Coming to Terms with my Sexual Orientation

Sorry I haven’t written a post in forever. First there was finals in May, then I had a couple weeks to relax, and my summer classes start tomorrow. So my blog wasn’t the first thing on my mind. I thought I’d share how I figured out my sexual orientation as an “oh, hey, I’m back; didya miss me?” post.

Just to say outright, I’m pansexual. And now I bet you’re thinking, “What the hell’s a pansexual?” A pansexual is someone who is attracted to all gender-identities and biological sexes. In other words, I swing every direction and play for all the teams–so I suck at baseball. Some of you may be thinking, “But…there’s only men and women.” Biologically, sure, but not everyone identifies with their physiological sex. Some people identify neither as a man nor a woman. And that doesn’t matter to me at all. I discovered this sometime around the age of 13. I’ve had “gender-queer” friends to whom I’ve been attracted, and I’ve also been attracted to people who identify either as a man or woman. Their gender-identity doesn’t affect my attraction to them in the slightest. Needless to say, this caused some problems. I didn’t even know what to call my sexual orientation until two years ago.

At 13, I knew that I was different, but I was pretty good at hiding it. My friends all thought I was straight until high school when I finally came out as bi, and I admitted seventy-five percent of the people I’d dated were not, in fact, male. Since I live in one of the most liberal parts of the country, my friends barely even blinked at my admission. But overtime, I began to notice that–liberal or no–bisexuals are rarely welcome (pansexuals even less so). I’ve been called everything from dyke to clit licker, and that’s just the stuff that doesn’t have to do with my sexuality. I had D-cups and a 24″ waist by the time I was 14, meaning guys thought they could snap my bra, grab my ass, or make other lewd advances at me. The teachers never “saw” it happen, and I got so sick of listening to their BS justifications like: “Boys will be boys;” “It just means he likes you;” “I think you’re overreacting.” So I got good at dislocating wrists in middle school.

When I got to high school, I was bitter, angry, and had a strong no-nonsense policy. To make matters worse, I was closeted because bisexuals were–and still are–attacked from both the straight and LGBT communities. The straight community thought we were whores. The LGBT community thought we were confused whores. And there was this weird idea that the B in LGBT didn’t even exist. I wanted to say, “Hey, look at me existing. Bisexuals aren’t part of the land of fairytales and unicorns.” End of freshman year, I got sick of all of it and came out of hiding. As I said, my friends shrugged and went on with their days, but not everyone was accepting. Those in my GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) were trying to figure out if I truly was this mystical bisexual or a confused soul in denial of being a lesbian, and the homophobes were accusing me of having threesomes every other day.

I don’t want to give the impression that my time in high school was hell. It really wasn’t. My friends and family were very supportive, and I had long learned how to handle myself. Thick skin and self-imposed patience kept me from trouble–for the most part–and when I left high school early after my sophomore year, it wasn’t because I resented my school. I recognized that high school simply wasn’t for me. So I started college, learned the term “pansexual,” and accepted who I was. I now recognize just how privileged I am to be a young woman who both knows and loves who she is. Coming to terms with my sexuality has taught me acceptance, patience, humility, and compassion. I understand that both the LGBT and straight communities have their reasons for resenting bi- and pan-sexuals. I have the strength not to take insult to heart, but I also understand that I don’t have to tolerate it or let others suffer it.

And in the spirit of this rather gay post, here’s a gay picture I’m drawing:

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Happy Father’s Day! Even if this had nothing to do with fathers… But my dad is awesome and supportive of me, so maybe it is. Love ya, Dad.

About T.K.

I'm an LGBT writer, biological anthropology student, and an ardent aro(mantic).* *One who does not feel romantic attraction.
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