One trait I know I’m guilty of is assuming that everyone thinks just like me. I know a lot of people do this and it tends to lead to misunderstandings, so I’ve been trying to work on it. One thing that completely slipped through my fingers in making this effort though, was the way people understand sexuality. I had just figured that, since I only keep company with people who are not dickheads, that my friends would all be accepting to all kinds of sexuality and wouldn’t feel the need to judge people who were different to themselves. Turns out, I was a bit wrong on that one. I’m predominantly attracted to men, but I’m also attracted to women. I just don’t think about the shape of someone’s genitals to be honest, that’s not a factor into whether I like someone or not. It’s that simple. Apparently, that’s a difficult concept to grasp.
I was very lucky because I grew up in a very open household in a lot of ways. I remember my mom asking me several times if I was “gay yet”. She wanted to make sure that if I was, then I wouldn’t have to fear the ordeal of coming out, and whatever I felt was totally fine. I could just say no, until I wanted to say yes and that would be that. I never did feel that pressure, and even now, I just don’t feel the need to explain to people my sexuality, although I don’t feel the need to hide it from people either. I’m genuinely comfortable in myself. Really, it has no impact on my friends lives at all. That’s where my assumptions come in, after a certain amount of time I just figured people knew. Turns out that people have their own assumptions and a lot of my friends had no clue. Astonishing really, considering the amount of people that have told me I just need to marry my best friend and get on with it because we’re clearly in love. Recently, I was talking to two friends about how I see my sexuality and one of them asked “is this you coming out to us?”. I didn’t know what to say. I was never really “in”. I also find it hard to relate to the term when people call me bisexual, because I’ve just never really labelled it like that. I just don’t care what people are, I care who they are! Interestingly, of course most of my friends are of my generation, but I was talking to my little brother who is 11 years younger about this and he said that he understood that as pansexual. Again, I don’t care what people want to call me in order to make sense of it in their own heads, as long as they are trying to understand. What has truly shocked me lately is the people that don’t want to understand.
“Errrr wow okay. So, that means you aren’t really satisfied with a man then? You’ll just wake up one day and go “okay I want a woman now”.””
I never thought I’d get a response like that when all I said was sometimes I like girls, sometimes it’s guys. I tried to explain that for me, it was equivalent of someone being with a brunette then waking up one day and wanting be with a blonde and the responses got better…
“It’s more like I wake up and go this woman I’m with is lovely but now I fancy a man. Surely it means your mind and your eyes wonder?”
Honestly, I couldn’t believe someone who I liked could speak like this to me.
“I know a few bi people. Male and female and all of them never hold down a long-term relationships because they’ve woken up one day and gone “I love you but now I want the same team””. (Bullshit, if you ask me, but sure.)
I had to cut the conversation off because I knew that if someone thought this way then I was never going to convince them otherwise. People have their own experiences and their own script in life and if they don’t want to change it then they won’t. Since then I’ve spoken to a few friends about this conversation and I’m honestly so surprised with how many people understand his point of view more than mine. For the first time, I feel awkward about my sexuality and I hate it. I’ve had people over-sexualize it and dated guys that don’t consider me kissing a girl cheating because they get turned on by it, had girls flirt with me because even though they’re straight, I’m like a fun adventurous experiment, but I’ve never felt like someone blatantly disagreed with what I feel. Essentially, this guy told me that I could never be in a happy relationship. It made me sad. And it made me sadder that more of my friends didn’t have my back.
Going forward, it makes me want to talk about my sexuality more. It’s a private part of me that really affects no one else. Even the people I date, at the end of the day, I’m dating them, so I’m attracted to them, that’s all that matters. But coming up against this kind of small minded, closed opinion has made me realise that there are far more people that are bigoted than I realised. It’s the same thing as when I try to explain to guys how fucking awful and common sexual harassment is. They know it’s there, but they don’t realise the extent because they don’t experience it in the same way. The only way to push against the shitty people in the world is by talking about things more. Explaining different points of view, different ways of seeing things. I know not everyone thinks like me, I know not everyone likes both (or all) of the sexes, I know that people don’t know what it’s like to feel fluid in that, I didn’t know that anyone cared how I felt about it. Obviously, we won’t think the same in terms of our own sexualities, but I need people to understand that it’s not okay for them to have an opinion on MY sexuality. This isn’t an agree to disagree situation for me. I am who I am and you either accept that fully or move on. To be honest, I’d question why any of my friends care about who I want to sleep with (except for drug dealers or murderers or something), but I am more than happy to answer any questions if they’re intrigued. I’ve asked plenty of questions to people myself. I won’t let the ignorant people keep me boxed off into a neat little category. I am open, and I see things for how they are, not what I think they should be according to some backwards, societal rules, and you know what’s ironic? Because of that I am 100% sure that I will have much more fulfilling romantic relationships than they ever will.