Non-binary, homoromantic, pansexual?
This year so far has been a year of questions and discovery. I’ve stuck labels on myself, and I’ve rejected labels altogether. I’ve rediscovered my mother tongue, and better understood the struggles of my homeland. I’ve learnt how race affects social standing, and made peace with my former self.
There’s this little website some of you guy might have heard of: it’s called Tumblr. Maybe your kids use it, maybe you’re hooked on it, or maybe your parents spend hours reblogging gifs of cats. So I have a blog on that snazzy platform, and I’ve been documenting my thoughts and stuff on it. But being a Tumblr user can be pretty stressful.
See, Tumblr’s big on being sensitive to others and understanding where people come from. And I absolutely love it for that. If anything, it’s that very platform that has made me more aware of the world around me. But they’re also particular about the labels you put on yourself, and for good reason. To allow anybody and everybody to call themselves whatever they want would be to run the risk of invalidating the identities and experiences of others.
When I was 15, I came out as a lesbian. I’ve since come to terms with and embraced my attraction to people of the same sex as myself. Coming out to my parents was tough, because they felt that it was a phase, unnatural and essentially attempted to coerce me back into the closet. That in part may have affected my perception of my sexuality. I was so sure that my homosexuality was not a phase, that perhaps I failed to realised that I probably fall 1 Kinsey point short of being a “real lesbian”.
I don’t feel any romantic attraction to men and I never have. So yeah, homoromantic seems about right.
Here’s where I get confused. I understand that labels are meant to be something that we identify with and allows us to connect with others over shared experiences. But they’re also a way of explaining to others, concisely, our identities. As somebody who believes in sexual fluidity, I doubt that I would classify myself as exclusively anything. Would that mean that I should come out to people as “pansexual but I only date girls”? Or is there a point at which somebody is “gay enough” to identify as homosexual? (I don’t mean to disrespect people who identify as exclusively monosexual.)
This idea of having to identify with everything that a certain label implies has me questioning my gender, which I’ve never really bothered to before. Being a girl was just a term stuck to me when I was born, and I never questioned that. Maybe this is what being cisgender actually is: having the privilege of not feeling bothered by one’s gender assigned at birth.
I reject gender as a concept. That is, I believe that gender is a useless idea that attempts to homogenise and classify the nuanced beauty that is the human race. I’m currently an intern at an organisation that fights for women’s rights, but I don’t even know what a woman is.
And if I don’t know what a woman is, should I not call myself one?
Does this make me non-binary or genderqueer? I’m perfectly okay with she/her pronouns and being refered to as a “girl”, “woman” or “lady”, though. Would me referring to myself as female be disrespectful to those who truly believe that they are “real women”?
Do we just take our assigned traits for granted unless we feel uncomfortable with them, or actively question them as we grow?
It’s a label-y world out there, and I’m sure many of us don’t see it necessary to get too concerned over them. Just feel what you feel and do what you do, right?
Maybe I’ll just remain in the “Q” — questioning — of LGBTQ+ for now.