I’m turning 29 in a couple of weeks and I feel like time is slipping away too fast.
Like, there are many things I never expected to happen at this point in my life. I never thought I would come out as a biromantic asexual, or non-binary. I certainly never planned to be diagnosed with chronic pain and fatigue — but I did think I would have had my first kiss by now.
I’m a gooey hopeless romantic at heart. I want that sweet intimacy that comes with a romantic relationship. Nearly all of the queer relationships I see depicted are young people. I know I’m not that old but I feel like I’m becoming more invisible to other queers every year. Which is a feat ’cause I rarely get read as queer in the first place.
Tell me it’s not too late?
Friend, it is not too late!
Firstly and most importantly: This timeline we all seem to think we exist on — elementary school, middle school, high school, college, married, nine-to-five, kids, house, grandkids, retirement — is capitalist patriarchal nonsense. It’s designed to keep us locked in a system that burns us out, pushes us down, makes us miserable, and — crucially! — keeps us too occupied and overwhelmed to start asking questions about ourselves, our desires, our companionships, and mostly our relationship to our labor which creates the capital for the billionaires who spend their free time joy-riding in space. I know that sounds extreme and that you only asked about smooching, but it’s vital to understand how these dang systems have brainwashed us and how they contribute to our general sense of panic about time.
Queer people exist outside of patriarchal time. Being queer isn’t the opposite of being straight, right? You’re not flipping the switch to becoming an antonym. When you come out as queer, you’re stepping outside of the whole entire broken, boring system — and when you do that, you don’t exist inside that system’s timeline anymore. Think about all the things being queer allows us to question that cishet people never even think about: Our gender, our relationship to sex, our sexuality, our labels, the dynamics of our romantic relationships and our non-romantic relationships, what we wear, how we cut our hair, what we want our bodies to look like (down to our body hair; the only decision straight people ever make about body hair is whether or not to grow a beard!), our communities, how we make our money, how we spend our money, how we value our time, our politics, and even our faith in humanity and our spirituality.
I can tell you’ve spent a lot of time thinking about all those things because you’ve already come out as non-binary and biromantic asexual! Which is amazing! And congratulations for having the courage to do that work and figure that out!
So, friend, how come you’re thriving outside the system in those ways but still believing you exist inside the system’s timeline when it comes to being kissed?
I was in my late 20s before I kissed another girl for the first time. I don’t remember exactly how old I was, somewhere between 27 and 29, but what I do remember is that I felt like some kind of Jane Austen heroine, like, “A woman of seven and twenty can never hope to feel or inspire affection again!” ‘Cause you’re not just thinking about the kiss itself, right? You’re not thinking, “I am too elderly to ever press my lips to another queer person’s lips!” If you’re like me, you’re thinking: How will I even find someone I want to kiss who wants to kiss me back? And when I do, won’t it be embarrassing to say I never kissed a girl? Which of course means I’m lacking so many other experiences too! And even if I do meet someone, they’ve probably kissed about a thousand girls and they don’t want to have to teach anyone anything! And if I don’t kiss a girl, I’m not gonna get a girlfriend, and if I don’t get a girlfriend I’m not gonna get a wife, and probably I am gonna DIE ALONE and be TOSSED OUT TO SEA.
When I was in my mid-20s, I knew one (1) other lesbian, and now I have the greatest queer friends on earth. When I was in my late 20s, I’d never kissed a girl and now I have the most loving and soul-sustaining marriage. When I was 30, I’d never published a single piece of writing and now I am a full-time writer at the most celebrated LGBTQ publication on the internet.
‘Cause queer time is different than straight time! It moves differently, it manifests differently, and it allows for lives and experiences beyond anything straight people could ever dream of.
It’s never too late in queer time.
Yours in eternal flux,
You can chime in with your advice in the comments and submit your own questions any time.