Listicle Without Commentary: Puzzling References to Homosexuality From Journals Found in My Room While Packing to Move to San Francisco

[in no particular order]

1. “I just wish [my boyfriend] would be more interested in the side of me that kisses girls.”

2. “A boy in my Earth Science class asked me why I had a “gay pin” on my backpack. It was an AIDS awareness pin. GOD.”

3. “I WANT SHANE FROM THE L WORD. My life is segmented insanity.”

4. “Basically I’d already imagined & planned our entire relationship before I realized she’d just called to see if I could work for Darci tonight.”

5. “I miss girls. I would never betray [my boyfriend] but I don’t think he understands the complexities of my sexuality.”

6. ” I like girls who don’t spend too much money on shoes.”

7. “Well, the impossible is about to take place. I am going to meet Kate Moennig, aka Shane.”

8.  “I feel so close with my friends here this year, it’s like they are sisters. I’m not so surprised that so many girls here fuck around—we’re all so damn close!”

9. “I hate not being on the [Rosie Cruise] anymore. Everything here is dirty and hetero. I don’t know where to find more boyish women.”

10. “I was watching The L Word first season and thinking about how my heart is dead.”

11. “What I want isn’t about man/woman, it’s about needing a break from my constant need to be in total control of absolutely everything.”

12. “I am in Vermont at Rosie O’Donnell’s chateau with two crazy lesbian couples.”

13. “I need a girlfriend super bad. Drinking is boring.”

14. “What I want is a girl to be my friend. With benefits.”

15. “We want sexuality to be biological because then it’s more about instincts and nature pulling people together. Choice isn’t very romantic. Love is about surrender — the absence of choice — the irresistible pull of another body. We don’t have faith in the rest of it because we doubt the permanence of anything we are capable of changing with our minds.”

16. “I just had a drink at the airport bar. Women tear me up. I need, I think, 10 more drinks!”

17.

a. “I know I’m not a lesbian but I’m pretty sure I’m bi.” (’98)

b. “It made me realize I just might be 100% hetero after all.” (’04)

c.. “I want a girlfriend. What’s wrong with me? I don’t know if I’m bi or not.” (’05)

d. “Waves came over me, I wanted to cry, I wanted it to be over. I wanted it to be a woman.” (’06)

e. “I didn’t know if I felt that way towards him because I’m 100% gay or because now I’ve been fucked up and I can’t go back.” (’06)

f. “I think it’s the queer world I identify with the most.” (’07)

g. “I am a girlfriend to a girl, I am changed. And on fire.” (’07)

18. “It’s New Year’s Eve. I still like Shane.”

[“listicle without commentary” title stolen from the awl]


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Riese is the 35-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York and then headed West. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nylon, Queerty, Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are! In 2016, she was nominated for a GLAAD Award for Outstanding Digital Journalism. Follow her on twitter and instagram.

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58 Comments

  1. Did you write all of these? Riese was it you?
    Because whoever wrote this is a genius:
    “We want sexuality to be biological because then it’s more about instincts and nature pulling people together. Choice isn’t very romantic. Love is about surrender — the absence of choice — the irresistible pull of another body. We don’t have faith in the rest of it because we doubt the permanence of anything we are capable of changing with our minds.”

    • Yes’m I wrote all of the things including that… between the collages of Shane photographs I occasionally said something intelligent! I think I may have used that paragraph from my journal in an essay somewhere later, though slightly more polished.

      • I think that quote explains a great deal of people’s disgust with homosexuality; homophobes can’t link homosexuality with natural reproduction (nor with the instinct towards reproduction) so they see it as something offensive and desecrating to the grand scheme nature has in place for humankind. Which is so big and important and transcends our futile and meaningless existence to appear undebatable and self-evident and untouchable, in a word “sacred”.

        This is in contrast with a kind of love where the mind plays an active role and “chooses”, ultimately even the gender of a partner; what they find scary (but also secretly envy) about homosexuals is the strength of the individual, its capacity to overcome the laws of nature and challenge the undebatable and touch the untouchable…

        • Interesting!

          In the journal entry I pulled that from, I was basically trying to reconcile my obsession with “figuring out” my sexuality — w/r/t “am i bi? am i gay? am i straight?” — because like, the idea is that we should just go with the flow, and that’s all well and good, but I think I fear constantly that if the flow I’m going with isn’t imprinted in my genetic code, I could wake up one day and feel a totally different way about everything than I feel now. partially this concerns me because I have a tendency to look back on previous incarnations of myself and think WHO THE FUCK WAS THAT? So you know, basically your average bisexual nightmare.

          I always liked this Foucault quote about our sexuality — “”We demand that it tell us our truth, or rather, the deeply buried truth of that truth about ourselves which we think we possess in our immediate consciousness.”

          I’ve since figured out my sexuality and feel secure about that, let the record show. 🙂

          • Beautiful quote. This reminds me of my personal path to bringing my sexuality in line with the “truth about myself”.

            When I was dating the only boy I ever really liked, somehow I kept thinking “this isn’t really me” and I needed to be away from him for long periods of time (like a month or more) to sort of “go back to myself”. I was still studying and didn’t really know what my adult life would look like yet. “Me” was not developed / public / recognized yet, but I already knew something had to “change” and “be forced” whenever I dated him.

            Then when I was identifying as bisexual I also identified as “bi-many other things” and it was a time of confusion for me on many levels. Finally, as my personality emerged and I started to express myself publicly and as society recognized my role, I had to admit that lesbianism was the only orientation consistent with “the real me”, now finally developed and “operational”. It was really hard, because it meant cutting myself away from like 95% of the world; but when the “real you” is out there and running there’s no room for doubts or confusion anymore, no matter how comfortable sometimes they may be.

          • Love the back and forth about figuring out your sexuality. You are brave to go back and read your journals. Mine are bound up and put away in the attic. I’ve pulled them out a few times and it was actually kinda painful to read through the times I was struggling with my sexuality. I want to hug my teenage self and tell her to lighten up a little-it’ll all work itself out in time.

          • #17 has been my life, too. Like, just like that, more or less.

            And I totally, totally relate to this comment, Riese. I have yearned at great length for The Answer, which would be even more convincing if it was rooted in biology. I think reality is just a lot less cut and dry than that, unfortunately. At least it is for me.

        • Last night I was at a family party, and my mom mentioned how we are going to a lesbian wedding of some friends of hers. My grandmother frowned deeply and didn’t say anything. (I smiled, and I probably blushed too.)

          I totally agree with what you said.

          I’m feel like #17, at least for now. I would say I’m bi, but I haven’t had a crush on a boy (yet?). I had a crush on my friend, which, long story short, didn’t work out. Figuring out your sexuality is harder than you’d think.

          Is there ever a definitive moment where you just know?

  2. #14 is so true for me right now. I just moved 700ish miles up the East Coast. I know almost nobody, my friends from when I used to live here aren’t close anymore. My new school is huge. I’m a senior but I walk around like a lost, scared freshman. There’s a girl in one of my classes that I’ve become completely infatuated with. But I don’t think she knows I exist. Does anyone have any advice on how to make a social dent? How to chat up possibly queer girls in a place completely foreign to me?

  3. Wow, this is all pretty much me right now…I have no idea, am I bi? Gay? All I know is I’m not straight, and even though in theory I could just go with the flow and do what feels right, the reality is that I’m terrified of saying one thing and then later on doing the opposite and having everyone accuse me of being a liar or just doing it all for attention.

    Growing up sucks. I feel better knowing you figured it out, though.

    • “I’m terrified of saying one thing and then later on doing the opposite and having everyone accuse me of being a liar or just doing it all for attention.”

      I have felt this exact thing. I agree with Cassandra. Just do what feels right. And you don’t need to label yourself anything until you’re ready to. You may never be ready to label yourself anything and that’s ok too.

    • So, uh, I spent the last four years in EXACTLY THIS PLACE. And a month ago, I landed in the Philippines with the Peace Corps, and almost immediately everything just snapped into place. I’ve been officially gay for a month now and it’s THE BEST THING EVER. No joke, I’ve never been happier. (I know who I am! It’s amazing!)

      Of course, now I really want a girlfriend, and I’m kind of going to be here for another two years and haven’t met another lesbian yet (not to mention I don’t know when or if I’ll be able to come out to most of the Filipinos I know), but I’m working on it.

      Er, but my point is, I’ve been there, you’re not alone.

  4. “What I want isn’t about man/woman, it’s about needing a break from my constant need to be in total control of absolutely everything.”
    Wow… I could have written this. Just, thank you for posting. You actually made me feel a little saner today

  5. oh #1…i’m sure my former boyfriend wished he cared more about the me that liked to kiss girls…he acted so cool and full of himself about it until i left him for girls…all of them. it turns out, i wasn’t bi.

    • This website should host a candlelight vigil or something for all the poor sad hetero boys left in our wake. I remember a conversation with the last boy I dated right before we got together, where he said “so you said you might be lesbian” and I said “yeah” and he said “well” and I said, “uh huh.”

      Then we dated for a year.

  6. I just read this:

    “We want sexuality to be biological because then it’s more about instincts and nature pulling people together. Choice isn’t very romantic. Love is about surrender — the absence of choice — the irresistible pull of another body. We don’t have faith in the rest of it because we doubt the permanence of anything we are capable of changing with our minds.”

    …and cried a little. For real. I’m constantly getting mad at my friends who either a) tell me that being gay is a choice or b) telling me that sexuality is fluid, and I can never really pinpoint why. THIS is why. THIS is why I pretty much ruminated over one day confronting Cynthia Nixon when she said that sexuality is a choice.
    I will spend the rest of my life trying to convince my parents that I’m not “choosing” to be a “sinful deviant.” THESE FEELINGS are important.

    Gosh. Thank you.

  7. I can really relate to many of those entries. Trying to figure out your sexuality can be really hard for some and, to be honest, sometimes it’s all I ever think about. I have always been one of those people that want to know everything and not knowing such a huge part of yourself is extremely frustrating. And not knowing anyone in really life who has gone or is going through the same thing doesn’t make it any better. So I guess I will just suffer in silence for now.

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