Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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Because I Feel Like Asking

How old were you when you first heard of the concept that not all people are heterosexual?

How old were you when you first began to consider yourself non-heterosexual (if ever)?

How old were you when you first found out that anyone you'd met was non-heterosexual?

How old were you when you first acquired any regular internet access?

Essay Question for Bonus Points:
Was there anything particularly interesting or unusual about the order in which you experienced these events?

Example: I first heard of the theoretical existence of queer people when I was seven years old, but since I'd never heard of any specific queer people I just treated it as a kind of urban myth, and I didn't actually give much serious consideration to the notion of "What if there really are actual queer people?" until the day I turned queer myself, the spring of 1992, when I was 15, at which point my thought process proceeded all at once in the span of about five minutes along lines something like this: "What if there really are actual queer people? But if people are really capable of same-sex attraction, why would only some of them be capable of it and not others? How horrible it would be if you could fall in love with someone and they'd be physically incapable of falling in love with you too, even if they really liked you and really wanted to! How horrible if love could be limited by something so superficial as body types! Wait a minute, that's what it would mean if everybody were heterosexual too . . . I don't believe love should work that way. I resolve to love anybody whose mind is worthy of me, no matter what body type they have."

And then I didn't meet an actual queer person other than me until nearly two years later, March 3, 1994, when I was 17. So in the intervening time I had nothing but a cheap local public access queer TV show for queer company, and after August 1993 when I discovered David Bowie I had him for company (though I was rather traumatized at the end of high school when my best friend Christine informed me that David Bowie had changed his mind about his queerness and been calling himself hetero since 1983 . . . but that was later, I'd met other queer people in person by that time). I didn't have access to queer books (lack of privacy) nor to the internet (I didn't get internet access until my second semester of college). So I grew up very isolated in a way that probably no middle-class queer teenager in the Western world ever will be again, now that internet access is so much more widely available.
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