Fear of ostracism

Snapchat with glittery hands and text 'these are the hand of a homosexual'

In my last post, I suggested that there might be more than one reason that I’ve been reluctant to blog recently. It’s something that’s been bothering me for a while, and more than that, something which has felt like an unbreachable wall between myself and some of the people that I’d normally go to with my concerns. I know that quite often, confronting fear is the only way to combat it’s power, and so I’m nervously tapping these words into a screen.

I’ve been putting off blogging about my life because I’ve been worried about what the response from the (lesbian) blogging community would be. I’ve been worried that telling the truth would lead to the online equivalent to nasty whispers in the playground, to people reading my words and thinking ‘I knew it!’ I’ve been afraid of being ostracised from the group of people I’ve identified with and shared things with and felt included in their (your) lives. Why?

Boys.

It’s not possible to talk about my life right now without making some reference to the boys I spend large amounts of my time with. It’s not truthful to edit my life to pretend that at least one of these guys has had a big impact on me; that the chemistry between us felt like being caught in the middle of a thunder storm in the middle of a long, dry summer. For a long while, I didn’t know what was going on between this guy and I. From our first meeting, there was an energy between us that I hadn’t expected, and to be honest, didn’t particularly want. I wrote a while ago about how anyone joining my life would have to really add something to it, and I wasn’t looking for someone else to ‘complete’ me – and I was mad because I thought this guy was trying to fill a breach that didn’t exist.

Only he wasn’t. And every time I accused him of asking too much of me, he would roll his eyes and try to reassure me that he wasn’t asking anything at all, and that if anyone was asking too much of me, it was myself… But this story isn’t about him.

Carley's birthday and birthday card with Anna Kendrick
This post isn’t about Anna Kendrick either, but I just wanted to show off my awesome birthday card!

I’ve never shied away from talking about my sexuality here before, but for the first time, I couldn’t bring myself to open up about the fact that I was having real, where-the-hell-did-this-come-from, non-platonic feelings about a member of the opposite sex. And four and a half years after meeting Stacey, and three years after first starting to document my ‘lesbian life’, I felt like my feelings – feelings I couldn’t help having – were wrong. That idea of writing about them here – in my queer space – felt shameful. And most of all, I didn’t know what the reaction from all the other queer bloggers I know would be.

Writing it now feels both true and ridiculous; not least because of how many times I have advised young people worrying about their sexuality that they shouldn’t be bothered by other people’s reactions to who they’re dating. I expected, when I started dating Stacey and had to come out over and over again, to feel nerves about admitting to people that I liked a girl. I never thought that I’d later have the same trapidation about liking a boy.

I don’t want to write about the struggles of being sometimes attracted to both men and women. For one thing, I’ve never liked the label ‘bisexual’ for myself – I self identify as a five on the Kinsey scale and definitely find myself attracted to women far more often than I’m attracted to men. But it’s also more than that; I’m comfortable with my identity as a queer woman; I like the community that it affords me, the friends I have who identify with me because we have this really big (rainbow coloured) thing in common. I’m not comfortable talking about the flip side to that, despite the fact that it’s as much a part of me as the four years I spent in a relationship with another woman.

I guess this is the reverse of coming out – admitting that I’m maybe not as gay as I made myself seem. And yet, yet, this boy is the outlier, the stranger, the this-isn’t-really-happening occurrence, and that makes me say to myself, “you don’t like boys, you just like THIS boy.” Sound familiar, anyone?

Girl taking selfie in mirror in summer clothes and sunglasses
Me, earlier in the year before things became so complicated.

I wish that I could say that having spent a while turning this over in my head, there was a happy ending to this tale, but there’s not. My inability to grasp and understand my feelings for this boy aren’t the whole reason why things did not (will not) work out with him, but it would be lying to say that they had nothing to do with it. Perhaps there is a possible world in which he and I could have overcome all of these issues, but I have come to accept that that world is not this one.

On the other hand, this world is one where this girl has gathered enough courage to write these words down and publish them out to a community of people she likes and admires and looks up to, hoping that her fears of ostracism turn out to be completely unfounded.

Carley

4 Comment

  1. Sarah says: Reply

    Hey hun, really interesting post! No judgement coming from here just support and admiration. It is amazing how much turmoil love, lust and all the feelings that go with it can cause. I always remember when L & I first got together we would always say we were straight except we fell in love with a girl. Maybe your just switching it up :) We never used the term bisexual – it didn’t feel right. It sounded indecisive, we were either straight or gay not both, but that might just be personal preference. The book that really solidified that what we were not alone in falling in love with someone of the same sex while identifying as straight was sexual fluidity – it was eye opening – and basically says that a woman’s sexuality is ever changing (not so much in men) and that in a woman’s life time she is likely to experience love for men and women. As you say love is love and you should never fear loving the person who makes you happiest. I hope you find some peace with it all. xxx

  2. Kitty says: Reply

    In my opinion, sexuality is fluid. As Shane says, just go with the flow! There’s always going to be members in the LGBT community that will stick up their nose at bisexual people and I find that absolutely terrible.

    My girlfriend identifies as bisexual and i consider hir as every bit valid.

    You’re not going to be judged by me, that’s for sure!

    For now, take all the time you need to figure stuff out. Not only is it fluid, sexuality can be one confusing little shit.

  3. meridith says: Reply

    This definitely resonates with me. I also keep that 5 or 4 or 6 on the scale on the dl. I don’t want to answer the questions or respond at all really, it’s just who I am. So go on. Enjoy. And don’t worry about the rest – they should know better.

  4. Amanda says: Reply

    How wonderfully bizarre that I just wrote about the same thing! I can relate completely. I think attraction is just that, attraction. It does not matter the vessel that attraction comes in. I think as long as people are being authentic to oneself and the parties in question are consenting adults than ANYTHING is “normal.” Truly, anything.

    Also, I understand your concern, I really do, but I have found the “lesbian blog” community to be the absolute most accepting and embracing of all others. We, YOU, know how it feels to be judged for who you love, we generally (of course there is always some asshole in the pile) remember that in relation to our treatment of others and proceed accordingly :)

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