Bicoastal Baby, a new semi-regular column

Liz Gold, a New Yorker and part-time Portlander, will be swinging through town to catch some cultural activities for qPDX. She also plans to write an occasional column discussing how to be in a cross-country relationship. So stay tuned!

The Amp Up.

This is the best part.

My partner, Captain, lives in Portland. I live in Brooklyn.

Think about that for a minute.

It’s far. Like 2,500 miles far. But it’s really when I’m on the plane staring at Iowa on the distance map Jet Blue provides that I realize, holy crap, we really live far apart.

Otherwise it’s pretty normal for us. And he doesn’t ever seem that far away.

We are bicoastal and open/polyamorous. I consider him my primary partner, though I’m not a big fan of that language. Typically we see each other every six weeks – for anywhere between 10 days to six weeks depending on our schedules and circumstances – and we both travel to each other’s respective homes.

The longest time we were apart was at the very beginning of our two and a half year relationship and that was for nine weeks. We both agreed that was too long. As a result, we’ve found a length of togetherness that works for us – just enough to feel we are getting ample quality time with each other, yet not too much where we start to get outrageously itchy for our autonomy.

A lot of folks that I meet are like, “Whoa, he lives out there and you live here? That must be so hard?” It’s only after I explain to them that it is a choice – one we both consciously make – that they start to get it. That, yes, despite some challenges and a stretch of resources, it works for both of us because of who we are as people, that we are able to grow and cultivate our relationship while remaining autonomous and true to our individual journeys.

It may sound woo woo, and it is a bit, but it’s important to me that we are together because we’re intentional about it and we are able to thrive in our own separate lives. I haven’t been in many relationships, okay any, where this has been true.  And if it takes 2,500 miles of physical distance to allow this to happen – well – I accept and honor it because there are a variety of ways to experience love and intimacy. My life has widened and deepened because of it.

Right now, I am smack in the middle of what I call “the amp up.” Oh, the anticipation is so sweet. But packing, although torturous given the PDX weather and the goal of filling my suitcase just less than 50 pounds, is pure pleasure. The amp up is the feelings and preparation that comes with getting ready to see my Captain.

Currently I have a list a mile long to complete, a suitcase and carry-on to pack, an apartment to organize (for the subletter) and a decision to make about the books I take. I have some minutes to burn, though, as this time – the 48 hours before lift off- tends to go very slowly.

Yesterday I said goodbye to my karate school for two weeks, and I’ll be missing my friends, a coop shift and a few events that would be nice to go to. Leaving Brooklyn can be hard, especially since, after nearly five years here I am finally feeling my roots and sometimes it feels like I am just hitting my stride when I am gearing up to leave again. I’ll share these types of challenges in this column, along with the successes and sweetness that comes with being in a bicoastal relationship and what I am doing to solidify my footing here in Portland, so I feel like this is home, too – because in a lot of ways, it is.

Liz Gold is a queer femme who lives (most of the time) in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. She owns Rhino Girl Media, regularly practices martial arts and is a DJ on the PDX-based Internet radio station Radio23. Contact her at

7 comments to Bicoastal Baby, a new semi-regular column

  • margo

    I’m not trying to be mean, but really, who cares? I mean lots of people have long distance relationships, and lots of people are new to PDX. Why devote a column to this one in particular?

  • Liz Gold

    Hi Margo, thanks for taking the time to read my column.

  • Neil

    Great column Liz! This is going to be a great read!

  • Xaba

    LIZ-great beginning to a fantastic column I’m sure. Oy Oy matey!

  • Ian

    haters gon hate..

    anyway a good start to something very interesting. the dynamics of relationships like this are always very interesting..

  • Klio St Treme

    This is interesting. I am looking forward to more.

  • I think this is an extremely relevant and interesting topic and one that many people would like to hear about. Can it be successful? Can I do it to?

    I’m also excited to get into the nitty gritty of what works and what doesn’t. Cross-continental relationship tiffs? Can’t wait to hear how that goes!