Q: On a scale of 1 to 8, with 1 being exclusively straight and 8 exclusively gay, where do you fall?
Explanation: “you can ask me about this if you want the full novel-length answer.”
poor person, this is what they got in response:
so. i identify very strongly as queer, but also as a dyke and as a lesbian. queer is a comfortable umbrella term for me, but i really like precision. i came to dyke first, because i liked that it sounded harder than lesbian, and i liked that felt good on my tongue, and i now i like that it’s part of “leatherdyke,” a community i’m very close to and invested in. then i came to queer; it just felt like sure, it’s true, and i was in university at the time and “queerness” is trendy in universities. then i more recently came around to lesbian and to femme around the same time-ish, because i started to see how much internalized misogyny there is in queer communities and their valorization of skinny white androgyny (which is really masculinity, though actually with this slight resurgence of femme since the publication of persistence, i do see androgyny currently shifting a bit towards femininity…). even more recently i embraced “princess” as an identity, coming even further out of recognition of that internalized misogyny. point being: i’m a girl and i’m femme, and i’m also cis (and there are lots of ways in which my cisness informs my femininity and my femme-ness; a lot of it is very body-centric, for example, which i imagine is easier for me as someone whose body is regularly validated by cissexist society as feminine). there’s my gender.
the reason i find it a bit hard from there is that i do tend to be more attracted to masculinity than to femininity. i love and appreciate femmes, and i sometimes find them hot, and i sometimes want them to fuck me, and i sometimes want to fuck them, but far, far more often it’s masculinity that gets me wet. my biggest kink is gender, i think; i get off a lot on being really intentional about it, and on building gender through a relation to another person. i crave this most deeply and it satisfies me mostly deeply when i, as a femme, am doing it with someone who’s more masculine* than i am. i find men (cis and trans, to be explicit) and butches and bois and boys (some of whom are women) more attractive more often than i find feminine women (cis and trans) and femmes and girls attractive. (sidebar: it annoys me that there are so many more queer masculine genders to list off the top of my head than there are feminine ones.) so from this feminine/masculine, femme/butch type of pairing, i, as a ciswoman, have and can and probably will again partner trans men, which so far has felt very queer and also very straight (though usually straight in a highly fetishized way, which may queer it?) to both of us, in the instances in which i’ve discussed this with the partner in question.
then i start to think about validating identities, what we consider “really” a man or “really” a woman, and i think about cis women and lesbians who refuse to legitimize or recognize or straight-up respect trans women, and the ways in which we keep hammering home, or trying to hammer home over and over: there is no one way to be a woman. trans women experience their womanness in myriad different ways (as, obviously, do cis women); trans women also experience their womanness in many ways that are different from the ways cis women do, due to the fact of living in a cissexist and transphobic and transmisogynistic world. then it begins, even in queer spaces, to make sense to just accept that a true man and a true woman can be together, and that while of course that type of pairing sometimes increases your passing privilege, that does not inherently make it not queer. i feel it is very possible to paradoxically be straight and queer at the same time, and not in the sense of *actually* being straight and just appropriating queer (though i wouldn’t feel comfortable articulating firmly where that line is; i think there is no hard line and it depends largely on the attitudes and ethics and community investment of the specific person). additionally, i tend to sleep with and crush on and date far fewer cis men than trans men or transmasculine queer folks, but then when i think about why that is, well, it’s definitely not about dislike of dick or dislike of “real” men. it comes infinitely more down to queer versus straight cultural differences and also my strong analysis of gender and strong intolerance for overt sexism. in that sense, i’m not very straight, for i cannot deal with culturally straight fucking, dating, or relationships. (and of course, butches and trans guys and transmasculine folks of all stripes do experience masculine and/or male privilege, and it is not at all uncommon in queer communities for them to be hella misogynistic, transmisogynistic, and/or sexist.)
(slightly edited for grammar/clarity, but pretty off-the-cuff. also edited to add this note:
*and also more dominant)