I think I came out as ‘bisexual’ to my parents when I was 15 or 16. They weren’t happy.
Despite that, and my later identification as queer, I have had primarily heterosexual partners of the opposite sex. I have dated a lot of straight men. And I have had a really hard time with relationships and with my relationship towards sex. I have spent a lot time bouncing back and forth between monogamy and polyamory. I have all the baggage from being raised by a Catholic father. I live in a society that makes it easier to be straight than to be queer.
Despite identifying as queer, I have kind of let that play only a background role in my life. I have concentrated on other things, other politics, other movements. And because of that and my lack of critiquing my own behavior, I just dated a lot of straight men. I don’t hate men or hate dating men. But more often than not, the dynamic I have experienced in these relationships has left me feeling disconnected, annoyed, or just off about the relationship.
I think a lot of this has to do with how straight men are socialized in America. Its not always something they have done wrong directly. It is little things I think. So little I have had a hard time noticing them, but ultimately just feel off about it.
Maybe its that so many straight men only see monogamy as a way for a relationship to be. Maybe despite their specific intentions I have a hard time not feeling used by straight men. Maybe it is the baggage of patriarchy they bring with them. Maybe its because may straight men perceive gender as so strict and static. Maybe its because they are more closed minded about different sexualities. Maybe its because my history of low self-esteem and depression made me grateful for anyone who would accept me as good enough. Maybe I felt some sort of affirmation from society in general by being able to land straight men. I can’t say for sure.
All I know is that dating a queer not straight man for the first time in a LONG TIME, has left my head a lot clearer. I don’t feel annoyed, I don’t feel like sharing space is a violation, and don’t feel a disconnect.
I’m not saying that all straight men are not right for me. But I think that society has a particular impact on the thoughts and behavior of straight men that they frequently carry as baggage into relationships, and that I am not interested in those aspects of men. There are definitely straight men who are feminists and supportive of a variety of genders and sexualities. I don’t know if that will make a difference.
It feels like something has finally clicked for me. I feel back in touch with what makes me queer. Just because I can date straight men doesn’t mean I should or I want to. I feel like I probably will at some point get back into my pattern of dating straight men. Just because that is what is available to me in Richmond. I don’t know.