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  • Writer's pictureElise Braunschweiger

On The Founder: Coming Into My Queerness

And why I highly recommend staying curious about your "type"

I spend so much time talking on here about compatibility and what makes a good partner, but one of the most eye opening moments in my own dating journey was realizing that gender might be something I had previously overlooked.

That wasn’t to say I hadn’t questioned my sexuality. I first came out as bisexual when I was 16. But I had all these weird rules in my head at the time (“I’m only attracted to femmes,” “I couldn’t see myself marrying a woman,” etc.) that kept me boxed into a very narrow definition of my own sexuality for years. While I didn’t realize it at the time, my lack of self awareness was affecting the decisions I was making and the stories I was telling myself about who would make a good partner for me. 

When I was a teenager, I was one of the queerest kids in my town. Because of this, I attracted a lot of girls who were questioning their own sexuality and so I dated mostly inexperienced, femme, bi women. While I was clearly attracted to them, something unidentifiable and crucial was missing for me.

So I continued to date men instead, convinced that while I was definitely queer, I’d likely end up in a heterosexual marriage one day (I know, how very ‘comp het’ of me).

There was something that I thought men were giving me that I felt was lacking from those early queer experiences (and ironically, vice versa - I sometimes joked I wished I could combine the two). Full candor, in hindsight this makes me laugh because now, I can hardly imagine myself ever dating another man, nonetheless marrying one. 

The reality was that I had been given a very specific social script as to what my life should look like if I wanted to be married and have children, and it was one that always and exclusively included a man. Even as a queer person, it was so difficult for me to envision a lifelong, child-producing relationship with a woman (in part because I had a very narrow experience of what sapphic love looked like). All it took to reframe that was one very hot, soft masc whom I’ve been with the past five years. We’re now planning our wedding. 

My personal belief is that there are many people out there who are not fully considering the impact gender may have on what makes a good partner for them.

Whilst I still experience occasional attraction to men, I’ve learned that women are far more emotionally, romantically, and sexually compatible for me. But it took me years of dating many different types of people to fully understand that. I wonder how many others are out there, minimizing their queerness because it seems easier, but ultimately depriving themselves of a much richer life should they be able to explore that part of who they are.

As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, there’s no greater honor than helping my fellow queers better understand themselves. If you could use assistance in coming out, furthering your understanding of your sexuality, or dating same-sex/GNC folks for the first time, I founded Conscious Connections in part for you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out today.

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