Question from the search terms: “if i love a nonbinary am i straight?”

Another question from my recent searhc terms:

if i love a nonbinary am i straight?

Mostly my answer to this question is: I don’t know, *are* you straight? Because you’re the only real authority on that!

But that’s not helpful at all, I know. So let me throw some more thoughts at you about this.

I am personally of the belief that people who are attracted to non-binary people in more than a passing way should consider finding a label for hteir sexuality that doesn’t imply they are attracted to only one gender. That is, I am dubious about people who identify as straight, or lesbian, or  otherwise exclusively hetero- or homo-sexual/romantic while also dating, fucking and/or being in love with non-binary people. I think that in doing so, these people are implicitly invalidating their date-mate/fuckbuddy/loved one’s gender identity by rounding it into whichever binary gender they are usually attracted to. I’ve written about this idea more fully before, in fact.

I also understand that this is a complicated thing, and that the real problem with these labels is that the ways in which we currently classify sexual orientations simply can’t reasonably account for non-binary people. Because, realistically, all non-binary people are constantly being perceived as one binary gender or the other, and literally all people who consider themselves exclusively straight or exclusively gay may very well have been attracted to any number of non-binary people without even realizing it, and of course it’s ridiculous (or at least entirely unproductive) to conclude that therefore no one is really straight.

So, person who asked this question, I don’t have a clear answer for you here, other than that you should go with your gut on this – it is possible that regardless of your feelings for this non-binary person, that ‘straight’ really is the best description for the way you experience your sexuality. But if identifying as straight while being in love with a non-binary person seems wrong to you, you can go with your gut on that, too – and there’s plenty of other identities that might feel more comfortable to you, maybe you’re heteroflexible, maybe you’re bi, or maybe you’re most comfortable with queer.

I hope this helps!

Reflections on 2016

Let’s see how this year sized up compared to the last:

Work-related stuff

In March of this year, I landed my first permanent public library gig! My permanent position is casual (i.e. less than 20hrs/wk), but thanks in part to being a union member now, since late September I’ve been filling in for a full-time position. I will be full-time until at least August 2017, though I expect I’ll actually move into a better permanent position by then.

Well, that’s the boring stuff, anyway. The good stuff is: I love my job. Obviously there is bureaucratic fuckery to be had sometimes, and I am still getting myself used to the time-scale of planning most things (you really have to be on top of things at least six months ahead of time to make them happen, and that is so not me), but holy wow do I love doing youth services at a public library. It’s what I want to do with my life, I have clawed my way here, and it is everything I had hoped it would be. I’ve finally found a place, professionally, and it’s great.

I’m excited to see what this year will bring.

Creating stuff

This has been a year of unprecedented productivity for me here on Valprehension, with 137 posts published! This, on top of picking up doing some writing for two of my library’s three blogs, means I have been writing up a storm. Yay!

I have not done a lot of crafting this year, though. Just two cross-stitch projects completed this year, though they are both awesome imho!

First, I made this in the summer, immortalizing the way a partner first dropped the l-bomb on me:

Picture (and words :P) from John D. Botelho

Picture (and words :P) from John D. Botelho

Second, I  recently made this for all-around amazing person, past guest blogger Spice and  writer of Dating while Feminist, taken from one of her tweets:

Photo credit: John D. Botelho

Photo credit: John D. Botelho

I have many plans for more like this! Thank goodness I have so many inspiring people in my life :)

I also have great intentions to get back into knitting (maybe start making socks?) one day soon, but it remains to be seen whether that will happen. I know I’ll read this next year when I’m writing my 2017 reflections, so hey future self! Did you do the thing?


Romantic-wise: former spouseperson and I are still working on figuring out what we are to each other, and what our relationship is going to look like moving forward. Right now, it’s baby steps to try to reestablish intimacy that was lost during times of some of my most difficult feelings, and a much-needed short break around the end of the summer. Former spouseperson is I guess also technically inaccurate – we’re not in any particular rush to divorce; I’m actually on their work’s health insurance as I have none of my own, and stuff. Anyway, we have been living apart since March of this year (we actually moved out almost the same week I started my new job, and somehow I didn’t die of stress. Go me!), and we still see each other about once a week.

ALSO THOUGH, some of you may have noticed that I have stopped whinging all the time about my fears and despair around whether or not I’m ever going to figure out my whole having-kids plan. It’s not just because I got as bored of it as you probably were; it’s because while I was whinging and despairing, my life produced its own solution in the sense that my other partner is totes on board with having kids with me – basically, apparently in addition to all of my various and sundry privilege as a human I *also* am living a kind of charmed life that can’t even be explained by that privilege? There’s still a bunch of steps before we get to the point of actually trying to produce a child, but having a clear direction to aim at means I feel much better again. Also super happy and just generally feeling so fortunate to have found a wonderful human who apparently thinks I am also pretty great and stuff!

Non-romantic-wise: I continue to have amazing friends that I love and who love me, both old and new, and honestly I just feel so lucky all the time and yay.

Family stuff is also good! My mom and I still have a pretty stable relationship. Both of my brothers are just wonderful people, and I am so glad to have them in my life. And I am super comfortable with the fact that I am still not in contact with my dad (he continues to disregard my conditions for reconciliation and has tried a few times manipulate me into talking to him but I persevere – I am not getting back on that merry-go-round for anything).

Misc Other Stuff

This year was also super interesting for me in that I was invited (and agreed) to participate in a couple of panels, one on trans issues, and another on non-monogamy. Both were very fun experiences, and I learned a whole lot from the other panelists in both cases. Also I apparently sounded like I knew what I was talking about, so yay! More than anything else I think that this was something that drove home tome the idea that I have truly entered adulthood, since people now see me as someone with authority/significant life experience on things, which is kind of cool!

So that was my year! Pretty good, all in all :)

Your first queer crush or relationship: 30-Week Genderqueer Challenge Part 25

This post is part of my participation in the 30-day genderqueer challenge, which I have modified to a weekly exercise.

Today’s prompt: Your first queer crush or relationship

This is a weird prompt to be a part of a genderqueer challenge, because um, wouldn’t any romantic/sexual crushes or relationships we enbies have be queer? They sure can’t be straight. Add to that the apparent prevalence of ace and aro identities in non-binary people, and it seems even more out of place.

But I digress.

My first romantic relationship was queer, even relative to the gender I identified with at the time. When I was 18, I told my best friend from high school that I was in love with her, and it turned out that the feeling was mutual! We dated long-distance (she was in Toronto for university, and I was living in Nova Scotia at the time, a whole tiem zone away) for a little over a year before she broke up with me.

It was my first love, and it was beautiful and mind-bending and gave me so many feelings I had never had before and it was great. It was also scary and I was had no idea what I was doing, and I wasn’t as good a partner as I could or should have been.

Yeah. Not sure how interesting that is to anyone, but there ya go!

Catch the rest of my 30-week genderqueer challenge here!

Squishing and crushing, part 2: other times I say ‘crush’ instead of ‘squish’

I left a couple of potentially pertinent things out of last week’s post about squishes and crushes. The point I was making is true: I do sometimes use the word ‘crush’ when what I mean is ‘squish’, simply because the meaning of ‘crush’ is close enough in most contexts that people will get my point without me having to get into a deeper conversation about asexuality (which, shockingly enough, I don’t always want to do).

But there’s another place I use the word crush that is worth mentioning. Sometimes I will say to a romantic partner, “I have a crush on you”, and in that case crush is the word I want, and I am choosing it deliberately. I use it to mean “I am so into you [sexually]”. I am using it here to specifically point at a feeling I am having that is different from my squishes (that hard-to-define, non-sexual attraction I have sometimes to people), and that is unquestionably sexual in nature.

The way I use the word ‘crush’ in this context is also describing a feeling that, for me, can never be fully disentangled from the feeling of being in love. I don’t feel this feeling for people I am not in love with (which makes it different from what most people mean when they talk about crushes), although I don’t always feel it when I am in love either (which is why I differentiate the feelings at all). To some extent, it is one of the ways I say “I love you”, but that ‘s not entirely it.

For me its also a way of talking about a feeling that, in polyamory circles, gets called ‘new relationship energy’ (or NRE). There is a particular rush of goodfeels that can come with new romantic and/or sexual connections, full of endorphin-y goodness, that human biology simply can’t sustain over the long-term, for the most part. It doesn’t last forever, and in any long-term relationship, it is just about guaranteed to lapse.

What I do find, though, is that it can come back! It works like a cycle of periods of endorphin-y goodness, followed by less intense periods that are sustained by the friendship-y, caring, and less intense love-y feelings, until eventually, (always, for me), those super intense early-relationship feels come raring back all over again. And that’s when I am likely to start telling a partner all over again how much of a crush I have on them.

I actually think those feelings are the closest experience I have to a regular old crush, since it actually involves, like, pantsfeels for someone. If I imagine feeling that way about someone I was not in love with, I think that’s about what a crush is for many people?

Please let me know if I’m wrong or whatever.

Help a couple of lovestruck genderqueer cuties be together forever!

A couple of super wonderful friends of mine are struggling right now. Through the wonders of the internet, they found each other last year and fell in love over their amazingly compatible and complementary feelings about gender, and dealing with mental illness, and um, pooping. Mostly pooping, really. But in a super romantic way, I swear

To be honest, seeing their incredible, silly and beautiful love for each other explode all over my facebook feed last year was one of the things that kept me feeling warm and hopeful while I processed the changes in my own romantic life and relationships. They are beautiful together, y’all.

Can you handle the adorable?

Can you handle the adorable?

And they are struggling against bureaucracies that are keeping them apart. It’s a long-distance relationship between Denver and Toronto, and my Toronto pal is going to move to Denver on a fiance visa, if they can just meet all of the requirements to get one.

Unfortunately, they’ve already hit a bunch of speedbumps in this process, as Fran (the Canadian, and also, incidentally, the writer of this amazing guest post on rape, sex, and power) has been prevented from crossing the border (and a result forfeited the cost of plane tickets) not once, but twice, for things like carrying condoms while married (they are currently still legally married in Canada), and for having the sheer audacity to leave their child in the care of the child’s other parent. Apparently that is all incomprehensible to at least one border guard, and deserving of a level of suspicion that lead to threats of being permanently banned from the US.


This is not a thing I do, um, ever, but if any of you have a spare dollar to throw their way, to get them through the hoops they still need to jump through before they can start on a life together, literally even one dollar from any of you would make a big difference. I’m also gonna say, if you’re a reader that would be inclined to donate money to me if I were to have a pledge drive, go ahead and give that money here. There’s actually a bunch of ways you can support them, too.

Fran makes some pretty sweet jewelry

Jonathan (Adam Selene) makes some pretty sweet raps, and oh yeah by the way, they’re also a great graphic designer

And they’ve got a gofundme for more direct support.

Also, if you just want more of the cute awesomeness of these folks, they are on Twitter! @LetsHearItForMe and @altergrounds. You won’t regret it.


I say “I love you”
and “I love you”
and “I love you”
and “I love you”
and “I love you”
and “I love you”
and “I love you”

I have no other words

I can’t describe

I don’t know how to say

I love you

I say “I love you”
and I can only hope
that you’ll know
what I mean

Reflections on 2015

This year has felt more like my life is in a process of continual evolution than I have felt in a long time. It’s stressful, because pretty much everything is in flux all of the time, but it’s also exciting, because there are so many possibilities all of the time!

Stuff that’s gone on:

Work-related stuff

  • I started out this year in the midst of a contract doing circulation at a public library. It wasn’t a librarian position, but it was a solid start. It was also in this job that I went ahead and started the process of trying to change my name in the professional context (so I would have references from a relevant job that knew me as Kasey, among other reasons). It turned surprisingly ugly, and escalated to the point of my having to get union backing to threaten a human rights complaint (I’m still astounded that is an actual thing that happened in my life), but I persevered and won!… and then that contract ended.
  • I got a new, extremely part-time (4.5 hrs/wk, srsly) contract at another public library, this time in a supervisory capacity. I was hired under my chosen name, and no one batted an eye when that didn’t match any of the ID I provided. Progress of sorts!
  • In order to actually, y’know, make a living, I have also gone back to my old retail gig. I have yet to get around to telling them that I changed my name (wah-wah). But I have decided I will do so once the legal change comes through – just waiting to hear back on it at this point – so I have a sort of arbitrary but also symbolically relevant thing to kick me out of my complacency. Turns out I don’t mind being called by my birthname unless I’ve told the person doing so that I actually have a different one, though introducing myself that way is really hard – I go all deer-in-the-headlights with every new employee right now.
  • Sneak-peek into 2016: I have an interview for an honest-to-goodness (part-time contract, of course) librarian position this week. Mayhaps I will be holding down three jobs soon.


Creating Stuff

  • Even though I gave myself a December-long hiatus on writing (and I swear I will be getting back to it some day soon, by the way! I have been trying to sit and write lately but keep hitting walls. One of these days I’ll break through it, though, I am confident), I still published 69 posts last year, way up from 2014. I’ve started writing more about my demisexuality and my sexuality in general, and I am maybe a person who sometimes writes poetry now? It remains to be seen. My readership has grown steadily though not speedily, but more importantly I’ve made some genuinely strong connections with other bloggers this year. This gives me much happiness.
  • For the first time ever, I did cross-stitch of my own design, rather than following a pattern. I’m super into it and plan to continue.
  • I also just recently ended an accidental two-year hiatus I’d taken from knitting. I finished the second glove in this pair I started way back when:20151225_012109



  • Romantic-wise, it’s been all over the place. I had a relationship end. I had a relationship go through a radical redefinition (as an update there, by the way: things are really very solid with me and the partner formerly known as spouse-person. I think we’ve refound our centre as a couple (or created a new one, anyway), and our relationship is quite possibly stronger than ever. We haven’t actually moved out of our shared place yet, and part of me is irrationally terrified of that, but it’s for the best for a bunch of reasons, for both of us, so I’m sure it’ll be fine). And I’ve met someone new, who is giving me many squees. I am generally pretty happy.
  • Friendships-wise, I am continually astounded and humbled and just plain delighted to realize that I have a really strong, extensive, and varied support network in my life. I’ve finally figured out the whole making-friends thing, I think? I’ve definitely gotten better at trusting that people actually like me, and stronger connections seem to have resulted. Huzzah!
  • Family-wise: my relationship with my mother is the strongest it’s been since I first came out to my parents as (at the time) bisexual, over a decade ago, and possibly even the strongest ever. We relate to each other as adults, and we are capable of talking about difficult things without anything exploding. My relationships with my father continues to be estranged, and I am extremely comfortable with that. There is some mild pressure on me to try to patch things up, but I am honestly just not going to take responsibility for that shit. The prospect of a relationship with my father still has a pretty terrible potential risk:reward ratio, though I am just about convinced that he is actually a less toxic person now than he was. It’s just not the best place for me to be putting my energy.


Overall, my life is solid and making me happy in the day-to-day. There is much room for growth, but I hope that is always the case, and also there are rumblings of growth already happening, and so I am comfortable for now, and excited to see what happens over the next year.

I hate the phrase “sweet nothings”

I hate the phrase
“sweet nothings”

It tells me
awful things:

‘I love you’
isn’t important

‘I want you’
isn’t valuable

emotional labour
is nothing

(Yeah, you know it was
a cis dude
who coined this phrase)

But saying what you feel
is only “nothing”
if nothing
is what you feel

And these things are important:

Hello beautiful
I like you a lot
I think you’re great
Your face is neat
You make me smile

What I wanted was
sweet everythings

What I asked for was
sweet anythings

What I got was
sweet fuck-all