I’m queer and I’ve experienced quite a bit of ignorance and even downright discrimination. I dated primarily women for many years and was deeply immersed in the lesbian community. When I started dating a guy, a lot of my “friends” had issues with it. Questions/comments I got over and over, from straight and GLBT people:
“But I thought you were a lesbian.” (I thought I was too? What do I say to that?)
“Are you going to date women again?” (Well, let me get my crystal ball…)
“Do you like men or women better?” (I don’t- certain lovers were better than others, of course, but that didn’t have much to do with their gender)
In response to saying that I’m queer- “So you’re bisexual.” (Um, not really. Some of my most cherished relationships have been with trans men during various times in their transition. Do they not count?)
I actually lost friends because I dated men. I now date primarily straight men because I’ve found that they (at least the ones I’ve gone out with) tend to be more accepting of my sexuality. I’ve had lesbians tell me to my face that they wouldn’t want to date a women who dated/slept with men.
I’m not trying to say that all lesbians have this attitude- but the straight people in my life do not have any issues with my sexual preferences. I know that has a lot to do with where I live (the Bay Area) and the sort of people that I seek out. It gets tiring to explain over and over what really is something very personal.
When I first started dating guys I kind of freaked out about the whole thing and one of my friends said, “You know, it’s ok if you like guys too.” It was so simple and so reminiscent of when I was 17 and my sister told me that it was ok if I liked girls. It both cases it was exactly what I needed to hear.