Jasper's queer diary #1

We stay up until 3am, sometimes early enough to hear the birds and have that grey dawn light filter through the blinds. We share photos and stories, not yet grubby with the stains of failed relationships.
We speak indirectly, unless we’ve been drinking wine.
I tell speak of others ‘like me’. Of their partners. How they do what we are yet to do. How those girls adjust - if they even need to.
‘I’ll have to come out, again’ she says,
‘when you’ve told your mother that you like girls and will be with girls, how do you then tell her you have a boyfriend? or a partner? When you’ve accepted yourself as a lesbian, how do you accept this attraction?’

    I don’t have answers for her. I don’t have answers for myself either.
As 14 year old, the thought being able to call myself a lesbian enthralled me, it encompassed my every move. One day, I will have a girlfriend. I will be her girlfriend.
I will be able to reclaim my femininity.
The same femininity that was taken from me, before I even knew how to use it.
  Alongside the rampant sexual frustration, little pubescent me dreamt of running my fingers through a girls hair, watching as she dusted her face with powders and blush, listening to the melodic inflictions of her voice as she said my name. Essentially, I was as much of a soppy romantic then as I am now.
The young me would do anything to be in the position I am - away from my childhood home, in a university town, a member of the LGBTQ society, with a semi-functioning gaydar.
  And yet, here I am, the label of ‘lesbian’ tasting stale in my mouth. Because well, I’m not one.
I’m not a lesbian, I’m not gay, and I’m most certainly not straight.
I’m not a girl, I’m not a boy, and I’m most certainly not cis.

Trying to explain my gender identity to new people is tiring. My high, soft voice, hour glass figure and sloping shoulders ‘identify’ me before I have a chance to mention pronouns.
My (suspiciously square) bound chest, buzzed hair cut, and button-up shirts ‘categorise’ me before I could possibly tell you my ‘type’.
  Recently, I was at a barbeque with a bunch of lesbians, gay guys, and bisexuals. Within minutes of arrival, I was ‘one of the lesbians’. A butch girl. My sexuality was presumed as quickly as my gender.
I feel androgynous on the inside, so in turn, I attempt to portray that in the way I look. This leads of people presuming I am a butch lesbian.
When I feel femme, people presume I am a cis het girl. Try as I might, I can never be the femme guy, I can never be androgynous.

Sexuality and gender are not one and the same.
But for me, my gender identity fucks with any encounters I may have, whether they are sexual or romantic.
  The straight girl who thought I was a bi-guy. The girl who told me she’d ‘always wanted to fuck a girl’. Or the one who said that she wanted to know my ‘real name’, because she ‘doesn’t like nicknames’.
The ones who refuse to use gender-neutral pronouns. The ones who presume. Anyone and everyone who says that they will always see me as *insert binary here* and will never see me differently.

When I think about the word ‘lesbian’ now, I feel nostalgic, and jealous of it. I think about how much easier it would be, if I could just be her girlfriend. How much easier it would be if I didn’t have to tell each new person I met ‘no I am not this, yes I am that, no I am not that’.

Instead I tell them, ‘I’m queer. In every sense of the word. Call me they, call me butch. Call me your partner, your other, your sweetheart. Just don’t call me your girlfriend’.

The boy stands in front of the mirror
and pulls his shirt over his head
in a way he’s practiced
and practiced
until he can do it like
Boys Do.
A worm crawls across his chest
(this is not a metaphor)
a worm crawls across his chest inching
its way
between mountains he wishes were molehills.
His chest is covered in fading bruises
his lover left with her mouth
because he asked her to
because he can bear the sight better
when there are signs she was there.
He stares
and stares
but can’t imagine them gone
so he stares at the yellow and purple mark
over his heart
until it is all he sees.

                                                                                       - Connor
She wants the V: Veg*anism and Queerness

by Kat 


Recently, the two of us joined OKCupid- Jasper, in search of love fuck, and I, in search of lolz. Also because filling out questions makes me feel special. Anyway, after several hours of hetero men rushing to my profile and sending me tediously visceral messages about how much they’d like to ‘taste me’, I ticked the option to hide straight users (I only wish real life had that option too) and went on to admire my queer online family.

I’ve been a vegetarian for 12 years now, and at times I’ve dabbled in veganism. I don’t actually have any strong ethical reasons any more, I just get grossed out by the idea of eating flesh. But a startling number of fellow queers were listed as vegetarians and vegans, and I suddenly recalled a conversation I’d had a few years ago with my dad, who had been standing in the staff kitchen at the publishing company where he works, microwaving a mushroom risotto while his colleagues asked if his vegetarianism was his way of 'coming out’. Last week, we attended a LGBT barbeque and laughed at the number of vegetarians and vegans (there were sh*tloads).

It’s a popular stereotype- the hemp-wearing, hairy-legged lesbian who washes her hair in a vat of rainwater and makes her own seitan. Jute bags and mooncups. It’s a stereotype favoured by dirty hets who think that there’s a causal relationship between dietary requirements and sexuality & gender identity- usually the kind of brutish hetero men who think that eating steak is an integral part of masculinity. I’ve wondered if the supposed correlation between queerness and veg*anism has something to do with the assumption that LGBT people are somehow 'right-on’. There’s a scene in the first series of the BBCThree lesbian drama 'Lip Service’ where blonde hottie Frankie chastises a naive hetero girl for assuming that gayness = moral fibre. I’ve met countless gay and queer assholes.

But the fact is that there are  a lot of queer and LGBT vegetarians, and I’m one of them. The only correlation between my sexuality, genderqueerness and vegetarianism is the correlation imposed by others. But I’d like to hear from other queers. What have your experiences been with queerness and veg*anism?