Staying at a friend’s

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thewrit3r
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Staying at a friend’s

Unread postby thewrit3r » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:16 pm

I just told my mom I was staying at a friend’s house tomorrow and she was shocked when I told her it was a male friend with a male roommate. I didn’t think about it being a big deal but now I’m wondering. Isn’t it heteronormative to think it’s weird to have male and female roommates? Then again me questioning it is making me wonder how I’m feeling about gender. Before she mentioned it I wasn’t really thinking about it. I’m still staying over but I don’t want to be worrying about this tomorrow. What’s anyone else’s opinion?
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-Carson McCullers

Sam W
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Re: Staying at a friend’s

Unread postby Sam W » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:11 am

Hi thewrit3r,

In my experience it's not unusual for people to have roommates of different genders than their own. Depending on the norms your mom grew up around she might feel differently and default to thinking that a guy and a girl would only room together if they were dating and not just be casual roommates. But as long as you feel comfortable around the your friend and their roommate, there's no reason to worry about your stay.

thewrit3r
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Posts: 138
Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 10:07 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: Intelligence
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My sexual identity and orientation: Bisexual
Location: North Carolina

Re: Staying at a friend’s

Unread postby thewrit3r » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:29 pm

Hi,

Thanks for the response. I didn’t end up staying at his house for other reasons, but even though the uncomfortable feeling has lessened it’s still there. Like my mom mentioned that I may not want to tell my dad since he might have reservations about it. And I hate that because I know it’s probably true. I wish I could get out of my head all the things I learned about gender roles and sexuality. Because I know we’re more open to diversity but they still have rooms set up for only men and women, and my mom says when she was in school thats how the rooms were set up. That’s how they’re set up at my school too. How do I work on unlearning these “norms” because I don’t want to think a certain way just because I was taught it, I want to think through everything I believe to see what my validty behind it is.

(Sorry this turned into a loaded question)
"The writer is by nature a dreamer - a conscious dreamer."
-Carson McCullers

alice
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Re: Staying at a friend’s

Unread postby alice » Sun Feb 11, 2018 11:06 pm

Hey thewrit3r,

I think it's so great that you don't want to think a certain way just because you were taught it. It's really easy to do that, and so props to you for challenging yourself.

I don't have a simple answer for you in terms of how to unlearn the things we have been taught about gender & sexuality. But I will say that having the intention to be open in that area is a great first step.

I find it helpful to try to be mindful and curious. To notice when a thought/feeling/gut reaction I have is due to something that was ingrained in me growing up (in my family, in my culture, or in the world) but that I don't necessarily think is true or don't agree with. Noticing those thoughts when they come up, and then reminding myself that it is more complicated or less black-and-white than that, is helpful for me as an ongoing practice. And focusing on the curiosity can help me from going into an anxious or obsessive place.

Also I want to say that I don't the goal needs to be to get these things out of your head, and I could see how trying to do so could become quite stressful. I think in order to transform our current conceptions of gender and sexuality, we have to understand well where we are currently at in our culture, and where we are coming from. And so actually have an understanding of the messed up things we are taught up gender and sexuality growing up is key! Does that feel like a helpful re-framing or no?

What are some ideas you have for challenging gender/sexuality norms?

thewrit3r
not a newbie
Posts: 138
Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 10:07 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: Intelligence
My primary language: English
My pronouns: She/her, they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: Bisexual
Location: North Carolina

Re: Staying at a friend’s

Unread postby thewrit3r » Sat Feb 24, 2018 5:59 am

Sorry for the really late reply. Yes, that makes sense. I just tend to be a perfectionist so I’m hard on myself, but I’m trying to work on it.
I think a lot of what you said would be helpful, realizing that we’ve grown up in a society based on assumptions regarding gender and how people of certain genders are “supposed” to act. Also I’ve been trying to question my thought pattern lately, especially if something is bothering me. Questioning what I’m thinking and why tends to work, though I’m sure it would be more helpful to reframe it in a mindful way without being judgemental. It’s a work in progress, but I think as long as I remind myself that and that it’s okay to be there I’ll start cutting myself some slack.

Thanks again for your help :)
"The writer is by nature a dreamer - a conscious dreamer."
-Carson McCullers


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