Journal entry 1

My girl friends tell me that I don’t know ho to play the game, and they are right.  I spent my teenage years in the closet about liking girls and only daring to imagine beyond the extremely conservative social life my parents’ seemed comfortable with.  I went to college, lived in a women’s dorm, came out, started dating someone, and fell into the rapid socialization of queer radical often poc “down” and really concerned with being down liberal arts community.  To be sure I learned nothing of heterosexual norms and my world was almost all biofemales and trannies. So when I started to realize in my mid twenties that I was in fact attracted to a guy in my master’s program, I had no idea what to do.   I approached it the only queer way I knew how, allowing intense friendships and intimacy and fluidity, and before he barely knew I liked him he was in a committed relationship with (of course) the woman I had confided in about my feelings.  So began the trajectory of the next ten years.

My friends tell me that I am too giving, and guys know it.  They keep all the power, and I don’t demand anything different.   While it’s not a critique someone aligned with black studies and an artistic and intellectual legacy of strong women wants to hear, I know it’s true.  In many ways I’m at a loss of how to play the game, just because I don’t know.  I have come far enough along to be a little bit aware of when someone is playing it around me, but that’s about it.  I’m always in the dark.   The other problem is that I have a commitment to the dark, not to ignorance per say, but to that dark queer space of sociality that is wary of claims to power.  I am surrounded by intellectuals and artists who are committed to the fugitive, to disturbance, difficulty, the margins, and the monstrous, and I am often humbled and inspired by hearing and reading their thoughts on the possibility of impossibles.  But I have also found that there in the midst of the celebration of a desire for “some what of something other,” there are all kinds of investments in power.

I listen to a professor talk about the beauty of the instrument and the kind of social and community of the one who is instrumental and instrumentalized.   It is beauty, but then in a moment, they do not want to be instrumentalized.  They do not want to be played (as it were).  And I understand the hesitancy to want such a thing, but I wonder. I do really wonder.   What is it like to live a life where you are open to being powerless and played. I can’t claim a complete abdication of power or claims to power, but I can say that the critique I get so often about not playing the game and my failure to comply is bound up with a divestment (perhaps innate to who I am because I certainly can’t take credit for any concerted effort) in certain claims of power.


~ by asduckers on September 23, 2014.

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