Friday, 16 September 2016

Sexuality, Labels and Self-Acceptance

I've been "out" to my close friends and some of my family from roughly the age of 13/14 when I was outed at school (that is a story for another time). I was never the most open person about my sexuality to anyone else, partially because of my anxiety over what other people's reactions would be and partially because of the fact that I generally didn't feel the need to be. However, recently I've started to reevaluate my sexuality, how I use labels and everything that comes with not being straight and it made me think how writing about my experiences and thoughts could educate/help maybe even one person.

When I came out to people in the past I generally just said I was Bisexual which isn't entirely true. I am romantically attracted to both genders, but I am only sexually attracted to a person I have a deep emotional bond with already. In label terms, this makes me a biromantic and demisexual.
Now written down this is easy to explain, but in person, this can take a while to explain to people as there are normally questions asked and a lot of judgement. This is the reason why I normally just used to identify myself as being Bisexual as it was easier for me and other people. Although there were always and still are all the annoying misjudgements, questions and biphobic remarks to get through.

One of these questions I was always asked is something that I've actually been thinking about more and more recently. "Which gender do you prefer?" Now when I first had the lightbulb go off in my head that maybe I wasn't just attracted romantically to the opposite gender I would have said I definitely felt more attraction for men than women. However, 5 years later I realised now that I am definitely more attracted to women. This was the moment that I had the epiphany that my sexuality is incredibly fluid and I don't want to have to fit it in a box anymore.

When I was younger and first realising my sexuality labels were my best friend, being able to have a word for what I was feeling/who I was made me feel less alone and more confident in myself. It gave me a sense of self and allowed me to express myself to others easier. Now I have grown up and become more confident in myself, I care less about what people think of me and care more about not restricting a part of myself. I no longer feel that I have to explain myself to people or label myself, I am who I am and I am attracted to who I want to be. My sexuality is fluid and I'm not going to try and force it into a box/label. I understand for some people they like to label themselves and that is great I used to be the same and as long as they're happy and comfortable in themselves that's the most important thing.

My hope In writing this Is that people will realise sexuality/labels and all that comes with it is an incredibly personal and special thing, No two people are the same in their attractions and their feelings. No one can tell you what to call yourself/who to be attracted to, Its down to you. If you identify with a sexuality differently to how someone else does then who cares as long as it makes you happy, and if you don't identify strongly with a sexuality either then it's fine don't worry. You be you and don't change for anyone. As long as you're comfortable and happy in yourself then that's all that matters.

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