Toronto
3 min

Celling out

One step closer to normal

I don’t think I’m the only queer girl in existence who has an ego about her community. I will admit to some extremist thoughts, that I tend to think of queer women as morally superior.

I?ve said before that given the state of the world it makes sense for women to get together and that queer sexuality is — and sometimes even should be — a choice.

(Sorry, Ms François, since you worked so hard in seminars to get me to think differently. This is why I will never be fit to teach women’s studies.)

I tend to think queer women are more connected to the universe, more sensitive and emotionally insightful. Less suited to the cell phone, for example.

But, I’m embarrassed to say, I just got a cell phone. It feels weird to be so trackable and accountable all day long. I’m making up excuses now just for choosing to be alone with my thoughts, to ignore the little bells in my pocket that are intent on keeping me so constantly connected to the (material) world.

Cell phones are like pets. When you meet someone who has one you resolve to date them, too. Thinking back, the days when my partner misplaced her cell phone in the sock drawer or in the couch cushions were my favourite days of all (I had no idea it was in the sock drawer, pretty girl, I swear).

I’m reading a book called Last Child In The Woods: Protecting Our Children From Nature Deficit Disorder. The author, Richard Louv, condones cell phones as a safety tool while he trashes video games, TV and the Internet. I think they all similarly rob us of our ability to practice patience, to spend time alone and find creative, resourceful solutions without consulting three people first. I think they breed dependence and mistrust on the relationship front.

I have always been old fashioned and under “e-volved.” I would rather have a pen pal than an MSN account. I tend to see anything in my life that feels unnatural or uncomfortable as contrary to my nature and, in turn, contrary to my sexuality. So, I tend to see technology as antiqueer, although I know all the isolated souls in Sault Sainte Marie who connect to queer community via the Internet would disagree. It’s a strange paradigm, the way queer community is making progress thanks in part to the technology I so fiercely resist. Is it really natural to resist change? Am I afraid of becoming extinct?

I feel like I have to feed my queerness like I feed my soul because it is under fire so often. I feel like I have to exercise and strengthen my queerness — not my ability or my desire to love women (which has always been as strong as a midday sun), but strengthen the permission I give myself to fully live my queerness, to see what I do with women as awesome and okay, that it’s absolutely no invitation for persecution. So music is queer, good food is queer, my new journal is queer. The cell phone is not.

This cell phone is taking me away from myself, cutting into the moments between home and Bloor St, cutting into my sensitivity to other people and natural noise, cutting into my faith by giving me new reasons to worry. I am a doctor now, faced with all these invented emergencies. My cell phone came with emergencies stored up inside it; a few squeeze out every time I turn it on.

I had a born-again fundamentalist Christian friend in high school who divided the entire world into saved and not saved. She would say, “My landlord is really nice, free cable and all, but she isn’t saved.” Somewhere in the back of my brain I divide the world into proqueer and antiqueer, right down, it seems, to the inanimate objects.

With this cell phone I feel one step closer to typical, one step closer to lost and one step closer to, well, straight. This cell phone, acquired for safety purposes, that I have nearly killed at least three people rushing to answer. This cell phone, acquired to facilitate my work day, that has me still working at 8pm and multitasking to the point of ineffectiveness. This cell phone, that further aligns me with the population of acceptable people to which I loathe to belong. I am not of the camp that wants queer people to blend in. I actually wish we’d all walk around with signs on our foreheads.

Cell phone to my ear, I feel like I did when I used to edit stories about my partners in front of my family, like I do when I walk through Yorkdale Mall or blow $6 on a latte. I feel like I have succumbed to the unnecessary, lost a battle and moved a little further from the queer girl inside me who provides me with my real sense of safety and connectedness.