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Are you gay now?

I’ve been asked this question a couple times in the last month.

what the L did you just
And I’ve elected Shane from The L Word as the official mascot of this post.

I generally don’t talk about my sexual orientation. I realize in a big picture way it’s much better to be open about it when you can, but I’m not a very forthcoming person in general. In my mind, it’s functionally pointless information to the majority of the people I’m close to; they shouldn’t care, I trust that they wouldn’t care, so why worry about it? And, honestly, I don’t know which letter I am in that acronym that’s gotten totally out of control (LGBTTQQIP2SAA+).

However, in light of recent events and the fact that I’ve confused people I’m close to, I’m rethinking my views. I’ve certainly never said that I’m straight, but thanks to my silence and the fact that I’ve always been in heterosexual relationships, everyone’s just assumed I was straight.

I'm a crocodile

Until now.

Here’s the story: For a long time, my partner’s been struggling with gender dysphoria. More recently, I became aware of her desire to transition. We sorted through our (mostly positive, but also anxious) feelings about it, and things started moving at a good steady pace in the right direction.

Our friends and family are kind of scattered across southern Ontario, so a couple weekends ago, my partner decided it was time to do a coming out road trip with me and some close friends at her side. She came out to her family and mine (my family is pretty much her family at this point), and she is now completely out as a trans woman. If any of this is confusing to you, you can take a second and do some Googling, my friend. Open a new tab. I’ll wait.

Everybody we visited was supportive, and it was actually a really incredible and heartwarming life experience. People were like, “Yay!” and, “Be true to you!” or even just a solid, “We support you.” Which really made my partner happy. They asked her questions, they hugged her, they assured her they loved her, and then they looked at me. Hmm.

Near the end of the trip, someone actually asked me that question: “Does this mean you’re…(lesbian)?” Of course, I expected the question, as a joke. But when I heard it, it suddenly dawned on me that I was coming out on this trip, too. Coming out as “not straight” at the very least, and confusing everyone by not actually saying it. Weird feelings ensued. Coming out is supposed to be such a huge deal, right? It’s scary and important. It was to my partner. It’s not usually an afterthought. But I honestly didn’t think about it until someone asked for clarification.

“Are you staying together?” seems like the more appropriate and pertinent version of that question, and I got asked that too. Although to me, it sounds just as absurd. Yes!

always

We’ve loved each other for six years and we make each other happier, crazier, better people. And although I am mildly terrified (and so is she) that she’ll turn into a raging hormonal nightmare while she transitions, I’m not even a little scared that I’m not always going to love and be attracted to her. That’s a no-brainer for me.

Anyway, as I said, other than some understandable confusion mostly caused by me, everybody’s been supportive. Everybody that we’ve spoken to about it in person, anyway. There’s still some concern that a few people in our extended family might reject us when word really gets around. They might either pretend it’s not happening, or excommunicate us from their lives. Unfriend us on Facebook, scary thought. It happens. It’s a shame.

I’m really proud of my family and friends for calling her by her new name and using the right pronouns already. I know not everybody has people who will jump on board just like that. So I don’t mind when they ask funny questions like the one in the title of this post, or even when they ask if I’m going to “go the other way” (transition into a man).

Hang on, though!

It’s totally fine to ask questions, and people shouldn’t be afraid to talk about these things, but I want to make it clear to anybody reading this: questions that might out someone, like, “Are you gay now?” and, “Are you trans too?” are not okay. With anybody other than me, because I’m me. But you need to respect that some people might be hurt if you ask them that. You need to trust that they’ll tell you when they’re ready. If you’re not sure whether something’s safe to ask, do some of that Googling I mentioned earlier.

So yeah. In answer to that funny question… I think I’m B. No, actually, probably P. Let’s just say Q. One of the Qs. Both of the Qs? I don’t know. I still don’t really care. One more pic from The L Word to finish this off:

L It Be

Really Boring Job Hunt Update

Nothing is happening. Yes, this will be the best blog post ever.

Basically, I’m still looking for a full-time job. I’m still doing the part-time job I had in college, which–shockingly–pays the bills and leaves a little bit for OSAP payments. Only real problem with it is I only work September to April with big unpaid chunks in the middle for seasonal breaks. (Can you guess where I work?)

I’m coming up against more obstacles than I had when I started, I think. For one, the part-time job is actually pretty demanding, and the schedule is strict enough that I’ve actually had to say no to an interview because I couldn’t change a shift with less than a week’s notice. I know, shh, I know it’s awful. I wouldn’t have been fired or anything, it just felt icky when I have people that rely on me. I know, I know! You shouldn’t have a conscience when you’re job hunting, but I’m frickin’ responsible, okay?

Anyway. I haven’t been applying as much as I was five months ago. I’m a little disillusioned with the whole process right now. Still trying, definitely trying, just not sending out fifty resumes and cover letters a month anymore.

That’s it, I think, from a job standpoint. Chugging along….

Yeah,  I’m not even going to put any pictures in this post because images attract readers and this is a depressing read. Peace.

Waiting at the airport, musing about borders

I’m at Pearson waiting for my friend to get in from England. I got here an hour early strictly because I didn’t want to be late. Now I’m oh so bored.

I think it’s some kind of compulsive thing, I have to arrive twice as early as any normal person would for anything. I did the same thing the last time I ventured to an airport, when I was leaving England two years ago. I got to the airport four hours early because I was taking public transportation and I really, really, so, so much did not want to be late. Then my plane was, oh, six hours late boarding. Heathrow is certainly not the worst place to spend ten hours. But that’s longer than the effing flight was and I had mixed feelings about it the whole way back to Canada.

Anyway. My friend’s plane is expected to be early by fifteen minutes, so that’s nice.

I don’t really know where to go with this post. Honestly, I’m just killing time. Don’t stop reading, though! I’ll possibly come up with something profound and astounding to say by the end of this.

I wonder if she has the same border experiences as me. The friend I’m waiting for. I never know; I’m abnormal enough that I just assume my experiences are nothing to base the norm off of.

I have had kind of stereotypical border crossing experiences,  actually. Canada has always been very welcoming and super easy to get into–possibly due to my being a Canadian. My people!

But Ireland was exactly the same. I showed them my passport, the guy stamped it, smiled, told me to have a beautiful stay in his country.

France was a lot more… glare-y?  Maybe a little peeved I didn’t speak fluent French–hey, je suis comprend francais well enough to get myself lost in Paris, okay? Don’t you judge moi.

When I went to Italy, I didn’t meet anyone at the border; I was sleeping when I crossed it on an overnight train–I don’t recommend taking one of those alone, by the way. The people I was bunked in with were some kind of mix of Italian and French, also judgy that I wasn’t fluent in either of those languages. I do know Italian well enough to have a conversation. I just didn’t feel like talking; I was busy blocking out the sounds of randos banging on the doors and windows at every stop.

The States was probably my worst experience with borders. I went there on my own from Windsor,  just crossing the river to Detroit to go to the zoo. Wandering through Detroit on my own was fine; people I encountered were really polite and helpful. But I got stopped at the border and, for some frickin reason, had to prove I was there to go to the zoo and not to torment America. US border guy did not believe I was there just to see polar bears. Like, what’s wrong with that? Other than the polar bears were totally MIA when I got there.

I digress.

Yes, basically, everything I heard about crossing certain borders was true. However, I like hearing about experiences at different borders, so if anyone wants to leave a fun story in the comments or link me to your blog post, do. I still have another thirty minutes of waiting here at the airport. Hey, what did people do here before wifi? Just drink and talk to strangers?

Peace.

Job hunting is the worst

It is the worst. And I think the worst part of it is knowing that your application might not even get looked at. I’ve talked to HR people about this–some HR people are brutally honest, but very helpful–and they agree, it’s initially about luck.

Depending on the company, they can get well over a hundred applications for a single job. They might only look at the first ten, or the last twenty, or someone who’s worked there before will pop up and they won’t look at any others.

So you’re applying for a job you completely qualify for, maybe even one you really really want. You spend hours writing your cover letter and tweaking your resume, making it all perfect, and the whole time you’ve got that nasty fact in your head. You send it, or hand it to someone, and that’s it. It may never be seen again. You can’t even blame anyone for it. Who has time to glance over a hundred resumes for one job? They have other stuff to do. And if you follow up asking why you didn’t get the job, well:

“The position has been filled.”

I’ve applied to quite a few jobs in the last month. I only just finished an internship, so I’ve only had time to apply for certain jobs, i.e. ones I really really want and think I have a good shot at. I don’t spend less than an hour on each application. I tailor a cover letter for every one, which can be tough (are they going to read this? do they have time to read more than three paragraphs? what exactly do they mean by “detailed”?). But I put the effort in. Yet, I’ve gotten three non-automated responses so far, and two were just asking me to do tests to prove my skills. Well, turns out I’m an MS Word whiz, I know more about PowerPoint than I thought, and I’m good with Excel but I could be faster. I think I did well on that one proofreading test I did, but who knows?

“The position has been filled.”

My first interview is next week; and I’m terrified. The job is one of the good ones, and I’m just plain bad at interviews. It’s just, putting myself in the mindset it requires, trying to “sell myself”, trying to make someone believe I’m better than the other candidates, it’s all kind of… icky. And scary. I can’t seem to logic my way through it, either. I can write, I have a BA in writing and a certificate for a communications program, so why is it so hard for me to nail an interview? I know I can do the job, I’ll be terrifically great at the job, but in my head there’s that crazy, cyclical mess of

  • I’m quiet and awkward.
  • People are always calling me cute; I probably don’t seem mature enough.
  • What if I prepare too much? I don’t want to act like I have the job already.
  • What if I don’t know something they specifically ask about?
  • What if I do, but I can’t g-g-g-get it out?

I’ve been in so many interviews where they ask a question, and I know the answer, but I stutter and a whole bunch of nothing comes out of my stupid mouth and I’m supposed to have “good communication skills.”

If interviews could be written, I would have all the jobs. I aced everything in university because everything was written and I can write an outstanding essay, no problem. I can retain all the information I need for a quiz, easy. I just can’t seem to razzle dazzle my way through one friggin twenty-minute interview, one interview for every fifty jobs I’ve applied for, job hunting is. the. worst.

…Sorry if that got ranty.

Listening to music and being sad

I listen to a lot of music. Less than some people, more than most people. I know the words to most of the songs on my phone’s playlist, and the playlist is over 200 hours. Id I’m out of the house alone, on my way to work or the store or nowhere, I have to have my headphones on. It’s not that the world around me doesn’t sound good on its own. It’s just, you know, everything’s better with a soundtrack.

We like the music that, I guess, “tunes in” with how we feel. That’s what most music tries to do, as an art form, generally it aims to move you. Some genres or artists or even specific sounds speak to an individual more than others. Maybe you like music to make your heart race, or maybe you like it to mellow you out. It changes depending on the time of day and year to year. Blah blah blah, you know what I’m talking about.

Lately I’ve been listening to Meg Myers a lot. I got hooked when I saw the video for “Desire”, I think it was two years ago now. I ended up listening to Make a Shadow over and over again; I still do. I love her sound. It’s kind of got this raw emotional edge to it, it’s familiar but unique. Her voice is so captivating, and that guitar is just… perfect.

I recently saw her new video for the song “Motel”. I don’t think it’s the best song from Sorry–it’s a small album, but there are a lot of great songs. There’s just this one part, later in the song, that I keep going back to. It’s when the music plays along with an audio clip from a Townes Van Zandt interview. Never heard the interview before I heard the song. He gets asked why most of his songs are sad, and he says,

“You don’t think life’s sad?”

Blew my mind.

There’s some pretty severe mental illness in my family. I’m close to people who have to work hard to keep a balance, or stay in control, or even just to find the motivation to function in their daily lives. It is scary, when you’re growing up and you see it untreated and it hurts everyone, and it can be just as hard watching someone you love struggle to keep it in check–especially when most of the world seems to want to ignore it.

I always thought I had to be really careful about my own feelings. I don’t think it’s just me, but sometimes I get hit by how much I’m told to stay positive, be happy, don’t let it get me down. You’ve heard it: “Quit moping around!” A lot of the time, life seems like a constant fight to avoid and deny sadness. Just the sadness that everybody feels, is it that awful? So it’s a little refreshing to hear someone talk about it like it’s okay. Not like it’s going to be okay. It is okay. Now, you’re crying, you’re feeling, it’s not funny, it’s not pretty, but it’s not bad. It’s not going to kill you. If you let it, let it out, it’ll heal you.

This is not my first blog post.

I’ve created who knows how many blogs before. I had one going for a while in university with my own domain and everything. I’ve just never really been serious about them. My name was never on those blogs, just usernames and titles that couldn’t be linked back to me; it made me feel safer. Now, I don’t see the point. The few people who read this probably aren’t going to judge me for having different opinions or using whatever language I decide to use. If they do, and they know my name, so what? I’m not scared of you, Internet!

Anyway, the other sites were also created while I was in school, and I’m finally done school. That certainly doesn’t mean I have more time, but at the moment I’m job hunting, and that’s quite a motivator for me to get serious about my social media presence. It’s a motivator for a lot of things. Sometimes feels like an overwhelming lot of things.

I drew this a while back, when I had a tablet. I feel like it just grows more relevant by the day.

houses