Gender and sexuality can be complicated things, for those of us who fall into the Gender and Sexual Minority, or GSM. There is so much beyond the gender binary of only man and woman, and so much beyond the three common sexualities, which are Homosexual, Heterosexual, and Bisexual. Even if I wanted too, I couldn’t list every variation on gender and sexuality here. And if I managed to do so, I imagine that it would soon become obsolete, with more genders and sexualities emerging.
Most of the world doesn’t see things as I do. They see only the gender binary, and only the three sexualities. Some even see only two sexualities, or one. I say that people who see the world like that have a limited view. There can be so much beauty in expressing your gender. It doesn’t have to be limited to what society says is appropriate for a person with whatever your genitalia happens to be. Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t want to force people to act counter to what society says is appropriate. What I want is for people to have the freedom not to be constricted by the gender that they have been assigned at birth by society.
Basically, if you’re a guy and you like wearing skirts, good for you. Don’t judge that guy who likes to wear skirts. Don’t call him gay, ’cause he might be straight. You don’t know. A skirt on a man doesn’t naturally lead to homosexuality. And if you’re a woman with a penis, so? Some women have penises, get over it! Why should you care what’s between her legs? The only reason I can see it mattering is if you are going to have sex with her.
But the world doesn’t agree with me, unfortunately, as much as I wish it did.
I’ve known that I wasn’t heterosexual since I was about 16, when I came out to my therapist at the time. She was pretty supportive, and I’m grateful to her, though of course I was seeing her for pain management and she wasn’t exactly well equipped to deal with a young person uncertain about their sexuality.
Anyway, I had found myself attracted to women at the time, female teachers and classmates. But I didn’t have crushes on them, or anything like that. I just thought that they were attractive.
At the time, I was desperate for normalcy. I felt like enough of a freak already, I didn’t want to be known as the gay kid. I had seen how those who didn’t conform to cisgendered heterosexuality were treated at my Catholic high school. I hated the spotlight, and I would do anything to avoid it.
Long story short, I was diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder, and Major Depressive Disorder, and that combined with my migraines lead to me dropping out of school. I was glad to be out of the conservative environment. I started homeschooling through a program, where I avoided all social contact for as long as I could.
It was then that I started reading feminist blogs. And I started learning so much about the world of social justice. I wasn’t perfect, not by a long shot, but I was learning. And eventually I started reading about gender. It was around that time that my best friend came out to me as a cross-dresser. I don’t know why, and I’m not trying to brag here, but I didn’t think it was that big of a deal. I mean, it was kind of weird, and a new experience for me, but there was nothing inherently wrong with it. So I accepted them, and that was that. It was my first glimpse into a person defying how society told them to behave regarding gender. And it opened my eyes.
I started reading. And when this same friend came out to me as transgender, I started reading some more. I came across terms, like genderqueer or pansexual, that suited me.
And then I heard about asexuality, and things just kind of clicked.
It wasn’t perfect. It took a year or more and two sexual, romantic relationships for me to accept that I am asexual. And possibly aromantic, I’m not sure about that.
I’m still not out in that regard, and I don’t know if or when I will be. But that’s okay. I’m getting more and more comfortable with who I am, and that’s what’s important, I suppose.