29 October 2019
For some, labels are restrictive and unnecessary. For many, however, a label can mean everything.
It is important to know who you are and how you defi ne yourself. In the spirit of that, we should talk about a label I have used for myself: bisexual. I have been out of the closet for a decade now. I remember telling my dad at 16-years-old that I was different. That I might be bisexual.
He told me, “You’re not bisexual. You just haven’t been with a girl yet.” Thus began my struggles with my sexuality and labels.
I walked past a display in the University Center that was having people write down a positive label about themselves above the related negative label.
One of them made me think back to that moment with my dad: “Bisexual, not confused.”
Bisexual, to me, means that I am attracted to both the same and opposite sex or gender.
To some, I have already crossed over into problematic space. You must make a distinction between sex and gender, do you not? To many who are not aware, there is a big difference.
Sex refers to your physicality while gender is about expression.
The term “bisexual,” however, does not acknowledge that there is a difference.
“Bi-” is a suffi x that literally means “two.” Just like in the word “binary.” I do not believe it’s wrong to have preferences or only feel attraction to someone that identifi es with a specifi c gender.
I just question if it is the right word for me anymore.
I find it hard to continue to use bisexual to describe myself. I do accept non-binary and genderqueer people.
I have found that I’m not 100 percent attracted only to men, nor I am I only attracted to women, nor any one gender.
What do I call myself, then? There are some labels that sound like they represent me, but I do not vibe with.
“Pansexual” means being attracted to people no matter how they identify. “Demisexual” means that you do not feel sexual attraction unless it is in an intimate, passionate context.
Does that mean that bisexuals do not accept others or don’t desire emotional contact, then? Of course not. But I can’t deny that I’ve felt like that’s what is implied sometimes.
I feel like I am both pansexual and demisexual but calling myself a pan-demi-sexual is kind of clunky, linguistically.
Occam’s Razor is my favorite axiom of life. Keep it simple.
I like the word “queer.” Why?
For one, it is an old slur that has been recycled and reused into a positive term. Nothing quite like taking the power back!
For some, it means only being attracted to the same sex, but I see it as being sexually ambiguous.
It lends me the freedom to present and feel masculine or feminine, on a whim. I feel freed being called queer since I just want to meet people, and feel the feeling when it happens and not worry too much about labels.
I am here. I am queer. Get used to it.