I feel like a poser. I love the queer community, love that they’ve had to carve new territory in the world of gender and sexuality, love the openness and flexibility and lack of assumptions that brings. I spend so much time now with queers of various stripes that I get weirded out by too much straightness. But when I’m not with my close friends, when I’m at a Pride event or a gay bar, I feel like a poser. I feel embarrassingly straight. I mean, I have a boyfriend. I’m mostly attracted to men. I didn’t grow up with the same sense of deep disconnect between my desires, my sense of self, and what society said was okay, that seems to give queer folk this profound sense of cameraderie with each other. I don’t have that. When I’m hanging out with queer people, I feel straight.
But I’m not straight. I’m polyamorous, for a start, and try explaining that to your fellow teachers at the preschool (I haven’t.) I’m only mostly attracted to men. I’m happy to have a female body, but there’s a strong masculine side to my identity. Socially, I’ve never really been a girl, and I have a hard time connecting with people who are. So when I’m around straight people, I do a lot of listening not talking, a lot of selective revelation (yep, I have a date tonight, yep, we’re going to a play, let me just fail to mention that I’m going with someone other than my boyfriend and this is not a problem for any of us), and a lot of feeling left out of conversations (Co-worker: “Men are so ridiculous! Can you believe he did that?” Other co-worker: “I know, it drives me crazy!” Me, in my head: That’s probably what I’d do too.) When I’m hanging out with straight people, I feel queer.
That’s really all I have to say on that subject. I feel a little bit neither-fish-nor-fowl, a little bit out of place wherever I go, a little bit lacking in community identification. It’s not the worst problem to have, by any means, but it does mean feeling like I’m always a guest and never at home.