Gay, Straight, or Bi. Because there’s only three choices, right?
A Touchpoint True Story About Fluidity
Growing up, I would always hear my peers spew normalized comments such as “Nigga, you gay!” or “I ain’t with that gay shit!”. I’ve never been one to knowingly use language that could unintentionally offend another person.
(My memory is extremely bad. I’m not sure whether I’ve blocked things out or if eating beef all those years has finally caught up to me. I can only speak on what I remember and that mainly includes major life events.)
In 6th or 7th grade, I began to question my sexuality. I was presented with three choices. Gay, straight, or bi. I had a few “boyfriends” in middle school. The cycle of my “relationships” with boys was the same throughout middle school. It began with “Do u want to go out?”, led to matching Kik names, putting each other in our Instagram bios, me changing my last name to theirs on Facebook, and us breaking up after a few days.
Being as immature as I was, I thought that that cycle was all there was to a relationship. I didn’t know what sex was until late in the 7th grade, so anything further than kissing and emoji-filled conservations didn’t cross my mind.
After realizing that I didn’t have a problem doing the same things I did with boys with girls, I came to the conclusion that I was bisexual.
I announced my newfound sexuality by changing my Kik name to “bisexual bitch *cat emoji**rainbow emoji**heart emoji*”. Almost immediately, a well-known classmate Kiked me and asked if I was bisexual. I responded yes and I don’t remember what she replied but I do remember that the entire 6th or 7th grade class knew my sexuality within 24 hours.
The response was mainly negative. Many of my close friends didn’t believe that I was bisexual and assumed it was a phase. They didn’t stop talking to me but I could feel a difference in our relationships.
Girls who didn’t know me that well wouldn’t stand near me and would isolate me in the locker room during gym. Some boys were as homomisic to girls as they were to boys while other boys said that they would “love to watch” and were down for a threesome.
I didn’t understand why my bisexuality caused people to treat me differently. I’ve always been an outcast but people knowing my business caused me to feel even more alone.
For unrelated reasons, I transferred schools toward the end of 7th grade. It was a new beginning at a new school. But, with the emergence of social media, it wasn’t long before my new classmates found out I identified as bi.
My new classmates were a little more accepting but the response was still mainly negative. I still dealt with isolation and judgement, now from a new set of people.
I’ve always been the one to finish their work before everyone else in the class. In one particular class, my teacher asked me to help my classmates with their assignments. Every time, the girls would ask for my help and scoot their chairs away while I assisted them. I remember one of the girls sanitized her keyboard and mouse after I finished helping her.
One incident I vaguely remember is the first time I stood up for myself. I had a new classmate and I was interested in being their friend. I think we had a few conversations before the situation occurred. One day, in disbelief and with a tone of disgust, the person asked, “You’re bisexual?”. I was shy, but I wasn’t ashamed of who I was. I’m not sure how long but the person went on to harass me about being bisexual for a while. Eventually, I snapped and I don’t remember what was said but I know it was aggressive enough for the person’s mother to want to press charges against me for bullying. The principal convinced the person’s mother to not press charges and then convinced me that I was in the wrong for the entire situation. The rest of my middle school experience was filled with drama due to opinions about my sexuality as well as me being a reactive and problematic pre-teen.
I still identified as bisexual when I started high school. I entered high school with the mentality that I wasn’t looking for a relationship and I just wanted school to be over with.
The distinction between “talking” and being in a relationship was prominent at the beginning of high school. I “talked” to some boys and girls while in 9th grade and it usually never went beyond a few conversations. Usually.
Toward the end of the first semester of 9th grade, I had my first experience with a girl. It wasn’t sexual but I don’t feel the need to explain our encounter in detail. I’m only sharing this information because apparently I told some “friends” what went down between me and the girl. I have no recollection of kissing and telling but some people were able to tell me the exact details of what happened.
I expected to feel fireworks with the girl. She kept trying to pleasure me and I wasn’t feeling her. So, I gave up and went to sleep while she was still in my room.
After that experience, I began to re-question my sexuality. I began to think that maybe I wasn’t bisexual. I thought that my “friends” were right that it was just a phase. I thought that since I wasn’t satisfied with one girl that all girls must be the same (I cringe at the thought of my past self). I knew that my only options were gay, straight, or bi. So, for the rest of 9th grade, I chose to identify as straight.
The summer of 9th grade is when I started to become “woke”.
I began reading more non-fiction, I followed social justice accounts on Tumblr and Twitter, and I cut off problematic people from my life (everyone). Sexuality is among the first things I learned while researching and reading.
I was introduced to words such as “pansexual”, “polyamorous”, and “asexual”. I began to realize that there were options beyond gay, straight, and bi. I also realized that I didn’t have to choose one of those identities if I didn’t want to.
I’ve never been a sexual person. I’ve never looked at anyone and thought, “You can have your way with me”. I struggle with simply talking to people and making friends, so having sex is something I couldn’t see myself doing.
Many of my peers were having sex or had been having sex since middle school. It seemed as if every discussion not related to schoolwork was focused on everyone’s real or exaggerated sexual experiences. People in my class automatically assumed that I was a “virgin” and had no stories to tell.
One day, my peers and I were discussing my sexuality for some reason and I told them I identified as asexual. I didn’t have a desire for sex the way they did. Some of my peers were amused while others were confused by the fact that someone didn’t want sex. Two statements I was told that I remember clearly are: “You’re already weird so this isn’t a surprise to me” and “I know asexual people and you’re not one of them”.
I remember coming across an article that contained the ace flag as the thumbnail. It discussed the spectrum of asexuality and I felt that I finally found what I was looking for.
“Demisexual” is defined by Urban Dictionary as “lack of sexual attraction toward any person unless they become deeply emotionally or romantically connected with a specific person or persons.”
It wasn’t that I never wanted to have sex. I just couldn’t see myself having sex with just any person. I’ve always wanted my first time to be special and with someone who I deeply care about.
I didn’t announce the change in my sexuality because I didn’t want to have to explain myself to everyone. From that point on, I stopped feeling obligated to disclose my sexuality. I had my first and last high school relationship in the 11th grade and I was met with questions such as “I thought you were asexual?” and “How does he feel about your asexuality?”. Questions such as these allowed me to get better at deflecting questions.
Since 10th grade, I’ve been finding myself and figuring out what interests me. I probably won’t find out what I like until I find that special person, and that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with not having sex. My choice to not have sex is a personal decision that isn’t based on the opinions, morals, or beliefs of others.
I don’t think my sexuality is anyone’s concern. I could lie and say I don’t care what people think, but I do. If I were to tell the average person (presumably one of my locals) that I’m not straight, they would automatically assume that I was either gay or bisexual. I’m not mad at them for not having the same knowledge that I do and I wish the information that I’ve learned over the years was more accessible and able to help others develop a mindset similar to mine.
If you are not my partner, all you need to know is that I’m not straight. You can interpret that however you please.
Thank you for reading! This is my first writing on Medium and definitely won’t be the last. If you enjoyed my words, please clap (I’m pretty sure that’s Medium’s version of a like?) Feel free to follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat (dessinydavinci). If you’re feeling generous, support me! Again, thank you for reading, I really appreciate it! :)