On Being in Queer Spaces

In a similar vein as my post two days ago, and related to my post from National Coming Out Day, I’ve been struggling a bit with something else lately. It’s no secret that I identify as a queer woman. I feel like the queer community is where I belong, and where I fit in. However, when I’m dating a male, I feel like I am no longer welcome in queer spaces or at queer events. I find myself embarrassed to be there with my boyfriend, or if he’s not with me, referring to my partner with only neutral pronouns, so as not to give away the fact that I’m dating a dude. I know that my identity doesn’t change with who I date, but to other people, it often does, and that makes me sad and uncomfortable.

Just a few more stray thoughts that I didn’t feel really fit in with my last post about identity.

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  1. SkyddsDrakeNo Gravatar
    Posted November 14, 2010 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I can’t describe the relief that crossed the faces of many of my friends and family members when I told them I would be marrying a heterosexual, masculine man. “Oh, good. You’re not gay after all!” was a comment I heard over and over. They don’t get it. They’ll never get it. They don’t understand that I married my husband because he’s not like any other heterosexual man I’ve ever met, that he’s open and honest and that there are a million things about him ASIDE from his gender and sexuality that completely blow my mind and let a million butterflies loose in my gut. They don’t get that he might have been a she in another time and place, and that I would have been just as happy and completely in love. That breaks my heart.

    What’s worse, though? Having it come up in conversation that I’m queer, and having so many people scoff at me from the straight and the LGBTQ communities because it’s like that part of me doesn’t exist to them anymore.

    Can’t say I know precisely how you’re feeling or where you’re at, but you’re not alone in the realm you’re standing in.

  2. EveNo Gravatar
    Posted November 14, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

    This. Exactly this.

  3. emmyNo Gravatar
    Posted November 14, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Permalink

    There is a local (to me) comic book artist who did a weekly strip that was a lesbian – then fell in love and married a man. She still identifies as queer, but like you has had a difficult time finding her place in the world. She did many strips where she talked about her feelings of being split between the two worlds – with a place in neither. It is sad that there are people out there that struggle with it – as it sounds like there are enough that could define a new space. One where it doesn’t have to be either/or but could be and/both.

  4. CatherineNo Gravatar
    Posted November 14, 2010 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    I can totally relate. I’m dating a transwoman who is at a point in her transition where we still look like a straight couple when we’re out in public, which makes me feel uncomfortable with going to queer events and stuff. And I also refer to her as “my partner” and try to work around the use of gendered pronouns, but I do it with people I’m/we’re not out to so that I can avoid feeling like I’m lying, and outing her. So thanks for sharing this. It’s nice to feel like I’m not alone.

  5. Sophie DelanceyNo Gravatar
    Posted November 15, 2010 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    To a tea. My partner and I love going to queer events like the monthly dance party on our block, but either our relationship is completely invisible and we essentially act like just friends or we dance like a couple and get weird looks. It’s such an unpleasant feeling.

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