Well, last week around this time I was in major distress. But I’m happy to say my feelings have changed and I feel pretty good. Not about that friendship, which definitely needs a time out still. BUT I feel better about life and things I am doing and stuff. I got paid today so I went and got some dog food, paid the internet bill, paid my Mom back cause I needed food money this last week, gonna get groceries but there’s some ice pellets coming down and I’m terrified of walking in slippy conditions. So yeah, it’s ok.
I found the diary entry I did from January 2nd, 1993, when I came out to my diary. The funny thing is I hadn’t clued in I was a lesbian until like 12:01 January 1st 1993, I mean it was coming and I was realizing and things were clicking into place slowly. But then I fell in love for the first time with a girl and also realized I never had those feelings for boys. I would have been 14. It was before the internet. I mean the internet was around but not at our house and definitely not in the way it is now. I hadn’t read that entry in a long time, I wasn’t sure what it would be like, like if I would be all upset or scared or whatever. But it was kind of a funny entry, like it was like revealing a secret to my diary so it was very momentous, and then a short paragraph about why I thought I was a lesbian and not bisexual (cause these boys who I don’t even remember now I just wanted to be friends with etc.) and then I launched into this very mushy romantic thing about feeling totally in love and I didn’t know if she was a lesbian so it was like oh no and I hoped she would notice me and wanting her to be my fiancée etc etc. Ha ha anyway, we never did get together for a whole bunch of reasons (like she was way older and going out with someone and hadn’t come out as bisexual yet etc etc) but yeah she did turn out to be bisexual so in some ways I wasn’t so far off the mark. And I did stay in love with her for like, two years, all really intense and sometimes really sad and sometimes really beautiful and we had a tender friendship and I never did tell her my feelings. But it was kind of sweet, to realize the thing that really tipped me over the edge with my coming out was falling madly in love for the first time.
It also kind of set the tone for the rest of my life, like I just fall in love a lot. And not to cheapen it or anything, I think I just feel things really strongly and when I really love someone it’s like, INTENSE and omg. And it’s only been that nothing has worked out yet that I have fallen so many times. And I do fall OUT of love too, like when it’s not happening and I kind of get fed up with waiting for someone to realize I am amazing or whatever lol. I don’t know tho, there was something really sweet to realize that when I came out to my diary it wasn’t all anguished, it was more so I could gush about how gorgeous and smart this girl was and how much I loved her. Like it made me feel less cynical about love, oddly enough. Even tho I’ve been disappointed so many times. I remember how new that feeling felt, and how overwhelming, and how I was amazed that I was someone who fell in love with girls (and women when I grew up obviously).
The other interesting thing is that I think being queer substantially improved my life. Like that probably sounds weird, but I was queer in a small Saskatchewan city, in the early 90’s, and gay stuff was everywhere at the time and visibility was really increasing. And it was a major reason I ended up making videos, like both being amazed by 90’s queer video art, and also getting access to video equipment to make my first few videos. And also I met a lot of older queer youth, like a lot of gay boys in university, and they would sneak me into the raver bar with them and we would drive around listening to Skinny Puppy and NIN and stuff. And I dunno, it sort of opened my world up, and before I came out I had felt very dark and depressed. I guess falling in love will do that.
Also I remember finding my community was tricky. At that time so much of queer culture was built around bars and needing to be drinking age. And I remember how I did find other homos was I went looking at AIDS Saskatoon for some pamphletes on having safe sex for lesbians, because OBVIOUSLY (and still to this day) we didn’t learn THAT in school. And so I went looking and found something for the Queer youth group that met once a week. It was called QYSS I think. I remember I went and met a couple of people and the guy kept calling the lesbian Mary and I thought that was her name ha ha ha! Anyway, yeah, it was a good group, I mean it was queer youth so it had a fair amount of drama which we are not allowed to talk about. But it was definitely a formative experience and I really think someday I should do a video or write about it. Now of course there’s like, the Internet. But Out Saskatoon still runs that group, with new names and I think the format has changed. And the age range is way lower.
Ha ha omg I remember Gay and Lesbian Health Services (the org that ran the youth group) also sold some queer stuff like funny shirts and mugs and cock and ball bondage things and shit like that. And I remember one time I was looking in their store and this guy picked up this small leather thing and said “What is this for?” and then suddenly started laughing and laughing. Ahh good times.
Anyway, yeah, love isn’t so bad. I mean it has lead me to some interesting places. And it was the catalyst for me finally coming out to myself. I think sometimes I hold myself back around it now tho, like I’ve just been burned so many times that I don’t let myself fall in love as easy as I used to. And it’s not that I don’t fall in love, so much as I keep trying to remain in denial about it because I feel bad or sheepish about it. Like I usually tell people I have a crush or feelings for them or whatever, because I really don’t want to say “HOLY SHIT I LOVE YOU!” when we haven’t kissed yet or established a relationship for long enough or whatever.
So it’s kind of cute to reflect on that 14 year old lesbian who was falling in love for the first time and deciding I wanted to MARRY this woman right off the bat and just how unrestrained my feelings were at that point in my life. In some ways it sounds kind of foolish now, and in other ways I kind of envy how sure I felt.