Saturday, March 23, 2013

Those little boxes aren't my friends.

Recently, very recently I realized I don't actually need to put myself into one of those little boxes that says I'm heterosexual, or homosexual, or bisexual. I've honestly struggled with those little boxes my entire life. They are not my friends. I remember 'coming out' to my best friend in high school that I thought I was bisexual, I remember a lot of discussion about it and confusion on her part.

How could I be bisexual? I never acted that way, I didn't chase girls, I wasn't like the other bisexual girls we knew, was I sure, how did I know etc. It was impossible to explain to her my own sexuality, because, in all honesty I really had no clue if I was bisexual or heterosexual or whatever, at all.

I've left it alone with for a number of years now and let people assume I am heterosexual, until I recently realized nobody requires my sexuality to be put into a neat little box, I can be attracted to women some days and men others. I don't need to justify or explain this. My beliefs and feelings about sexuality are based on my own experiences with it.

The best way I can think to describe it is like this:

Generally, I am sexually and romantically attracted to men, but, on occasion I will be sexually or romantically attracted to women (I call these guy days and girl days, not sure if that makes sense or not, but sometimes I'm just more attracted to girls than guys, basically). Part of this has to do with an ingrained assumption that all women are attracted to men and therefore not attracted to me so I shouldn't bothering being attracted to them, but all men are attracted to women and therefore could be attracted to me so I have a shot and can be attracted to men, I realize and acknowledge how completely wrong this is, but it is an unconscious assumption my brain makes.

I have come to the conclusion, that since sexuality is fluid, mine is just really really fluid, like it slides around a lot. I also know that generally I have a harder time making emotional connections with guys which makes it very hard to have a proper relationship, I just generally prefer the company of women. I also find women more physically and aesthetically pleasing then men, even (especially) naked, I just don't find guys bodies as attractive as girls... but I'm usually sexually attracted to guys... So you can see why this is so confusing for me.

I have come to the conclusion (this was my initial conclusion when I started thinking I was bi) that I would probably prefer a relationship with a man, but due to the fluctuating and fluidity nature of my sexuality, I can't rule out relationships with women, because I might be more comfortable emotionally with a woman.

I'm also almost always attracted to guys that have more traditionally 'feminine' traits (whatever that means), basically I usually get along with the guys that have tons of female friends, because they just get along with women better.

The girl thing is entirely different, I've had so many close, very close, emotional relationships with women that don't even compare the the relationships I've had with guys, but they've never been of a romantic or sexual nature, but I just prefer them.

So you can see why sexuality has always been very confusing and impossible to define for me, I still don't even know where I'd start with dating girls, the idea is so completely foreign to me, but not really unappealing.

I feel like in saying all this I should briefly address some of the backlash I've experienced (and I'm sure others experience) when I've tried to explain my sexuality in the past.

"It's just a phase": yes, I'm sure 'phases' last for 10 years, that's totally normal. I'll start growing out of it, like, tomorrow or something. Geez.

"You don't actually like girls, you just want to be different": wait, what? I 'want' to be 'different' because I haven't always struggled with this and it hasn't left me feeling very confused and left out my entire life, yeah I totally want the stigma and unhappiness that can come with been queer. Totally.

"You'll probably end up with a man so it doesn't matter": not sure how anyone could know who I'd 'probably end up with' since I have no clue at all who I'd end up with. Also, why the fuck does it matter if I end up with a man or woman that has absolutely nothing to do with what my sexuality is and how I prefer to identify.

"I think you're just straight, therefore you must be straight": I don't care what you think about me, I say I am queer, therefore I am queer.

"But how do you know you aren't straight": I don't. That's the bloody problem and somehow nobody can wrap their head around that. I'm also not required to identify as straight if I don't feel comfortable with that, which I don't. So bugger off.

"But you've never been with a girl...": that is so totally and completely irrelevant to how I define my own sexual identity. Being or not being with someone does not mean I can't want or not want to be with someone. Gosh.

I think that's all the ones I've heard. Some of them are things people have said to me, and others are just things I've heard that bother me.

This was on my mind because I hang out all afternoon in the Pride office (room, place, whatever) all afternoon Friday and my friend asked me why I thought I wouldn't be welcome there when I identify as queer and I was like oh, wait, I don't really know... I guess I constantly think of my self as heterosexual and never really address any other thoughts/feelings I might have because it's just way easier to not worry about it and get all confused, but at the same time I feel like I'm being very untrue to myself and I am missing part of me. Like, I need to learn to accept this and not dismiss it myself, which I've essentially being doing for years.

Soooo now that that's all straightened out (haha), what do you identify as? Do you have issues with people dismissing your sexual identity or sexual orientation and saying it isn't valid or not understanding it, etc?

Do you have a confusing sexual identity as well? Let me know! I'd love to hear about other peoples experiences.

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