a friday night almost three years ago i went on a date with a girl from work. my first date with a girl-type person ever. a sudden break from all of the closeted fags i'd dated. they were more shocked about my outing than i was about theirs.
i was newly queered and tired of being ignored at bars by girls. my long black hair and fishnets didn't seem to inspire any sort of interest from the dykes en large.
i'd cut all of my hair off and invested in a pair of levi's from the Black Market on Queen street a few weeks before this date.
we all know my newly un-femme appearance and the fact that i was suddenly desireable were not a coincidence.
we went to some queer girl-type event at the 360. bands i didn't particularily care for played between spoken word, most of which i don't remember.
my date commented on the fact that i "smoke like a girl". i tried not to die from being offended.
i wasn't sure if i was offended at being called girlish, or at being shown that being girlish was unnacceptable.
someone beautiful and interesting did some spoken word type stuff. i don't remember much about her (although i think it was you). i think i remember piggytails. i think i remember either bright pink or red hair.
i was amazed.
my date noticed. mortified. "don't tell me you're attracted to her."
"no. it's not like attraction. i think i've found my hero."
and because i was an idiot (i'm now nearly 3 years smarter and more comfortable) that night's date became the steady date for the next year.
that night's date followed me when i moved to vancouver.
that night's date constantly explained to me that i was a "traitor" because i listened to too much Ramones and not enough Bikini Kill. that night's date accused me of not being a "real" queer because i've never had my ass kicked for it.
and the day that i dug out my old eyelash curler, my old tall fuck-me boots, my favorite kilt, and swore that i would grow my hair out again - that night's date yelled and swore and explained to me about puppets and male fantasy and being closeted and about shame.
shame shame shame.
that night's date always went out of the way to de-feminize me. to butchify me.
when i'd check the oil in my car, when i'd use my power drill to hang a shelf in my pretty yellow bedroom, when i was well organized, when i knew how to budget, when i'd kill the spiders - that night's date would say "you're so butch. you're such a boy"
"i'm not so butch. you're such a fucking sissy."
i'm strong, i'm smart. i'm self-sufficient. when i learned how to take care of myself nobody warned me that one of the side effects would be that other people suddenly had the right to define my gender for me.
thank you very much.
i still can't get over being angry with myself over choices that i'd made nearly 3 years ago. as angry as i am with my ex for constantly trying to (and successfully so for quite a while) to squash me and work me into a neat little dykey box, i'm more pissed off at myself for going along with it.
if i was a smarter girl i'd have been aware of the warning bells going off all around me right from that first friday night at the 360. i lost an entire fucking year of my life to ugly jeans and teeshirts and bad haircuts.
and while i'm certainly pissed about the mental/emotional time wasted. i'm also pretty bummed about the money that i spent on my lezzie clothes that could have been spent on leopard print bras and fun underlings and liquid eyeliner.
i'm working double time to make up for a year lost.