Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

Settling In

Looked up people in LiveJournal who share my interest in bonobos and ended up at Kris's journal. Didn't see a single entry in it that was even remotely related to bonobos (hmm, I can't say I expect to mention bonobos all that often in mine either, actually) but her June 7, 2001 entry caught my attention:

There are things that bother me online that are really not a factor offline (- I guess it might sound surprising to find that there are things I am actually more secure about offline, after years of being told by The Big Bad Evil Media that people like me run to the 'net to dodge our insecurities-).. that's a burden when deciding to pool most of your social outlet into a text-based forum. I understand that much. I rely so much on body language and vocal clues and actions and such to figure out where I stand with people, and whether or not I can trust them more than I trust the economy and astrology and a music industry that churns out boy bands. But I'm an observer, we do these things. And we're good at it.
The sick sad thing is that I used to trust text, and I've fallen from that. I miss it, but it couldn't have lasted.. too many people who you think you're on the same level with, til That Fateful Day or Week or Year when the proverbial shit hits the proverbial fan and you're left in a dark dusty corner somewhere with a steaming mug of Wake-up Call cluing you into the fact that humans, inherently, are complete assholes.

I mused over this with some fascination, especially considering that the reason I developed my interest in bonobos which led me to be reading Kris's journal in the first place was all due to my best friend Frank Aqueno who I've known online for two years exactly as of tomorrow (yes, I remember dates like that - and I shall send him an email about it tomorrow and mention it to him) but I've never met him face to face. I do trust some people's text. I do trust Frank's text.

A long time ago, back in early 1995 when I was first introduced to the Internet, I remember having an email correspondence that lasted several months and then suddenly being very surprised and a little disturbed to realize what kind of person I was corresponding with . . . it was some very wild heavily pierced and tattooed mohawked leather-clad punk teenager who I'd never have dared to go near in offline life and wouldn't have expected to have so much in common with as I turned out to have. I haven't been so much surprised since then though . . . there are certainly some surprises sometimes, but no horribly unpleasant shocks. Well, I guess there was one: my first Internet romance, in summer 1999, ended in the unpleasantly shocking revelation that my supposedly agnostic cybergirlfriend had suddenly started attending Catholic church and praying to be made into an ex-gay. Then she wanted me to teach her how to become an ex-gay. This didn't sit well with me, so we had a couple of long talks (during which it became increasingly obvious that virtually everything she has presented herself to me as being was either hopelessly incomplete or an outright lie) and then parted ways.

Still, people can lie to you or mislead you or unpleasantly surprise you quite a bit offline too. I don't think avoiding the Internet would do anyone any good for avoiding lies. You just have to learn to tell the difference between the people who are working on an honest long-term friendship with you and the ones who are just looking for a momentary escapist fantasy.

I'm currently getting to know a second Frank: Frank Episale. I suspect him of still having some fairly big surprises left in him. But I'm choosing to deliberately gamble on investing my time on him anyway. The return on my investment for the past four months has been satisfactory, at least.

Today on AIM I told Pekky about having started a LiveJournal (I originally discovered LiveJournal through the bisexual community's journal and wandered from there to the Asrai Collective's journal and firecat's journal before deciding I had to get one of these for myself) but I was quite extremely surprised to find that Pekky already had a LiveJournal of her own. And the welcome message she wrote for me in her journal after finding out I'd joined was quite amusing too.

Pekky also asked if I would start a Queer by Choice community journal. I said I didn't know if there would be enough queer by choice LiveJournal users for that to work, but Pekky assured me that there are, and named some for me. I suppose she's right. I'm still not sure if I want to do it though. I have these nightmarish visions of it being invaded by hundreds of harassing Born That Way fanatics who drown out all the queer by choice voices and submerge the whole community in nonstop arguments. Of course I've dealt with some of that on the Queerchoice mailing list already, but I think the mailing list format tends to weed out a lot of those people (it's one thing to stop by and make rude comments in a LiveJournal that you violently disagree with, but quite another to sign up to receive a mailing list that you violently disagree with in your email every day). I know LiveJournal provides some options for banning people, but I hate dealing with those kinds of unpleasantries and I'm not sure I'd have the stomach for it all. Besides, then there's also be really nice people who would just join the LiveJournal community and I'd so desperately want them to join the Queerchoice mailing list instead but they'd judge the mailing list based on the LiveJournal community and feel like it would just be more of the same, which it never could be in my eyes so it would drive me batty trying to convey that to them.

The problem is that I just believe in my mailing list so damned much. I can't honestly believe that any queer person who considers their queerness a choice could fail to be made permanently infinitely happier and more alive and more in love with life by joining the Queerchoice list. I just absolutely can't believe that any queer by choice person who fails to join Queerchoice could possibly be making the right decision.

Of course some queer by choice people do decide not to join. And I do force myself to stop pestering them about it. Good manners are important. But I still always feel they've made the wrong decision, that's all.

Anyway, though, I'll keep thinking over Pekky's suggestion and see if I change my mind about anything.

I think I've written more than enough for today. There are fireworks going off outside (it being the 4th of July and this being America and all that - despite what David Bowie is singing through my CD player speakers at the moment) and I am sitting inside alone with a black sheet from my bed wrapped turban-like around my head, for no better reason than that I had a sudden impulse to wrap it there. It makes my head several pounds heavier than usual, which is an interesting sensation that throws my brain slightly off-balance.
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