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Love Languages – Nature v. Nurture

It is hard to distinguish which of my love languages (and in what proportion) are actually mine. Actually are me, rather than how I was raised. The primary one is easy – touch – because it does not appear anywhere else in my family.

My mom’s side of the family is big on hugs hello and goodbye (and because of their long time integration with my dad’s side of the family, my dad’s side has become accepting of this as love), but my mom’s primary receiving and giving love language is clearly quality time. Which as a non-neurotypical kid, this was hard to grasp. What is “quality”? How much time is sufficient to count? What makes her happy in this regard has been what I have focused on as an adult. And this seems to be sufficient to count, for her.

My dad’s side of the family does not do the touch thing. I cannot speak with any degree of accuracy about my dad’s siblings, nor my grandparents on that side, but my dad primarily gives acts of service. So, even though it is not my primary (or even secondary) giving or receiving language, I know what it looks like, and I recognize it when I see it. I see the intent, even if it does not easily register in my personal psyche as given “love”. Which is weird, because when I give love, it is definitely the secondary way in which I give it, because I am a caretaker. I cook, I bake, I do dishes, I drive when needed, I fetch things, I feed the cat. It is odd, at least to me, to give a language in a way that receiving it feels very different.

My secondary love language when it comes to receiving is words of affirmation. None of my current partners are good at this. Moss is fairly good at this, although his primary love language is very distinctly acts of service. It is a pain that none of my partners, nor most of my family, can give to me in one of the languages that feels the most natural to me to receive. Words matter to me, and I want those words backed up with actions, however the combination rings most sincere to me.

The best, from a distance, is well-placed/times/combinations of words of affirmation, combined with promises of good/great touch. Tell me what you want to do with me physically (even in a completely platonic sense) and what doing that specifically with me will mean for you and for our relationship and I am fucking sold. In the right mood and mindset, this is why dirty talk really does it for me – it is the combination of words, with the thought of good touch. Very delightful.

The best way for me to know I am loved (from a distance) is to be told (some of that is trauma-informed and I do not know how much, yet). It is the easiest, even from close up. But hug me or cuddle me close, and tell me how much I matter to you? That, that is the bomb.com.

How can I love you best?

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Gender Nothingness

I struggle with the concept of gender often. I’m not agender, I know that for sure. I have an attachment to some manifestations of gender identity and expression (like “bi-dyke”, as the most accurate description of the intersection of my gender expression and sexual identity), but no resonation with the concept of identifying as a gender. Gender is too much work.

I latched onto the word demigender as the most accurate single word representation of my gender, in the big picture. It doesn’t convey the nuance, or the day to day feeling, but it works overall.

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Pride Challenge: Day 20

Maureen or Joanne? (Or your favorite LGBTQ show or queer-positive show).

I don’t even have any idea what this is in reference to, so I’m glad that they included that last little bit in the prompt.

Sense8.  Without question.  It’s probably pretty cliched to say that, but it is my current favorite.  I love Queer as Folk (both US and UK) and The L Word, but they each had their problematic aspects or concepts they had difficulty portraying well, and I have become less in love with each of them over time.

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Pride Challenge: Day 17

Your first experience with an LGBT organization or event (Day of Silence, Pride, etc)

It was probably Day of Silence that came first.  I remember participating in it wholeheartedly my freshman year in college.  I really appreciate(d) the symbolism of it – silence to highlight the silenced.  These days my job requires me to speak more than I can comfortably excuse under the necessary speaking exception, so I no longer participate – it doesn’t feel right, for that reason alone.  I still support the idea behind it 100%.

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Pride Challenge: Day 16

A picture from your first LGBT relationship or of your first LGBT crush

This particular “relationship” ended poorly, but I am not up for outing them in a public forum, by posting a picture.  They don’t have any importance in my life anymore, but I still respect that desire for privacy.

Instead, I’ll tell you about the picture.

There are three of us – for about a year we did an amazing number of social things together.  This picture is me, her, and him.  I am decked out in my typical university attire – jeans and a pullover hoodie (I assume I’m wearing a t-shirt underneath, given the time of year and what I typically did).  We are coming back from some event on campus at night – the flash lights up all our faces, but the background is dark.  I think she and are starting to split at about this point in time – we never quite had the chemistry, but this was my first dip into that pool, so it’s worth something.

This picture still comes up for me occasionally in my Facebook pictures – I look at it, sigh at what happened after that, and pass on.

My first serious girl crush was also during college (I say serious, because I had a fancy for a moment for a gal in high school, but couldn’t quite admit that I  was bi yet) – she was the same year as I was, super smart, and involved with one of the student politics clubs on campus – I want to say environmentalism, socialism, or atheists.  Or maybe a combination of the three over the years.  I had a crush on her for all of my college years and I don’t even know if she was queer – I know she participated in some events through the school’s LGBTQ center, but so did a lot of straight people.  Oddly enough, given my tastes since, my first girl crush was not very femme.  She had dark brown straight hair and pale skin and I admired her dedication to her social justice work.

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Pride Challenge: Day 13

Your favorite LGBT role model/celebrity.

The people who organize queer inclusive events, who are inclusive of the wide spectrum of queer and trans/non-binary identities.

I find that a lot of the people I used to idolize in the queer community have either fallen by the wayside or have some problematic views on gender binaries.