Re: the split attraction model

and my coming-out experiences in general.

So one of the main criticisms of the split attraction model that I’ve seen, is that it fits into & enables pressure on lesbians to remain “available to men” in some way. Like, that women who are questioning their sexuality may find it less scary (or may be actively pressured by people around them) to ID as something like “lesbian but biromantic” or “bisexual but only romantically attracted to women”, to sort of keep a toehold in Normal Heterosexuality.

In this post I explained that I kind of felt the opposite.

Today’s topic is, why did I not feel that way?

— I was relatively sheltered from serious in-person homophobia, and I found friends in online LGBT communities at a relatively young age (at least, relative to when I started to question my sexuality) so the idea of being attracted to women or not being attracted to men was less scary to me than it could have been. I had role models and accepting friends. My family and my family’s church had never said a homophobic word in my presence. I didn’t have any significant reason to be in denial about or to be afraid of the possibility of being a lesbian, beyond it being a big change in how I thought of myself.

— I was pretty damn isolated from Normal Teenage Girl Culture. I didn’t have friends who would ask me about my crushes or expect me to be dating. And I wasn’t trying to get closer to Normal Teenage Girl-ness– I didn’t feel like I Should be dating or anything like that. I remember the day I realized that dating and romance were actual real possibilities for other people my age, not just something that happened in books, TV, and to nebulously Older people. I felt pretty weird for not having realized it earlier, but also it still felt totally impossible for me to date anyone myself, so it didn’t change anything.

I don’t remember ever being teased about not dating, either. It would have been like #30 on the list of weird things about me, very thoroughly explained by numbers 1 through 29.

— Nobody wanted me to actually be “available” to them in practice instead of in theory. Like, really. Available to what men? I was a social outcast and I was also terrified of the concept of fashion because it meant people looking at me. I also sucked at keeping up a self-care routine and got up at the latest possible time I could and still get to school on time. I wasn’t even shy in an easy-to-take-advantage-of way, not obviously, I don’t think, because I probably just looked blank and confused most of the time, not scared.

Or like. Regardless of whether there was any reason for my male peers to be attracted to me or not, they apparently weren’t. None of them ever expressed interest in me. There was nothing for me to feel pressure to say yes to, so that kind of pressure wasn’t on my mind at all.

— My parents never pressured me to date, either. I think they were kind of afraid to bring up the topic of my social isolation, and they weren’t very big on making me do things for my own good in general.

 

————

Way back when I started this blog, I thought I should write something about my coming-out process, but I never felt able to do it. I guess I’ve finally gotten there.

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