Archive for the ‘dyke’ Category

Really, I do want to blog more often. Ideas strike me at odd times, when I’m driving, in the middle of the night, when I’m waiting for a client, and I think ‘I should expand on that, I should write a blog post’ then evening comes around and a few minutes of peace and quiet for contemplation, a space in my day allowing me to put my thoughts down, and I just let my brain scatter over reading posts on public media, and wandering through everyone else’s words. Maybe it’s just laziness, and maybe it’s just easier to not delve to far into my own emotions.

This blog is called ‘Anonymous Dyke’. I had nothing to do with naming it, I was given the blog already in progress, already named, after expressing that I wanted to start blogging again. The original owner had stopped blogging but kept the site, it seemed like a perfect fit. I embrace the ‘Anonymous’ part of the title, theoretically feeling freer, knowing that I can express myself without exposing my love to known scrutiny. Do I embrace the ‘Dyke’ part of the title? It’s certainly how I would define myself, a word we use around this home all the time. Sometimes, though, I feel a little constrained, as though by it’s title the blog is coercing me to stay on topic, to remember that defining feature and not stray onto the path of the non-dyke things in my life. Of course I know that’s bullshit, that I can write about anything I damned well want to write about, and I do. And realistically, the stuff I want to write about anonymously is mostly the dyke stuff, not because I’m closeted or ashamed or any of that, in real life I’m out and loud and proud and political, you wouldn’t have to get any closer to us than our driveway to know that queers live here, with our bumper stickers and pride flag. But because the stuff I think about, the stuff I want to put down anonymously, is the stuff of love, the stuff of emotion, the stuff of the relationship I have with this woman who shares my life.

Introspection is the stuff of life, these are the thoughts that have the power to create us, re-create us, as we carefully examine each layer of being, deciding whether to keep or throw out. Sometimes I feel that my flaws are like styrofoam, indestructibly sitting in landfills, biding their time and resurfacing no matter how hard I try to discard them. This love, this lover, this woman who has captured my heart and soul, she is the catalyst exposing each fragment of myself that I would change if I could. Our selves are so different, we bring each other to our knees sometimes, trying to be best selves for the sake of each other, and finding our worst selves have not gone far. To be sure, I am not blaming anyone here, least of all myself. Nor am I saying that our lot is a bad one, that we are nothing but a struggle of negativity. There is more raw love in this relationship than in anything I’ve ever seen before, and that love comes equally from both sides. Sometimes it seems like this, that she is a rock, solid and stoic, almost cold in her discomfort with all things emotional, the strong silent cowboy hero of long ago movies. She is a rock but the foundation is on a fault line, beneath the surface cracks are coming through, earthquakes of emotion that rock our world close to bits sometimes. I am a hurricane of emotion, everything felt is expressed immediately, strongly, without hesitation, but underneath that hurricane there’s a solid structure, a foundation that cannot be taken down by even the strongest winds of emotion. Sometimes life here is like living through a hurricane with an earthquake underfoot, but sometimes her stoic calm and my solid foundation find each other, interlaced into a strength larger than either of us would ever have independently.

I take a look at the styrofoam, this indestructible mass of flaws that I seem powerless to discard. But these are not flaws, these are bits of self, as much a part of my being as any quality I hold dear to. It is only in this form that they are negatives, styrofoam is a menace in the landfill, styrofoam is a menace when it’s litter. Things that do not biodegrade can be reused, recycled, repurposed. These bits of me just need to reconfigure, to find their way and use, this is the true challenge. And this one I accept.

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We went to Finland for ten days for work. Admittedly, we were the only queer couple among the forty or so people there, but here’s the thing, it was a complete non-issue. We don’t come across a lot of homophobia among our colleagues here in the states, but we do get a constant stream of condescending comments ‘I think it’s great you’re gay’ and ‘I have a gay nephew, maybe you know him?’ and that kind of stuff. In Finland we were a couple, just like the several other couples there who work together. Amazingly unbelievably wonderful.

Discourse on love is overworked, it’s cliche, there is almost certainly nothing left to say on the subject that has not already been said. Love is written about eloquently, awkwardly, succinctly, verbosely. It is analyzed, dissected, and deconstructed. We fantasize, romanticize, fetishize, darker moments of pessimism push us to minimize as we are demoralized. The Oxford defines love as

An intense feeling of deep affection
A deep romantic or sexual attachment to someone

As very young children we understand the meaning of love, it’s an early word in our vocabulary, this emotion of the heart. We know love when we feel it, even if, after the fact, we change our minds and re-describe the emotions as lust, infatuation, crush or some other, safer emotion.

Emotions are tricky. There is a certain cultural assumption that when emotions are felt, they are expressed. Feeling and expression are two different things, the lack of expression does not indicate a lack of emotion. Yet we find ourselves saying things ‘If you love me, why don’t you show it?’ and the like, confused at this separation, expecting, even as we know better, that the lover will express emotion in the same way we do, and hurt when that expression is not forthcoming.

When I fall in love, what is it that I fall in love with? How do we parse, identify within the being, the exact bits that enrapture us? The pat answer is that if I am in love with you, I love everything about you, that love is unconditional and all-encompassing. To be sure, there are parts that are far less likable than others, parts that are difficult to understand, but the envelope of love surrounds every piece of the parcel.

I say ‘I love you’, the emphasis on ‘you’. And you is a big word, encompassing everything that you are, or maybe it’s a small word, encompassing the tiny kernel in the center, surrounded by a multitude of external factors that give you an appearance, a character, an image. Factors that can be changed, removed, replaced, while still leaving you as ‘you’, the one I love.

Picture the person you are in love with. If they color change their hair style, length and color, you are still in love. If an accident takes away their mobility, you are still in love. If illness removes their ability for sexual intimacy, you are still in love. If their gender expression changes, you are still in love. If you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they love you, but they are unable to express it outwardly as they once did, you are still in love.

If I say I love you, there is nothing you can change that will change that.

If you subscribe to this blog, you’ve probably realized that I don’t post super-often. Life is incredibly hectic, I have a lot of thoughts, but no time to share them…

We got a puppy. A straight friend got a puppy from the same litter, so we went to the breeder on the same day to pick them up. She’s known us for a while and is totally accepting of us, I’ve always been completely comfortable with her.

We were in the backyard sitting in the grass and our puppy grabbed our friend’s pants by the butt to play, and my partner laughed and said ‘Oh, look, he’s an ass man, just like me.’

Our friend laughed but also blushed and immediately said ‘TMI! TMI!’ and the conversation went on to other things.

Alone later, my partner said ‘you know, if I had been a straight guy no one would have batted an eye at me saying that’

And I thought about it, and she’s right. Straight people say that sort of thing all the time and it’s chuckled over and that’s it. When I lived as perceived straight, I remember a number of conversations that way. I know that if a straight chick says ‘I’m into asses’ her friend might counter with ‘I’m into smooth backs’ or whatever, but not TMI! If a guy says he’s an ass man women roll their eyes at best.

So why this reaction? And why from a friend? I thought about it and I think it’s the same old thing that comes back to haunt us. I’m fine with you being gay, just don’t flaunt it. Mentioning being into asses and they can’t pretend that we’re asexual beings who just enjoy each other’s company.

We’ve come a long way, we still have a long way to go…

I started crafting a well composed and well thought out blog post half a dozen times at least.  A compact and cautiously worded essay balancing my less than charitable thoughts with warm understanding and compassion.   But every time I felt that, although I agreed with the sentiments I was expressing, my heart was not entirely there.  Because the things I want to say are not as nice as I’d like to think I am, because there’s something about June that sometimes pisses me off.  For straight people, June has traditionally been a month filled with weddings and engagements.  For queers it’s been a month of Pride Parades and rallies.  White taffeta vs. rainbow extravaganza.  Weddings were a ‘them’ thing.  A contentious thing.  A thing we could not partake in.  Now, in 19 states and DC, we can.  Marriage equality has gotten a good toehold and we are not going back.

But…

1 – I believe in equality, I believe we should all have the same rights, including the right to marry, but that does not mean that I believe, or don’t believe, in the institution of marriage.  Saying I want to be seen as equal is NOT the same as saying I want to get married.   We have our own history, our own culture, and for many of us, that culture does not include the great desire to get legally married, only the great desire to be seen as human and equal.

2 – Why do straight people think it’s OK to ask questions about my relationship they would never ask a straight couple?  Not every straight person, and not even all that often, but these questions have been asked –

If I refer to her as my wife or spouse –

Are you married?

If we say yes

Legally?

In what state?

How do you have sex?

3 – I think it’s great that you believe in equality.   Put another way, I think people who do not believe in human equality are kind of fucked up.  So yes, it’s good that you are in favor of marriage equality, but you don’t need to tell me that any more than I need to tell you that I believe you have a right to marry.  I don’t need your validation or approval.  Yes, having someone smile and tell me that they think it’s fine that I’m gay is a lot better than gay bashing but it is kind of condescending, you know?  Telling my you don’t think it’s anyone’s business what I do in the privacy of my own home makes me a little suspicious that you’re actually thinking about what I do in the privacy of my own home (hint: if you watch girl on girl porn, that NOT it)

4 – This question has to go ‘Why do you people need a Pride Parade?  Why do you have to be proud of being gay?  We don’t have a straight pride parade’

Because straight culture did not suffer shame at the hands of gay culture, because you probably did not come of age being told there was something wrong with being straight, you did not have to come from a place of shame, to acceptance, to pride in being.

 

So that’s my rant.  It’s maybe not my kindest, most open side, but it’s how I sometimes feel.

What about love? There’s a topic that’s been dissected, written, poured over, expounded upon to excess. Because we’ve probably all felt love at one point or another in our lives, and there are so many sticky issues, so many surprises. Love can draw you into the depths of a darkness that defies logic, and just as quickly, just as definitely, bring fill you with a sense of euphoria that overwhelms all sensibility. Right away people think of romantic love, that’s obviously a biggie, and the other loves we feel so often seem tamely calm by contrast that we can forget their impact on our lives.

For most of us, first love is parental love. Our infant selves loved without question, without limit. There’s no way of making it through childhood unscarred. And this with loving, caring parents who want the best for their children, who mean no harm. We long to make them proud, and in our tiny child worlds we suffer the hardest strike of failure when we think we have not met the mark. It is in this framework that we learn we are not perfect, long before we realize that they, our parents, are not perfect either. But also, our love for our parents, and their love for us, follows us, always faithful, allowing for our mistakes, bolstering us in the face of the adversities of life. From our parents we learn of love in darkness and light.

The love we feel for our children is fraught with peril, this love takes us by surprise no matter how much we expect it, overwhelmed by the shear force of emotion, at the lengths we know we’d go to to protect this life put in our trust, and knowing even as we dedicate ourselves to our children there will be missteps, errors, slights that we did not intend. I do not mean to be the harbinger of doom, to point out that all love is flawed, it is, but that’s beside the point. Our children forgive us our missteps, it is from them that we learn the largess, the generosity of true love, the ability to see beyond the details into the solid force of it.

As children we discover the extensive pallet of love, how it covers all manner of family; siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles and the rest. That our friends fit into this rubric too, that there are degrees of love, even if we cannot find any exact measure.

There is an understanding early on that romantic love exists, that one day our hearts will open in this different way, enveloping us in a love like no other. This other word, lust, skirts around us, ready to take us in, take us by surprise, toss us headlong so that we fall hard when we fall in love, landing in a heap, heaving and shaking, simultaneously without doubt and completely unsure.

There had been an assumption, from culture, from parents, from… and I waited patiently as friend after friend developed this thing called a crush on one or another cute guy. So the rush of feeling I felt the first time I saw a girl in that way was not immediately clear to me. I did not define this sudden sense of longing as love or lust, at first it was just some strange affliction that caused heart palpitations, but with time I understood, this was it, the ‘love’ they all talked about.

And still, nothing prepared me, more than three decades later, for this love I am in. At the cusp of fifty I found myself as shy as a school boy, as sleepless as a youngster with a first crush, overwhelmed by the raw force of emotion she brought out in me. I ascribed it to nothing but carnal desire, there was no doubt that her physical self threw me into all manner of want, so it was easy enough to be jaded about it, to tell myself it was casual, I was good at sex without strings, it was no big deal. I fell into that boiling pot of emotion as innocent as a lobster.

how does one define this visceral yet intangible state of being?

 

100 threads wrapped around my hand, cotton, silk, rayon, polyester blend, all white, or once they were, now some of them are dingy, grey, spotted with the dirt of tears, frustration, anger.  The wind picked up, the threads are pulling tight, cutting off my circulation, cutting into me, pulling away.  Looking up to see what mass these threads attach me to, I only see darkness, a turmoil of clouds against night sky.  They’re embedded in my skin, slicing into me as this force of nature tries to tear them away, so I hang on.  There’s an obvious solution, but it escapes me, maybe it’s just that I can’t imagine letting go.

 

My hand is heavy, but the pain is ebbing as a tide of numbnesses washes slowly forward, as the storm breaks through the heaviness of the clouds and floods me with emotion.  The threads, twisted by the vortex above me, become a rope and I’m holding on, just above the sink holes at my feet.

 

Her figure appears within a burst of lightening, erupting like Aphrodite from this salty sea. Aphrodite with a knife in her hand, glistening and sharp.   My eyes close, my fist closes, my body closes upon itself, dangling by these threads.  The sound of the blade slicing through the air, in the same instant waiting to feel the plunge into my chest and realizing that the threads are what were severed.  I fall forward into her waiting body, eyes toward the heavens, watching the threads spin away from each other, and disappear.  She catches me within her soul, soothes me with the tincture and black magic of her tears and I am home again.

 

The storms we create flood us, but oh, how I love her…