Topic Bi/Fluid/Pan/Queer folks in a hetero relationship
28 Jun 2013 13:26
Okay. I've been struggling with a similar, if not identical problem for a while now, and I do have some advice for you, but first, some background.
I had a rough coming out. Moreover, a rough series as coming out. Without getting to into it, I waffled back and forth between straight and gay after I came out as bi (when I was fourteen) and had some... negative experiences. First with a man which sent my running back into the closet, then with my first real girlfriend, who sent me running straight back out, but that time as gay. Anyway, time passed and I settled into my identity as a bisexual man, until discovered that the world is a more complex and interesting place than that spectrum.
Now that reality has become a little more apparent through the experience of living, I am out as pan, poly, and trans. A year and a half ago, though, I met and fell in love with my perfect mate, and we've been happily living together for most of that time. With that said, when I moved in with her I moved from one small town (of about 62,000) with a reasonable amount of art, culture and queer activity for its size to another small town (of about 45,000) where there is essentially no art, culture or queer activity in the under 45 set. Add to that my seemingly heterosexual relationship and my complete lack of flames or female attire in public, I am seen by almost everybody as a straight white man. This is frustrating both because I hate the stereotyping of any group regardless of whether or not I'm included in it, and of course because only one of those things is true, but I feel unwelcome where I should not.
With all that in mind, there are a few steps I have taken toward coping with that strain. The first is to remember to talk about who you are and what you like with your partner. If you're in a committed long-term relationship him, then he I suspect he's able to talk about anything with you that's bothering you. If not, that's a point to revisit with him, obviously. Talk with others too; there's nothing wrong with reminding the world who you are, as long as you're not obnoxious about it. That actually leads into the next suggestion pretty well, which is to interact with as many people as you can. You never know who might be looking for the same things you are. If you're in school, go up and talk to people. Find you're school's GSA or anything else like it and meet people.
If you're not in school, or if there just isn't an LGBTTQQOPPIAF group that meets your needs in the area, then start one. Post it to reddit, craigslist, whatever. You'll get responses no matter where you are, unless it's incredibly tiny. It's not at all difficult to run a group like that, just have something in mind for what you want to talk about when you gather some people in a park, conference room, coffee shop, etc. They'll usually take it from there. For more specific suggestions, you could consider starting an LGBTTQQOPPIAF themed book club, or even start a discussion group for people with the same problem you've got. I'd join it if you're anywhere near the Portland area. I think you'd be surprised how much fun the inadvertently oppressed queer community can be.
I also recommend that you go to whatever damn clubs and bars that you feel like and show yourself. You said you're in a new city, so I suspect some of the standoffishness you're feeling might simply be because you're a new face. Maybe not, and in that case, those people are being dicks and you can try the next bar. I realize that this, like much of my advice does hinge on your being in a proper sized city, but you said "my current city". I hope some of it has been helpful.