I spent much of the first 26 years of my life like many Jamaican-American girls do. I observed the dynamics of what is considered traditional (and often patriarchal) gender roles between men and women. I grew to internalize (like many women do) the typical cultural ideas of romantic relationships, and the responsibilities that were silently and verbally agreed upon between the sexes. Although I knew that were rules of engagement where romance is concerned, I guess deep down I never really believed them. My disbelief didn’t come from a lack of awareness that those roles existed (harmoniously even), nor was it because I didn’t have healthy examples of heterosexual relationships in my world … I just always felt there were more options, ones not being discussed. I’m by all accounts (internal and external) a “Girl”. I have my dress down days definitely but I love makeup and hair and all of the feminine mystique that comes with being a woman; the same can be said for my Girlfriend. I’m still attracted to men. I love and like sex with men; The same can be said for my girlfriend. I want attention, affection, to hold hands, and to be cuddled. I want to feel desired and pursued. I want to know and trust my significant other, but still be surprised and excited by them…the same can be said for my Girlfriend. In the three serious relationships before her, I had always identified my role in my relationship to a male as it equated with me being a female. I had always defaulted to the examples I had seen as a child and relied on my “man” to do the “manly “ things. I had the luxury of blaming my mate for his shortcomings by saying it was because “he’s a man”.
In the three serious relationships before her, I had always identified my role in my relationship to a male as it equated with me being a female. I had always defaulted to the examples I had seen as a child and relied on my “man” to do the “manly “ things. I had the luxury of blaming my mate for his shortcomings by saying it was because “he’s a man”.
It turns out in a way, that the gender of my partners before my Girlfriend provided me ways to stall having to examine myself as a factor within my relationships. Ironically, it’s because my current partner and I have the same gender that I’m now more aware of what I bring to anyone’s table. She has shown me that I have to put more thought and effort into making sure my partner is getting her desires and efforts reciprocated, where before It was my man’s responsibility to lead and dictate a shared experience like going on a date. Because we’re both women, I’ve naturally fallen into our love as more of a partnership.I see her as a person, not just a man or a woman, or ideal that has to perform in certain ways because of her sex. Because I love this person, my partner I’m happy to plan dates for us (sometime, because I hate planning) because I know she appreciates it and I’m happier when she’s happy. In hindsight, it’s the idea of her as a person and the fact that her ‘self’ was encased in a female body that was (and is) what attracted to me to her. I adore who she is as a woman, both intimately and internally and because of our relationship, and the challenges it’s presented , I actually want to seek out my best self. Our shared femininity and sensitivity really leaves me no place to hide, emotionally and because of this I’m forced to see where I need to grow and evolve, and to also deal with my traumas and discomforts when I’m uncomfortable. Though I may not have known it at first, this relationship would show me way more than just what it was like to sleep with a woman… our relationship continues to show me more everyday about being human, and most importantly about being me .