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’.