't have to have conclusive evidence of a crime they've committed. "Wanting to leave is enough," as they say.

(Unless you have kids and stuff, obviously that's a complicating factor)

Drink All the Coffee

@Inkling It's funny (read: terrible) how quick people are to make excuses for other people. I worked with this man who was totally racist/misogynist/homophobic and would say fucked-up shit ALL THE TIME and I'd get upset and people would be say:

Oh, he just doesn't know any better (he's 50.)
He's entitled to his opinions just like you are.
He's just kidding, I don't think he really believes that stuff.
He's just trying to mess with you/shock you/make you mad.

Why are others so quick to excuse that mess? Granted, it was in a small restaurant in a small town in Texas, but still. I know I wasn't the only person who was bothered by the things he said. Compounding it was the fact that I wasn't out as queer at work, which made me feel like I had even less of a voice to speak out against him. Or would being out have taken away my right to speak out, in his eyes? He actually ended up telling me he respected me for standing up to him, and then I took that respect and THREW IT ON THE GROUND.

Inkling

@runnerinthegarden
Seriously! Especially when it's contrasted with "he cares for you so much". Um duh a lot of people care for me, like all the time, and none of them are fucking terrible. Food for fucking thought.

@Drink All the Coffee
DAAAAAMN ON THE GROUND!
I HATE when people say "I don't think he really believes that stuff". WHO the CRAP says awful things that they don't believe? If you don't think that way, you know how fucking hurtful that line of thought is and you wouldn't contribute to the masses that say it! FUCKING DAMN.
I have a friend who is a politician, so he always has shitty people on his facebook being terrible about politics. He referred to this one guy as a friend, but went on to explain that he was extremely racist and sexist. And I'm like "how is he your friend?" and he's like "well he's fun to watch movies with". No, you moron. Everyone is fun to watch movies with. Don't fucking reward someone's bad behavior by being friends with them.
I mean, right? How can you be friends with a bigot? How are you like "this person is a person I want to call and spend time with." ...I have mixed feelings about that politician guy anyhow; he exudes good intentions but I have to remind him about the woman's experience all the time. He takes what I say to heart, but doesn't seem to learn on his own from his own damn observation.

Tafadhali

Great advice for LW4! Don't feel like you have to have sex you're not into just because it seems like the thing to do. And, if you do decide to have curiosity sex, I would strongly suggest only doing it if you feel confident to express your ambivalence upfront and if the other person is supportive of that.

I feel like I spent so much of the years (haha, so much=.00001% of my time, the fact that that seems like an imposition just tells you I wasn't into it) before I started to come out to myself as demisexual "just trying" sex with people who expressed interest, to see if it would work the way I thought it should this time, and. Hm. How do I articulate this. I don't feel bad about my experience -- I don't feel guilty, and things were sometimes fun, and my experience is all with people I liked and respected and often loved a ton as friends and I'm on great terms with everyone I didn't date and one of the people I did -- but my experiences did make me feel bad. There's the hollow feeling of 'nope still not into this feeling really distant and isolated in something that's supposed to be about connection', which isn't any fun, but worst was the feeling of dishonesty. I'm not good at assertion or confrontation or doing anything that I think will hurt other people's feelings, and having curiosity sex doesn't really go well with that? Because I would feel that, since I had agreed to have sex and it wasn't really something I minded doing and the other person wasn't at fault for the fact that I wasn't into it because it's not like they could make me more into it by changing their behavior and I didn't want to make things bad for them, I had to kind of fake it through (I AM NOT SAYING THIS WAS A GOOD IDEA; IT IS THE OPPOSITE OF AWESOME). And that meant that there was always this big lie introduced into these relationships that were important to me, the lie that we both felt the same thing (either physically or emotionally). I still struggle with the ramifications of that -- coming out retroactively to people I've been with is really, really hard, for instance.

On the other hand, with my one ex with whom I was really stupid head over heels in love, we came together naturally and I actually just wanted to touch her all the time and omg kissing and I woke up giddy after we got together. And so, for me at least, there was a pretty clear divide between sex-because-I-guess-I-ought-to-and-maybe-I'm-missing-out and sex-because-SEX-with-this-person-I-want-that and I feel like if I'd relied on that more, I could have avoided some dissatisfaction.

This got all tl;dr, but it's just...a perspective from a sometimes sexually active but mostly ace person who has done the this-seems-like-the-thing-to-do-I-guess thing.

Mohawk Chick

Thank you for answering me! I'm LW2, and I actually had my birthday since I asked so now I'm a 20-year-old conflicted bisexual. But less conflicted maybe? Anyway, your advice didn't feel condescending to me, and maybe it is because I'm young and newly political. It's certainly something to think about. If I had a motorcycle or a boyfriend I would definitely let him ride in the sidecar! I don't have much else to say in response, I just wanted to let you know that I read it and appreciate it.

inkblot

LW4, seems like you might be ace! If you haven't already, check out the forums at AVEN (Asexuality Visibility and Education Network, http://www.asexuality.org/en/). Everyone is really helpful and you can leaf through old threads and find at least one person feeling the same way you do.

'riel

Yo, for LW3: It's kind of complex and stuff as he's family and all that, but oh my god, please do not force people out of the closet if they don't want to go. Someone else's sex life REGARDLESS of who it is, is none of your business unless they actively include you in it. (no, not in the creepy way.) I just have such a problem with others saying, "Oh this person who doesn't want to come out is a terrible person because they don't care about the rest of us." Look, some people don't want to make the personal political. Some people do. It's unnecessary what the issue is, be it lgbt, student loans, or Syrian rebel support. You are not required to involve yourself. Do I think the restrictions on gay marriage are stupid? Yes. Do I think that me coming out of my plush-lined closet is necessary to show support? Nope. My business. My dirty laundry. And same with your brother.

Jeena

Sad...it is still disturbing that such people are out there who believe in ethnicity. ( Jenn recently done Rank Crew Review

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