Not too long ago I went to what’s called “the Big Gay Conference” which is a conference for LGBTQIA ETC students who are attending colleges in the midwest. On Friday night, after we’d checked in and gotten Miss Bornstein checked in, I went down to register. As it turned out, there was a wedding going on the same weekend as the conference, so I found myself, name tag and schedule in hand, standing on a landing.
To my left, a cocktail party of the heteronormative variety: men in suits, women in cocktail dresses, hose and heels.
To my right, blue haired, pierced kids; boys in cigarette leg jeans; girls in ties, starched button-downs; trans people of many types.
I stood there for a while, hoping I had Moses’ staff, or at least his gumption, to ask for a parting of the waters that would provide a third, middle path. My life has been spent on that landing, really, popping back and forth between groups, hanging out in one because it’s where I feel more comfortable, but hanging out in the other because it’s the way I desire. Like Superman, I had to change clothes pretty often, and often with my clothes, my gender; I still long for a heterosexual space where I could be a het woman in a suit & tie, or for a queer space where I could be a woman who loves sex with men.
Sometimes, in rare moments, that third space appears: in the music scenes of the late 80s in NYC was one. Fetish clubs are sometimes another. But mostly I have had to decide between being with my people as a queer woman or pretending to be more gender normative than I actually am when I’ve had boyfriends.