Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Queerem Theorem

[via ahmet.erdem]

Sluts! Good morning.

The other night, I was walking back from drinks with Erin, a friend from Chicago.

As we all headed towards her car, she sniffed the air and said, “Doesn’t it just smell like the end of summer? Cut grass, leftover bonfire smoke, hot cement, night wind.”

She sighed happily.
Clearly, Erin was ready for fall. She had packed her summer full.

She had lived.

[via okaycaceface]

I acted like I was also sniffing the air appreciatively. Inside, though, I was panicking.

The end of summer? The END of summer?

[via popmyeyes]

Bitch no.

Here is a list of all the things I have not done yet this summer:

  • Swum in one of the 10,000 goddamn lakes in Minnesota
  • Been on someone’s boat
  • Skinnydipped a single time
  • Sat astride a bike
  • Chased the ice cream truck while screaming and leaking quarters
  • Made out sweatily with a stranger on a queer bar patio
  • Waved a sparkler
  • Been bored out of my mind
  • Skipped work even once
  • Gone on a trip that spanned more than 3 days
  • Read a book in a hammock under a tree
  • Watched a terrible summer release movie about the origins of a superhero or some shit
  • Eaten a ripe peach (the fruit u pervert)
  • Put Sun-In in my hair in an attempt to turn it white (this is my annual summer goal)
  • Worn a bikini top under my clothes just in case impromptu swimming happened
  • Injured myself lavishly due to being barefoot on an inappropriate surface

Obviously, I have some catching up to do.

[the absolutely perfect park near my house]

When I realized that Erin was right, that summer was officially close to done, I made up my mind to cram as much summer into the next few weeks as possible.

I mean, I had plans.
I was going to buy a damn kayak this summer.
What the fuck.

The sad truth is: I’ve just been working, y’allfags.

Working a 40-hour-a-week corporate copywriting job and then freelancing at night, a lot, when I get home. I’m on this new kick where I’m trying hard to pay off all my credit card debt and my car loan and my student loans as fast as I can—I’m suddenly incredibly, unbelievably tired of working in offices so I can continue to make minimum payments on my debt loads each month.

I’m pulling the plug, ya know?
I want out. I want freedom.

I want to write what I want to write, and maybe get paid for it someday, and to not spend my only life wearing cardigans in freezing grey office buildings to cover up the fact that I’m not wearing a bra, smiling thinly when someone wishes me a “Happy Tuesday!” in the kitchen at 8 a.m.

[via poppylissiman]

I’m ready.

That means I’ve been funneling all my paychecks towards my debt so hard that I constantly cut it too close and do things like get my debit card rejected when buying $24 worth of groceries at the co-op. (That was yesterday; I acted like I used the wrong card and it was NBD, but a dewy sheen of stress-sweat broke out along my hairline.)

But! No matter.
It’s time for a little fun, I think.

Time to cut loose; make some irresponsible decisions before summer completely passes me by.

Let me just fire up my Tinder.

[via doyouconsideryourselffeminist]

Actually, a lot of my life feels like irresponsible decisions, and I’m becoming more and more OK with that.

On August 4, I celebrated my one year anniversary of moving to Minneapolis.

I’m really proud I made the decision to put my happiness and well-being first.

I’m also still so overjoyed to be in this beautiful lil’ green city that I cannot even drive past the skyline at any time of day or night without murmuring, “Aw, look at her” in a weird, fond voice, as if I were looking at my grandma dressed up for her 90th birthday party.  

From an outsider’s perspective, though, I had hit a new low when I moved.

I was a 33-year-old single dyke who owned exactly two rabbits, one broken scooter, and several black trash bags of clothes. I was leaving a relationship of four years and leaving a stable job that paid me slightly more than enough to live. I had mountains of debt, no insurance, and no new job lined up. I also had no savings—I had to put the U-Haul on my last, non-maxed-out credit card (praying it wouldn’t put me over the limit.)

Btw, if you’ve only ever rented a U-Haul to move within your own city, and it was like $90, you will not be ready for the shock of how much it costs to take a U-Haul over a single state line. $870, homos.

[View from the U-Haul, August 4, 2016]

In Minneapolis, at first, I was an emotional wreck, crying at the smallest things.
I cried when I got caught in a downpour at night and locked myself out of the house—Seven was asleep inside, but I didn’t know her well yet, and I was afraid to wake her up.
So I sat on the porch, soaking wet, and sobbed.

I cried when I realized I had bought a new mattress for myself and was only sleeping on one side, automatically leaving room for my ex.

I cried in the middle of the afternoon in an Uber when Justin Bieber’s “Love Yourself” came on.
I don’t want to talk about it.

Things got better slowly, and then they got better so rapidly I couldn’t even keep up.

Suddenly I was dating wonderful people steadily, and not-hating my new job, and being paid the honest-to-god going rate for a senior copywriter, and having great sex. I was hanging out on blankets at the lake, and taking my dog roommates for romps at the park, and throwing femme parties with Tawnya, and ordering cold press at coffee shops, and having baristas immediately know what the fuck cold press was, because I was in Minneapolis, dammit, and in Minneapolis, things are called by their proper names.

Now being unhappy feels like a hazy memory.
I'm gonna do my best to keep it that way.

I’m 34, and only just starting to feel like I’m actually getting my life together.

That feeling especially includes dating.

I’ve learned, um, quite a lot about relationships in the last few years, particularly about what I can and cannot handle in a relationship, and I don’t think I could have learned it any other way than living through each and every scenario that is, and is not, whooooaaa nelly, OK with me.

Everyone learns about this stuff differently, but for me, it’s taken far, far longer that I would have ever suspected to learn even the basics about what I need in partnerships.

My friend Steffany has a theory I like a lot about queer dating and relationships.

She posits that since we were all raised in a heteronormative world, pretty much only seeing heteronormative role models (unless we were luckyasses raised by queers), and only observing heteronormative relationship dynamics represented in all forms of media, many of us queers are… possibly! maybe! a little behind when dealing with our romantic relationships.

Her theory: since most of us were brought up believing that we would function entirely in straight society, and maybe weren’t even aware we were queer until perhaps puberty or far later, it’s possible that many of us queers have been stalled in how we operate within relationships by up to a decade.

And ooooh.

Entertain this idea with me!

[via scariest_bug_ever]

Puberty happens for most humans at around age 11-13.
There are so many feelings during puberty! And you felt them all so intensely! Remember that shit?

And then, when lots of us come out at whatever age we come out at, we go through a babydyke or babyqueer phase—a second puberty.

[via autostraddle]

That second puberty offers lots of excitement—everything is so new! let’s cover ourselves in rainbows, OMG YOU’RE GAY? I’M GAY TOO!!!!—and lots of really intense feelings. There are first loves all over again, and there's tons of drama.

Our second puberty—realizing we’re queer and can fuck and be in love with other queers—often happens years and years after our first puberty.

[via antonzhuman]

That’s a lot of time to spend not-practicing relationships with other queers.

Most of us still operated 100% in Heteroland until we came out.

We missed a helluva lot of opportunities to practice being in gayass relationships in our formative years.

[via ship]

For me, it was about 10 years.
That's 10 years of queer relationship practice I didn’t get, or think about, at all.

So wait: Using this theory, if I’m 34, that means I’m actually only 24 when it comes to dating, and maybe that’s why I’m only now starting to put it all together.

[via manicpixiememequeen]

Oh I like this theory.

You’re 26?
Dahling, you’re only 16 in Queer Dating Years (QDY hehehe).

You have so much time to learn.

[via ashlyncoco]

As you might imagine, I find this idea extremely comforting.

I think Steffany’s theory could possibly explain a lot about queer relationships in general—why we get so obsessed with our first queer loves, why we have so much drama, and why we have such intense bonding and then outrageous breakups.

We’re all still learning! We’re all catching up, cementing in the lessons we didn’t learn the first time around, when being straight was the only option we’d ever seen!

It’s also entirely possible that I’m just using it to soothe myself into believing I’m not a total fuckup.

Goddamn, though, this idea is cute to me.

What do y’allfags think?

Sunday, July 9, 2017

So No One Told You

[via @worldfamousbob]

Hi there, queertopians!

I don’t know what happened. One minute it was early May, and I was drunk with fresh chlorophyll and the annual strange freedom of not having to wear a coat (for a few weeks in spring, I always feel naked and nervous without a coat, like someone who’s abouuuut to lose at strip poker)... and the next time I blinked, it was early July, and so much had happened.

I got mugged!
I’m OK and the guy didn’t get anything. The reason he didn’t get anything is because he was unarmed, and when I realized what was happening, I screamed “MOTHERFUCKER NOOO!!!” and swung my cloth lunch bag at him with a lot of force.

This lunch bag happened to contain a large glass Pyrex container, which made a pleasing ‘clunk’ sound as it hit his chest and the side of his head. Startled, he let go of me, and then shoved me really hard into the street and ran away. I got scraped up pretty bad—my palms were stigmata-style for weeks.

A few days later, I wrote a letter to Pyrex, thanking them for providing me with both fresh-tasting leftovers and a blunt weapon in my hour of need.

They sent me a whole new set of glass lunch containers, all printed with hearts.

Isn’t that cute?

I went to Las Vegas for the Burlesque Hall of Fame!
My roommate and BFF, Tawnya (aka Sweetpea) was competing for the title of Miss Exotic World, and she took 1st runner-up!

[Look at this bish performing her act in Vegas] 

Which means I now live with the only current titled burlesque Princess, and that she is one of the best burlesque dancers on Earth, officially.

(I mean, I already knew that, but huge-ass trophies can be very validating.)

She practiced and sweated and stressed; I napped in the hotel room and took selfies in my $9 dress that I found by typing “slutty bodycon dress black” into a Google search.

We had a good time.

I wrote and published another NYT piece!
You can read it here—it’s about all the complicated feelings I feel about Pride.

Pride happened!
En Vogue sang “Whatta Man” at the Minneapolis Pride festival in Loring Park, and a lot of dancing happened, and I took my first-ever (yes) shot of tequila, which imbued me with unshakeable confidence in my dancing abilities.

Was tequila the answer all along?

I went to a psychic!
Only she prefers the word “intuitive” and she was nothing like how I imagined. Tawnya and Seven have been seeing her for years, and swore she was the real deal.

Gays, it was incredible—for 90 minutes, with no prior knowledge of me whatsoever, this intuitive proceeded to read me my life.

She knew I had moved within the year (and where I had moved from), she knew about my last relationship, she knew freaky details about my job and career goals, and she casually mentioned not one, but TWO of my quietest secrets and hopes that I have literally never told a single person about.

I went from seriously skeptical and judgmental to surprised and then creeped out and elated and covered in goosebumps.

Giant quartz crystals and amethyst formations littered every available surface in her office, which pleased the crystal-worshipping woo-woo lesbian who lives in my regular dyke body, and I left so light and happy.

Really, I don’t think you could ask for a better way to spend an hour and a half of your life. I’m going to go see her every six months until I die, it was that illuminating.

[via @naropinosa, model @valentinazedda]

I’ve also been going out a lot, especially to queer events that Tawnya and Seven throw.

More times than not, because I’m still new in town, I go alone.

Being alone doesn’t usually bother me, but sometimes I feel a little weird going out to a big queer party by myself. Being new in town, even in a city where I used to live, always puts me on uncertain footing. It’s a gentle, humbling reminder of how it feels to be a stranger.

I’ve moved cities a lot, and I know the drill: it takes about six months to feel normal about your everyday life; it takes almost exactly a year to start making realass new friends.

And then, once you’ve lived somewhere for awhile, you forget how comfortable it is in your familiar lil’ tight social circles. You forget to be welcoming and pull in new people; you forget you were once an outsider, too.

[by @stefanounterthiner]

And that's alright! It's just how it goes!

It's hard to be the new kid, no matter how old you are.

[via @leabarfield]

The other night, I went alone to a show at a gay bar called Lush, and it was packed. As I looked around the room, scanning the faces of the maybe hundred or so queer people there, I realized that I didn’t know a soul there.

Whole roomfula cute-lookin’ queermos—not one I recognized.

[via @doggosdoingthings]

Except for my roommates and gorgeous people I've met through my roommates, I don’t really have many other friends yet, here in Minneapolis.

Which is OK, and to be expected! But it’s definitely a thing I’m starting to think about.

Everyone was giggling at tables together, waving at people across the room, and I wanted to know them all, be part of the crush of people who had histories and backstories with one another, all linked by living in the same spot and seeing each other at parties and dating each other and each other’s friends and gossiping at BBQs for years and years.

[via @h_e_r_s_t_o_r_y]

It’s time for me to do something about it this friend-gap.
Time to step out of my (incredibly comfortable) comfort zone!

So: friends.
OK. I can do this.
Now, if you factor in the fact that I pretty much like to surround myself 100% with queers at all times, it’s easy to hone in on my friend-targets.

[via @local_honey]

And since Minneapolis is like 72% queer, this shouldn’t be too hard.

But...how do you make queer friends? Actually? As an adult?

I mean, I already know the answer.

The fastest way to make new queer friends is through fucking.

[via @arsenic/artist @parisien.photo]

You know I’m not wrong.

You start dating someone, they have friends, you get to know the friends, and BAM! you also now have sort-of friends. Those friends have friends, and eventually, through a lot of trial and error and awkward small talk in hallways when you’re waiting to use the one bathroom at the house party, you find your people. That’s mostly how queers do it, and that’s how I’ve always done it.

You'd never have been at the house party in the first place if the person you were boning hadn't brought you and introduced you 'round, ya know?

The fastest way to new queer friends is fucking.
Not the only way! Just the fastest.

But what if...what if, for maybe the real first time ever, you don’t want to take a shortcut and fuck your way in?

What if you want organic queer friendships, not linked to your direct sexual history—friends who do not depend on your (possibly unstable!) (who said that??) love life?

Do I have to join a club?

Oh my god, do I have to join some kind of team?

[via @h_e_r_s_t_o_r_y]

Auggggh, I don’t want to join a team–I want to skip the hard parts and find myself with cute Tuesday night plans that involve curling up on someone’s couch with a sparkling beverage while we admire their dog and overanalyze texts from crushes.

I want to hang out in someone’s backyard; to have people who I know will want to walk around the lake or go thrifting or see what we can make if we take scissors to our clothes.

[via @emmapenrose]

My name is Krista, I’m an adult, and I am learning and working on myself and growing a lot this year, and I am willing to say it:

I am not entirely sure I know how to make new, solid, queer friends without dating my way in, at least in the beginning.

[via @swoon_scream]

How do you find your ghey friend group?