Audrey Cash

Audrey Cash

Sometimes it feels like I have to coexist in two worlds, as if my queerness must master a balancing act that my brain has yet to teach my body to maneuver. Moving from Atlanta, where I spent four years in college “finding myself,” to Los Angeles felt like I was a freshmen all over again.

In Atlanta, I had a group of friends and we always had something to do. We knew the promoters, the bartenders—everyone. And I knew exactly how I fit in with my crew.

But in L.A., a city where there are a vast number of groups, I didn’t have a clue where to start and moving to a place where I know less than a handful of people has been a rude awakening. It has been an interesting road figuring out how to show up as queer in my two very different circles.

My queer identity manifests in the idea that sexuality is fluid, but my lesbian friends would all gag at the mention of a penis. And my straight friends definitely don’t want to catch my eyes lingering on a woman’s ample behind.

I was recently in a lesbian club for Juicy, a monthly party hosted by The Real L Word star Whitney Mixter and felt so out of place. It seemed like all of the women were secretly a part of some pride rally. They were all screaming, “I love women” and waving their rainbow flags.

Okay, clearly no one in the club was doing that, but it felt like it as they kissed each other and gyrated to Pitbull dancebeats. My friend and I sat there–half envious, half repulsed. Was I jealous because I wish I had a girlfriend to be hugged up with? Or was I sickened because I had been spending too much time in my “straight” world and had internalized self-loathing?

I admit I have been hanging out more with my community of straight friends, but only because I have one lesbian friend in L.A. When I’m with my straight friends, I feel way too gay for them, like I’m the one sporting multicolored beads and glitter. I want to kiki about RuPaul’s Drag Race or talk about how gorgeous my favorite Real Housewives star is, but it feels too much even for my progressive peers.

It’s funny when friends try to pretend like they are okay with your queerness, so one of you does an awkward laugh when you bring things up. I remember mentioning a guy I thought was cute and my ex-girlfriend in the same sentence and my good friend responded, “Huh? I’m confused.” I just paused, scanning her face to see if she was serious since we had had this talk before. Once I realized she was for real and felt the ultimate expression of judgment, I just took a deep sigh and said “never mind.” Sometimes I’m just too tired.

So is there truly a place where queer people can feel they don’t have to conform to the ways of an all gay or all straight circle? I struggle with this and often times don’t believe there is.

For now I have found some solace knowing there is a place for me within both groups to help start the conversation about identity and what it means to be queer, even if I have to create it myself.

– Audrey Cash

Deaundra Audrey Cash is a queer-thinking writer who has penned pieces for AccessHollywood.com, OMG! Yahoo, AOL and E! Online. With a bachelor’s degree from Spelman College and an M.A. in Journalism from Syracuse University, she likes to push the boundaries on conversations about sexuality, identity, and the best taco food trucks in Los Angeles. She is an obsessive “Game of Thrones” fan who loves to watch movies in her free time. For all “Love and Hip Hop” commentary and cupcake reviews, follow her on Twitter @fallforaudrey.

9 Responses

  1. Zyann

    Thank you for this article. This is something I’ve felt for so long but rarely ever express. I’ve always found the lesbian scene a bit much for my taste and although most of my straight friends know I’m bi it’s not something I feel at liberty to express for fear of making them uncomfortable. The only time I actually feel whole is when I’m alone.

    Reply
  2. Bonnie

    I am 100% feeling this editorial! I am so damn tired of not fitting in anywhere…having to explain myself to everyone OR they assume that I want to have sex with them (regardless of the situation or any expression of interest) OR dealing with outright FEAR that I’ll make a pass at them (this is mostly straight Black women). I’m still waiting for our revolution, as it’s tiresome to explain my comfort with the fluidity of human sexuality to every damn closed mind. Thanks for this one, Elixher!

    Reply
  3. Ellyn

    I know a lot of bisexual people can relate to your experience and I’m glad you shared it. I like the term queer too when I’m being inclusive of the whole community, but a lot of gay and lesbian people use the term as well so I want to make sure that people know I’m out and proud as a bi woman. Since you are in LA, let me mention AMBI Los Angeles http://www.meetup.com/ambiLA/ and Los Angeles Bi Task Force http://labicenter.org as groups you might want to connect with to find community.

    Reply
  4. Justice

    I applaud this article! Although I am a lesbian, I feel that we tend to ostracize our queer and bisexual brothers and sisters.We need to have more open discussions about this.We also need to protect each other.For me personally I feel that the gay club scene is too much.Again much needed article, don’t worry about what others think.Just be you!

    Reply
  5. Katie P.

    Thanks for naming this.
    I think that we who fit in both spaces face discrimination still.

    Reply
  6. Sooz

    I know the feeling. Neither straight, nor gay. I don’t like using the term “bisexual.” Add in the conflict that while I have a female body, my brain doesn’t fit in neatly with roles and thoughts attributed to “woman” or “man.” Luckily, in my neighborhood in Seattle, I have the ability to be just about whatever I want at any moment.

    Reply
  7. aDeana

    Maybe it’s just the city I live in but this has never been a problem for me. I have self-identified as queer for the last 3-4 years and the friends I make in my area all identify the same way. In my larger circle of friends there is exactly one lesbian identified couple, everyone else identifies as queer. I have a few straight friends but I don’t see them as often and most days I like it that way because I don’t want to explain my every action and thought to them all the time. L.A. most of a queer scene, it’s population is more than the entire state I live in.

    Reply
  8. Lauren

    Thank you for writing this. I spend a lot of time feeling the exact same way, and it’s nice to know I’m not alone.

    Reply
  9. A. Moncrieft

    Thanks for this eye-opening and personal piece. I always thought that an attractive, feminine woman with less rigidly defined sexual orientation would be the least marginalized or at least be able to fit in with just about any group / party scene and feel accepted and even be the life of the party. But I guess it’s a double edged sword. Fitting in is overrated, you are awesome and some people just won’t understand. But friends that are worth it won’t judge you for being you. Keep shining

    Reply

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