I left Minneapolis ten days ago and moved back to my hometown, Cincinnati, OH. I am turning 33 in a couple of weeks, and have lived outside of Cincinnati for eight non-consecutive years. The most recent departure was a 3 year stint in Minnesota– St. Paul for two years and Minneapolis for one year. The entire time I lived there, I was part of an intentional, active, loving, intense radical queer community.
I don’t know that something quite like that exists here. Yes, there are radical queers in Cincinnati–I know some. But a radical queer community? Not so much. I feel sad because I am mourning the loss of a safer space community where my experiences and feelings are valued. I feel disappointed that racism, ableism, sexism, and other whack ass oppressions are prevalent in the gay community here.
Calling something gay and calling something lame are equally unacceptable to me. This is the best post I have ever seen on why I feel this way.
I also feel that Cincinnati culture is very gay focused, without making space for trans people. I think that the handful of queers I know are the exception to this, and that trans and genderqueer people here are creating space, but it does feel behind other places.
Will Rogers said that if the world was coming to an end, he’d go to Cincinnati because everything happens ten years later here. I have to remember that he was both a humorist, and right.
I did a semi-national job search and it brought me home. There is a reason I’m here, and it’s not just to eat chili.
One of the things i have struggled most with in my queer life is a lack of milestones, or learning how to reframe the idea of milestones.
I got married to a man when I was 26. I earned my Master of Education the same year. We split up after being together 3.5 years. A couple years later I moved to Minnesota with my then-girlfriend. We broke up after 3.5 years.
What are my milestones? That wedding? The graduate degree? I don’t know if I will earn another graduate degree (I’d like to pursue a MBA then a PhD, but not today) and I don’t know if I’ll ever be in another long term relationship that would be considered a milestone. I can’t picture myself buying a new car, let alone something like a house. I do not want to have children.
People in my large, extended family (both bio and chosen) keep buying houses and having babies. How do I become an adult? I am nearly 33 and I do not even own a bed.
How have you reframed milestones for yourself? If these are not the things that make you an adult, what are they?
You know what’s totally awesome?
Making space for each other. Making space for each other’s experiences, opinions, thoughts, and ideas. I’m all for debate, and honestly, I’m usually the first person to speak up and let someone have it when I feel hurt, offended, angry, or frustrated.
Right now, I am sick of the trans/butch border wars. What are they? Well, Halberstam wrote about the FTM/Butch border wars in Female Masculinity (a must read, in my opinion…I am excited to get my copy autographed when I see Halberstam speak at the U of M in a couple weeks). I feel like the border wars are getting bad again, and I think that there is no simple answer except that we all deserve space and respect. I don’t believe that anyone is to blame–but I do think that some folks treat masculinity like a limited resource, and I don’t beleive that it is. I think that people have been getting frustrated and angry and writing a lot of polarizing things.
I will be clear and honest. I am butch identified. I was assigned female at birth and continue to use the identifier female. I have been reading a lot about people’s opinions on butchness just leading to transitioning to male. Well, I’d like to clearly state my opinion: I do not believe that butch is a stop on the path to male. Suggesting this makes a supposition that:
a) butch is JUST a stop on the way to true masculinity (false)
b) all people who transition to male spend time in the subject position Butch (to assume this is to erase the existence of femme identified trans men)
c) butch is absolutely a valid place to be without any intention of transitioning
d) some people who transition continue to identify as butch which is completely legit–because no one owns butchness except those who occupy it
I am not going to post links and stir drama, I just wanted to make my position clear. I love my butch life (finally) and I embrace all butch sisters and brothers who want to occupy this space with me.
I’m a Virgo-Virgo-Saggitarius (i could go on– i know my birth chart pretty well now). Because my Mercury is in Virgo, my first reaction to any situation is to try to organize, classify and analyze everything. Seriously, I’m a taxonomist– I love to categorize things, mark time, countdown, count up. As y’all know from reading this blog, I’m an obsessive counter. I remember dates well– birthdays, anniversaries, etc. Today is a big one.
Today is five years since I left my husband. Well, he was my husband then, but he’s my ex-husband now– our marriage was legally dissolved in the great state of Ohio and I changed my last name back in 2006. But 5/13/05 was the day I said “I don’t think I can be married to you anymore” and that was that.
Of course nothing in life is that simple, or is it?
Today I feel like I should have seen this emotional truck coming– I feel sad, lonely, curious. Where would we live if we had stayed together? Our geographic location was a compromise of my job and his studies. Parallel universe Mr. & Mrs. T might have lived on the west coast, had kids. Would we? What would they be like? I don’t even know if I want kids or not (most days, no. once in awhile, yes.)
After he left, I lived alone for the first time in my life. I was 27 1/2 years old. It was horrible some days, amazing other days. I started cooking again (that was something he loved and did most of– he was a student and did a lot of the household stuff because I worked full time at a more than 40 hours/week job).
I feel lonely– since our split, I have had two other relationships. I’ve been single for the last ~9 months. I can’t help feeling a little bit like I keep rejecting people who really love me.
I know that it was the right thing. Parallel universe me might not even be alive– she was pretty fucking depressed and suicidal. I’m sad a lot of the time, but I don’t want to die.
I’ve spent the last several months trying to figure a lot of stuff out, trying to change my life– quitting smoking, looking to move back east, and honestly? It sucks sometimes. Change comes out of conflict, and I’ve had a lot of hard, sad days– I can’t lie. But I feel like there’s a light at the end of the tunnel– and no matter what, I am grateful. My life is full of amazing love– family, friends, chosen family.
I’m going to be okay. And it’s okay to have these sad, pit stop days.
I don’t know if you’re reading one of my favorite blogs yet, but if you aren’t, maybe you should.
Hey there… this is a hugely awesome weekend in Minneapolis. Tomorrow night is Soul Friday at the Nomad World Pub (my favorite dance night in town) and Saturday is the Dirty Queer Show at Bedlam Theater. I’ll be at both events with my amazing crew– I hope to spot a lot of you out and and about. The sun is shining, birds are chirping, and it’s time for the hot queers to thaw out and come dance!