Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Gay? Straight? Slightly Crooked.

Define your sexual orientation. For 99% of you, that's a simple thing to do. For me, not so easy. I dated women for a decade. Then I dated men. These days I'm all about personality, rather than gender. So what does that make me? Some friends call me a hasbian, other say I'm gay, some insist on bisexual and a few think I'm straight.

I've never been given to defining my orientation until now. I found out today that I'm not included in my company's GLBTQQ luncheon because I am apparently completely heterosexual. The organizers of the very first of it's kind lunch meeting for our firm passed me over as not being Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer or Questioning. Interesting, given that I've been an active member of the GLBTQQ social scene in Austin since 1989.

My straight friends insist that since I've have romantic relationships with women I cannot be heterosexual. Now I'm hearing that since I have a boyfriend--a very understanding and supportive one--I cannot be homosexual. Labels have never been important to me until now, simply because I've been kicked out of both camps. The Mo's say I'm not their's and the Ro's say I'm not straight. Where do I belong?

I'm used to not fitting in. I've always lived on the fringe, so I guess being excluded from the diversity luncheon shouldn't come as a surprise. Though it has compelled me to examine my orientation more closely than usual. I find both genders attractive although I haven't dated a woman in a long time. I am not a fag hag or fruit fly, the straight women who's closest friend is a gay man. The term fag hag conjures up images of a slightly drunk woman, leaning on her gay while trying not to spill her cosmopolitan and leering at the go go boys dancing on the bar. The woman who will at some point loudly proclaim "He is soooo hot! What a waste!" and one of the boyz around her will throw their hands in the air and twitter out "Haaaay, he's my man, honey! You keep your whore red Mac lipsticked mouth offa him!". Ugh.

I spent years in Austin supporting the fight to repeal Texas Penal Code Statue 21.06 which asserted couples of the same sex involved in mouth to genital contact or penetration of any part of the genitals by an object was illegal criminal behavior, a sexual offense. In fact, a favorite tee shirt at the time had the statute printed out in it and a large red "Repeat Offender" stamped across it. I have a cute photo of me wearing it while leaning against an APD vehicle. That part of the penal code was eventually ruled unconstitutional and I was no longer a criminal. Oddly enough, the same contact between heterosexuals has always been completely legal.

Of course, some may insist that I was merely a good social rights advocate, not that I was looking out for my own self interests in that I did not want to be called a sex offender as defined by the statute which also contains public lewdness, indecency with a child and indecent exposure. I guess you can twist my life to suit anyone's needs.

I've dodged the bisexuality label for years only because it is the vaguest one of the bunch. Gay men will insist that a bisexual man is really gay, he just can't deal with it yet. Gay women will tell you not to date bisexual women because they'll only leave you for a man. Not the sweetest picture, is it?

I'm still not certain which one of the alphabet letters in GLBTQQ is best for me but the cetainty in my mind is that I am not a true heterosexual, and that leaves only one other group. The Mo's have me, even if they don't want me. I'm here, I'm queer, I'm Kay.

Webster's says it all:
Queer
Main Entry:
Pronunciation: 'kwir
Function: adjective
Etymology: origin unknown
1 a : WORTHLESS, COUNTERFEIT b : QUESTIONABLE, SUSPICIOUS
2 a : differing in some odd way from what is usual or normal b (1) : ECCENTRIC, UNCONVENTIONAL (2) : mildly insane : TOUCHED c : absorbed or interested to an extreme or unreasonable degree : OBSESSED d (1) often disparaging : HOMOSEXUAL (2) sometimes offensive : GAY 4b3 : not quite well - queer·ish /-ish/ adjective - queer·ly adverb - queer·ness

Over the past two decades, an important change has occurred in the use of queer in sense 2d. The older, strongly pejorative use has certainly not vanished, but a use by some gay people and some academics as a neutral or even positive term has established itself. This development is most noticeable in the adjective but is reflected in the corresponding noun as well. The newer use is sometimes taken to be offensive, especially by older gay men who fostered the acceptance of gay in these uses and still have a strong preference for it.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

FOR THE RECORD, the "organizers" of the luncheon were ME! I alone decided you weren't gay enough for me!

Anonymous said...

UGH! And now I find myself getting just a tad bit defensive here...much like you did when I originally told you about this stupid lunch!

This is blog is actually two different arguments and schools of thinking, and it's really not fair to lump the two subjects together. Are you upset because I excluded you from a group you feel you belong to, or are you upset for not getting the recognition of fighting "our causes". There are plenty of "straight" people involved in Atticus Circle and PFLAG that have fought equally for not just "our rights" but equal rights for all. I didn't say there was anything wrong with being straight. I just happen to have a difference of opinion with the "bi" thing. It wasn't a personal attack against you. It was moreso an attack against the "label". And in all honesty, it wasn't even an attack as much as it was a topic to get your goat (as a certain dyke we know wanted to make sure you were invited as well...but you happened to be on vacation while we were discussing the plan!). Clearly it worked, and clearly it had the desired effect of stimulating conversation...and debate.

I still say you're "straight". Straight to the next man, or straight to the next woman remains to be seen! Do I think that makes you "bi"? No! I think it makes you horny. :-)

Kela said...

Why do you need a label for definition to begin with? Hell im in the same boat as you are. I started off dating men my entire adult life and then was exposed to the gay community and loved it and eventually led to me dating women. For awhile exclusively women. I again am dating men and in the process got pregnant. This doesnt mean I wouldnt date another women. Im attracted to both sexes equally so what does that make me? Were all entitled to our opinions but excluding someone because you dont think he/she is "gay" enough is as bad as racism. I think you should crash the luncheon because you deserve to be there. If it were a labeled a "straight" function and homosexuals werent invited people would be in an uproar. You dont need a definition of your sexual orientation to define you as a person you just need to be comfortable with who you are PERIOD!

Kay said...

Calm down, Anonymous. You didn't even have to tell me I was excluded, but you did, admittedly to goad me. I believe I do fall into the GLBTQQ category, even if I am dating a man and continue to date men the rest of my life. What I believe is how I identify and that is all that matters. And I've had plenty of recognition for my support of my community.

If you say I could sleep with men and/or women and that only makes me horny then we need to add another initial to the tag: GLBTQQH!

Kay said...

Kela, it appears as if we do have a label: Horny. LOLOLOLOLOLOL!!

I know, we are mystical sexual creatures who's superpowers involve the ability to spark desire in either gender. We rock!

kela said...

Thanks. I didnt know I had those powers but thanks for shedding some light on that for me. Phew! I feel so much better knowing now! 8-)

tim99 said...

It doesn't count if someone else thinks you aren't "gay enough". Its how you see yourself that's the truth.

In my city it's divided in the bars. Men don't hang out wtih lesbians. I think we shuld stick together instead of being separate. And if your bi it don't matter much I guess. But if you go with men and women then you're bi, not straight.

TwinKim said...

Kay, You are more than gay enough for me, regardless of who you are dating. I didn't view this post as an attempt to "get recognition" for fighting for the cause. It just seems ironic to exclude you, someone who identifies as Not Heterosexual and who has stood up time and again to ensure that the rights of all are upheld.

I should know. I'm Heterosexual Enough after years of speculation and wonder and boys and girls. However, the difference between you and I is that I have chosen my life to be more heterosexual. It's not that I am necessarily much different, except for the monogamy part. You still live a little more OUT LOUD than I do. There are many from my life that felt I was turning my back on the cause when I made my choice to marry a man. In fact, I had one person express concerns about my husband-to-be by telling me, "Kim, honey, he's not from our Tribe." That was the first time it occured to me that maybe I wasn't from the same Tribe, either. Maybe I was from the Tribe across town with the real fringe people or perhaps the one on the corner straddling Lesbian Street and Bisexual Avenue.

I've been written off by some who now categorize me as someone who said she was bi but was just confused. I don't care. I'm me. I love my husband. And if Drew Barrymore walked in and said she was here for my body, I'd make him hold the video camera while we set the sheets on fire.

Kela, I like how you think. Kay should crash the luncheon and take the boyfriend with her. It will be like the March On Washington only with less flesh and better side dishes.

Anonymous said...

Right On KIM LOL.

Anal man said...

Wow, you women can really get nasty with each other, even when fighting over sexuality. Perhaps that is why I like to set the sheets on fire with another guy.

Kay said...

Thanks for the comment, Anal. For the record, both Anonymous and Tim99 are men. Anonymous and I have since tabled our disagreements--neither of us will change the other's mind about how my sexuality should be labeled.