Finding Comfort in Heterosexuality
In my last post, I briefly touched on the ways that I've changed my behavior "since becoming more and more public with my work on masculinity and changing up my hypermasculine tendencies - language, tone, cadence, posture, demeanor, etc." I didn't make the connection during that post but afterward, I realized what I was talking about was just becoming more comfortable with my sexuality, that which I've called heterosexuality but who knows really what that is. I've fought hard to not disclose my sexuality in my work because I feel fetishized in some strange way. I think it is extremely important, in this instance, to be explicit about my heterosexual identity because this piece can easily be thrown into the pile of the "problems for those gay people over there."
How is heterosexuality ever uncomfortable?
We often subscribe to the idea that heterosexuality is comfortable. I've been spending a lot of time becoming more and more comfortable with my heterosexuality (it even sounds weird doesn't it?) over the past few years as I learn more about my intersectional anti-patriarchal stance on masculine performance. To become more comfortable, one has to be uncomfortable - see my logic here?
How do traditional masculine values make heterosexual men uncomfortable?
Language - Between No-Homo and That's so Gay, there are a ton of different ways we use language as a tool to create anxiety and discomfort around our sexuality. I've experienced people question my sexuality for using words like tummy rather than stomach - ridiculous, I know. It likely has more to do with insecurity and discomfort than the actual language, although it is a nifty tool to oppress!
Clothing - My experience being policed through attire really deserves a few posts. I've even caught myself doing some of this as I entered the professional world, attempting to ensure that people understood the norms and expectations of business attire: how to tie the tie, when to wear the belt, etc. All of these things keep us on edge and the hint of questioning our sexuality in the back of all of our minds takes a toll.
Interests/Hobbies - Dare I say I'm learning how to crochet after years of being interested and being shunned for it as if it wasn't something I could do while having sex with women - insanity, but real life stuff.
There has to be a ton more but we will leave it there.
What have I done to become more comfortable?
Challenge all that nonsense. Take a minute and examine what is happening and just challenge that caveman thinking. There may be a part two of this idea that will explore the ways that white supremacy, capitalism, and patriarchy set the foundation and continues to reinforce these crazy pressures we put onto each other. I'm a big fan of reflection and so I spend a lot of time processing my day and my thoughts and my interactions with people to try to better equip myself for future interactions.
I'm just saying. I want to be and sex freely without worrying about feeling like I have to hide or share my sexuality with others for whatever reason, especially when we really don't understand sexuality in the first place. Maybe someone does. I'd like to learn. Lastly, I try to learn as much as I can and stay open to new ideas and possibilities about myself and everyone around me, even those I don't see or will never see or know.