LGBT

the second queer adolescence

the second queer adolescence

A couple weeks ago, I was FaceTiming with a fellow queer friend, and we got to talking about something that seems to be rather ubiquitous in the queer world, particularly for queer people who were raised in conservative Christian or other conservative spaces, the second queer adolescence that so many of us experience in our late teens, early twenties, or perhaps even later in life, depending on your individual circumstances. While this isn’t an uncommon occurrence or topic of conversation in queer circles, a quick Google search also shows that it’s not talked about nearly as much as many of us have experienced it.

Developmentally speaking, there are usually certain ages and stages in life where people tend to sort through specific things, and for most people, adolescence, generally between the ages of 13-17, is when explorations into identity and sexuality tend to happen. This is usually when teenagers tend to date their first significant other, are sorting out their own individual identity as separate from their parents, and all the things that come along with those domains. Or at least, I should say…for most straight adolescents that is. This is starting to change for the better more recently, but for many of us queer millennials and older, this probably wasn’t the case, which is why we tend to experience a second queer adolescence at an older age.

the hours after all the weddings

the hours after all the weddings

The other day, my therapist and I laughed about the fact that I’ve been to a lot of weddings lately, which is true. By the end of October, I will have been to 10 weddings in the last year and a half, and 3 of those weddings will all have been in the month of October. Having gone to a small Christian college, this number may seem absurd to some and just about par for the course for others. But I think I’d probably also lean on the side of saying that I’ve been to a lot of weddings in the last year and a half, and I know for a fact that I already have at least 4 weddings to go to next summer, still almost a year away. (Then again, a friend of mine did mention to me last summer that they had been invited to 14 weddings just over the summer, but I digress.)

I think about that number quite a bit as I think on the last year or so. 10 weddings amounts to a little more than one every other month if you average it out, and I think I’ve definitely been feeling that in my spirit lately.

I don’t write about this specific set of feelings for a variety of reasons, not wanting to come across the wrong way as being annoyed or ungrateful that I’ve been invited to part of a wonderful day for so many of my friends, not wanting to seem like I’m self-pitying or anything like that, and also the fact that I genuinely enjoy going to all these weddings. They’re immensely joyful and fun, and I’m truly honored to be able to be present with my friends on these days, but the hours (and sometimes days) after all the weddings are always a little hard if I’m being honest.

a second coming out of sorts

a second coming out of sorts

This post is one I’ve been trying to write on and off since late this summer, and I’m still not really sure why I was never able to finish it. What I write here probably won’t come as a surprise to many people who know me well, even though I’ve realized that I haven’t really talked about this much with a lot of the people in my life. In all honesty, I’ve probably written more Twitter threads on this specific topic and elaborated on it more in that fashion than I have verbally to the majority of my friends.

But in the spirit of National Coming Out Day yesterday and the fact that I’ve been realizing just how much this other aspect of myself really does impact my day-to-day life and relationships, I finally decided to sit down and get myself to hammer out this post.

Something else people will need to understand prior to me really starting this post (and let’s be honest, I’m probably going to make a little series on this, but don’t quote me on that, because clearly it took me ages to write this one) is that the catalyst for this entire revelation was my glamping trip with the internet queers earlier this summer. I’m sure that I would’ve made this connection and realized this about myself eventually, but being able to spend several days surrounded by only fellow queer people all along the spectrum of sexuality probably expedited this process quite significantly.

While I was there, I was telling a story about a series of interactions I had with a guy earlier that summer and upon finishing my story, one of my friends who was sitting there remarked to me saying: “That’s a really demisexual thing to say.” In that moment, I had a simultaneously really profound and really simple revelation at the same time. I’m demisexual.

a week with the queers

a week with the queers

Okay, so maybe the title and header are a little misleading. It was four days. And we stayed in cabins, so I guess it doesn't *really* count as camping, but the prevailing idea remains, and I think it's really important to write about it and talk about it.

As a queer person, and specifically as a queer Christian who grew up in a lot of conservative Christian circles, I went into this four day glamping trip with exclusively other queer people with an odd mix of sheer excitement, trepidation, and wonder. I mean, when you really think about it (and when I would tell people about what my plans for the end of July were), it does sound a little crazy doesn't it?

I was about to fly from Minneapolis to Nashville to go to "queer summer camp," as we had all collectively dubbed it, with about 15 other queer people that I had only otherwise met on the internet, specifically from Twitter. Sure, many of us had interacted extensively online before and many more of us had FaceTimed each other or otherwise gotten the chance to spend time together virtually, but this four day trip was going to be the first time that many of us would be meeting each other in person. And for me, it was going to be the first time I would be meeting any of these people in person.

this summer is sacred

this summer is sacred

Something I noticed recently is how we often don't pay all that much attention to the progression of the calendar year, because for the most part, it's become mostly irrelevant. We say that the first of January signals the beginning of a new year, but because of how central the school year is to so many of our lives, whether we're students, or parents of students, etc., the beginning of the calendar year usually feels a little more like the middle of the year, with Christmas break and all.

Likewise, summer often tends to feel like the end of the year, with the end of summer relaying that the school year is about to start again. That's generally when I feel like the majority of us tend to feel like we're approaching a new year, as the fall rolls around.

Despite our general indifference/ignorance towards what actually constitutes the beginning or end of a given season, I've found myself acutely aware of just how many months have gone by over the course of 2018, and maybe that's why this current summer, the summer of 2018, feels peculiarly sacred.