There is no sexuality that is greater or lesser than another. – Jasmine Guy
I have now been more or less out as a bisexual since Pride last summer, which isn’t for that long, but figured I would delve a bit deeper into my thoughts about this. Considering how big of a topic gender, sexuality and labels tend to be I think it’s important to share thoughts and feelings about the matter. I will talk about it from a straight-passing, cisgender lense however so I know that I am quite privileged in the matter. I still hope to shed a bit of light on this topic and my own thoughts about my own sexuality. So knowing that, let’s get into my ramblings.
So what makes the matter so complicated in my mind? I call myself bisexual, but the definition has changed a lot from when I was in school and was taught about the topic. For me, bisexuality meant that I feel attraction to people regardless of their gender identity. My attraction is still the same, but the definition of the label has changed since. Nowadays the definition is more inclusive since it doesn’t rely on a binary gender system. This is in my opinion really great, a binary gender classification system is dated and not an accurate representation of people today. It does create a situation where I have to re-evaluate my own chosen labels, however. It’s a silly “complaint”, I know, but it does create a new problem once I thought I had figured myself out.
So how is bisexuality defined nowadays compared to what I originally learned? What I learned was that as a bisexual you are attracted to both genders. While I was in school it wasn’t really a thing with gender identities other than man, woman, or trans. Since then things have gone forward a lot and become more inclusive and accepting of more parts of the LGBTQ+ people. Nowadays the definition of bisexuality is that you are attracted to your own gender and other genders. This definition also varies, a lot, depending on who you ask, but as far as I know, this is a relatively close generalization. This is also the definition that I, personally, attach to the label.
So what should my label be then to correspond the correct terminology today? It should be pansexual… I think. I do struggle with this for some odd, unknown reason though. It doesn’t feel like my label, so to speak. While I have come to the general conclusion that I am attracted to people beyond the scope of a straight person, I haven’t quite figured out what that exactly means in practice. I am so used to only thinking that being attracted to men is valid for me that it has taken a while to realize that it isn’t entirely true. I am, generally speaking, mainly attracted to masculine presenting people or on the other end of the spectrum hyper-feminine people. That presentation isn’t always tied, in any way, to what a person’s assumed gender identity is necessary.
Another extra “complication” to the matter is that I am very much straight passing. I have also started getting into very hyper-feminine fashion besides being cisgendered. It does create a thought process that I shouldn’t attach an LGBTQ+ label to myself as I am in such a privileged position. I am and always have been in hetero relationships, and since I am in a monogamous relationship with a man that won’t change either in the foreseeable future. However, since I have added a label to myself after being in a relationship and gotten engaged it feels… odd? Like I am preaching one thing, but acting completely differently. Obviously, the fact that I am in a straight relationship won’t change my own identity. That doesn’t amke it any less confusing in the end though.
So what am I going to do? Will I change what I label myself for just keep on going with what I have? The latter, for now. I might change my mind at some point, but for now I find a bit of comfort in calling myself bi. There is a lot to the matter and even more to think about. I don’t need to be in a hurry to know exactly what label I should attach myself technically. I am me, and that’s more than enough.