suppressing sexuality

August ’02, Los Angeles, California

I’ve told people for years that my first kiss was on the 21st August of 2002, the day after my eighteenth birthday, top of the Griffith Observatory. I’ve even believed it, because it’s the more romantic story, the ‘one that counted’.

But that’s not actually true.

My first kiss was at a club in LA when I was about 17, in a washroom. It was someone I was courting at the time, and terribly at that.

Why does this even matter?

Because the subject of the Official First Kiss Story is a man, and the subject of the unofficial story is a woman.

There are still some who will not understand why this is significant, other than it being a first for me. Those who know me personally likely see me as someone who is fairly open with her goings-on, so again, why the big reveal?

 

 

Let’s backtrack a bit.

I came out to one of my parents when I was 15. Not having ever talked at length about anything other than heterosexuality (unless we’re counting “____ is gay, didn’t you know that?”), I fretted over doing so for a while. The few friends I had at school at the time knew before the parent did. The reaction?

“Oh, I went through that stage too.”

Perhaps this was said to assuage me of my worries, and it certainly didn’t add to my anxiety, but I was confused and disappointed simultaneously. Weren’t we supposed to have a conversation about it, like the sex conversation and the puberty conversation in my earlier years?

I went on with my brave efforts. I was convinced that somehow I wasn’t being taken seriously, and I would simply hint at my attractions. However, this seemed to have the converse of the desired effect: my saying that Angeline Jolie in Hackers was cute got absolutely nothing in response. Edgy hairstyles and music (or ones seen as such) had no place in the household.

I wasn’t aware of it then, but I took that as ‘it’s not okay to date women’, without even knowing why it wasn’t.

So I didn’t.

 

 

Of course I bloody well did.

I saw someone in bits and pieces. We’d go to a restaurant, a coffee shop, or the occasional club (which I abhorred) – anywhere we believed allowed for a bit of anonymity.

I got kisses that felt stolen in washrooms, the rare holding of hands. Then I got the brush-off because I found out she not only had a boyfriend, but one with an anger problem to boot.

 

 

I spent a lot of time writing Open Diaries. One account was personal but I didn’t have much going on, so I wrote several others that were based on fictional characters of mine in my written stories. Eventually to spice things up, I blended the accounts so that they had interactions with one another.

Not long after that, I explored meeting more people online for the first time. Mel was colourful and vivacious, and we had a blast making the most mundane tasks interesting (ex: cavorting in grocery stores, making up songs while schlepping round town). Feelings were definitely stirring in me, but Those Feelings Were Verboten. How could I deal with this?

I used one of the Open Diary personalities to interact with her, passed along messages, dropped hints. Eventually that caught up with me, so I fessed up. Unfortunately, I scared her away for good. Hell, she probably still thinks I’m nutters at this rate.

 

 

I lied about so many things as a teenager, but the Open Diary stuff is probably what I regret most. There isn’t a whole lot I can do about that lonely 17-year-old me, especially feeling so far removed from that person at 28.

July ’08, Los Angeles, California

It would take me some years later to let the honesty speak for itself and see and enjoy being with women romantically. I never told my parent about any of it, which likely perpetuated the “it’s a stage” comment. I shudder to think that I had much to do with keeping that idea alive.

 

Sometimes I still sit and wonder what to do, how to properly communicate that not being heterosexual is a key part of me that I cannot and will not ignore. Perhaps I have done so by writing this blog — I do find it easier to have words with others when it’s in text.

It doesn’t matter the subject of the first kiss really, and it shouldn’t matter at all.

What I’ve told you doesn’t discount the Official Kiss Story in any way, shape or form for me, but it does allow me to tell what I feel is the whole truth, at the risk of compromising my relationship with some of my family.

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kinksters, fandom & the internet(s)

Allow me to make a couple of points as transparent as I can manage:

 Sept ’11, Kitsap County, Washington

1. I don’t give a toss about rubbing shoulders with alleged leaders of the community. I don’t get off on it. It’s NICE, mind you, but it is not NECESSARY.

I may not be a face that people in any city’s scene recognizes easily, but that’s not to suggest I feel like a greenhorn regarding who I am or what I want, or that I have stuff to prove to people I don’t know. I won’t contribute too much energy into a celebrity solely in the hopes that they will bat an eyelash at me.

Workshops and parties can be lovely, and I’m fond of them. I revel in the ability to take in what folks have learned. However, I glean experience from people of my choosing, people I believe I can connect with on a level more developed than that of acquaintances. I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say that’s okay.

I don’t feel that any sort of immunity toward leaders of the community is warranted. This Person/These People Can Do No Harm (Because They Are Well-Known) simply doesn’t wash with me. Scrutiny should apply to everyone, and if anything, leaders should be held to a higher standard. They’re certainly likely to have more responsibilities than your ‘average’ John Needles or Jane McCanes.


2. I don’t appreciate taking sides, especially when it comes to speculation on the internet. When I do, the end result is that I feel very low. I shut down.

The internet is a skewed form of how people are or can be offline, and I’m aware it has special ways of being able to bring out the worst in people quick snap.

I form my own opinions based on how little or how much information I’ve got, as most human beings would; I won’t attempt to claim otherwise. I prefer to remain as neutral as possible when not directly involved, and use the offline interactions to influence me when dealing with these matters, where available.

Oftentimes inactivity is seen as choosing a position anyway despite best efforts, and there really isn’t much I can do about that without dedicating time to issues I’d rather stay out of. I absolutely do not enjoy conflict.

 

Popular stances are not always correct, nor are popular people. Moments occur where wrong or right aren’t even relevant to the argument supported.

steady breathing

Florida is a very strange state. As far as I know, the MSM doesn’t do much to prove otherwise, with what I read of bizarre crimes and even more puzzling methods of state government.

I have taken several trips to Florida, as north as Fort Lauderdale and as south as Key West, with a main focus in Miami. Due to an intensely passionate long-term relationship, it got to a point where Miami crossed my mind when I considered a place to move to from Los Angeles.

I ended up with my first choice of Washington state, and in the process broke the strong ties I had binding me to Florida in any way. I was really quite firm in thinking I would not return.

Three years plus later, here I am, doing some remarkable stuff. I got over my negative mentality enough to book a flight and see people I value more than letting the past prevail.

Someone I’ve been online friends with for several years met me in Pensacola, spent the entire day with me and another gal of note I’d not seen for at least most of those aforementioned several years. It was an effortless sort of day, one you get to desiring after a long, difficult stretch. In our own different ways, we each needed to be able to laugh and be so carefree.

Summer ’12, Lake Lorraine, Florida

I’m not going to sit here and type this and pretend that my friendships have been all hunky dory, because that would be a lie. There are still a few I can think of off the top of my head that are in dire need of repair. I will mention that coming back after a while to talk about the goings on between myself and one of these women made a significant effect on me being here.

One point that really burns about rifts in friendships is that lingering lack of closure. It’s not necessary for the other person or people involved to give that closure to you, especially depending on how things went down. The best one can do is admit faults, and try to keep a cool head when receiving criticisms/hearing alternate sides of the story. I’ve got work to do.

My trip and experiences here thus far have taught me to keep trying, and that it’s okay to enjoy myself every once in a while without thinking too hard about what it might mean in the future.