On Being a Raging Lesbian

I write a sex column for my college newspaper. A few weeks ago I wrote an article about the proper use of condoms. I hear all the time about students who don't ever use condoms, or who do silly things like use one the first time they have sex with someone and then stop after that because "what's the point?" I wanted to talk about some of the difficulties people have using condoms and give students a few ideas about ways to address them.

I had recently started sleeping with a new guy, Z, who I have since been seeing a lot of. He was hanging out with a girl, a friend of his who he later slept with, the day my condom article came out in the paper. She was flipping through the paper and pointed out my article to him. "What does this chick know about condoms? I've heard she's, like, a raging lesbian."

Now, this is ironic because he, a guy, had just had sex with me the night before. She had no idea that we were connected in that way. He told me the story because he thought it was funny; we had used several condoms in the few days before the comment.

Now, this is not a girl I've ever met. I hadn't even seen her before he pointed her out to me in the dining hall a week and a half later. She doesn't run in my social circle; she doesn't know my friends. I had no idea, in fact, that she existed.

So it's weird that she thinks I'm a "raging lesbian." While the narcissist in me is delighted that strangers know and talk about me, the rest of me is puzzled and a little put off. It's hard to try and carve out an identity for myself. I want to be an activist. I want to be involved in the queer community. I want to be involved in the feminist movement.

But I suppose one consequence of this is that others will decide for themselves who I am. They'll label me, and I won't have any choice in the matter. In a lot of ways, my public identity will be decided for me, and a lot of the time it probably won't be positive. The things I'm working for are not exactly popular. They're controversial.

It's weird to have that start already. I'm still in college. I still think that most people here are or should be open-minded. Not so quick to judge. I suppose that's naive. I'm going to have to get used to the public identity that doesn't belong to me. I need to be solid in my own feelings about myself and sure of my personal identity so I can do my work, take the criticisms and snap judgments, and still feel like a person with my own life.

It's sad that it has to be that way, but I can take it as the way things are.


On living, loving, learning, and fucking with the materials I've got at hand.

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