Ask A Lesbian, Vol. 9
How would I go about navigating my confusion with my sexuality? My partner thinks that I’m not into all women, just her. I want to be able to explain this to both myself and her, but I can’t organize my thoughts. Help!
Oh, it’s not just you. Believe you me, sister. When I was first coming to terms with what my sexuality really meant for me, my inner journalist was kicking and screaming inside, shouting me the basics that I had learned in school: Hard facts! You’re only as good as your sources! Research! So, like any good Type A personality, I decided to formulate myself a little list. I am a huge fan of the pros-and-cons list and I wanted to weigh out where my thoughts were going and what my heart was feeling. Though I don’t have the original list, I recreated something similar here.
• deep emotional/physical connection
• good (great!) sex (re: learning is fun)
• constant heart-skipping-a-beat
• being able to feel safe someone I’ve been crushing on forever
• feeling attractive for more than just my body
• not panicking/feeling forced
• not something I’m used to/the norm
• I might suck in bed
• my family is gonna freak out (re: friends too)
• what if she breaks my heart? (re: will there be any attraction to other women, or just her?)
This is a really basic version of what mine was. It got deeper and more detailed, but I’m at a place where I’m so far past it and also not willing to share the details (sorry, I know y’all are wicked curious about my sex life). I realized that there were too many items on my list that meant that I was wholly fulfilled on the pros side. Keep in mind that this is really generalized to fit my needs, too. Women and men are the two experiences that I have had, and therefore this list may not work for you and your needs. Luckily, it’s definitely able to be tailored to your needs, and I won’t even be over your shoulder to tell you how to do it.
I think weighing out pros and cons and putting it down in front of can help you answer any questions you may have. Keep in mind that the list is meant for just you, so you can write whatever fears or truths that you’ve never shared. Believe me, mine was more graphic and telling when I made it for just myself. If this idea doesn’t work for you, try talking it out with someone who you can trust and is a neutral party. It’s nice to organize thoughts out loud, but not very helpful if nobody is there to hear them (if a tree falls, anyone?). If you don’t have anyone that you know or trust, don’t be afraid to seek out queer-safe centers in your area. Best of luck to you, and remember, it’s not about “convincing” anyone of anything – figure this stuff out for yourself, not for your partner.
How does the whole “gay marriage” thing work? For example, if you get married in a state where it’s legal and then go to a different state, what does that mean?
This question has a lot going alongside it. There are so many different forms of couplings for anyone outside of the straight spectrum that it can get really confusing!
Right now, six states have some form of authorized same-sex marriage (Iowa, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut), as well as the District of Columbia. As of election day, four states have same-sex marriage questions on their ballots (Washington, Minnesota, Maine, and Maryland). New Mexico, New Jersey, and Rhode Island don’t prohibit or allow same-sex marriage. Ten states recognize some form of rights for same-sex couples.
If I decided tomorrow that I wanted to marry my girlfriend, I would feel successful because I somehow convinced her to do so. Then, I’d go to one of those states and get married. Fun! But, when I leave that state, things change. Some states recognize gay marriages, civil unions, and/or domestic partnerships. Some only authorize those marriages. Some only recognize civil unions and/or domestic partnerships. Most don’t recognize any. The Human Rights Campaign has an interactive map that will tell you what those are. Some ask why it matters if the state recognizes it – as long as it’s true to you and your partner, why would it matter?
- If my partner were to get in a car accident and be put in the hospital, I wouldn’t be authorized to see her.
- If I passed away, my partner wouldn’t be able to receive my Social Security benefits that I paid into my entire working life.
- If we wanted to move to, say, Poland, we wouldn’t be able to move as a family unit on a green card.
- There are a lot of other rights that I’m not mentioning, but if we wanted to do the basic things that any opposite-sex couples can do, we couldn’t.
There are ten million different views on what should and shouldn’t be legalized in the United States (and the world, for that matter). I’m not telling you who or what to feel advocated for, but I’ve got my views. The facts are that the definition of marriage is the social institution in which a man and woman are united. Marriage did not exist in the Bible; women were seen as property to men just as a sheep, table, or piece of land was. Same-sex couples are going to exist, whether or not their right to marry ever comes to fruition. These laws change all the time, and if you want to be involved, check out your local LGBTQ center or the Human Rights Campaign to learn how to get involved.
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