Guest Post: Finding the Queer Club

I’m very excited to introduce a member of my Leather family, girl joy, in QC’s very first guest post. joy has been kind enough to write about her own winding path to queerness.

I have been an ally for as long as I can remember. My mom’s best friend’s daughter got married in the very early 90s and I was confused as to why anyone thought it was scandalous that she was marrying a woman. When hearing that she was marrying a woman, I think my exact thought was “Oh! You can do that! Cool…I hope we can go to the party!” As I got older, I’ve always paid attention to and been involved in some way with equality and support of LGBTQIA+ rights. When same-sex marriages were declared legal, I cried with joy and celebrated with my friends. One thing I’ve always known is that I am an ally.

As a late bloomer, I didn’t have my first date until I was 20. And we just kept dating. My first date became my first boyfriend, then my first nesting partner, and my husband. Throughout the course of our time together, we discussed opening our relationship – first with swinging and then to polyamory.

“So a threesome would be cool? I mean like with two girls…” my partner (and every straight male ever), said. Yes, absolutely! After hooking up with and going on dates with a few girls, he asked me, “When did you realize girls were an option for you?” My immediate thought was, “They never weren’t one.”I hadn’t put a ton of thought into my sexuality if I’m being honest. As a teenager, I had no interest in other teenagers since I found them annoying and dramatic. Appreciating people of all genders that we found attractive was normal in my group of friends (as was making out together? So yeah, not a very straight group…)

You’d think I’d have figured out that I wasn’t straight way faster than when I was actively dating and having sex with women. Exciting! I’ve been promoted from ally to… I guess pansexual? Because based on my interneting, bisexual was automatically exclusionary and transphobic and SO not woke. (Please note, I don’t actually believe these things and I’ve been thinking and debating with myself a TON about my own biases on that topic and how it informs my identity. But that is another subject.)

So, here I am now! Beyond sexuality, I am also in the Leather and M/s communities. By all accounts, I have so much to celebrate and be proud of! Pride is amazing and fills me with joy. But I still wonder if I belong.

From the outside, my ambiamorous, queer, Leather, 24/7 TPE Master/slave relationship with a cis male looks like a straight couple where He has just found Himself a good southern woman who likes to dote on Him.

My public relationships have been with cis males. It often feels like I straddle a weird line of being closeted in some circles, out in others, and not really thinking about it most of the time. More often than not, I don’t feel queer enough. I know for me a large part is rooted in guilt. Being a cis female who has mostly been partnered with cis males, I’ve never had to come out. When I was married and in a polycule, I had to hide my relationship with my girlfriend, not because she was a woman, but because I was married. I feel guilty that I have the option to “pass.” Even more guilt in the fact that I am not out in my small rural town because it’s just easier. Guilt when people think I’m just a great ally.

Would I feel like I was “enough” if I was very publicly queer? Should it even matter? This feeling of “not enough” even extends to wondering if coming out while in a long term opposite sex partnership would just be some weird form of appropriation. (I don’t think this is actually true, but man the brain can be a jerk!)

Three years ago, I went to Pride with my girlfriend and my soon-to-be-but-not-yet Master. It was the first time I felt like I was actually there for pride as a community member, and not just as an ally. That was two years ago and I still wrestle with this feeling of my relationship status and closeted-in-some-instances status negating my own sexuality. I hope to get to a place where I never have to wonder if I am “enough.” I wish I had a more cohesive way to wrap this up. Mainly because that would mean I had answers for myself and be content.

In lieu of any revelations, I’ll end with a quote that I find reassuring from Teylor on the Still Buffering podcast:

“If you’re bisexual, pansexual, don’t believe in a gender binary, or aren’t binary yourself, you may end up in a relationship that resembles a heterosexual relationship. That doesn’t invalidate your identity. You should never feel like that takes you out of the club.”

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