Donate Now
We've Moved! Check out our new boards.
  
my profile | directory login | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Identity » heteroflexible?! (Page 1)

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!   This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   
Author Topic: heteroflexible?!
eryn_smiles
Peer Ambassador
Member # 35643

Icon 1 posted      Profile for eryn_smiles         Edit/Delete Post 
Just thought that would be an eye-catching title...

I went along to GLBT group again (was previously finding it hard to get up the guts to return).Its hard to turn up alone. But glad i went, met some women. Even met a woman from the same country that i'm originally from.

Learnt some new words like rice-queen (guy who like asian guys), taro-queen (guy who likes pacific guys) and burger-queen (guess!). As for heteroflexible, there seem to be a few definitions, what does it mean to you guys? Is it like bicurious (which is not a hugely useful term..)?

I've also started to go out with a man that my parents introduced me to. I feel slightly like im starting to live a "double life" and its discomforting. I was going to be referred to a counsellor to talk through this but it hasnt happened yet.

Any comments/advice welcomed. Thanks.

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I admit, I can't stand this term -- and it's more a personal opinion than anything else -- because what I usually interpret it as meaning is "I would still like to retain all of my heterosexual privilege, and either have some fun with someone same-sex without having to really be associated with or seen as you bisexuals, gays or lesbians, or flat-out be straight, but get some points for not being seen as such when it benefits me."

That may well be a very biased opinion on my part, and for all I know, I may also be outdated on that one. But really, if you're 'flexible" outside of being heterosexual, then you're not hetero-anything in my book, you're bisexual or pansexual. And "bicurious" also gets caught in my teeth: it just feels like a porny way of saying "questioning" to me.

In terms of your more pressing issues, eryn, have you talked to the folks in your GLBT group to see if they, by chance, happen to know any young gay men in the same spot you are yet? I know it seems like a long shot, but putting out feelers wouldn't be a bad idea. If possible, if you're going to follow your family tradition per a marriage being arranged for you (I think you have a term you prefer for that, sorry I can't recall what it is), it seems like it'd be a pretty good deal to have it wind up with a lifelong friend where both of you made your families happy, but also had an ally and a way to live the life you really wanted to as well.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
Peer Ambassador
Member # 35643

Icon 1 posted      Profile for eryn_smiles         Edit/Delete Post 
Well i spoke to the facilitator and he knew of just one gay guy of my ethnicity. He's a high school student and seems to get a rather rough deal from his parents. He's not allowed to come out to the part of town that we're located in and once when he did come, his parents called the police on him.

Perhaps i should move to Australia..

I sometimes feel its even hard to find a heterosexual guy that my parents would like. The current man I'm going out with had his horoscope/age/religion/education/job/parent's jobs/siblings all checked out before i met him. I know its their way of showing that they care. But its also frustrating in a way that i cant explain to them. My friend jokingly tells me that i have a "high market value" because of my degree and residency status. Sometimes i cry and feel that these details are what i have been reduced to.

I don't have a preferred term but i hate the one "arranged marriage". Its quite loaded/negative and seems to make people think of couples meeting at the altar or being betrothed to each other at birth or parents coercing young girls to marry old men. I know that these things certainly do happen but its not the norm, except maybe in remote villages.

In my case anyway, only the intial meeting is arranged (after all that background work is done by the relatives). The decision of whether to continue a relationship to marriage is left to the couple. People who've gone through this experience and married have told me and shown me that it has worked for them. I do think though, that it probably works better if you're heterosexual *sigh*.

I told my parents, if it doesnt work out with the current man, that i'm not meeting any more this year as i'm moving around too much with work. Just taking small steps at the moment.

[ 05-10-2008, 07:37 AM: Message edited by: eryn_smiles ]

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, there are still by all means areas in which child brides and marriages arranged without any real acceptance or permission ion the part of the women are very prevalent, more than a few small areas in the world. But it does sound like you're describing something different in some respects, but that in others, you're not (you not having your own preferences taken into account, for instance, or your being somewhat or entirely reduced to a value based on material issues).

All the same, I'd keep those feelers out for someone you might just have more accord with and who may well be in the exact same spot as you. Stranger things have happened in the world, that's for sure. [Smile]

Good, also, to hear that you are able to set a limit on this. That doesn't sound at all small to me, it sounds quite tremendous, all things considered.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
Peer Ambassador
Member # 35643

Icon 1 posted      Profile for eryn_smiles         Edit/Delete Post 
Well, there are a couple of positive things to say. I'm no longer going out with the man- it appears he was under more pressure from his parents than I was and there was a definite mutual disinterest. Im also hoping to attend a womens-only group for people who are just starting to come out.

But overall, things have been a bit down. I had a crush on a woman at the group. She was from my country and i could relate to her. But I was too inhibited to do anything about it. I couldn't show my interest and now she doesnt come anymore. I wish that i had said something.

And my parents were disgruntled that i only went out with the man once. I call them quite frequently, and at the end of the call they pray for me and for our family. They've started to pray that I will marry a good man of our ethnicity. Every time i hear that from my father, I have a twinge inside. I feel like I should pray too, and maybe that will make me attracted to men. I feel like maybe i did something wrong to someone in the past and because of that bad karma I dont deserve any romantic love or sex in my life. I am grateful for the good things i do have and i know that many people carry a heavier burden. But still, i really long for the chance to love and be loved.

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oh, Eryn. Big hugs to you.

A lot of people have tried praying to be different than they are with poor results. I'd also encourage you to really try and stay aware that YOU and your orientation are not the problem here: cultural biases and bigotry are. If you're going to pray for anything, pray for those to change and for people to lose their bigotry.

Not having met someone doesn't mean you are undeserving of love. The lesbian dating pool is smaller than the heterosexual one, even in cities where there is a big queer community. So, it's a given that dates will almost always tend to be more infrequent, and it'll always be a little bit harder to make connections. That's not because of your karma: that's simple math.

As well, eventually, you may have more opportunities. That most of your energy has been in school and with dating in a pool you don't want to for your family has a lot to do with this. In time, you might move to somewhere with a bigger lesbian community, or have more time to really invest in seeking out dates, as well as not having to hide it or feel so ashamed about it.

Remember: you have only VERY recently had any GLB community at all. Expecting to find a partner so quickly that given isn't very realistic. I know it can be frustrating as hell and really lonely, but these things do take time.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
Peer Ambassador
Member # 35643

Icon 1 posted      Profile for eryn_smiles         Edit/Delete Post 
Thank you, Heather.

In my head, I am aware that cultural biases and bigotry are the problem. But it doesnt stop me from feeling ashamed when i catch myself lusting after a woman. It doesnt make me feel less guilty for ending things with the first man. And I still feel (and my parents reinforce) that maybe I will like the men that they find if i give them more of a chance. But that man told me he thought gay people were really disgusting. When i asked, what was so disgusting about them, he couldnt seem to tell me. How could I have continued it with him? Seriously.

My parents argue with me. They tell me they are not too traditonal. They tell me that if this were so, that I would be marrying the first man i went out with. Apparently the decision is mine. It just doesnt feel like much of a decision.

I will be living with them again in a few months. In a way, this is good. I will need their support during my first intern/ house officer job. But it is also restrictive. It is expected that a woman will live with her parents until she moves into her husband's home. And i have already been away from home too long. My faculty advisor suggested applying for jobs elsewhere and telling them i couldnt get something close to home. But they know too well about the staff shortages at our local hospital and I cant lie to them about this.

I would love to have more opportunities to date women. But its not going to happen while im staying with my family. So that gives me at least another 1.5 years to either try to be single or continue dating the men my parents find. I find this kind of dating awkward and artificial, especially the initial blind date. And i feel like i need to perform to impress their families.

So right now i'm sad and frustrated. I'm trying my best not to be jealous of happy couples. And finding it hard to hold hope for finding love in the future.

I see a GLB-friendly counsellor every 5-6 weeks. This is about as often as the uni and my schedule allows. She is encouraging and accepting. But she doesnt offer alot of input on the cultural front. She tells me that i am resilient. And brave, for turning up to these groups alone. But I don't know. I want to be happier and stronger, within myself.

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I sure wish I knew what to do or say for you, eryn.

Obviously, being with your family is a choice, as is going along with all of this in terms of them. But I understand that it is obviously a difficult choice if it effectively is a choice between having your own life and love and having the (albeit obviously limited) love of your family. You're right: none of this is much of a choice or decision, since either way, you're set up to possibly lose something vital given the way things are.

Are there other people in your GLB group dealing with these cultural issues at all?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
Peer Ambassador
Member # 35643

Icon 1 posted      Profile for eryn_smiles         Edit/Delete Post 
Its ok :-) You don't have to do or say anything. I can tell that you care. Alot of my posting is just me venting between the times I have counselling. And fishing for someone who has had some similar experiences. I know there is no simple answer.

I love my family so much. I would do almost anything to stay close to them (emotionally) and help my parents as they grow older and their health deteriorates.

I wish that I was strong enough to just say no to what they want from me, instead of telling little lies. But I've never been a rebel or an activist or someone who shocks the community. Im not sure I could cope without their support. They tell me themselves that one of the great things about arranged marriage is the marriage of 2 compatible families and the support it brings.

No, there isnt anyone at the group who deals with these cultural issues (although im sure they have their own issues...) Most of them are Caucasian. Thats one of the reasons i find it hard to keep going there. I can sort of relate to them, but I sort of can't. Its like when someone tells me theres a great lesbian nightlife and I should be more westernized. That i should go to clubs and drink and pick up women. But that just isnt me. I shouldnt have to compromise my values to find someone.

[ 06-02-2008, 04:52 AM: Message edited by: eryn_smiles ]

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree, you shouldn't. Obviously, if you can't be with someone where you're not fully yourself, then you can't really be with them at all, since that'd not be you.

I don't know if anything here can help you out, but it's a pretty good batch of asian-specific queer links where you might find some support which isn't so culturally relativistic: http://www.sbqa.com/links.html Too, given if I remember right you're in NZ at the moment, you might even feel more at home if you can find some Maori folks who are gay or lesbian. The issues are not the same, but you might at least be able to find some allies a bit more clued in to being a sexual minority in a non-white culture.

This is also a piece you might find some resonance in, and the bibliography at the end looks pretty promising: http://www.cla.purdue.edu/WAAW/Corinne/Wilkinson.htm

Obviously, I really, really hope things can get better for you, or that at some point, it is possible for you to find some sort of answer where you aren't pushed into this kind of a corner. I don't know your parents well enough to know, for instance, if there would be a way to come out to them but still make clear that you're not closed to the idea of an arranged partnership that is more about friendship than sex or romance, where your husband was an ally in a similar spot as you. I'm presuming not, but you never know.

Too, sometimes people do change. It may be that with some time, your parents come around to see that this tradition doesn't really leave room for everyone, including someone they care a lot about (you). They may over time be willing to make a concession themselves.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
Peer Ambassador
Member # 35643

Icon 1 posted      Profile for eryn_smiles         Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for the links. I checked them out. I never realised there were specific groups for asian and pacific island lesbians. Especially the group called Trikone looked good. It kind of makes me wish I lived in North America, instead of here where its still pretty insular.

Im not in a very good head-space these days, think its because im staying with family at the moment. I asked them to stop praying for my marriage every night. Haha, they said ok, they'll just pray in their minds. I do doubt that they will be happy with an arranged partnership that isnt about making babies.

And there are times I feel so lonely i think I'd like to marry just to avoid being alone. But thats a terrible reason to marry. I've never dated someone who wasnt picked out for me. Im not sure im even capable of regular dating. These days, I feel like I'd probably cling on to anyone who came along and showed an interest. Need to snap out of it.

--------------------
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
Peer Ambassador
Member # 35643

Icon 1 posted      Profile for eryn_smiles         Edit/Delete Post 
Im so sensitive to homophobia and prejudice at the moment [Frown]

A girl at my group had rubbish thrown at her in the street because she was being affectionate with her partner.

My straight friends see gay couples and TV actors and find them either funny and weird or too disgusting and gross to watch. Why are hetero sex scenes fine but gay sex is something to shelter your children from? Im too scared to say anything back because I dont want to have to come out to them.

And my own (straight) counsellor thinks that lesbians cant have children and told me to start getting used to the idea of not being a parent.

My group is ending meetings soon. I will miss it. But i did get to meet a few women [Smile]

[ 07-04-2008, 08:19 AM: Message edited by: eryn_smiles ]

--------------------
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, it's good for everyone to be sensitive to, really.

And homophobia -- which as you've seen, is also sometimes paired with sexism and gender bias -- is hard to stomach. I don't think I'll ever forget the first time, back in the 80's when a girlfriend and I were harassed on the street, taunted with threats if rape to "fix" us. It's scary and it's awful. It's also understandable why it leaves so many so afraid of coming out.

You can speak up to other people's bigotry without coming out. You could, for instance, ask your friends those questions if you wanted: someone needs to, after all. You also could tell your counselor that lesbian women have families ALL THE TIME, be that with children from previous opposite-sex relationships or through adoption or sperm donation. (Pity your counselor has that bias: that's actually a statement which would be seen by many as profoundly unethical.)

Why is your group ending meetings?

[ 07-04-2008, 09:07 PM: Message edited by: Heather ]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
Peer Ambassador
Member # 35643

Icon 1 posted      Profile for eryn_smiles         Edit/Delete Post 
I hear you. Im originally Sri Lankan and have been reading about this recently:

"In July 1999, a press conference held by the WSG to announce their intention of holding a lesbian conference in Colombo at the end of the year resulted in a controversy in the press. A particularly virulent letter to the Editor of The Island newspaper advocated the rape of women attending the proposed lesbian conference by convicted rapists. The WSG received support from numerous quarters within Sri Lanka, as well as from international organizations, like IGLHRC, The Japan Lesbian and Gay Association, Amnesty International and the Asian Human Rights Commission coming to the defense of the WSG. A complaint was filed against The Island newspaper. In June 2000, the Press Council issued its judgment in this case, condemning lesbianism as sadistic and salacious. This furor forced the WSG temporarily underground; but the group survived this initial setback, and continued its work with renewed commitment.

The criminal legal status of the LGBT communities in Sri Lanka also contributes to the violence and discrimination faced by them on a daily basis. This overshadows their personal and public lives, and is a constant barrier to their enjoyment of full human rights. In 1995, the Amendment to Section 365A of the Sri Lanka Penal Code only served to broaden the provisions for prosecuting homosexuality, by including both sexes."
-Lines magazine

I could speak up with my friends. I should.

The group was always a short-term thing. I dont think they have the resources to pay the facilitators and keep it going. But i might try to meet up with some of the women casually. And try to find a group in the city im moving to.

I thought of a good long term goal [Smile] , theres an Australian Lesbian Medical Association that includes NZ. They have annual conferences and I'd love to go one day.

[ 07-05-2008, 03:24 AM: Message edited by: eryn_smiles ]

--------------------
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
That sounds like a fantastic goal, eryn.

Too, you also have the option of volunteering to help run the group as something more casual, maybe just keep an email list going where you announce what place you'll all be hanging out at each week?

That news piece is so awful. I wasn't clued into that situation at all. [Frown] I also didn't realize you were Sri Lankan: that makes me understand a lot more of what is going on with your family.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
Peer Ambassador
Member # 35643

Icon 1 posted      Profile for eryn_smiles         Edit/Delete Post 
(This post doesnt need replies, its just a vent from a long week, i'm sorry to be so negative)

I was going through the reasons why no-one will want to love me...

Because I am not Sri Lankan enough to be the traditional wife his mother was. Because I work too much and too late, because I care about it too much. And i am not straight enough to want him anyway.

But I am not white enough or gay enough to attract women. Because I dont drink or dance or shave or pluck. Because make-up is foreign to me and my clothes are modest. Because I have not ever kissed or touched anyone and I am still scared.

Because I cant accept myself the way I am. And I lie about where I'm going when I'm going to group where I barely open my mouth. And I glance behind my back to make sure no-one I know is around. Because I am ashamed to feel gay. And I am doubly ashamed of being ashamed. Ashamed of my homophobia. Because I cant even contemplate coming out to the people that i love.

Because I cry most nights as if my world would end. Even though I have been unbelievably privileged and sheltered in my life. Because I shouldnt need counselling to cope. Because other people need and deserve it more.

Because I was offered this opportunity. From a trust that has supported our women so much. To help set up a group to "increase lesbian visibility" among ethnic women in NZ. But each day I feel too scared and invisible to pick up the phone.

[ 07-20-2008, 05:10 AM: Message edited by: eryn_smiles ]

--------------------
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I hear growing pains here, eryn.

Obviously, I also hear you facing some really tough challenges. You're one of the users where, you know, you don't really leave my mind. I wonder how you're doing, I worry about you. I wish that you didn't have to be in such a tough spot, and even though I've been through a lot in my life, I'm often amazed that you soldier on and that you can handle this. I know you were just venting, but diminishing what you've been grappling with here doesn't make a lot of sense to me: this is hard, big stuff. This is not minor.

I hope you can pick up that phone soon, but it's understandable you're scared and intimidated.

Just a quickie: would it make you feel better to have some email exchanges with a friend of mine who is east Indian and while not gay, has gone through a lot of similar issues with her family ( in terms of marrying a white man, wanting to work, feeling out of place in both worlds, etc.)? If so, I can drop her a line. I'm sure she'd be glad to find time and probably also appreciate being able to talk about this stuff with someone else in a similar spot, too.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
Peer Ambassador
Member # 35643

Icon 1 posted      Profile for eryn_smiles         Edit/Delete Post 
Thank you, it would be great to email your friend if she was interested.

I think that minimising this helps me cope. I tell myself that my sexuality and my (lack of) intimate relationships can be a really small part of my life. I try to live in the now, not in the future of a possible marriage. I remind myself of all the other ways that I am really blessed. And of all the other people in the world with problems.

I mean, falling apart on these boards or when Im with a counsellor is fine. But I cant fall apart in the rest of my life. If I make a big deal out of this, it will become a big deal.

I did pick up the phone today. There was no-one in the office. But I called. I was thinking that if there was even one woman who contacted us looking for advice or support or for people like herself, it would be worth it. Because its awful to feel like you're the only one.

--------------------
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Good for you, eryn. Seriously.

I can hear what you're saying about coping by self-diminishing. I guess I'd just encourage you to perhaps think of that as a temporary way to deal for right now, you know? Long-term, that's not so helpful and certainly not likely to leave you feeling better about yourself. By all means, there are always going to be people in the worlds who have it worse than we do, and I agree that keeping perspective there is important. But so is taking care of ourselves and acknowledging when we're hurting or discriminated against or not getting what we need.

And eventually, you probably will be able to get to a point where you can recognize all of that without diminishing, but still keep yourself together when you need to as well. [Smile]

I have an email in to my friend for you today. You'll either hear back from me or from her directly soon.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
Peer Ambassador
Member # 35643

Icon 1 posted      Profile for eryn_smiles         Edit/Delete Post 
So. If someone wanted to tell me something encouraging.....then i would love to hear it.

Because I am very alone. And its hard to drown out the voices.

My parents telling me about men. Nice Sri Lankan doctors. My aunt who caringly picks them out. My other aunt who lovingly laughingly tells me the next time they visit NZ will be for my wedding.

The people who tell me to leave this city, this country. To get as far away from my family as I can. To experiment/ get pissed/ pash someone/ get laid. Whatever.

The voice of my Mum's specialist. (Mum has a few chronic conditions for which she takes a variety of meds). I went along to one of her clinics recently. The specialist said to me, that if this were her mum...she would sit with her every day and watch her swallow her meds. She talked about multi-infarct dementia. And I was so damn scared. And I thought that I would gladly do that for her if she needed that.

I remember that during the fleeting times that I have considered hurting myself, the main thing that stopped me was worrying about my parents. Not wanting them to blame themselves. I never thought about my friends.

But the voices in my heart are even louder. Who do you think you are? You think you can be a lesbian? You're just a freak. No-one will ever love you back. No-one will want you. Why dont you just shut up and get married to someone who will have you. Just count yourself lucky.

I wish that my heart would go cold sometimes.

(And I feel better for having written that out..)

[ 08-04-2008, 06:40 AM: Message edited by: eryn_smiles ]

--------------------
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
Peer Ambassador
Member # 35643

Icon 1 posted      Profile for eryn_smiles         Edit/Delete Post 
After all of the above angst, I decided to talk about things with my closest friend. I guess you could call it coming out as being questioning. Im not brave enough or sure enough to come out as a lesbian or bisexual yet.

It was hard to get the words out. And although it went well, I wasn't really ready to tell her. But I got a job back where my family is and I'm leaving this city in 3 weeks. I dont know when I'll get to see her again- it will be at least 1 year from now.

And I had to tell her in person. Because this is a really big part of me. And she's a big part of me too. We have known each other since we were 10. We got our first periods together. And while I've been at med school, her home has been like my home. She's the only friend who has seen me cry in recent times.

To her credit, she was stunned only for a moment. Then she said, well no wonder it hadn't been working with any of those nice SL boys. She said that she didnt see me any differently now, and that anyone who did wasnt worth knowing. She said i could talk to her about anything. Which was lovely. I'll miss her so much.

I wish I didnt have to leave. So many memories in this city. Its amazing all the connections i've made here over the last 6 years. Nevermind, its just a 1 year contract. After that, anything could happen.

[ 08-07-2008, 06:43 AM: Message edited by: eryn_smiles ]

--------------------
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Eryn, I am so glad that you were able to come out with your friend and that she was so caring and supportive. SO glad.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
Peer Ambassador
Member # 35643

Icon 1 posted      Profile for eryn_smiles         Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks, I'm pretty glad too. I haven't had the chance to talk to her about this again.

I haven't been coping too well these days. Finished my last session with the uni counsellor.

Sometimes I deal really well with being lonely. I talk to my friends in-person or online, I try to go out and keep busy, I keep my mind on work and study and my upcoming travels. I guess I do the things that I'd advise someone else to do.

But then there's a deeper loneliness. Its worse at night. I hate that crying is a regular part of my day.

When I'm really sad, all my feelings seem to blur. And I cant be sure anymore which gender I'm more attracted to, or whether I'm really attracted to anyone or whether it matters. I just feel like I want to have a partner. I feel like I want my parents to set me up with someone again.

If I just said yes to them, I could go out with someone very soon. If I wait and try to meet a woman, it could be 5 or 10 years, it could be longer. Even heterosexual people find it hard to meet partners when they start working these 60-hour weeks including 1:3 weekends.

My counsellor asked me what I had decided to do about my personal life once I moved back home. And I said that I would put it on hold until I had time to try and meet women. But putting it on hold makes me sad like I can't describe. I don't even know if I'll have time to get involved with the group.

And then I start making stupid irrational bargains with myself. About how I can be a better person and create enough good karma so that I will deserve a partner. Maybe if I make sure my mum takes her meds every day. If I drive my dad around as he cant drive anymore. Maybe if I look after my friends better. If I meditate everyday and make offerings to the Buddhist monks. If I eventually work somewhere that provides free healthcare. If I volunteer more. If I care more.

Maybe then, I might meet someone who might love me back. Its just pathetic.

[ 08-23-2008, 03:26 AM: Message edited by: eryn_smiles ]

--------------------
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
Peer Ambassador
Member # 35643

Icon 1 posted      Profile for eryn_smiles         Edit/Delete Post 
What I'm trying to ask is,
How could I be more patient in waiting to find someone?
How do I accept that it could be a long while and be happy with waiting?
How can I be strong enough to keep saying no to my parents?
And then still keep it together in the other parts of my life?

Especially when I know that it won't be easy to
have a relationship even after eventually finding a woman who would give me a chance.

(Btw, anyone can reply to this...)

[ 08-24-2008, 12:40 AM: Message edited by: eryn_smiles ]

--------------------
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
orca
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 33665

Icon 1 posted      Profile for orca     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
eryn, one of the things that's always struck me about you is the kindness that you show in each of your posts, even when you are having a bad time yourself you still find a way to be nice to others. You also always seem so humble even in your sadness. I honestly don't think you are the kind of person who has to work hard to get good karma, but rather the kind who simply through their everyday kindness can accrue good karma.

I think most people are never sure where they get the strength to continue on through tough times, but somehow or other they manage. Most people get their strength from their friends or family, or even from their pets; some people find it in the work they do or in looking to the future. One thing which might help with the waiting is forming more friendships. Are there any groups back home that you can get involved with? The internet is also a pretty awesome way of getting in touch with other people that you may have things in common with.

Nighttime is often the worst when you are lonely or sad or dealing with depression or anxiety disorder. One thing which I've found to be helpful is painting my room a light color and choosing some light colored curtains with interesting but simple patterns. Paintings and posters of things that make you happy can also help (personally I like fairies and unicorns and dragons since that's what I had in my room as a kid and I never had problems sleeping then), as can a few figurines. You might also consider hanging some crystals from the ceiling. They catch even the tiniest bit of light and can be rather nice to look at while you're lying in bed. Hey, it works for kids, so why not adults too. [Smile]

I'm sorry I don't have more to say (I'm nowhere near as good as Heather) but my thoughts are with you and wishing you well.

--------------------
Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.--Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Posts: 2726 | From: North America | Registered: Apr 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
Peer Ambassador
Member # 35643

Icon 1 posted      Profile for eryn_smiles         Edit/Delete Post 
Orca: you're so sweet, thank you. You made me cry, (again). I really want to get involved with some lesbian groups back home- one barrier is time, the other one is my parents + the SL community. But, I'm sure I'll figure something out.

Oh and my bedroom is this eerie mint ice cream colour. It could do with a face lift. Lol.

Blue Koi, if you're reading, thank you also for your reply in my other thread. Its nice to see you on the boards.

I'm very touched, you guys.

--------------------
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Eryn, I just have to say one more thing which may sound schmaltzy, but I'm going to say it anyway.

From what I know of you so far, you are a LOVELY, amazing person. I simply cannot believe that there is not big love out there for you in the universe. Mind, it may take a while -- sometimes it just does, and I've been there sometimes, too, so I feel how much it can suck -- but I just do not believe that if and when you're really open to it it's not going to come in time and be just amazing for you and whoever else it is who has the blessing of having you be the person who loves them and who they love.

(But -- and this is my only but -- I think you might have to truly believe that first before it can actually happen and you see it for what it is. I get the feeling you aren't at that place yet where you earnestly believe that you are worthy of love and that someone loved by you and able to love you would be blessed. And sometimes, it's getting to that place of self-worth and self-love which is the hardest part. Often enough, when people do, love just carries up the rear of that cart.)

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
Peer Ambassador
Member # 35643

Icon 1 posted      Profile for eryn_smiles         Edit/Delete Post 
Heather, when you use words like 'schmaltzy' I have to use a dictionary [Roll Eyes] . And my English is actually very good.

Thank you for saying that. Yeah, I don't think I'm at that place yet.

When you find yourself becoming an adult with responsibilities but without any experience of intimate relationships, and when you come from a family background like mine, you don't dare hope for some big and amazing love. In a culture where love is not the essence of a relationship, but perhaps an added bonus, you hope for any love you can get. Like being able to confide in someone for an afternoon. Or a gesture like a kiss or hand on a shoulder. Thats all. I would be happy with that.

(If I'm posting too much just let me know. Work's also making me a bit antsy and insecure at the moment.)

[ 08-25-2008, 03:39 PM: Message edited by: eryn_smiles ]

--------------------
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
Peer Ambassador
Member # 35643

Icon 1 posted      Profile for eryn_smiles         Edit/Delete Post 
I tried to come out to my mother yesterday. I wish I hadn't. I wish I had waited.

I'm living with my parents again and I really want to get involved with some lesbian groups here. And I don't want to have to sneak around behind their backs. I'm not a teenager anymore and I'm stressed enough already with work. So I told her that I'm interested in women and not so interested in men.

She didn't get angry or shout or tell me to leave home, which is something. But she didn't take it seriously. She gave me a whole lot of reasons why I might THINK i'm gay: Because I have no brothers. Because I haven't socialised enough with men. Because I have too many close female friends/ no close male friends. Because I lived in a hostel which restricted me. Because I was very depressed for a while at uni, and I needed attention from somewhere. Because being lesbian is glamourized in the media and it seems exciting. Because Western countries like NZ make such a big deal out of sexual orientation and civil unions and equal rights instead of allowing people to quietly hide their feelings(!). Because people in Western countries have too many sexual choices instead of just getting married and staying married.

What's a good reply to all that? Honestly, I don't know.

She then confirmed that all my doubts and feelings for women would disappear once I met the right man. She asked me who else I had come out to and told me to tell no-one about this. She told me not to tell my father as he would think I was mentally ill and he wouldn't be able to sleep. She told me not to tell any friends as then any prospective marriage partners would surely hear about it and want nothing more to do with me. She told me to try and socialize with men as much as possible. It's basically supposed to be a shameful secret. But I am trying SO hard not to be ashamed of myself.

I spoke to someone about her response this morning. He told me to give it time, to give her time to process it. So that's what i'll do. Any other suggestions?

--------------------
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oh, eryn.

<inserting the biggest, biggest hugs in the whole wide world>

You did such a brave, brave thing. I am so terribly proud of you. I know that being brave probably doesn't feel like the big thing it is given the reaction, but seriously? That was brave and mighty, and for the love of Pete, you have NOTHING to be ashamed of.

I'm so sorry she responded the way she did, even though her response really isn't that atypical, especially for a parent who is homophobic or just does not accept anything that is not heterosexuality.

I agree, some time might help, but it might well take a whole lot of time. And I'd also be prepared for a different set of responses: she may get more angry, may be more accepting, who knows. If she wasn't even prepared for this at all as a possibility, it's a lot for her to parse.

Do you want to try and continue this conversation with her? If you do, you might want to ask what her response would be if all the things she listed as reasons why were moot: if you had had brothers, for instance. Does she have close male friends? If not, why didn't she turn out lesbian? You might ask her how, in cultures and times when GLBs have no rights and must keep silent, there have always still been gay men and lesbian women. You might point out that this hasn't gotten you any extra attention, and that people in eastern cultures have a history of being gay as well. But it's all about if you want to trouble yourself with this right now and how up to it you're feeling.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
Peer Ambassador
Member # 35643

Icon 1 posted      Profile for eryn_smiles         Edit/Delete Post 
Heather, you're really kind to me. Thank you. It wasn't such a brave thing, it was just me trying to be more open. I don't want to feel like a liar when I tell them how I feel about men, where I'm going in my free time.

I do want to keep talking about this with her. But not right now. Because, right now, her voice is strong and mine is small. And I can already feel myself starting to agree with her. Like, maybe it IS because I've associated too much with women and not enough with men and so I can't relate as well to men. Maybe it HAS gotten me more attention and care from my counsellor, my GP, the GBLT group. Maybe I SHOULD just meet more men. I'm even having doubts about setting up this new lesbian group....but, I've already given them my word.

And I can also sense what's going to come next from her: We never should have brought you to this country. We never should have sent you away to uni to do this stressful course. We should have kept you safe at home in SL, we should have protected and sheltered you until marriage.

We did talk a little about what you're saying. She told me about how when she was a teenager boarding at a girls school, she felt starved for affection from her family and had a very restricted life at home. So she used to lust after the girls and female teachers to the extent that her studies suffered. But all those feelings stopped once she got some independence and the chance to have contact with men. In the end, though, that's her situation, not mine.

We also talked about whether she knew any gay people in SL. She knew of no-one who was openly gay. But she had heard rumours about a distinguished married man, who invited a different young boy to his bedroom every night. Everyone would talk about him. I told her this was hardly a typical homosexual relationship but she wasn't hearing me.

All that I'm getting from her right now is that when people have shameful disturbing feelings like this, they should damn well hide them. They certainly shouldn't explore them. And if they insist on engaging in fruitless relationships, they certainly shouldn't parade them in front of impressionable young people.....like me.

--------------------
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
September
Scarleteen Volunteer
Member # 25425

Icon 1 posted      Profile for September     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oh Eryn, I hear ya. The first time I came out to my mother, I got pretty much the same reaction. I was just going through a phase, I'd get over it once I met the right guy, I was just being influenced by all my wierd friends, etc. I was 14 at the time and profoundly depressed to begin with, and I had nothing to offer in the way of constructive argument. I just burst into tears and walked away. The topic was off the table until I brought home my first girlfriend 4 years later, and she just took it in stride and I haven't heard a disparaging comment from her since.

I think what did it for us was simply the passage of time. I realize I never had the immense cultural pressure to get married that you're dealing with, and I'm sure that adds an extra dimension to the situation. But you ARE an adult, and you can make your own decisions and live your own life. So, I'd suggest you just try not to take what your mother said to heart and try to find your own way.

--------------------
Johanna
Scarleteen Volunteer

"The question is not who will let me, but who is going to stop me." -Ayn Rand

Posts: 9192 | From: Cologne, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
Member # 3

Icon 1 posted      Profile for Heather     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Eryn, hope you got the two articles written by and about gay/lesbian Sri Lankans. If you need to talk more, I'm around, just a heads-up that it'll be a bit more sporadic than usual over the next two weeks or so, as my parent is coming into town and tends to require a good deal of care these days.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 68290 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
Peer Ambassador
Member # 35643

Icon 1 posted      Profile for eryn_smiles         Edit/Delete Post 
Joey, thanks for your story, I'm glad it ended well for you. I think it's a really sound idea to try distance myself and my feelings from what my mother is saying. I need to try harder for my own peace of mind.

I wasn't going to post about this again. But as much as I love her, I feel so angry with her today. If I was a swearing woman, I would be swearing now. She laughed at me today. She laughed at my feelings which were so hard to voice. She blamed my feelings on excessive TV watching and excessive Western choices. Because as we all know, watching lesbians on TV makes you want to be a lesbian!

She then turned serious and told me to meet with another man soon. It's as if she has not registered anything I said. I told her I find it really stressful to meet the men they set me up with. She said: study is stressful, work is stressful, marriage is stressful, parenting is strssful.....life is stressful- get over it.

Yes, I'm an adult. Yes, I get to choose my own path in life. But I never thought I'd have to fight so much for that opportunity. It's not even just my family, it's a whole community who consider it their personal responsibility to ensure that all of their young women are well-married. I'm only one person and I'm finding it really hard to keep saying no.

I fear that even if I were to find a female partner somehow, it would never be okay to introduce her as such to my relatives and the community. It would have to be a shameful secret, which seems not much of a way to live and love. And because of that, I don't really let myself feel too attracted to any woman. I don't present myself as available. I don't want to start something which is doomed to fail. Better to stay single.

--------------------
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
eryn_smiles
Peer Ambassador
Member # 35643

Icon 1 posted      Profile for eryn_smiles         Edit/Delete Post 
I think that I am having some internalized homophobia, and I don't know what to do about it.

My mother continues to make little digs about the joke that she thinks my sexual orientation is. She tells me she hates the prime minister who brought about civil unions, and laughs.

And then, 2 of my good friends, people that I was considering coming out to, really disappointed me:

What would you do if your friend said "I want to take womens' studies, just so I can laugh at it and all the lesbos there." And then your other friend says "all those butch chicks will beat you up!"

I can't hate my mother. I can't hate my friends. I can't hate the world. And so, I find that I am starting to hate myself and now is such a bad time for this. Im also finding it hard to keep going to GLBT stuff.

--------------------
"Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."

Audre Lorde

Posts: 1326 | Registered: Nov 2007  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
  This topic comprises 2 pages: 1  2   

   Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Get the Whole Story! Go Home to SCARLETEEN: Sex Ed for the Real World | Privacy Statement

Copyright 1998, 2014 Heather Corinna/Scarleteen
Scarleteen.com: Providing comprehensive sex education online to teens and young adults worldwide since 1998

Information on this site is provided for educational purposes. It is not meant to and cannot substitute for advice or care provided by an in-person medical professional. The information contained herein is not meant to be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or for prescribing any medication. You should always consult your own healthcare provider if you have a health problem or medical condition.

Powered by UBB.classic™ 6.7.3