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Board Member and Social Coordinator, BiNet LosAngeles

Current Residence: Los Angeles Area, California, USA

5/6/01: Hi all!

My friend pointed out this group's website to me, and I loved it, then I discovered you had a yahoogroup, so here I am. I've always been rather passionate about my belief that "queer by choice" is true for *some* people. Perhaps such people are a minority within the queer community, but I believe they *do* exist. I've also been passionate about my political feeling that working from the pathetic "we can't help it" excuse isn't the best way for progress. Part of that feeling is the suspicion that that excuse will leave many bisexual people out of the picture.

I believe further (not too surprising here) that I am such a "queer by choice" person. I thought I was straight 'til about age 30 when I was making more serious attempts to explore different facets of my sexuality and thoughts of the practicalities of actually bringing some of my fantasies to life. I actually discovered my bisexuality through a "thought experiment"! I had had a fantasy about being sexual with two bi men (or just watching two gay/bi men), since around age 20 or so. So at age 30 I was with a very playful straight man, and I fantasized about asking him to fool around with a guy for my benefit. Of course I knew it was terribly unlikely that he'd be interested or willing (and I'd *never* push my fantasy on him), but I had the thought that "boy, I wish he'd be open-minded enough to try that". So, being the kind of person I am, obsessed with philosophical consistency in my life, I had to ask myself the corresponding question—if *he* asked me to fool around with another woman for *his* sake, could I do it? So, I envisioned a fantasy scene around this idea, and to my surprise I was actually turned on by it! So, that began the beginning of my exploration of my bisexuality. I confirmed that, yes I did like women "that way" and that I was happier being open to the possibilities of dating women. But, since I had led a straight life 'til age 30, and never felt any "gnawing need" to date women, I feel that through self exploration I discovered my capacity to love women. I never *had to* act on this capacity; I was just very happy to discover a whole new avenue of romantic and sexual attractions to explore! I effectively chose to be bi, and prefer it this way. OK, perhaps I was "born with" a subtle bi tendency, but it was definitely my choice to actively seek it out and explore it. I still *mostly* date men, but sometimes I meet a special woman who affects me "that way", and now that I'm aware of and open to my possibilities about women, I am very happy to date them too.

I've been polyamorous since I was a teenager, with only my later teen years and early adulthood marking periods where I thought I had to be monogamous—I somehow believed that my polyamorous proclivities were just part of my youthful idealism, and that I had to grow up and accept the practical fact that monogamy was required. I'm much happier now that I've discovered that monogamy isn't really *required*, it's just usually assumed and expected. So when I realized that I didn't have to be monogamous, I started dating multiple men, then later after I confirmed my bisexuality, I would occasionally date women too (some people think bisexuality causes polyamory, but it didn't for me). My polyamorous tendencies have been so obvious and strong in my life (unlike my bi tendencies) that I could imagine saying I was "born that way". But I wouldn't, because I'd never want to use such a reason to "justify" my desires.

I enjoy being bisexual, and resent anyone who says that being queer isn't a choice. I chose to be bi, and prefer it to being straight. I know I could go back to a straight life if somehow forced to (if the damned Religious Right ever took over and spied on all of us, for example), but I'd never want to. Actually I'd probably still resist to the bitter end with my queer comrades. I resent it that some queer folx (primarily non-choice gay or lesbian folx) think I would just deny my queerness at the first sign of inconvenience. I'm a committed queer, and I work as a bi activist. I love being queer, and don't understand why some queer folx say "I can't help it; do you think I'd be queer if there was a choice?" Grrr. Sounds like a manifestation of internalized homophobia to me.

I hated it when Justin on "Queer as Folk" just tossed in a little comment when he and his mother were talking with the principal of his private school—he said "It isn't a choice, you know" (or something similar to that), and I just had to rant about that to the straight guy I was watching the show with (who records them for me)—he'd never heard anything about the "queer by choice" issue, and didn't understand at all why Justin's comment irked me so much. So I 'splained the choice thing to him, and he got it.

More about me—due to that long-standing fantasy I've had (that I mentioned above) for "hot bi boys", I started a yahoo group around the idea. The group is for girlfags (me—girls who like and/or identify with gay/bi men) and guydykes (guys who like and/or identify with lesbian/bi women). The girlfag idea spans the idea from a girl who likes "hot bi boys", to a woman who wants to have a *serious* relationship with a bi man, to a person who was born a woman but who identifies in part or in full as a gay or bi man (all of these are true for me). For more info about this idea, plus links on how to join the group, I now have my own URL: . I will also be giving a 90 minute workshop entitled

GirlFags and GuyDykes and
Those Who Want To Find Them

at the North American Conference on Bisexuality, Gender, and Sexual Diversity, which will be held August 9th-12th, 2001 at the University of British Columbia Conference Centre, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. . . . One of the coolest things I've learned so far about the girlfag idea is that bi and gay men have been so ecstatic to learn that girlfags exist! That's so cool, because that means that biggest help to finding happy girlfag & guy-who-wants-a-girlfag combinations is to get the word out and identify who's looking for whom. We're just starting to do this now.

Thanx for reading,

5/6/01: I *really* wanted to use "boydyke" for the male equivalent of a girlfag—but unfortunately upon doing a web search to see what words were already in use, I was bummed to discover that the term boydyke is *already* in use. For example, the site defines boydyke as "a boyish looking, or boy-identified dyke". A google search finds three pages of hits for "boydyke" used in this context. Oh well.

I actually took a poll on my GirlFags email list to find out if people wanted to *add* a new definition to this existing term, or if people would prefer to create a distinct term (and I suggested guydyke, since it was the next closest term to girlfag). Because not only is boy/girl a traditional opposite, so is guy/girl—"guy" is not as cute as "boy", but at least it creates a distinctly different term. The term "guydyke" was the clear winner in the poll, with seven times as many votes as "boydyke", and second place was "none of the above". So people really wanted a specific unambiguous term that wasn't already in use, which I wholeheartedly agreed with. So, we settled on "guydyke". Whatcha gonna do? So now if you go to google, and type in gydyke, you get ONE hit—my girlfags homepage!

5/9/01: Part of my working definition for "guydyke" (and similarly for "girlfag" too) includes an explicit acknowledgment that your "guydyke" attractions may be only a part of all your attractions—that you may well have other attractions that can't be described as guydyke-like attractions. The point of creating the term is to be able to talk about those sorts of attractions that guydykes *do* have in common, and not to fret about what other sorts of attractions we don't have in common. Not to minimize those other attractions at all, of course, but I created this term to have a word to use to describe a common sort of attraction that isn't usually explicitly discussed in a serious way.

And I completely agree with you about the gender roles that have been applied to us being too one-sided and restricting.

Many girlfags and guydykes (certainly not all) are fully or partially transgendered (genderqueer). I personally identify *partially* as a "gay man in a woman's body". I've been enjoying subtle cross-dressing as a gay man (though not trying to "pass" at all), which is pretty funny since gay men's clothes don't differ all that much from certain types of women's clothes, so few people even suspect that I'm cross-dressing unless I tell them! But I enjoy it, and love to shop at gay men's stores.

I too don't actually want to be a man (usually), and am comfortable with my physical body. I call myself genderqueer. I am crafting my own sort of gender expression that differs from the usual two, and somehow "girlfag" is for me a primary part of that gender expression. I'm still working on it (playing with it).

I'm glad the term "guydyke" is resonating for you. I hope it catches on, as well as "girlfag" which is still terribly obscure, because I think we need these terms, to give us the words that will help us begin to address these sorts of attractions in a more direct manner, and begin to learn more about the sorts of people who feel that "guydyke" or "girlfag" fits them. That's my quest.

I consider guydykes and girlfags to be two "flavors" of sexual orientation (or "sexual preference", if you prefer) that are just two small parts of the whole fascinating spectrum of sexual/romantic/other attractions. I'm beginning to wonder if gender and sexual orientation are aspects of us that cannot be fully separated out—that these two aspects mingle and influence each other and work together in ways that ultimately cannot be accurately described separately.


5/9/01: I'm not big on japanese comix and anime, but I recently found out about yaoi, and was fascinated. I was reading CYBERSOCKET magazine, and saw a story about yaoi, with a pointer to a website that became From that site, they explain that:

Yaoi is the Japanese word for slash or male-to-male relationships/sex. For those who are culturally deficit, ignorant or just plain clueless, this means GAY SEX!!

I find it especially fascinating that yaoi are japanese comix about gay relationships and sex which are *primarily* designed for the enjoyment of straight japanese women! Kinda like slash fiction in this country (slash fiction is fan-written stories, usually featuring stories about straight male characters from TV or movies, but acting out gay stories in the slash fiction). Slash fiction in the US is usually written by women, primarily for women (though exceptions abound, of course).

I am interested in these yaoi and slash phenomena for three main reasons. The first is that these phenomena reveal that many straight-identified women find gay relationships and sex appealing. This is a taste that has been well-hidden in this country, even to the point that I remember reading in the mid-80's in the book "Men in Love" by Nancy Friday, where she said that something to the effect that "while it's common for men to fantasize about two women together, women do not have corresponding fantasies about two men together." I was horrified, since this was one of my favorite fantasies at the time! Nancy Friday was later forced to recant this statement (though I don't believe she did it thoroughly enough!). Anyway, so I see the existence of yaoi and slash as proof that such attractions of women to gay men (at least the fantasy of gay men) are much more common than people realize.

Second, I see yaoi and slash as indicative of many women's interest in gay male or queer topics. I believe that such an interest is queer in itself. This lends a bit of queerness to a straight woman's world! It was a starting point for me that led me to CHOOSE a queer bi poly girlfag life instead of remaining within the straight expectations I had grown up with.

Third, of course I view writers, artists, and readers of yaoi and slash as a group of people who would be potentially interested in my girlfags email list and website—

Many years ago, slash was the first external indication I had that there might be other girlfags out there, and that was a nice warm comforting thought! I'm trying very hard to raise awareness now, so other girlfags and guydykes out there won't feel so alone.


5/16/01: I remember my first "pure bi moment". I was at an airport, and there was a person ahead of me at the ticket counter who I could only see from behind. The person was about my height (5'7"), somewhat slender, and had long wavy blond hair. I was instantly attracted, especially because I have a particular liking for long hair. After noticing my attraction, I paused to wonder what sex the person was. I realized that I really had no idea—I couldn't tell at all. I then consciously noticed that it didn't matter to me, that the person could turn out to be male or female (or even genderqueer or other, as I'd add in retrospect) and I'd still be very attracted. Eventually the person turned around to walk away from the counter, and I discovered that he was (appeared to be) male. And I was right, I was still attracted to him. In a sense though, I realized that I had lost a little something by finding out his sex—the specialness of a genderfree attraction had been lost. But I still cherish that little span of time before I found out, and hope I will have more chances to experience that feeling.

5/18/01: Those rainbows aren't some "gay secret code", they're a way to be out without putting some stupid tacky or explicit sign on you that says "I'm queer". How else are we gonna identify each other outside explicit queerspace without being *really* faggy or dykey or queeny -or- wearing signs -or- shouting "I'm queer!"? I smile when I see rainbow stickers on cars, because I know there are more queers around me—I really like knowing they're there. I was once on a week-long business trip to Tucson, Arizona, and was feeling very lost and alone, and the sight of a rainbow sticker on a car in a parking lot really cheered me up. I also enjoy seeing rainbow flags on businesses or along streets. I like it when the queer community is *visible*, and the rainbows are a great simple way of doing this.

OK, that bandana thing *is* a "secret code", but it does have its uses by folx who want to play that game, so why dis them?

I like using the rainbow to let interested people around me know I'm queer. I have a rainbow sticker on my car (it's a cool long skinny difractive rainbow stripe that I have on the back of my purple car), and I wear a rainbow ring most of the time. I like wearing it at work, so I don't have to *explicitly* "come out" in a situation where the last thing I want to discuss with most of them is my personal life. Yet, those who are also queer or queer-friendly will know, and they're the ones I want to know, for support (letting them know I'm there), or to provide an opener if anyone ever wants to discuss it with me. Of course anti-queer types will also know, but I don't care about that.

I'm very glad we have bi colors—we've had them for about 4 or 5 years, I think. I almost always wear a necklace with the bi colors on it, and was actually asked about it once by someone who knew it was "something queer". The bi colors are still not very well-known, and I want to help increase awareness of them. I wear these things because I want to be known! Some other minorities are always "known" on sight, particularly many members of racial or ethnic minorities, and so they get the advantage of recognition and support from their peers. So I label myself with our symbols, because I want to give and receive that support. I enjoy this, and like the way it lets me be "quietly out" without making a big fuss about it. Also, since bi people are not as visible (yet) as the gay and lesbian community, this is my little personal effort to increase bi visibility; it makes me smile and feel proud of our efforts when I wear it.

3/15/02: So, I watched Rosie's Interview last night on Primetime [see this article for excerpts] and I really enjoyed it. I really liked and admired Rosie for her dedication to adopted kids' plights and to the cause of gay adoption. And I liked her confidence and candidness in talking about the stuff. (And the gay couple from Florida with the five kids were truly SuperDads!) Great!

HOWEVER, there was that comment that really rankled:

I don't think you choose whether or not you're gay. Who would choose it? It's a very difficult life. You get socially ostracized. You worry all the time whether or not you're in physical danger if you show affection to your partner. You're worried that you're an outcast with your friends and with society in general.

Damn. This was a very disappointing comment. I even ended up writing a rant about it that I posted to LiveJournal here. I really wish she hadn't had to mention the whole damned choice excuse.

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