(In which I upload a post with little to no editing)
(And for those of you questioning, the most helpful post for me by a book person was this one by Michael, previously known by you as John Hansen who I’m honored to call a friend, and who has great things to say in regards to queerness. )
Hey, there, bookish community,
So, I just wanted to thank you guys so much for your overwhelmingly positive responses to my coming out. On WordPress and on Twitter, many of you responded with sweet messages, and came out to me, which was super awesome, and I cannot thank you enough. *queer person high five* However, I observe that a few of you kinda went the opposite with this with good intentions . It’s fine. It just bothered me. I found it perfect timing, though, because then I could self promo with that post that you needed to read. As for rambling, I want to talk a little more than a paragraph about why I use queer as an identifier, and encouragement from the community has made me feel more comfortable in doing this. I cannot even begin to translate how nervous I was drafting, editing, and posting that post. It was the hardest of my life, honestly, although one of the most fun. I couldn’t handle negative responses online right now so that made the positive ones mean SO. MUCH. MORE.
So, I just feel like talking about what the term “queer” means to me in hopes that maybe it could help some questioning book person who was me, only a few months ago. The term can cover the entire spectrum; I don’t use it out of laziness and just because I don’t appreciate the rigidity of some labels but because I have felt or been fluid. I have had romantic attractions to nonbinary people, for example, although weirdly those assigned female at birth.And that meant a lot to me when figuring out my identity because I knew these people, *cough* Kaitlyn Alexander, were NOT female. I couldn’t see myself really being attracted to nonbinary people in a sexual way, although they look good and dress really well, and are just overall awesome.
The main reason why I chose to identify as queer is because of that, and I have had romantic attraction to males, and been in relationships with them. However, there were no “sparks”, or that sexual attraction, there was just the being able to appreciate that one was attractive, which I still can, and being taught (because this is how society indoctrinates our children, and being a Christian in a less welcoming environment) that heterosexuality was my sexuality. I was, subconsciously relieved to have any attraction to a male even if they weren’t too interesting and never really have been besides “the friend zone” , a nice face and/or the build. (Nothing sexier than a tall person to me.) Basically, I could and can look at a friend perhaps, or a stranger, and say, “You’re so beautiful”, and that to me is a basic observation, always has been. I wouldn’t go beyond that with a stranger, friend, or otherwise.
The reason I ended up choosing lesbian as a label to refer to myself as , when I am not using queer, is because women are generally the only gender I can feel both of the main attractions, sexual and romantic, at this point in my life, and for what has been the majority of my awareness in my life. With men, meh. With women, OHHH MYYY GOOOD, and it seemed fitting, and was what I ended up feeling most comfortable with at the end of my official questioning period (May-October). It also seemed fitting when I looked back in my past and realized the many times that I had been attracted to women that I believed didn’t count, or didn’t recognize as attraction because no matter what i did, society told me I was straight, and I wasn’t able to break away fully from the indoctrination that possessed me from my time as a small child. My family is strongly homophobic, and so I was never provided resources to be able to understand the confusion I had as a small child to the early adolescent stages of my life, and I was not able to articulate that confusion.
Because of that, I strongly believe that we need more diverse books for young children and for middle schoolers so that young Matildas like who i was can understand themselves earlier on in their lives. We need more schools, kindergarten teachers, and public libraries being willing to contribute to the effort, and less saying that it’s inappropriate because it is not. So, yes, I am queer. I find girls enthralling, and boys and nonbinary individuals mildly interesting even if we aren’t going to be more than good friends. If you are questioning, I’m not claiming this as your identity, but I hope it clarified things for you, and it was good for me. You can contact me anywhere, and I would love to help in any way I can if that is what you want. Thank you, community!