Coming out is such an intensely personal decision, since being queer is somewhat of a seemingly mutable way of being different. (“Passing” as straight is easier for some than others, and it is often tied to gender presentation.) I thought in honor of the occasion, and the fact that I told this story to my friends Jenna and Rick at my Epic High Holiday Shabbat dinner on Friday, I would share it here!
I Promise My Personal Tragedy Will Not Interfere with My Ability to Do Good Hair: Remembering Amanda Arkansassy
I try like hell to take care of myself. I try like hell to model self care for the corner of the internet where people pay attention to what I say. When I’m modeling self care, I am saying “This is how I am staying alive today.” Because self care is vital and survival is vital.
I met Bryn almost ten years ago at a Mixer party (I think that’s what it was called) at Levi Braslow’s loft apartment. I thought she was a cisfemme who was really into conventionally masculine trans guys but it turned out she was trans. It took me a few weeks, she told me and laughed at me. She also didn’t tell me she was HIV positive until years after we met (she got progressively more out about it). She moved from rural Ohio to Michigan to New York City, if I’m remembering the whole trajectory. Even though she was from Ohio she was in rural Appalachia and definitely identified strongly with my West Virginia loves. She was queer country, through and through.
Bryn was slow to get to know. I was in the phase of my life when we met (around 26/27) that I was quick to make friends. If I thought you were awesome I would trust you right away. She was more like a cat who comes into the room you’re hanging out in, scopes it out, but it takes a long time to hang out and chill. We talked about that, years later, when I realized that my overly trusting nature was getting me fucked over by people. She and I agreed there was probably a healthy middle between her inclination and mine. I wonder if that shifted for her?
What Would My Dreamy Boyfriend or Girlfriend Do? As a single girl, I like to ask myself this when I am feeling lonely or tender and really want someone to take care of me. This idea, of the mythical dreamy boyfriend or dreamy girlfriend (depending on your orientation/their preference), is totally ridiculous but ultimately a fun way to look at self-care.
Basically in an ideal world, what would a partner do to soothe you? My dreamy boyfriend would totally take care of getting my car cleaned–inside and out. Really, it’s just taking it to the vacuum and wash place or whatever, but it’s a nice thing. So sometimes I go to the car place and do all the work that I hate to do ever so much and attribute it to my dreamy boyfriend. Makes it less of a chore.
My dreamy girlfriend has been paying attention to my twitter feed for the last six weeks and knows that I have been obsessed with getting a pink snuggie, so she totally bought it for me at Rite Aid. I’m going to bling it out with cupcake embellishments to make it extra perfect for me. (This justified the spending of $14.99 when trying to save up for a couple of impending trips.)
The next time you feel distraught, think “What Would My Dreamy Boyfriend/Girlfriend Do?” And those of you with actual real life Dreamy Boyfriends or Girlfriends? Treat them to Steak and Blowjob day.
Thanksgiving is a really hard time of year for me. It is one of those holidays that puts into sharp relief how very single I am. I am happy with my life, I am making my life into the kind of life I want to be living and am extremely grateful that I’m not in an unhappy, unsatisfying and sad lesbian foot warming* kind of relationship.
However, when you were in a relationship (or 2 back to back relationships, in my case) where you were creating a family… Thanksgiving is just one of those family holidays where you feel extra weird when your day to day family doesn’t involve other people.
Just like Bad Fat Days, which happen to all fat activists and body loving fat people, being Single in Sharp Relief can be jarring even for the most ardently happy single person. But we already have all the coping mechanisms we need to get through it, just like Bad Fat Days.