Archive | Queer Matters

The Long Way Home

Maybe because my love life is in the crapper once again, all day I’ve been thinking about a moment I shared with a woman I dated briefly. I’d gone upstate to see her, and she was running the visit because being in charge was clearly the only way she felt comfortable.

It’s an aspect of queer life I don’t dig—the gender roles that can become more bald than in heterocontexts, though younger generations are loosening up those binaries. With my lipstick, big blond coiffure, and tight skirts, I present as femme, but only in that world. On the rare occasions I date cis-men, they often see me as more masculine than them. In terms of temperance, they are absolutely right.

Really, I’m only me in every context: someone who prizes freedom over security, who can change a tire and style anybody, who drives a stickshift, who is more than a little vain, who cries at the drop of a hat, who shies away from processing but says what needs to be said.

Anyway, this woman I was dating was butch but barely and that was fine with me. I liked her lush breasts beneath her suits and country-boy gear; her curly, silver-streaked bob. Maybe not so much the silver chain she wore at her neck but only because it was ugly, not because it was a feminine flourish. I have a very expansive and flexible definition of beauty, but find a lack of integrity in construction or presentation to be jarring. Continue Reading →

Just Deserts Are Best Eaten With Fangs

This is a story of just deserts and middle age and I am not necessarily endorsing the role I play.

Just now I ran into a guy who was a real thorn in my side pre-Pandemic. He lives next door in what I call Melrose Place, an apartment building mostly populated by young, Italian-born guys who work at the cafe on the first floor. The man in question is actually three weeks older than me, though before the Plague it wasn’t evident from his demeanor.

He had recently left his wife, also our age, because–and this is a direct quote–“she did not make him feel like a man.” This man’s wife made most of the money in their relationship from her excellent art direction and so, upon leaving her, he had been serving espressos next door along with all the other cute boys because, yes, I regret to inform you that this man was quite cute. Handsome, actually, in that mournful, big-nosed, big-pawed way of some Italian men. In fact, I confess that when this man first began to serve coffee next door I found him undeniably attractive. Given my parentage, it is not surprising that I confuse intense self-pity for intense soulfulness in a certain sort of good-looking person. Continue Reading →

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy