Here's just some of what you'll find in the loveliness of issue 5....
Coming Back Out
I came out to most of my friends when I was in high school. I told my mother that I was gay when I was 18, on the way to get my wisdom teeth out. I’d roped in my captive audience, yet it took me half the ride to even say, “Mom, I need to tell you something.” Then it took me several more minutes to say anything else. By this time, my mother was holding her breath just as I was, and finally told me, “Okay, I’m braced.” Then in a rush of squeaky words, I told her: “I’m gay?” with a big question mark accidentally tacked on the end, perhaps meant to lighten the blow, but instead making me sound as if I didn’t even know what “gay” meant. But all turned out well: she gave a hesitant “okay” and a sizable load of silence, but now she sends me cards adorned with rainbows.
So what do I mean by coming back out? I mean that I have been out as gay for over four years, proud to declare myself a dyke; but now when asked my sexuality, I hedge over the difficult word: bisexual. I decided recently to quit denying certain attractions which didn’t appropriately disappear when I donned that first rainbow necklace.
Ever since coming out as gay, sexual feelings for men have thrown me into whirlwinds of guilt and confusion. My occasional crushes on men made no sense. I was gay; everyone knew I was gay. I went to dyke bars, I dated women, I scored an 89 on some internet “how gay are you?” quiz. My rejection of certain sexual feelings earned me my lesbian badge, but at what cost? As a radical queer feminist slut, rejecting my feelings for someone based on their gender began to look damn silly.
Finally I leaped into some deep fears and decided to embrace my bisexuality. With this decision, the coming-out process began all over again. I found coming back out as bisexual harder than originally coming out as gay. I identify intensely with women and the queer community, and the fear of rejection still keeps me from being out as bisexual in certain spaces.I experienced biphobia from trusted people in my life. I felt that people itched to throw me out of the queer women’s community solely because of my attraction to men. I cannot understand that itch, for my investment in the community has not changed. As a femme, I’ve found it hard enough to be accepted as a “true” dyke: I discovered oh-so-slowly that I could be a dyke and still wear skirts and nail polish. Now people question my dykeness again, but my emphasis on women in my life has not changed.
Comedy and Tragedy on this black
bi/queer girl's stage
By Keira Grant
Canada Day: Cory and I go to an anti-colonialist party that some of my friends are hosting. Holly greets us at the door and chastises me for being late. We’re late because we took our time fucking before going to the party. The taste of his cum reminds me of whiskey and cigarettes. I’ve been friends with most of the women at the party for about six years. Somehow today it’s like I’m walking into the room for the first time. My friends seem to have come down with a strange condition that prevents them from being able to look me or Cory in the eye or say more than two words to either of us. I’m concerned. I wonder if someone slipped something into the punch before we arrived. Or maybe they’re not over my ex yet. After a while Cory leaves to take a walk, but assures me he’s coming back. A flurry of conversation ensues. Someone wants to know if he’s good in bed. I say that he is.
Four years ago: I’m at a new year’s party. I mention casually in conversation that I’m bisexual. A boy at the party who thinks I’m cute says “no your not. You’re just bi-curious”. I tell him that the curiosity stage is over and that I’m quite certain I like pussy. He says “no, you’re just bi-curious”.
Three weeks ago: I’m at pussy palace. Some white dyke keeps calling me “Jasmine Guy”. Jasmine Guy (of “A Different World” notoriety) is a mixed race black woman with curly hair. I am a NON mixed race black woman with dread locks. I look nothing like Jasmine Guy. I observe to the white dyke that I am often compared to assorted black celebrities, like Oprah, Tracy Chapman and Aunt Jemima. Her rejoinder: “Oh… well it’s nice that people think you look like celebrities so often”. I walk away and try to avoid her for the rest of the evening.
Two months ago: Dan’s cock is inside me. It feels good. I tell him so. He cums. I remember Kate Winslett’s breasts in “Hideous Kinky”. I wonder what it would be like to suck her nipples. I cum too.
Sunday afternoon: I call Courtney. She promised me one of her paintings when we broke up. I remind her of this. I ask if she wants to hang out, but she already has plans. We decide to hang out another time.
Three years ago: I’m out drinking beer and eating wings with some Wiccans after a ritual. Someone suggests that Lana should ask Sharon out on a date. Lana replys “no way, I never date bisexual women”. I ask her why not. She says that bi women use the same coquetteish tactics to get out of fights with women that they would use to get out of fights with men. I tell her that I have no recollection of ever having used coquetteish tactics to get out of fights with men or women. She says I probably have and just don’t realize that I’m doing it.
Last week: I’m unemployed. I apply for a position for which I am entirely qualified. In light of the fact that two of the employers cited on my resume are LGBTTQ organizations I wonder if the Girl Guides of Canada will ever call me for an interview.
Last summer: I’m at the inside out festival. I see a post card advertising the upcoming pussy palace. The front is a photograph of two women. A white woman is central in the image, her entire face and body in full view. A black woman is in the periphery of the photo with only half her face and body in view. Wondering why my identity is always pushed to the margins and only half represented I decide not to go to pussy palace.
Epilogue: I am still dating Cory at last check. Dan is out of town for the time being. My friends are coming to terms with the demise of my previous relationship. Courtney and I are still good friends although I still haven’t gotten my painting. I still continue to experience racist bullshit in queer women’s spaces that goes unrecognized and unchallenged. For numerous reasons, I no longer consort with that group of Wiccans or identify as a Wiccan myself. To date, I have not been called in for an interview by the Girl Guides of Canada. While the names in this piece are fictitious, the anecdotes are not.
by sara k copley
snapshot 1: you lying on the grass outside the law society, me sitting, legs tucked under me. neither of us speaking, knowing what to say. it was in the beginning, before the rush and the wonder and the exhilaration and the shattering end.
snapshot 2: another grass knoll. me fiddling with the buttons on your shirt. talking it out, that bad thing, it was so good. it slips between my lips. i love you. your grin so big. i haven't seen you smile like that in so long. as i'm leaving, turning away, you kiss the back of my neck. i think i will always remember that kiss.