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Doubt Is Reassuring

Abi Higgs

B & W mini comic

A number of years ago I had a conversation with a woman about another woman I knew and her history of relationships. The pivotal point made by this woman was “Why does she feel the need to define herself by the men she dates?” Extending her point to apply to sexuality in general, the question becomes “why do we define ourselves by the sex of people to whom were attracted?” Labels in their most convenient use name and group things or people, and With people, they’re used to include or exclude, to validate or to target. Us or them. Sexuality may be hardwired for some people, and it seems this may be the case for me (should it though?). For others there’s no need or desire to be labeled, and Abi Higgs is one of those people.

Higgs explores her attractions and her thoughts about labels in her auto bio mini comic “Doubt Is Reassuring”, a title perhaps more appealing to a Zen master than to the average person, but don’t be offput. Abi writes very candidly from the start with her admission to being confused about her sexuality and finding androgynous people appealing and throughout a very personable conversation follows as the pages unfold. Unlike the woman I mentioned who defined herself by men or someone you may know like this, Abi hasn’t an external locus. Her senses of curiosity and openness which in turn lead her to people are refreshing to me. But then, I’ve had far too many years to dwell in cynicism over romance.

A few anecdotes recount instances of friends’ reactions to her evolving, varying romantic attachments “Ah, you’ve finally realised” or “We just think you haven’t found the right guy yet”. Who hasn’t received a well-meaning comment like these? They’re examples of how rooted the tendency to make people fit neatly in categories is for many people (twink, bear, leather daddy, lipstick lesbian, butch dyke, ad naseum for gays and lesbians). Essentially Abi makes the point in her private journal style writing (sans the maudlin and saccharine notes, mind) that the “us or them” paradigm shouldn’t matter, no, doesn’t matter for her, and all the others who’ve had similar experiences. The last time I remember reading “love is love regardless” was in Tristan Crane’s frank and beautiful gender queer stories in How Loathsome or more recently when Ianto tried to explain to his sister in Torchwood Children of Earth that he wasn’t gay, he simply loved Jack.

Doubt Is Reassuring is for you if you’re questioning how your sexuality or finding that you don’t — or don’t want to fit in a neatly labeled box. Contact Abi (abi_higgs AT hotmail DOT com) about her story and details on how to obtain the mini comic.

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November 9, 2010
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