volume eight

well this turned into an essay - pt 3

each week, once I have decided what is weighing heaviest on me or magically pulling at my heartstrings the most, I start to write and then I don’t stop. I write and write and write until I don’t have any more thoughts (for now) on that topic. sometimes that turns into 5947 words, so welcome to part three of three. you can read the rest of this essay here.

Not long before my twenty-first birthday, my Dad came out to me. I am going to give a very brief version of my experience around this — in part, because I have already written so much this week, in part because you can hear more of it in the pilot episode of my podcast My Dad Stole My Limelight, but mostly because since recording that pilot I have had a huge amount of personal growth, have put in a lot of work and I am focussing more on my journey than the journey of others. Dad’s journey is his own and ultimately he did it on the timeline that worked for him. I am grateful for him opening doors for me and for him being true to himself.

All of that being said, I was young and didn’t have this frame of mind yet. Everything was about me. So I took this as the perfect excuse to take a backseat for several more years and go with “well all anyone cares about is Dad’s coming out now, they will just think I am copying him like they think I suck up to him for everything”. What actually happened was my Dad and I were very close and he chose to have a very important conversation with me and share with me about himself before he told many others and I am so, so lucky to have been that person. I love him!

The truth behind me not coming out around that time is that I wasn’t ready because I didn’t have the language yet to describe what I was feeling. As I say in the intro of my podcast “You never owe coming out to anyone. There is no right or wrong time to come out. You may come out as one thing now and another thing later and that’s okay too”. I say this as I need to remind myself of this constantly. I aim for the podcast to be something I needed when I was younger and the community that has been built with it really, really is just that.

When I was done living in Sydney I made the move to Noosa, in Queensland. I worked the phrase “your bisexual friend” into a conversation with two of my friends while talking about myself. They didn’t react, neither did I. Life went on.

In my early twenties, I went to Mexico and made friends with someone who is still a friend today. While we were there, her boyfriend told her on their daily Facetime he didn’t like how nice I was to her because I was a lesbian trying to steal her away. This says more about him than it does me, but it was confronting to hear and presented me with an assumption that my niceness meant I was hitting on someone and even worse left a false weight on my shoulders that was lesbian = a threat.

In 2015 I moved to Canada, with a pit stop in LA along the way. I made new friends in both places. Friends who knew nothing about me but wanted to know everything. Someone in LA on a night out, asked, among many things, what my sexuality was — it wasn’t out of the blue as we were making our way to West Hollywood to party in queer spaces and it was presented in a “who do we look for to find you a fun hook up while you are in town?” way.

One person interrupted before I could answer and said “you just love everyone, gender doesn’t matter” and I agreed.

Once I got to Canada I was asked this question again, by new friends. I answered bisexual, and I meant it. I didn’t know any other term for people who were attracted to others regardless of gender. This felt right. It still does.

The first friend I made in Canada I fell in love with. She knows this now after I spoke about it in the pilot of my podcast and she listened and wrote to me (eek) and it was beautiful! We both had feelings for each other and never acted on them, aside from occasional flirting.

When recording the pilot of my podcast and reflecting on our friendship, I was glad it went the way it did because this way we have grown together and still have each other in our lives. She feels the same. Before getting here though, at one point on a visit years ago, I remember her asking me “you love him don’t you?” after she had met my boyfriend at the time. I cried. I answered “yes”, and I meant it. I cried because I loved her too.

She is one of my closest and most supportive friends as I am to her. She is actually coming to visit me soon and I get to meet her husband, who I am so excited to meet. Honestly, life is magical how many chapters it can have.

Once on the bus, a girl hit on me and I made up some elaborate story in my head that she was a government spy, as I was waiting on my permanent residency and she was asking a lot of questions about my life. I ran into her serendipitously many times after that and I ended up going on some dates with her. That led to me finding out she had a girlfriend who didn’t know she was spending time with me. My moral compass was not what ended things with her, but it was a convenient excuse not to continue to date a woman and therefore welcome something so new, so exciting and so terrifying into my life.

I once (for several months, then took a break then came back then stopped again) had a brief stint of doing stand up comedy. I did it at the exact time everyone says you shouldn’t, right after a break-up. I won’t lie, I really liked it, and I was pretty good at it considering how new I was at it too. I will say that I like to express what I have to say via newsletters now — in front of 200 people is just not for me anymore plus I prefer you digest my thoughts in the comfort of your own home.

My time on stage was an incredibly excellent time to write jokes about how I felt, in my relationship with my parents, my upbringing, my relationships and dating and in my sexuality. Performing stand up comedy is not for me, and I continue to admire the friends of mine that do it and do it so damn well. What it did give me was the ability to “come out” on stage. Talking about my sexuality publically, and even taping the performances and sending them to friends and family to watch, meant that I never “came out” but rather gave myself space to have this public proclamation of my identity. It was magically fucking healing.

A couple of years ago, and after over the years of being asked earnestly by friends if I was asexual, I googled “can you be asexual and bisexual?”. The internet told me I was probably demisexual.

HOLY SMOKES INTERNET. You are correct. I have never had anything click so much, feel so right, read me like a fucking book. Also, this made for some great tags for my jokes I told on stage for another month or so, double win. Discovering the term demisexual was the start of a brand new, wonderfully confident, absolutely pivotal and genuine journey into becoming my most authentic self. One that I have only explored more deliciously in my solitude during the pandemisexual. I continue to blossom, but it all began once I knew this term, that I was okay, I wasn’t unusual, there was a name for it and I could stop fighting against it and forcing myself into situations I wasn’t comfortable with, as well as be more aware in situations where I maybe felt a little too comfortable.

I have fallen for people many times in my life - friends, co-workers, characters on TV about 12 episodes in, people I have seen in passing time and time again and built a rapport with...

I chose to only write about these instances in my journey because they were all the times in my life I felt wrong for feeling these feelings or they were the moments I knew I was going to be just fine. They were the instances I felt betrayed by my mind (both sleeping and awake) before I knew who I was. These were the times I felt scared to say how I actually felt — until I didn’t. These were the most iconic moments in discovering and owning my sexuality.

I write this today confident in knowing who I am and sending love to the younger me who wasn’t ready, who didn’t have the words and sometimes didn’t have the support to explore what this all meant. I am a bisexual, demisexual dream gurl. I am attracted to anyone and everyone, but please no one come near me.

I love you,

Lauren

xoxo

Three things I struggled with this week:

  • I have gotten slack on my workouts. I never work out to get a “hot bod” but I do it to feel strong, happy, alive, to release those endorphins. I notice the difference when I don’t shake my butt in front of my TV.

  • Is it Summer? Is it Fall? Is it Summer? Is it Fall?

  • I am currently re-reading World War Z. Terrible timing, 10/10 do not recommend unless you feel like reading a book that will just replace the image of zombies with covid and give you a play by play of the world right now.

Three blessings from this week:

  • I deleted my Twitter. Heck fucking yes. I am making room for more time, less scrolling, more positivity (it can be a dark place) and ultimately I am excited to take any creativity I come up with and not burn it into a passing thought but rather, quite honestly, probably turn it into a newsletter so yay for you. 280 characters aren’t enough for the thoughts I have, anyway, if you hadn’t noticed. If I am honest I went to do this and then chickened out, then after listening to this podcast episode, made the move. Hooray!

  • Remember I said last week I wanted that dream loft apartment? IT IS MINE!!!! *cries happy tears*

  • LIVE FUCKING MUSIC! This past weekend I got to go to a music festival  — photo evidence here. Thank you to science for vaccinations. Everyone who attended required proof of vaccination, everything was outdoors, everything was spaced out, even in the crowds I wasn’t near anyone. All of these things making me feel safe meant that I could get lost in the music and HOLY SHIT did I miss that feeling of collectively dancing with strangers. It was magical.

Three goals for the coming week:

  • Maybe I should start dance workouts again? They seem to get me excited about moving my body and do the exact thing I want to achieve in workouts - feeling good. YouTube has some great Just Dance videos online for free. My favs are Don’t Stop Me Now and I’m Still Standing. Try them, tell me you aren’t smiling?

  • Going back to the pilot I wrote in my first sessions of Writers’ Hour and playing with the dialogue a bit. There has been a tonne of personal growth and more awareness of past selves for me lately, and I am ready to tap into them to tap into some characters.

  • Get outside at least once a day. Tell me your tips for making sure you get fresh air when everything you do, you do from home?

What I am enjoying this week: I got to record with Gina Harms, host of Dear Pop Culture. Look out for that episode! We talked about my Heath Ledger obsession, The OC and Sabrina the Teenage Witch, among other things. In the meantime, check out the pod. It’s so fun and Gina is awesome!

Ask me a question: I wonder if you ever had any movie crushes in quarantine? Nicki, Lexington USA.

Hi Nicki! I love this question, thank you.

For those of you who are new here, I wrote about my TV show crushes in volume two and the list was long.

I had a think about this and I think the reason I get so many TV crushes as a demisexual is because I am spending so much time getting to know them. I see them almost every day for several hours, I see the ups and downs of their life and get to know and love all their quirks. I know their secrets, so I feel I can trust them. I know the selfless acts they do when no one is looking and the close moments they share with people they love. Like, as a demisexual this is the best possible way for me to rapid-speed fall for someone (or at the very least lust after them). Hint to future lovers: get your own show and make me watch it for a few weeks before asking me out.

All that being said Nicki, the answer isn’t no! While movies typically do not make me fall head over heels (let’s face it, demisexual or not if you are falling for someone after knowing them for less than two hours you are a true...romantic?), there turns out there is a way around this, and the answer to that is: saga.

I watched Star Wars for the first time this year and I am what you would now call a fan. Oh, there were a few crushes here and there, but Rey and Kylo Ren stole the freaking show. Oh wow the conflict between them was almost as strong as the conflict in my heart. They’re so freaking cool and hot and badass. Ultimately, Kylo Ren won the battle of appearing in my dreams because who can go past a bad boy? Villains are the hot ones in movies and that is just facts. If the world didn’t want me to think this way then they shouldn’t have queer coded all the villains I watched growing up. Now I go for them, queer coded or not. I was asked about Kylo Ren recently in an interview, and the answer is yes, yes he is a movie quarantine crush. You can read the whole interview here.