Well, sometimes it feels that way.
God knows I’ve tried. I’ve hung out in gay clubs, joined a drag troupe (that I quickly dropped out of because my social anxiety was too much at the time), flirted with women online. None of it panned out the way I would have liked.
It has nothing to do with my identities – I’m perfectly comfortable being genderqueer, primarily attracted to women, playing with masculine and feminine self expression, etc. At least, sitting alone in my apartment, I am comfortable with these things. Watching gay movies, reading lesbian erotica, choosing gender-fucking fashions – these are all aspects of queer life that I love and have no difficulties with.
The problem comes in when other people come in. Because our sexual identities are social about as much as they are personal – they’re a facet of how we relate to others, the kinds of relationships that we pursue. And having AvPD means that my personal relationships tend to range from anemic to non-existent. Which means I often feel like I’m failing at a central part of being queer.
I mean, can you be a lesbian without ever having a romantic relationship? Hypothetically, sure, of course. But feeling so closed off from LGBT culture – just as I feel closed off from every other culture I’ve ever observed or tried to participate in – sometimes makes me wonder what I’m even doing. If I have the right to call myself a member of this group. If queer culture is one more place where I don’t fit in, don’t belong.