Bicoastal Baby: On neutral ground

Greetings from Cottonwood, Arizona. I’m here with Captain as we decided to meet and spend a week in the Sedona area before starting a road trip back to Portland to celebrate New Year’s.

I really enjoy meeting in a neutral place, aka not my place and not his. I guess you could call it a vacation – though we are both working. But mainly, it’s a treat to get away together, in a space that becomes our shared (temporary) home without the attachments and responsibilities that our regular individual localities often bring.

While we strive to bring a sense of normalcy when each of us visits the other and continue on with our regular schedules (for the most part), it’s nice to get away and just have some special time for us. I think it keeps us in balance and in check. Not to mention, it just feels good to get away.

I have traveled so much more since entering this relationship with Captain almost three years ago. I’m an east coast girl (from the other Portland in Maine) and though my work has taken me to random spots around the U.S., actually choosing to visit somewhere is a new experience for me.

On the topic of new experiences, at Thanksgiving this year I realized I want new traditions with the chosen people I also consider family. I want more integration between what has been done for years and the reflection of who I am today. While I love my family of origin dearly and we have certainly come a long way in evolving to where we are now, I yearn for newness and yes, some neutrality. Neutral in the sense that terms are negotiated from a clean and fresh place. Neutral in the sense of being free from obligation. And neutral in the sense of building something from the ground up. Living this out has proven difficult in the past, with Captain and I on different coasts having to decide which holidays to spend together. But we often do well. We chose Christmas and New Year’s Eve, which I’m happy about and which made not being together at Thanksgiving bearable.

Add Superboy (my other partner) into the mix and things get even more complicated. I think we are all getting to a point where we would like to spend holidays together (meaning Captain, myself and Superboy) and change up the traditions. We consider ourselves family and integrate happily – and yet Superboy has had his own plans for holiday celebration with his family of origin and we did not do a good enough job planning with all three of us to make any changes for this year.

Just to be clear, I’m not one to get all hyped up about the holidays. Yes, I make latkes (to the point where my studio smells deep fried for days) and I’ve been known to roll the dreidel and I even will hum a Christmas jingle now and then. But I do want to be with the people I love – and if that means negotiating and shifting and creating new configurations to create that neutral space, bring it on.

Liz Gold is a queer femme who lives (most of the time) in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn. She owns Rhino Girl Media. Check out more of her writing at And yes, shes for hire.

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