As I find myself being more and more vague when talking about dating, I realize that nobody knows what my sexual orientation is. Maybe Iâ€™m becoming more aware from getting closer to my queer friends, or finally feeling comfortable enough to talk about sex when I talk to other women (of all persuasions).
Well, itâ€™s about time I outed myself in honor of Blog Against Heteronormity Day because heteronormity is what made me default to straight. Well, this is my first public admittance: I donâ€™t consider myself a heterosexual.
It feels good to say that. So what am I?
Iâ€™m not bisexual. Iâ€™m not sure why the term bisexual makes me so uncomfortable. Maybe because it only seems one step off of a binary, positioning my self in the middle of a system as if my interests can be broken down into percentages. Or maybe it is left over from my teen years when I was torn between hating raunch culture and wanting to participate in it. (I didnâ€™t realize at the time I was so saturated in the gazing male narrative that I saw the world very much from a male perspective, but thatâ€™s a future blog post.) I wanted guys to think I was hot, sexy but I wanted approval, too, and too few girls met both qualifications.
When I was in the tenth grade, I had a crush on a girl in my class. I told my boyfriend and he thought it was cool. When I broke up with this guy, I admitted I had liked this girl to two of the boys who courted me my junior year. The first, the nerdy senior boy from this post started saying things like, â€œSince youâ€™re bisexual…â€ in front of other people. I freaked out because that wasnâ€™t his label to give me. The second boy, a pot smoker who was my age but had been held back, was actively pursuing me (by my interpretations) through cuddling, calling, and flirty IMs. We went to the Sadie Hawkens dance with a group and I dropped him off last so we could talk about whether or not we were dating. He told me he didnâ€™t want to date me because he wasnâ€™t into bi girls.
â€œIâ€™m not bi,â€ I said. He ignored me, his mind was made up. Bi girls seemed so objectified, and that wasnâ€™t for me.
Am I a lesbian? Nah, thatâ€™s not me. Iâ€™m not a pansexual, either, although Iâ€™ve had crushes on transpeople. The term pansexual, all-sexual, suggests that I like sex, that Iâ€™m into sex. And Iâ€™m not.
Not into sex? I must be asexual! No, Iâ€™ve ruled out that one, too. Although Iâ€™m currently celibate, I would like to enjoy sex someday. I just think it will come later. And when it does happen, I donâ€™t want to feel like Iâ€™m not supposed to enjoy it because of my identity. Right now I want to keep sex out of dating, but donâ€™t want to label myself something that will rule out options. (Although I love being single, I also donâ€™t want to feel I canâ€™t pursue someone because Iâ€™ve labeled myself something usually associated with being a non-dater.) Iâ€™m not going to find empowerment through sex, but I may learn to enjoy it someday when Iâ€™m fully riveting with everything else that excites me: learning, creating, loving. Writing, theorizing, having conversations that bring people somewhere new.
I do like the word queer. Maybe someday Iâ€™ll be comfortable using it to describe myself. Right now, I donâ€™t know if Iâ€™m queer enough. Sometimes, I feel like Iâ€™m nothing. Is it privilege of living as a perceived heterosexual to identify myself as no orientation? I donâ€™t think so, since the models of sex and relationships Iâ€™ve had growing up have made me feel inadequate for not being more interested in sex.
But Iâ€™m not nothing. Iâ€™m ambiguous. Fluid, undeclared. Well, Iâ€™m declaring it a sexual orientation, my sexual orientation. And itâ€™s one that wonâ€™t leave me stagnate, will grow with me. One that opens options for me, rather than closing them.
It feels wonderful to talk about this, to be open. To have an identity.