hatstuck snarl

theoretically, a hairstyling salon


I'm interested in the conflation between identity and sexual orientation. These should be separate (I think) but orientation seems to (unfairly) dictate identity.

Any responses you have are welcome. I'm free associating at this point, using my own life, the lives of my friends, and a discussion with a queer theorist I recently met. I will anchor my object of study after a few more weeks of thinking.

This is a response to my friend Kristin, who asked why bi people are left out of LGBT. As a bonus, there is an easy miso recipe included here:

OK. So I am starting to think again. (What a relief.) I had a brief vacation from anything smart or academic. I've been mostly making somewhat weird macrobiotic meals. (Who knew that there were recipes for "Sweet and Sour German Style Macrobiotic Red Cabbage" easily available on the internet? The cabbage was really good actually.) C, one of the boys in my current housing situatioin (which I hope to be out of by Tuesday, not that it's so bad here, but I am ready to have my own space), lived in Japan until he was 12. He taught me that cucumbers smeared with miso are a summer treat for little Japanese kids. You should try this. It can also be done with high quality soy sauce, though the miso option is much richer. (We used barley miso.)

So back to bi. I was talking to C the other day (C is gay) and he mentioned that he went to look at an apartment and he talked to an "effeminate" guy for an hour and a half and was weirded out when the guy mentioned that he had a girlfriend. He wasn't interested in dating this guy. But he said something along the lines of his world not making sense in situations like these and how he needed or wanted it to. It's natural to feel upset if someone we thought was one way turns out to be another. (This is why H is upset when her exgirlfriends date guys. At least I think it might be one reason?)

Bi people have to be (or feel they have to be) chameleons. There is no heroic, grand threat of danger (which is part of what Halberstam seems to resent) as there is with trans people in public/hetero space who don't pass but blur gender. But bi people know that they will likely not be accepted in LGT communities if they try to date women and men simultaneously. This is a problem with the way in which we construct our dientity according to who we are oriented towards (who we want to date) rather than who we are.

I've always wanted to turn sexual orientation labels into identity labels. Hence, I would be a femme faggot. (Most people in Asheville called me a faggot.) It seems more fun to identify as who you are rather than who you sleep with.) This ends up happening a little bit anwaysy. I was really pissed off at a friend once when she told me that I wasn't a dyke. (I thought she was referring to my inbetween bi identity). She actually told me that she thought of me more as a lesbian than a dyke. (Dykes being tough and more butch? I don't know.) It then became more complicated when she told me I was a lipstick lesbian. Which is a somewhat derogatory term now that harkens back to 1950's femmes who lures butches in. (Actually it sounds fabulous as I describe it, but the label is somewhat dated and LGBT always seems to be caught up in the cult of the new.)

I'm going to stop talking now. I can see what JH means about trans undoing gender and bi stabilizing hetero and LG identities. (Because bi people move between genders and trans people occupy the inbetween perpetually.) But if we adjust our timeframe, then bi people can be seen as inhabiting an inbetween rather than shifting between two separate oppositional orientations.


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