A slightly awkward social being.
Friday, 10.27.2017 - 8:09 pm.

One of my studies was accepted to be presented at the British Psychological Association conference on sexualities. I’m going to London in December! I’m nervous because it’s my study with transgender participants, and it’s a very silly study (I was hoping I’d get different results), and, you know, as a cisgender person I may be easily disqualified to talk about trans issues at all. I’m doing my best and I keep learning all the time, but all I can say at the moment is, we’ll see how it goes.

Speaking of which, last night, Eric and I went to see a trans author presenting their book, as part of a month-long literary festival in the city (isn’t this fantastic?). They signed my copy of the book, which was really cool, I was on the verge of fangirling. I lose it when I meet writers; good, smart writers. The venue was very nice, and there was a bunch of LGBT+ faces I recognized from other events. Nobody knows me and I don’t know anyone, so I still feel lonely and out of place, but I’ve got Eric now, and, overall, I do feel this is where I belong.

I mean, I do know someone. It’s someone I met at the Bi Visibility event, who works with LGBT+ asylum seekers in the city, and whom I was supposed to write to so they* could count on me if they ever needed a Spanish translator. I kept postponing writing that email, and now I can’t find the card in which that address was written.

*I think I mentioned them, after I went to the Bi Visibility event. I think I referred to them as "she", but then I found them on Twitter (by accident, through RTs from other local LGBT+ accounts I follow, I swear!). The bio says ask for my pronouns, so it's best not to assume. Anyway, I've been crushing on them. Besides that, though, I can't just walk up to them. I *think* they saw me and recognized me at the book event. I felt their gaze on me as I was leaving, but I'm delusional when it comes to me thinking that people like me, so maybe I'm wrong.

I can’t just walk up to other people, regardless of their gender identity/expression and whether I crush on them or not. I was saying this to Eric afternoon, when we got together for coffee. After last night’s book event, he approached a couple of kids from the university LGBT+ committee, introduced himself, and established contact for future research. That’s what I should have done for my trans study, that’s what I should do for all my studies and for fucking life, but I can’t. It seems being good at social situations with strangers is outside the realm of my personality. I think it will help me to have Eric around to learn a few things about networking practices, and it felt good talking to him about it.

Oh, Eric is also going to the BPS conference in December. We’ll be train buddies, but only on our way there because then he’ll stay in London for a few days; I’m just going for the day. And he says we’ll attend more LGBT+ events together. Thank the queer fairies and demons for bringing him into my life

Last Saturday I had the most Steel City night I could ever have. Andrew and I went to a beer and cider festival at a former industrial area of the city, a friend from Mexico was celebrating his birthday there. I got drunk on half a pint of cider. Then, Andrew and I met with fellow PhD students (including two actual British persons! Not just immigrants!) at the tram station to go see a Steelers game. I can see myself attending more hockey games in the future. THEN we went for burgers at Five Guys, which slightly ruined the British streak but the whole evening was fantastic nonetheless.

At the tram station after the game and burgers, I stood next to A, my current boy crush. At some point, we brushed arms or whatever. Today he and I shared a seat during lunch (we have these weird, wide, short button-like seats in the office kitchen), and after that, I shamelessly sat next to him during the weekly seminar. That’s all. I think he’s cute, it’s just a friendly crush.

You might be wondering if I’m still married. I am, happily, if you can believe it. It’s just that Andrew and I have made the effort to get outside our little party of two. As I’m writing this, he’s downstairs playing Nintendo with a colleague (also British. We're getting out of our immigrant bubble, too). We worked with him in the Postgrad committee, the one we just stepped down from a few weeks ago. He’s finishing his PhD and is now part of the Psych staff. It feels like a huge step for Andrew and I to have a friend from staff. Being in the Postgrad committee paid off, in many ways. We got a lot of social capital from it.

That’s the keyword here. Andrew and I are socializing a lot. Andrew is picking up the habit of getting together with the friend who’s downstairs, A, and another friend from Germany (who is now the president of the committee, and is always organizing social gatherings and calling us “party people”), to play video games once a week. I myself hang out with Eric frequently. I’m talking to a lot of people because I’m taking a speaking class, and a thesis writing class. Plus, I’ve been talking to people in the Psych department more.

Fun times. I don’t want them to end.

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