Over the past twelve months, I have come to realize that difference is universal, and that my experiences of in-betweenness will, at least in some way, resonate with most others.
The most unthinkable thing happened. I got word, from his best friend, that Patrick had been pronounced braindead earlier that morning.
The journey I have embarked upon thus far in life has led me through an ocean’s worth of changes. I often struggle to make sense of who I am today amidst all the diverse and seemingly incongruent parts of who I used to be.
In a world where I would venture to guess that most people experience some form of either physical or metaphorical isolation, finding reflections of ourselves in other people’s lives is a very effective way of bridging those gaps and making us feel confident that we do, indeed, belong.
Perhaps it is the destiny of in-betweeners to be able to see all sides of a contentious debate, and to find value in the ability of individuals to stake out a position of understanding in the middle.
No matter what we do or how hard we try, we will always exist somewhere in the space between where we started from, and where we desire to be our final destination.
Back in April I opened up a Twitter account in order to promote my work. After agonizing over what to put in my bio, I finally typed out the words “former stripper,” which I then followed up with “and recovering academic with a Ph.D. in media studies.”
As a moderately attractive single woman in her thirties who likes to present herself as both sexy and feminine, it is practically impossible for me to be unaware of the conflicted ways in which most of the coupled-world sees me.
For those of you who have ever spent a holiday with someone else’s family, you are probably already familiar with the strange sort of in-betweenness that one often experiences in this situation.
Thank you, Mom, for reading this essay, as well as all the other essays that have come before or will follow since. Thank you for sticking with it even when the content is difficult, and thank you for not shying away from the messiness.
No one is exactly the same kind of “different” as you. But every once in a while, if you are lucky, you come across someone who is close.
I thought it impossible to have a good relationship with my father while still acknowledging the existence of our troubled past, but I now realize that a real relationship is only possible if I learn to sit with this incongruity.
It wasn't until I was in my 30s did I learn that sex was actually supposed to feel good to everyone involved (including me).
I don't know if I want to be in a poly relationship, but I know that I want to communicate with my partner as if we were in a poly relationship.
We frequently talk about how to support our loved ones suffering from depression, but how do we take care of ourselves while supporting our partners?
While part of keeping sex workers safe is fighting human trafficking, that does not mean that all sex work is human trafficking.
We are diverse, we are complex, and our unique blend of difference is precisely what stitches us together into a coherent community.
Coming out to my grandfather is made doubly difficult by his disease, to him I will forever be his twenty-something year-old boy-chasing granddaughter.
At 37, I thought I'd be living in my own home, with my partner and children. Instead, I'm living with my grandpa, about to give him a shower.
With $22 in my pocket, I hopped on a plane to Guam. All I knew was that a woman named Josie was supposed to meet me at the airport.
One afternoon I sat down to enjoy Channing Tatum's abs and instead found a surprisingly positive representation of the lives of adult entertainers.
Last month I slipped into a pair of stripper shoes for the first time in almost fifteen years. I was about to take my first ever formal pole dancing class...
I recently had to talk to my goddaughter about sexuality and once again found myself in the in-between. How do I support her and tell her my truth without undercutting her parents?
I do now, and will always, love and accept you, completely. My only hope, today and always, is that you do, too.
This week we explore the in-between of being bi at Pride.
The in-between defines many parts of our lives, including our relationship styles. This week, I talk about my exploration of polyamory.
In a broad spectrum of countries ranging from Guam to Spain to Brazil, my racial ambiguity has allowed me to float, rather effortlessly, through a variety of worlds. Ironically, this presumption of my being a local when abroad has made me experience a strange sort of homecoming whenever I travel to foreign places.
In-betweeners like myself have often felt required to take up a more extreme performance of their identity in order to justify belonging.... People are free to assume whatever they like about me, my belonging remains unchanged.
I learned to make jokes about it, to laugh about it, and to smile at the jokes of others. It was a difficult task that often served only to facilitate the comfort of those around me, but I wanted to belong, to feel accepted, so I grew comfortable with the idea of always leaving part of myself at the door.
Straddling two worlds (my years working as a stripper, and the path to my PhD) is a state I have repeatedly found myself in, in many ways and at many times throughout my life, but only recently have I come to know it by name. Welcome to the in-between.