Tuesday, November 18, 2008

An update in two parts

Update the First:

I recently got some lab results back. The first set is a complete blood count and complete metabolic panel. Everything is normal.

The second set includes TSH, total iron, ferritin, B12, and vitamin D. Everything falls into the normal range, except the B12 which is high.

And I'm still waiting on the C. difficile bacteria test. Hopefully I will hear something within the next couple of days because I want to get back on my antibiotics so I can kick this Lyme disease.

Update the Second:

In my previous post, I called myself another queer, vegan, feminist for equal rights. I realize that the label "queer" may have confused some of my readers. So let me set the record straight: Yes, I'm queer. I am bisexual.

I have been open about this for years--I came out for the first time when I was 16--and I generally assume that people know this about me. However, there are probably friends, family members, etc., out there who never caught on. Even my dear husband had to ask me about my sexual orientation back when we first met, because he assumed I was a lesbian. Good thing he asked.

Anyway, why am I writing about this? I'm happily married, in a secure opposite-sex marriage (I refuse to say "straight" marriage, because only one of us is straight). I love my husband, and I love being married. The license plate on the car reads: THEWIFE. We have a big poster of our wedding vows hanging in our home.

But what if I hadn't met Nick my freshman year in college? What if I'd met a wonderful woman and decided to share my life with her? Then my marriage would not be recognized here in Washington. And with the passage of Prop. 8 in California, it would not be recognized there any longer. And I think it's horribly unfair that my opposite-sex, civil (not religious) Massachusetts marriage is recognized in every state in the country, but a same-sex, civil (not religious) Massachusetts marriage is not. Even if the only thing that changes is a set of genitals.

So I want everyone I know to realize that they know a queer person. So if you hear someone make an anti-gay joke or hateful remark, remember that they're also insulting me. They're insulting your friend. Your family member. Someone you care about.

Anyway, I figure most of you know all this already and have already heard me go on and on (and on and on). But permit me to explain a few things and answer the inevitable questions that arise. Because I think that questions are good. I want you to ask me questions. If this whole bisexuality thing is weird to you and you just don't get it, I want you to ask me about it. The only way we can ever understand each other is through sharing our stories. And understanding leads to compassion, which leads to a better world for us all.

So, question time:

But you're married. Doesn't that mean you're straight now?

No. I'm happily married, but that doesn't mean that my attractions have changed. I still find both men and women attractive. Just like Nick still finds other women attractive.

Does this mean you have to have a girlfriend too?
No. I've never seen gender as anything different than hair color, eye color, etc. So just as I think both blue and brown eyes are attractive, I find both genders to be attractive. I don't have to have a brown-eyed husband in addition to Nick, and I don't need to have a girlfriend in addition to him either. Like I said, I'm very happily married.

If you've never had a girlfriend, how do you know you're bisexual?
Just like you know you're straight/gay/whatever. I can remember back in sixth grade, when everyone started developing silly little crushes. That year I had a crush on both a boy and a girl. This was actually really confusing to me for a few years. I mean, I knew that most people were attracted to people of the opposite gender. And I knew that there were gay and lesbian people. So I thought that I just needed to pick one. Because I knew that people would never question me if I were straight, and that most people would come to accept me as gay, but bisexuality was never discussed as an option. Eventually I read something in a magazine that mentioned bisexuality, and it was a light bulb moment. There was a word that explained what I was feeling. And there were other people like me!

So, no, I've never had a girlfriend. I married the first person with whom I was in a serious, long-term relationship. We met when I was 18, and he's managed to put up with me for twelve years (and counting!).

How come you never told me? Or, why are you saying all this now?
If I never told you personally, it's because I figured you already knew. Or I figured that the conversation would be awkward, especially since I am married and bringing it up would make you think about my sex life, which I probably don't want you thinking about. And you probably don't want to think about it either.

So why am I saying all this now? Because either you already know and are totally bored by this, or you didn't know and this might influence you to either support gay rights or to be more vocal about that support. After Prop. 8 stripped same-sex couples in California of their previously legal marriages, I realized that this fight is not over. It's only just begun. And we will win. And part of winning is speaking out and gathering support.

Why do you use the word queer? Isn't that derogatory?

I prefer to say that I am "queer," rather than "bisexual," because "queer" has a political connotation. We are reclaiming words directed towards us in hate and making them our own.

End of questions.
However, if you have more questions, please ask. Seriously. I'm not shy about who I am, and I'm happy to explain myself further.

And, please, remember that we--the queer community--are everywhere. We are your sisters and brothers, daughters and sons, aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, neighbors and friends. We've all got to share this little world together. We all deserve compassion, and we all deserve love--even if that love looks a little different.

Seattle Stands AGAINST Proposition 8! from Eli Martin on Vimeo.

1 comment:

  1. here, here!- from another bisexual, queer woman who just happens to be (happily) married to a man.
    i think this should be printed up on little cards that can be handed out as needed.