Wednesday, July 1, 2009

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"

`Who are YOU?' said the Caterpillar.

I attended Pride 2009 in Knoxville last weekend. It was my first Pride. Apparently it was quite a turn-out, although I was disappointed with the small crowd.

Mostly though, I was very disheartened that I didn't seem to fit in there either. And by "either", I mean - yet again - I don't fit in. Every eye that met mine was met with a smile. Every single one. I wore a smile all day because I really was SO happy to be there. Still, 90% of smiles I gave were met with looks of scorn; dubious "What are YOU doing here?" type looks usually. Or else the recipient of my smile just looked away as if I had bothered him/her. Well, let's be honest here: I am talking about the women. The men (gay) that I smiled at or interacted with ALL smiled and thought I was "the cutest little lipstick" they'd ever seen. But I wasn't there to find a place in the gay-male crowd.

For the record: I even toned-down my femme, opting for Converse (low cut pink ones, but still) instead of my usual heels, low make-up level, and just ONE piece of jewelry which was very simple. In fact, I wore not one sparkling thing!

It's a struggle: to be who you really are, only to find that person doesn't have a place to belong outside a couple of close friends. Don't get me wrong - I am eternally grateful for the friends I have that DO accept who I really am. It's just that I, like everyone else in the world, want to be able to feel like there are people like ME out there.

Sure the Internets are full of people similar to me - and people who would accept me in daily life were we not hundreds or thousands of miles from each other physically. I am also grateful I've found that acceptance, but it is bittersweet as I know that is not enough for me and I will most likely never meet those people.

I've cried since then - a LOT. More than I have in a very long time. This sense of rejection has cut me so deep I'm starting to wonder if I should ask my doctor for an increase in medication for a while. My physical health is suffering too. The last 4 days have seemed like one long journey back into my own personal cave - away from the possibility of rejection.

My reaction is to flee straight into the arms of someone who really accepts me, for all my femininity and queerness both. I don't know where this will lead, and I'm trying really hard not to think about it. (Then I watched the Sex & the City movie and I wanted to get married. WTF? Maybe that's just that movie.) But either way, when I am with him I feel accepted and right now that's what I need.

Growing up, I read and reread Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. I always identified with poor Alice, who only wanted to make sense of things and get back to being herself. I recently recalled this passage:

It was so long since she had been anything near the right size, that it felt quite strange at first; but she got used to it in a few minutes, and began talking to herself, as usual. `Come, there's half my plan done now! How puzzling all these changes are! I'm never sure what I'm going to be, from one minute to another! However, I've got back to my right size: the next thing is, to get into that beautiful garden--how IS that to be done, I wonder?'

That's where I am right now: Finding myself exactly the right size, yet unsure of what I'll be from one day to the next, just wanting to get into the beautiful garden of acceptance.

3 comments:

Eliot

Awwww, honey, I wish you didn't feel the need to fit in with groups of people. It's all so overrated. Personally, I love the fact that I don't fit in anywhere. It's proof of my uniqueness. But, yes, there is a certain loneliness in that. There's a lot of prejudice in the gay & queer community and while people seem surprised by this, I understand that it's human nature. It's no less disappointing, though, especially when it's a community of people whom you feel should know better. The most important thing is that you accept yourself. Everyone else can fuck off. *hugs*

saintchick

I am in the exact same boat. It makes me so very mad/hurt/upset that I am not acknowledged. Its getting better, but no where close to where it should be. I am at a constant battle with this. I have no alternative but to be myself and pray that someone will realize and act on that. Not an easy situation to be in ! I like that Eliot says Fuck off, and that works sometimes ! oxo

13messages

As is said in the movie Down By Law, "It's a sad and beautiful world." Reading this post reminds me of that for some reason.

I wish you well in fitting in. Or rather, I wish you peace while you're wondering when you will.

You write beautifully.

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