From the Outside In

Tommy | he/him | boyfriend of queer person

Tommy
Hello!

Nathan
So how do you identify?

Tommy
I identify as straight.

Nathan
And you’re usually interested in women?

Tommy
Yes.

Nathan
Mhmm. So you’re currently dating Lu?

[pause]

Tommy
Yes, yes I am.

Nathan
[laughs] I like how you had to think about that! Ok, so – Lu is not a girl, they’re non-binary.

Tommy
[hums in agreement]

Nathan
They’re very involved with the LGBTQ+ community and stuff like that. How much did you know – or, how much were you aware of, prior to meeting them and starting to date them?

Tommy
Uhm, well – personally I didn’t interact with what you could call the dedicated LGBTQ community.

Nathan
[laughs]

Tommy
I mean, I knew various people who identified as bi, or lesbian or gay, or so-and-so – but I mean, it wasn’t so much that I interacted with a dedicated group, so much as they were just part of other groups.

Nathan
Yeah.

Tommy
So… in terms of my awareness? I knew that there was, you know, quite a large society for the university, I knew that there was a bar in town that was for that audience… But I didn’t go out of my way to sort of specifically interact. It was more – if I ended up being with anybody who identified like that, it was haphazard as opposed to intentional.

Nathan
How much did you know about, kind of, lesser known identities?

Tommy
Uhm. I didn’t know nothing, but I didn’t know them comprehensively.

Nathan
Yeah – it’s hard to know them comprehensively. It’s a big list!

Tommy
It’s more of the fact – I knew that it wasn’t like, a straightforward thing where there was purely like, lesbianism, homosexuality, bisexuality and so and so forth. I didn’t know that it didn’t all fall under a select few ‘headers’ – I knew it went under a lot more, but I didn’t really know what a few of those were, I only knew what some of them meant. There was a lot more that I wasn’t aware of, compared to what I was aware of.

Nathan
[hums] That makes sense. So was there a change in that when you started dating Lu, who obviously identifies with a lot of different labels, and explores that?

Tommy
Not tremendously, because I already knew what [their] asexuality was prior to meeting Lu? Not comprehensively, but roughly – I had a rough idea of sort of what it was. In terms of looking at greygender, I guess with how there’s a lot more dialogue surrounding it online, whether you [stumble upon it or find it intentionally], you’re going to end up reading about it online. So I guess there was already a sense of awareness – it wasn’t comprehensive, but it was “I have a vague idea as to what this is, I just haven’t met anybody who I can associate it to”.

Nathan
Yeah.

Tommy
But it wasn’t complete ignorance, it was just… lack of dedicated interest.

~~~

Nathan
You identified as straight prior to getting involved with Lu, and you still identify that way.

Tommy
M-hm.

Nathan
Even though, you know, you’re involved and are dating someone who isn’t a woman. Is that something you think about…?

Tommy
No, not really. I guess the more you think about it, the more intrusive it’s gonna become. Whereas if it’s something that’s just another aspect, it’s not something which you’re gonna dwell on. So it’s not so much that I don’t think about it out of lack of respect, it’s more “that’s how things are”.

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