Straight Was Math, Queer Is Art

When I knew myself as straight, life seemed logical and uncomplicated. Now, there are so many unknowns.

Kristen Pizzo
Human Parts
Published in
3 min readJul 31, 2019

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Photo: Witthaya Prasongsin/Getty Images

PPeople who like math say they find it comforting because everything makes sense. There is a right and wrong answer and a way to get there. There’s almost always an explanation of why something is what it is.

In the arts, there are no real wrong answers. And you don’t always know how to explain why something is “right” or why it just “works.” Sometimes it’s just a feeling, not founded in reason or logic or anything concrete.

That can make some people feel uncomfortable and lost. For me, it’s where I feel at home.

A clear definition of my sexuality isn’t easy to pinpoint. Sometimes it boils down to inexplicable forces. Like when I look at her and I just know it feels right, but I don’t know exactly why I know. There’s no geometric, mathematical evidence that will have me breathing a sigh of relief and exclaiming, “Ah, yes, this is why this love makes sense.”

Sometimes, I feel like I will never be “queer” enough, that I don’t belong in the community. I know this is both due to my own preconceived notions about how I should express my sexuality — and due to bisexual erasure and biphobia, two issues within the LGBTQ+ community that Devon Price addresses well.

In order for a shape to be a parallelogram, it must meet all of these criteria:

  • Opposite sides are parallel.
  • Opposite sides are congruent.
  • Opposite angles are congruent.
  • Consecutive angles are supplementary.
  • The diagonals bisect each other.

But… if a urinal can be called art, who says there are any guidelines I have to meet to be allowed to call myself queer? There’s no checklist.

Some people have a hard time understanding this because, as humans, we struggle with things that are undefined. We love clear labels and cut-and-dry answers. We don’t like to leave big questions unanswered. We need to know how we got here on this planet and where we go when we die. Uncertainty can be uncomfortable. So, if we can plug in a value and get the same outcome…

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Kristen Pizzo
Human Parts

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