Closets are oddly persistent beasts.....

MacAvity's picture

Yeah...
At dinner this evening the conversation somehow turned to my brother being a teenager and such (he's fourteen), and "Before long you're going to start dating!" Which led me to laugh, "Wonder who's going to start dating first, you or me?" Which led to Mom saying something like "Yeah, all of a sudden MacAvity's going to have a driver's license, and a boyfriend..."

And I didn't say anything about it until maybe half an hour later.

I guess I didn't really believe I was more out than that. But it was still a little disturbing seeing how not-out I really was. That Mom would assume without hesitation that when I start dating it'll be a boyfriend, and that I wouldn't say anything immediately. How difficult it was to bring it up at all.

The conversation didn't go too brilliantly from there, either. She wasn't surprised or anything - of course she remembered what all happened two years ago with Grey and all. But I know she hasn't heard much of anything since then, except maybe at some point we talked about asexuality and I know recently I've mentioned Leah and me 'giggling' and 'fangirling' over Mat Baynton, who is a man. So it makes perfect sense what she assumed or thought she knew or knew she didn't know about my sexuality - that's just not something you share details about with your mother.

But it was clear she'd rather I just be straight. "Life is easier when you're heterosexual," she says. Along with all that but-you-are-who-you-are-and-that's-fine-with-me.

Nor did she seem to understand that being bi actually increases the pool of possibilities. "Not knowing whether you want a girl or a guy probably makes it harder too," she said.
"It's not not knowing, it's more being open to both possibilities," I explained.
"People might mistake that for confusion though. You might have to choose, This year I'm going for guys. This year I'm going for girls."
No, that's not how that works. That's not how that works at all. It's not like anyone's going to reject a guy, 'No, I'm a lesbian this year, too bad you didn't catch me last year, try again next year...' It's not like anyone's even going to be there for the rejecting. "I can't see either of those becoming relevant, honestly!"

I expressed my frustration at the none whatsoever - "I don't really have the time or the desire for a relationship now, but it's just kind of... invalidating, that it's never happened." I'm happy enough being single, what I don't like is that I've been single my whole life.

She tried to advise me as to how to end the none whatsoever. Pretty much the same advice as Leah tried, except with more 'Be a girl!' in it. Actually not too similar to Leah's advice at all, come to think of it. "Open up," she says. Seem more available, less aloof.

"Maybe try having Leah or Regi dress you for one class per week," she says. "You dress like an eighteenth-century gentleman or something, which is your style, and that's cool, but..." ...something about how that doesn't invite people to want to date you, so maybe try dressing a little more like a twenty-first century girl.
There are so many things wrong with this statement.
- In the eighteenth century, wigs and knee-breeches were still very much the fashion. A waistcoat and trousers does not mean that I dress like an eighteenth-century gentleman. Not that eighteenth-century gentlemen's clothes aren't absolutely gorgeous (they are), but I certainly wouldn't be able to get away with dressing like that - the waistcoat is unusual enough these days.
- I've never met a woman who doesn't want an eighteenth-century gentleman. (Well, okay, never isn't entirely true...) Mr Darcy - a few years after the eighteenth century ended, I admit, but close enough - is one of the most desired men ever, so.... (Also Georgian Willbond. The Bond Girls go crazy for Georgian Willbond, even more than for Twenty-First-Century Willbond.)
- If I were to dress like a twenty-first century girl, I would be far more awkward/inconspicuous/closed/unattractive than I am now. Nothing wrong with normal, but looking more normal is not a way to attract attention, and girl clothes inescapably make me close up my posture and draw into a meek quietness and become super duper awkward. In my waistcoat at least I can feel handsome and confident and devil-may-care, even if that doesn't always carry over to speaking.

Blah blah blah blah.

Regardless. Maternal awareness raised, so.... I don't know. Closets are persistent beasties. I've been deliberately closeted to my family about the whole gender thing, and the bathrooms and all, but I had at least hoped I was being open about orientation stuff.

Doesn't change anything.

Regardless.

Comments

jeff's picture

Hmm...

Well, a lot of bisexuals make this hard, too, since they think of themselves as gay or straight, dependent on their partner, rather than being bi in both cases. Of course, with your mother, just sounds like she's trying to give you the advice she knows... without knowing anything about anything that isn't by the book heterosexuality.

One point, though:

Your sexuality is something you can share the details of with everyone, and should (like discussing partners, wedding rings, pictures of them at work, etc.).

Your sex life is what is private and can be more of a secret, except you should come and tell everyone on Oasis about that, naturally.

---
"You can judge the whole world on the sparkle that you think it lacks" - Dawes, When My Time Comes (http://youtu.be/Z0FrcTX6hWI)

Tycoondashkid's picture

Correction

Bi's are forced into identifying as gay or straight dependent on partner. the only sexuality as a group who doesn't care are Asexual's which i guess makes sense.

jeff's picture

Umm...

That's more of an opinion than a correction.

If your partner is uncomfortable with your sexuality, should they then be your partner? Bi's can't complain about bisexual invisibility if they keep identifying as gay or straight dependent on partner.

---
"You can judge the whole world on the sparkle that you think it lacks" - Dawes, When My Time Comes (http://youtu.be/Z0FrcTX6hWI)

Tycoondashkid's picture

*facepalm*

Jeff, just jeff, seriously?

jeff's picture

OK...

I'll stop replying after this, since we know what happens when you try to convince me your opinion is factual. ;-)

---
"You can judge the whole world on the sparkle that you think it lacks" - Dawes, When My Time Comes (http://youtu.be/Z0FrcTX6hWI)

Tycoondashkid's picture

you're lucky too

-

jeff's picture

Well...

Start a journal on that topic, if you want...

---
"You can judge the whole world on the sparkle that you think it lacks" - Dawes, When My Time Comes (http://youtu.be/Z0FrcTX6hWI)

Tycoondashkid's picture

ill start a forum

-

MacAvity's picture

Really?

I don't know any bisexuals who define themselves based on who they're with at the time, or, for that matter, any who've been pressured into choosing one way or the other by a partner. Admittedly I don't know a huge number of bisexuals, but they're all comfortably bi, even the guy who's had about five different boyfriends and no girlfriends since he came out.

As to sexuality versus sex life... I guess I'm just not much a one to talk about my crushes, no matter who they are. I can talk to close friends, maybe, but I just... don't mention it to my family. Like a year ago, when I liked Marie - Regi knew, Mom didn't, and it had nothing to do with Marie being a girl.
I certainly wouldn't tell about my sex life to anyone except Oasis, but that's pretty irrelevant because I don't have one. None whatsoever! (Unless masturbating counts...)

jeff's picture

Hmm...

Masturbation's fine. Walk us through that in detail... ;-)

---
"You can judge the whole world on the sparkle that you think it lacks" - Dawes, When My Time Comes (http://youtu.be/Z0FrcTX6hWI)

elph's picture

And... If you get...

1000 words, there's always the possibility of trading them in for something that you'd find a bit more efficacious! :)

However, I've never "tested" that witticism myself...

Oh, yeah... I think I may have forgotten something important... :(

MacAvity's picture

Huh?

I think that one finally went well and truly over my head...

elph's picture

A picture...

is worth a thousand words... :)

Tycoondashkid's picture

oh i get it :D

it would have been better if Jeff said something like "lets see a picture them ;)" or something, but i like it :)

MacAvity's picture

You know,

It's amazing how much we Oasies trust you guys...
Men old enough to be our father or grandfather, who say they want to see pictures/descriptions of us masturbating? That's exactly the kind of 'dangers of the Internet' creepery that all kids are warned about... and yet we trust you and respect you as wise and benevolent mentors!

Tycoondashkid's picture

it is quite funny

and he runs a YOUTH site to which adds to it even more, It could have been a trap XD

elph's picture

And... I can assure you...

...that you'll never come to regret that trust.

What I do regret, however, is that I cannot permanently banish what may remain a persistent, but tiny, lingering uncertainty... :(

MacAvity's picture

Oh -

No doubts, believe me! I'm just amused. Like, if I were to meet you in real life, I would laugh, Oh, here I am about to go meet a creepy old man from the internet, just like they always said never to do! but I wouldn't be afraid, at all.

I trust you, creepy old men from the Internet!
(See, that makes me laugh....)

jeff's picture

This got all messy...

I should have sent a pm.

---
"You can judge the whole world on the sparkle that you think it lacks" - Dawes, When My Time Comes (http://youtu.be/Z0FrcTX6hWI)

lonewolf678's picture

Jeez.

Sorry things turned out like that with your mother. Some people take a while to accept and understand. Don't change who you are or what you wear because someone thinks you should change, be yourself. I've found that when I act myself I ended up with that guy who had a serious crush on me. :-)

Although it didn't work out, I felt that if this guy thought I was attractive maybe others might too. And maybe I really don't need to change my dress or other aspects personality-wise. Please let me know if that makes sense, because I'm not sure if I'm getting my point across clearly...

thoughtgoddess's picture

I'm sorry you're having to

I'm sorry you're having to deal with this frustration. Sometimes I forget there are so many people in that awkward place of trying to make bisexuality make sense in their heterocentric worldviews, as I mostly encounter either the 'zomg I fucking HATE bisexuals' or 'bisexual is such a limitingly binary term, let's discuss all the conotations around it and also that one academic journal'.
But. ok. What I do not understand, re: your mother's advice about dressing differently to attract a date.
If you are an A, but dress like a B, you will naturally attract people who are interested in interacting with a B. ...which you are not. And then when those people find out that you are an A, they're probably going to be confused or no longer want to interact with you. I mean, there is always the chance that they like interacting with As and Bs and all the letters of the alphabet! yay! or that maybe they are also secretly an A. But if they are just looking for a B to hang out with/date/be friends with, then no matter how much one dresses like a B one is still not going to satisfy their requirements because under the clothing one is still an A. And chances are you won't want to hang out with the sorts of people who are looking for a B, anyway.
I-- that probably made no sense. But i do not know why people do not understand this. Yes, maybe one could get more dates by presenting differently, but it would basically be false advertising, and draw in the sorts of people who are drawn in by that false advertising and *not* by the real you. And does one really want to date the sort of people for whom one needs to put on a fake show to draw their interest?
I'm just... going to stop rambling now. Apparently I need more coffee to articulate this propperly. I just have a lot of frustration around this idea.

tl;dr: people should like you for you and all of that other after-school special bullshit

Also. This may seem a bit silly, but have you provided your mother with any resources to educate herself? That way it doesn't all fall to you and she can encounter and engage with these topics without having to do so with such a close relation to her family member and all the biases and emotions that go along with that.

MacAvity's picture

Yeah...

I know. Trust me, I'm not about to change the way I express, especially not for purposes of attracting dates. I'm fabulous the way I am and all that. I think I do need to work on how I interact with people, though, because I do seem to be one of those people whose 'flirting strategy' (hahaha) is:

See an attractive person
Don't get caught staring or let any interest be known in any way.

which of course doesn't work at all. That's my problem, I think.

Thoughtgoddess, what do you mean by 'resources'? I haven't given her anything, no, but I don't know what would help except just talking more - I'm fine with it all 'falling to me,' but somehow never really manage to talk with her about that sort of thing, which is odd, because I can talk about it no end to most anyone outside my family, if the occasion arises...