Identity politics: moral high ground or happiness?

June 16, 2008 at 6:33 pm 3 comments

I’ve been reading S/He, by Minnie Bruce Pratt, and also a new blog called Sugarbutch. This post in particular, where she backpedals on an earlier statement on not trusting femmes, really hit home with me.

Reading both these things makes me nostalgic. It’s taken me a long time to figure out who I am. In my early 20s, I tried on a lot of labels. Some of them stuck, sunk into the borg of my sense of self. But my identity changes. It’s fluid. It’s the curse and the… specialness, I suppose… of being a bisexual woman. In this society, it’s hard not to be a self-hating bisexual. Even after all those years of activism, still at the kernel of me is a voice whispering traitor, traitor, traitor.

Because the thing about identity politics is that they’re useless for me. In S/He, Minnie Bruce Pratt talks about a femme being a case of mistaken identity. People think that femmes are straight. Butch dykes claim to love us, but that love is conditional–at least in my experience. Am I still a femme if I sleep with men? Or am I something else? Something so slippery and undefinable that I belong in no camp at all?

Yes, yes, bisexual. That is what I am, ultimately. But even that changes. It slides, the same way my appetites slide. I’m neither fish nor fowl, a member of no tribe, but condemned, like Cain, to wander the earth forever, with no set home.

In relationship with April, with Angie, and with Kristen, I often referred to myself as a lesbian, or a dyke. It was easier than the constant qualifying — lesbian-identified bisexual, woman who has been in love with men and fucked a lot of men but is now in love with a woman, in a committed, monogamous relationship with a woman. Who, while looking gender-typical, is in many ways not because she likes to be on top and in control in the bedroom. But also wants someone to flip her.

At times, I’ve lived the good, virtuous lesbian lifestyle. At other times, I’ve lived the life of a kinky bi poly slut. At times I’ve loved men deeply, faithfully. These things shift. I’d like to live in a world where people don’t make assumptions about my sexuality, about the potentiality of it, by whom I’m sleeping with. I know this post-modern sexuality is all the rage these days. All the kids are going pomosexual, or so I hear. But I’m not a product of those days. Identity politics are still important to me. Useless perhaps in describing my sexuality, but still important.

But not so important that I don’t know a good thing when I see it. Angie, for all that she gave me lesbian cred, was a terrible partner. She constantly shamed me about my sexuality, took advantage of my own shame around it. Worse yet, she was controlling, manipulative, and emotionally abusive. She withheld all sorts of nurture from me and neglected to perform the most basic of courtesies. Not only did she never validate my emotions, but she never held the door for me, or even thanked me when I held it for her.

These patterns present themselves again and again, regardless of my lovers’ gender. On this blog, I mostly talk about the things I do with Bran in the bedroom. But it’s the things that happen outside of the bedroom that have made me love him. He possesses the rare ability to listen to me, to validate my feelings, and to express his own in a responsible, respectful way. He shows up. I’m terrified, of course. I can’t believe it’s happening, and I can’t help but wonder if my own perceptions are blinded by love and hormones. But my inner voice — the good one, the one who knows things, not the one who calls me a traitor — tells me that he’s a rare gift and that I should hold onto him. I think I’d rather be happy with him than unhappy with anyone else.

Entry filed under: being a bad bisexual, being a good bisexual, being a good lesbian, bisexuality, Bran, courtship, identity politics, intimacy, love, memoir, monogamy, oh god not more mushy stuff. Tags: , , , , , , .

Top drop. Forgot about that Take it for me

3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. suboy  |  June 16, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Rare indeed you are very fortunate and so is he.

    I think you have found what we all seek.

    robert

  • 2. omnivoresdilemma  |  June 17, 2008 at 1:46 am

    Thanks, robert. I do feel fortunate. When I’m not too busy wondering when the other shoe is going to drop.

  • 3. The good, the hot, and the mushy « Omnivore’s Dilemma  |  October 6, 2008 at 10:18 pm

    […] white man. Part of the reason I love him is because he’s friends with more dykes than I am. I’d like to think that I’ve come to terms with the whole identity-politics-angst bullshi…. And I know I had a better time after I followed him into his bedroom than if I’d stayed out […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


The search for truth, love, beauty, and mind-blowing orgasms

This blog contains sexually explicit material. If you are under 18 or offended by sex-talk, smut, kinksters, liberals, bisexuals, queers, poets, switches, bitches, or outspoken women, it's a free Internet (mostly) and you can go someplace else.

Sign up for email notification of new posts (you don't have to have a WordPress account).

Join 5 other followers


Click here to explore Good Releasing's various lines of adult titles and educational films representing independent artists who create authentic and diverse content.

Feeds


%d bloggers like this: