Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Sexuality - what function do all these labels serve?

I have some questions for those of you that identify as queer (bisexual, pansexual, sapiosexual, gay, lesbian, omniosexual, *insert label*):

When did you realise you were the sexuality you are?

Has your sexuality or the way you identify changed over your lifetime?

Do you use different labels now than you used to? Are you ‘out of the closet’ completely, to some people, or not at all?


Jesseka said...

I used to identify as bisexual and pansexual though I didn't use this much as people didn't understand it. I loved the idea that gender shouldn't matter and that you fell in love with the person.

I think I also identified as bi because I assumed I liked men and as I became aware of my sexuality I began to accept that I liked women. I did have small crushes on men when I was younger and I can still kind of recognise that a man is attactive. Or at least 'conventially attractive.'

It took me a while to accept that I was gay. So for me identifying as bisexual was kind of a safe middle ground. I new no lesbians at the time and had no real role models in the media.

I started to identify as gay while I was at uni. When I began exploring my sexuality more, meeting more gay women. It was also when I first kissed a woman. Kissing women was so different to kissing men for me. When I kissed men I got bored, I found it slobbery and thought too much. When I kiss women I get lost in the kiss, I just want to kiss more, touch, get closer. I think really kissing women was my 'click' moment. Okay I really do like women...a lot.

I think the tipping point for changing the way I identify was when I realised that I could meet the 'perfect' man, I could have Johnny Depp or Bradd Pitt want me and I wouldn't be interested. Not really, because they wouldn't be perfect. Because they wouldn't be a woman.

It's not just a physical thing though. I have always 'clicked' more with women. I love being with them. I've never really had a close male friend though as I get older I seem to be able to get on with guys more. I just love women, I think they're brilliant.

I think realising I am gay has also changed the way I see gender. I always liked the idea as a feminist that there was no difference between men and women but now I think there is. Not the shallow social stuff but something deeper. I'm not attracted to men the way I am to women and thats not just a physical thing thats something deeper. I think this also translates to trans experience. It's not just wanting to be more 'feminine' or 'masculine' they are male and female and feel as such regardless what other people see.

Jesseka said...

Oh and I forgot. Labels are very handy if you want to know if you stand a chance with someone.

I've known lots of girls who identified as bi over the years who actually have no interest in relationships or sex with other women. This for me is false advertising!

I know labels are limiting sometimes but they're also handy. It saves a lot of gay heart ache. For me saying you're 'gay,' 'bi,' or 'straight' is just helpful. Even if it is slightly more complicated. x

2e1hsb said...

Labels can be handy, the problem is that everyone had their own definition for each label, and not everyone fits into those labels. I have two close friends who are of opposite sex and gender, both identify as Gay, and are in a relationship together, they say "You can't help who you fall in love with." and I'm inclined to agree.

I stopped identifying a few years back as any sexuality. Once I settled down with my boyfriend I had proper time to think about my sexuality, instead of desperately trying to flaunt it at people in hope of a relationship (I was young, and confused).

My problem with fitting into a label is that I originally said I was "Pansexual", and fall in love with people. However, I have so many friends (and crushes) on the internet, that I have never met, and in some cases don't even know what they look like, that I'm not sure that I can count it as just "people" when it's always just been an interface on my PC screen.

Over the last 10 years I've identified as my fair share of sexualities and genders. The other half doesn't understand, so he just doesn't care. Which I guess makes his brain melt less, and if he's fine with it, then so am I. Those who have known me as close friends do, know that I'm at a point where I let other people make their own decisions on what they think I am, and let them believe it. I honestly don't mind, because it's my personal business, if they REALLY want my idea of sexuality and gender normativity and how it affects me, they can ask.

I've probably spelled this ALL wrong and it makes so sense, it just kind of fell out of my head. Sorry!