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- Mary & Lily
I am in a long term relationship; we marked ten years together this winter. We have always shared a friendship circle and cultivated many new friendships together, but a few years into the relationship, in my early 20s, it hit me hard that I still felt lonely.
By ConstanzeFor about a year now, I've been using an ethical non-monogamous sex/dating app. I've always been interested in ENM, but have only been in monogamous relationships. When my last relationship ended and I had gotten over the hurt, I realised that I was now finally free to explore this side of my personality.
My friends and colleagues have always known me as a strong and determined person but I have often been described as aloof and cold. Little did people know that I was wearing a mask that was constructed from all the expectations that my upbringing and society had heaped on me. I didn’t really know what my real self wanted or how she wanted to move through the world.
I spent my queer teenage years in Russia, where looking gay was both an act of resistance and a sign of conformity. It was a rebellion because wearing short hair and boy clothes were like screaming “yes, we exist, we are here, we are taking up space, despite all the fear and violence we deal with”. It was conformity because at the time there was only one way to be a “good queer” – you had to have short hair and boy clothes if you wanted to be taken seriously by the community.