So I have a fairly short answer to your complex question: break up with Betty Anne. If you are not into her, you’re not doing her any favors by being with her. Regardless of the situation with Lucy, your heart isn’t in this relationship anymore. Everyone (including you) deserves honesty in a relationship. While sometimes it may seem kinder to stay with someone so that you don’t hurt them by ending the relationship, really this isn’t kindness. You are just avoiding a painful situation. Even if Betty Anne is hurt and angry initially, she will be better off in the long run not putting any more of her time and energy into your relationship if it’s not going anywhere. The right thing is to be honest with yourself and your partner, even if it is difficult. Don’t avoid coming clean just because it feels hard. You both deserve to be in a relationship where the feelings are mutual, and there is excitement from both people.
Good luck! I know it feels tricky but you can be kind and honest at the same time. Just say what’s true for you, without blaming anyone else. Understand that she will be hurt, and listen to her feelings, but also know that living with integrity is all you can do.
Hello lovely QgQ followers!
There was an overwhelming response to the previous post about body image. Hundreds of you responded with very positive feedback, but we also received a small handful of negative reactions from women who are thin or small and felt that the “skinny model” didn’t accurately represent them. There have also been a flurry of comments along the lines of comparing ourselves and our sizes to the bodies presented in this image. I am very excited that so much thought and feeling was stirred up, which is the point of any posting in my mind. Because of this I feel compelled to respond with my own thoughts.
1. The models in this image are still models, even if most of them are considered “plus size.” In my mind a model can never truly reflect what is “normal,” because there is still a very narrow definition of beauty being presented, which I think inherently does a disservice to women. These women are all white, high-femme, and subscribe to a very culturally normative beauty standard which in no way represent the diversity of beauty in size, shape, color, and style that exists in the world.
2. I think it is problematic to have such over-generalized categories such as “men’s ideal” and “women’s ideal.” I’m sure there is some statistical research behind these labels, but it’s painting with such broad strokes that I’m not sure how accurate it is. There is also an inherent hetero-bias in my mind, with the implication that the male gaze is what all women strive to please.
3. Despite these problems, I still chose to post this because I think it is a powerful reminder of how arbitrary size is as a measure of beauty. It is refreshing to see bigger women portrayed as beautiful, because we’re so saturated with images of very thin women being the only option for beauty and sexiness. I don’t see that there is any negative implication for thin women, the smallest woman is also beautiful and positively portrayed. It’s just a reminder that there is more than one option. The power of this image for me is to remind us that what is “average,” and what women believe is “ideal” is so very different. And that is sad because it leads to so much unhappiness, despair, and a desire to be something other than what we are.
My favorite thing about this image is the quote “a body is meant to be seen, not all covered up.” That’s the take-home message for me. How can we step outside of the numbers, comparisons, self-criticism and desire to be different, and find respect for everything our bodies are? How has your body served you? How has it treated you well? What has it given you? How can you start feeling that your body is part of who you are, not something foreign to be punished or changed? Regardless of which of these women most closely resembles us, how can we try to shift our attention from what we think we should look like, and begin focusing on getting to know who we actually are?
These, queer girls, are my questions. Thank you as always for creating such a lively and positive community to ponder these things together.
This is a very complex and important question, and relevant to lots of queer gals for sure! There certainly isn’t a simple answer that I can give you, but I understand how confused you feel about your identity, sexual desire, and how to heal from the trauma that you experienced. I am really sorry that happened to you, and happy to hear that you are in therapy and getting support.
There is a lot of trauma and specifically sexual trauma in the queer community, and the question about how this affects the formation of identity is so normal and complex. There are lots of theories about how and why we become queer, and I can’t profess to have an answer. What I do know, is that sexual assault and sexual trauma alone won’t “turn you gay.” There are just too many queers who haven’t experienced this, and too many straight people who have to allow this to be true. What I love about your question is that you’re clearly trying to explore what is true for you, and being aware that your fear of men could be influencing you. It also sounds like you were attracted to girls before the assault as well, even if it was just casual/ “drunken.” It is very common that in the coming out process we need to have alcohol or contextual reasons to act on same-sex attractions if we’re not comfortable admitting how we feel to ourselves. Or, sometimes it’s just meaningless fun.
I really want to encourage you to bring this up with your therapist if you think it is safe and that she isn’t homophobic. If you trust her, this is the perfect place to continue to sort these questions out. She can help you think more about why it’s so scary to imagine being bisexual, or admitting that you like girls. She can also help you understand where the connections between your fear of men and your attraction to women may lie, if there are any. There simply isn’t one “answer” to your question. The answer has to come from inside of you, through trusting yourself, and letting yourself feel your true emotions.
I admire the process you are in and want to encourage you to be brave and keep inquiring.