The way we see sexuality is boxes for others to understand us.
Not everyones lives are constrained to these boxes and if people are able to free themselves of these boxes that is brilliant. But the pressure to confine to these labels… brutal. “Straight”. “Gay”. The scrutinized “Bisexual”. Each label coming with its own stigmas and supposed truths and lies.
Kinsey talked about a spectrum of sexual experience.
If you haven’t heard of the Kinsey Scale:
“The Kinsey scale, also called the Heterosexual–Homosexual Rating Scale, is used in research to describe a person’s sexual orientation based on their experience or response at a given time. The scale typically ranges from 0, meaning exclusively heterosexual, to 6, meaning exclusively homosexual.”
We all fit somewhere on this scale, and so many of us fit in the shades, not exclusively finding ourselves attracted to one sex or the other.
This seems all good and fine, and many people say they accept that. Yet I am astonished by the lack of acceptance that these shades actually receive in practice even from people within the so-called liberal left, the social progressives. Within us all there still lies this, “well I accept that as long as it is within the realm of socially agreed upon understandability” mentality. Maybe that’s just human nature, but I think we can improve. I hope we can. I know a lot of us think we have. And if that’s true, than that’s all the better.
I personally associate with the queer community, as do many of my friends, because it is, as we see it, an opportunity for a label-less community in terms of defining sexual orientation. It is an umbrella term. It is a term saying to the world, “why does it matter what you name me, I am what I am”.
I think the emergence of the queer community has been beautiful, but I still struggle with it. I don’t want to be labeled but I also want to define myself, and I don’t want to assume a label that says I am label-less just because I want to assume a blanket of non-judgement. It’s a predicament with perhaps no “right” answer.
From my experiences pan-sexual is a more appropriate way to explain my experience. I have been in relationships and had sexual experiences with both men and women and my experience is very different with each person. If I am attracted to the person really depends on that individual person. It does not have to do with their sexual parts, but their heart, the essence that I connect to, their way of being.
Years of living in the Big Apple and asking myself big questions on sexuality and I still don’t have any cut and dry answers to this dilemma of how to best term our sexualities for those of us who are definitely not a 0 or a 6 on the Kinsey scale.
Thanks for reading. Comment below if you have any thoughts and #letstalkaboutit