1.25.2009

who's really queer?

i enjoy it when i can turn a pity party into something more conducive to discussion, so here goes.

so the dominant culture values monogamy and nuclear family, right? it's "good" for a man and woman to partner and have kids with clear paternity, etc. you form your unit and that's supposed to be enough. forever.

but if you're really, fully attracted to the gender opposite your own--for the sake of clarity, i'm only dealing with bio cisgender male/female dualistic gender dynamics at the moment--then wouldn't the inclination be to surround yourself with that opposite? whether you're monogamously partnered or not, wouldn't you tend to have fewer friends of your own gender?

i've always preferred the company of men, and i've always attracted male friends easier than female ones. in many cases physical intimacy never entered into it. when it did, it wasn't always a defining feature of the relationship, simply an expression of caring or some level of mutual affection/attraction that waned in its own time.

(sidebar: it'd be nice if more people could suspend their fears of sleeping with "just a friend". it can be a fantastic experience.)

now that i'm way past any sort of college social scene and entering my 30s, it becomes very difficult to meet men i can be friendly with without the fear of being misconstrued.

i realize that i'm able to blur the lines between friendship and loving fairly easily, but that others don't necessarily share that skill. learned the hard way. so, often, i find myself imposing all kinds of dams and walls just to keep things on a level that's easily understood. but that becomes exhausting, so i've simply stopped trying.

the consequence? more monotone--but clear, carefully constructed--relationships and a bit of a social shutdown. not to mention some measure of loneliness.

i miss my men.

that said, i've always been intrigued by women/men that envelop themselves with their sistafriends/boys--single or not--and wondered how attraction plays in to that.

i'm aware, to a degree, of the dynamics of women-identified-women, whether or not they happen to have sexually intimate relationships with women. however, it's interesting to me when a woman's partner seems to be one of few men they can stand, or their relationship is a convenient place to bear/raise children, but spiritually, socially, emotionally...it's all about their circle of women. same with men who find it imperative to be surrounded by their "boys" a good measure of the time.

are these varying shades of non-sexual/amorous identification part of what "queer" means?

wouldn't that make us ALL queer?*

maybe i'm just polyamorous at heart?

labels almost always suck, but when you start thinking about it, being truly "straight" seems to wind up being the outlying identification.

(sidebar 2: puts you in mind of how white european culture dominates when asian, african and other people of color make up the majority of the world. by the numbers, "pale people" should be an identifying phrase instead. how's that for a parallel...)

which brings me to another point. maybe folks are so unnerved by glbtq people because they're saying out loud what the culture wants to keep quiet--that it's really unnatural to relegate oneself to same-sex or similarly coupled friends and sexual frustration forever more.** the difference being that glbtq coupling is "wrong" since its primary goal may not be the (biological) production of people.

can't you just see all the shades of patriarchy, consumer capitalism and authoritarianism swimming underneath all this? ugly, ain't it?

what i do know, accept and love about myself is that my womanist, goddess-loving, grrrl power spirit finds some of its fullest expression in the adoration and sensual freedom i enjoy with my men.

while my political and social lenses allow me to appreciate, respect, and embody sisterhood, they do not urge me ever closer to my sisters on those emotional/spiritual/social levels i spoke of earlier--although those moments are necessary and renewing.

those eyes actually make me swoon that much more when i can rest in the arms of a strong, intelligent, secure, broad-shouldered, sensual, sweet-smelling man.

to each her own, i suppose.


*i don't mean to imply that i would appropriate that distinction, understanding the political importance of those kinds of distinctions at this juncture; i only use it to prove a point. still, it's good to understand that, in a heterogeneous culture, normality is arbitrary...

**this is NOT to support the ideology that somehow people are not meant to be monogamous, or that men cannot be "tied down", etc and so on. people should honor whatever commitments they've made to their partners and if they cannot, they should leave. deception ain't cool. but since so many people are pushed and pressured into boxes that don't fit, lies and deceit are the natural consequences.

5 comments:

India Freedom said...

if you are living, you are queer. we're all queer if we are expressing our highest selves. that's what queer means to me; having the courage to express my highest self.

ms. bliss honeycomb said...

i agree...i suppose i took the long way around to say: when you start thinking about words that are thrown around to hurt or debase folks, you also start to see the fear behind that naming/shaming.

nehanda said...

since coming to the states, i have found only two spots that i feel comfortable being around black men. its no wonder that these stops are barbershops. one run by a christian dude. no profanity and prosetylizing go hand in hand. and the other is run by a hispanic lady with a mix max of clientale. i cannot tell you how much i miss being around men. yesterday, was one of those not very often holy moments. i met a friend of my bootleg guy and we talked. outside the apartments, seating on the steps, feeling the spring air. him, a former incacarated number, i, a foever always in transit queer human being. tied by an ancestory and a willingness to reclaim, rename, renew, re-define ourselves. it felt utterly wonderful. on the flip side, perhaps by happenstance or choice, i have made unconscious choices to be surrounded by women. perhaps its since my turning 30s and this nagging insistance to be bathed by divine feminine. i dont know.

mbuya nehanda
www.myspace.com/mmebutterfly256

ms. bliss honeycomb said...

@nehanda...thanks for stopping by.

i've noticed that men from different countries do have a totally different vibe. typically it's refreshing. they don't wear a mass of hangups about being men/manhood on their sleeves. they just...are.

sugar sista said...

about the correction: when i first wrote this, i wasn't aware of the term "cisgender" vs. "biological" male/female. i'm striving to use more inclusive language where appropriate, and now that i know how to do a strike-through tag, it makes things easier!

o.