April 29th, 2013

Get Real - Sad, Sad

The Pink/Gray/Rainbow Elephant in the room

I often feel like my sexuality is a Pink Elephant in the room that no one realizes is there.

Practically everyone just assumes I'm straight, monogamous, and want the nuclear family. They lead into topics and conversations with that assumption in mind, talking about girlfriends, children, families, and marriage. When asked if I'm married or have a girlfriend I just say "no" rather than respond with "I'm gay" or "Nor a boyfriend". All they see, if anything, is a big gray elephant. In their world view I may as well be straight because statistically speaking not very many people they meet will be gay, so to them it's a safe assumption.

There's an assumption among gay people as well. Even if they know I'm gay they assume I just like sex, that I want the nuclear family, and/or that I'm all over the latest fashion trends or drag races. Given that's the stereotype of gays it's not hard to make that assumption, but it's not accurate and it paints me in a corner. When a conversation goes along the lines of "Oh, you're gay? So what'd you think of so-and-so's dress on that latest episode of drag racing?" all I can do in response is "Huh?". Which then leads to bafflement that I'm not into the same thing they're into.

People like to make assumptions, I get it. It helps them feel more secure about their understanding of the world around them. I don't agree with it and I often have a hard time making the same assumptions when it comes to understanding jokes or relating to others. When I get home I'm going to find my triangle rainbow neck piece and get the strap fixed so I can wear it occasionally. It won't fix the majority of the gay perception, it's not a big huge flashing rainbow, but maybe it'll help adjust the bigger problem of the majority of straight perception. And it would be fun to wear to work since I'm still pretty sure none of them (other than the two I've specifically told) have a clue. Or I'll just paint myself into their corner.

Sometimes I forget how little sexuality matters when it comes to platonic relationships. I make a big deal of it because I don't assume they're straight (hope eternal, eh?), I'm trying to figure out what their sexuality is, if they're okay with mine, and if maybe, just maybe, they'll be someone who is attracted to me if I'm attracted to them. But really? It doesn't matter to conversations about computers, programming, science, books, movies, or anything except sex or relationships.
Ctrl+Alt+Del - Scott & Ted

Being Poly in name and theory

My last post makes a nice segue into this topic. During Penguicon I attended one of the Poly panels called "The Lighter Side of Poly" which was supposed to focus on the positive and potentially humorous aspects of being in a poly relationship. There were some serious conversations and stern warnings about what poly was/wasn't, but overall it accomplished the goal of being light and humorous. The salient point to this topic, though, is that during this panel they asked the audience how many people considered themselves poly. I raised my hand, of course, but at that same time I realized something.

I've never actually been in more than one relationship at a time. I'm still a poly-virgin.

My relationship with Ben was supposed to be considered Poly, but that really wasn't how it turned out. At the start of that relationship there was someone else I was supposedly seeing, but I only ever saw them one more time before that fizzled out. I kept an eye out for potentials, but very few of them panned out to even a first date.

One of the big guidelines given in many poly relationship guides is a strong recommendation to not get into a poly relationship with someone who hasn't been in a poly relationship before. It's with good intentions that is said, but it creates an exclusive club like the 'you need experience to get a job but you need a job to get experience' catch-22. I have such a hard time getting into one relationship that getting into more than one seems practically impossible. The closet I've come is nibbling around the edges of poly and being friends with people who are poly/open.