Sexuality After Oppression: The Things We Carry

A Sex Ed(itorial) Column

  • Graphic Olivier Robidoux

Thinking of my past flings with women, I’ve been a complete and utter womanizer, callous, a female fucboi and so forth.

Until recently, I hadn’t given much thought as to why I’ve acted the way I have. I usually take an ostrich approach to conflict; the more complicated the problem the deeper I like to dig the hole I hide in.

The deepest self-reflection I’ve ever done merely scratched the surface of my damage and resulted in me briefly denying my bisexuality out of shame—because that clearly solved the root of my problem!

It was much easier to say that I was straight than actually figuring out whether I was truly bisexual. It was easier than living in fear of bringing a girlfriend or non-binary partner home and disrupting my peaceful way of life.

It was also easier to say I’m straight than having to dismantle and analyze years of trauma from growing up in Panama City, Panama—a Latin feminist’s retrogressive nightmare.

I come from a place where a gay man will deny dying of AIDs even on his deathbed. I come from a place that refuses to implement basic sexual education and LGBT dialogue in public schools, out of fear of corrupting the youth especially con esas mariconerias, or “that gay shit.” I come from a place where a pregnant 13-year-old is easier to digest on church Sundays than a gay child. I come from a place where people love their gay hairstylists or friends, but god forbid they actually marry.

I come from a home with a homophobic father. If I came out, I imagine he would say I’m too easily influenced, yell at me until I’m in tears, financially cut me off, and try to ritually cleanse me of mariconerias, or that gay shit, with a literal chicken.

Ritual poultry cleanse? That’s for another article.

Anyways, he’s okay with gay people, just as long as his daughter is straight…in Panama at least! So Clara, that’s why I never called you back, okay? I couldn’t bring you home to my parents even if I wanted to. I’m sorry for leading you on, but the silver lining is…you dodged a bullet! Let me tell you, people in the closet are such downers and radiate so much second-hand stress!

I thought about the bigger picture of it all as I was writing this piece. I spoke with my Panamanian friend, Cristina, to talk about our experiences as bisexual women in Panama—it’s a very small dating pool. Cristina was in denial, then she loved and experienced loss.

She and I internalized the same Panamanian toxicity, and it affected our relationships. She saw the error of her ways and has come to a realization that I’m starting to understand. She told me, “There’s no greater prison than the one you build yourself.”

I think the things we carry, a ball and chain of sorts, can be invisible and so heavy that it crushes us and then rolls onto the people that surround us. I guess that’s why I was a female fucboi—I was uneasy, confused, and I never really thought about why.

I don’t live in Panama anymore and I don’t ever have to again. I’m learning to let go of my ball and chain so that I can one day be at peace with myself in Montreal, my new home.

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