Is this me coming out?
What is coming out?
Do you have to come out publicly for it to count? Sit down with your parents and have “the chat”? When are you officially out of the closet? Does literally everyone you know have to know?
I don’t know if this is me coming out… that probably depends if you know my situation or not. In my opinion, if you assumed I was straight, that’s sort of on you for making that assumption 😉
Plus I think I’ve referenced my sexuality before on this blog, maybe just not explicitly. I cbf going to fact-check myself so… I don’t know.
The concept of coming out is sort of lost on me. I feel like if people have to come out as gay, then people should also have to come out as straight cos it seems just as relevant/arbitrary.
But whatever, here we are. I’m gonna write about my sexuality cos it’s Pride month and it saves me from writing about the actual mental health issues I’m struggling with atm 🙃
I’ve never hidden my sexuality at all. Probably cos generally people don’t ask so I haven’t had to lie even if I wanted to.
And that probably seems easy for me to say as a cis woman who has only had cis boyfriends my whole life, cos I’m not exactly oppressed for that.
It does have it’s own downsides having people assume I’m straight, cos it ignores a whole spectrum of my sexuality and attraction and lumps me in the same group as the straights. And like… no one wants that 😬
I would consider myself bisexual, or pansexual, or maybe just queer, which seems like the blanket label that is like… eh, just generally not cishet, and I quite like that.
Ok, before I go any further, I’ll just say my own personal understandings of what it is to be bi or pan cos I don’t want any confusion.
- Bisexuality – the sexual, romantic, or emotional attraction towards people of more than one gender
- Pansexuality – the sexual, romantic, or emotional attraction towards people, regardless of gender
The difference feels semantic to me, and I relate to both, but pan is probably the one I would lean towards. However, I’ll probably refer to myself as bi in this blog post cos it feels like the most accessible label to the general public and it’s also the label I probably use the most IRL for that same reason.
It took till I was 17 to even realise I liked girls as well as boys
Being attracted to multiple genders is confusing when you live in a heteronormative patriarchy.
Because since we were all assumed to be straight from the second we’re cut out of our mum, and I AM attracted to guys, that was straightforward. Cool, I’m a straight girl who likes boys. Done.
So therefore I assumed that the feelings I had towards the girls and women were the same feelings that other straight girls had towards them. I was literally not knowingly attracted to any women till I was 17.
I just *happened* to be really obsessed with Eliza Dushku in Bring It On, but I assumed it was kinda like… in an “I want to be her” way, not an “I want to be on her” way.
Cos I had seen in the media and in movies how men are attracted to girls and women, in such a gross, sexualising, objectifying way.
In the American Pie way.
I DEFINITELY did not look at women that way. So gross and predatory, aggressive, forceful, manipulative, and treating them like prizes to be stolen and held up as trophies.
I don’t see women in that way, so it’s taken a long time to get my head around the fact that I don’t need to have to want to objectify or dominate women to be attracted to them.
A concept, I know.
I remember so well the night that I realised I liked girls… I was 17, up north staying at my friend’s house, and her friend, let’s call her Anna, was there.
Anna was sooo cool, and so pretty, and confident. They put makeup on me and dressed me (cos I had no idea what I was doing) and we all went out to a club, got drunk and danced around.
My friend had an argument with her bf and disappeared, leaving Anna and I on the dance floor together, surrounded by horny boys. But we were having such a good time together, turning them all away and just dancing together to My Humps by Black Eyed Peas. It was very romantic 😂
We were vibing together I thought, then when we went back to my friend’s house to sleep, it got to the moment where if I was with a guy, we most definitely would have kissed and probably felt each other up in bed.
But she just said, “Night!” and disappeared to her room.
And I was like… HOLD. THE FUCK. UP…
That was a girl!… did I want to kiss and feel up… a girl?!
It hadn’t even occurred to me until that moment that Anna was a girl. And that I was attracted to her. I was attracted to a girl?
At the club and up till that moment she was just a hot human and that’s all my hormones were worried about.
So I went to bed slightly *frustrated* and also with a whoooole lot of questions for myself.
I panicked that she might have noticed that I liked her and that she’d tell our friend, cos a lot of girls I was around at the time were very homophobic and I wasn’t ready for that sort of shit! Especially when it was fucking new information to me too!
I don’t think I told anyone at the time
Honestly, it didn’t feel like news when it was just a “feeling” compared to the tangible guys I was dating and who were trying to court my teenage self.
Like, boys come to you. You don’t have to do shit and they just appear, it’s the easiest thing in the world to date them. They used to leave notes on my car. Or send a friend over with their number at the mall. Steal your number from a friend’s phone.
Girls don’t. Well, the definitely didn’t in 2005. Not for me anyway.
I was in an all-girls boarding hostel and I can honestly say that I didn’t look at any of the girls that way. Which, in hindsight, seems like an awful waste 😂
But also, being lesbian/gay wasn’t exactly accepted by the majority at the time so I would never have risked such a thing. I saw other girls in the school get ostracised just by liking each other and it was so shitty.
Some of the girls would talk about how they would disown gay kids if they had them, or did “would you rather” about kissing girls and other racist shit and fall over themselves at how disgusting any option was.
To be clear, these were not my close friends. My close friends and I would back out quietly and wonder why they were so closed minded. But we definitely ended up on the periphery of a lot of homophobia.
Why on earth would I pursue my attraction to girls (that I barely understood) and risk being on the receiving end of that when I had an array of lonely hostel boys blowing up my phone to choose from?
I wouldn’t. And I didn’t.
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I’d love to talk openly about how my sexuality has evolved over the years
It’s been very slow, thanks for asking.
And the thing is that in my experience, whenever I try talk about it, it just feels like masturbatory fodder for men.
They ask about my sexuality as if they care about me and my feelings, but really they just want to hear stories that they can put in the wank bank and fill in the blanks themselves… it’s fucking exhausting.
It’s honestly also not that action-packed, and I haven’t come super far haha.
I had my first proper “experience” with a woman when I was like 27 and it was awesome. But she liked someone else and I had an awful boyfriend, so like, cool cool cool.
I only went on my first date with a woman a couple of years ago when I was into my 30s. That was also awesome.
Based on that singular experience, I vote that women only date women cos the chat is approximately a million times better and they’re so pretty and dress well…. I digress… But seriously, the bar is too low for men…
I’ve had to do a lot of work on myself to figure out why I’m basically terrified of dating women, and I wrote about it a little in this blog. I think it has a lot to do with women being far better than men and me not feeling like I deserve them.
Plus a bit of attachment issues and not being emotionally available enough. Which I think I cover pretty well, maybe too well, in this blog.
But let’s circle back to that thing I said about being with a woman when I had a bf shall we…
I used to use the fetishisation of my sexuality for my own benefit
Most men I’ve dated are “into” the fact I like women, so they don’t consider me hooking up with women as cheating.
I know that that’s wildly minimising of the relationships that I have with women by assuming it’s less “real” or less of a “threat” than if I were to hook up with a man. I know they want to see me kiss a woman for their own gratification, not to see me happy.
It’s actually EXTREMELY offensive to me.
Buuuut, it also meant that I got to kiss pretty girls. So I used to use that loophole in the system, preferably when they weren’t around, cos fuck ’em, they don’t deserve to undermine my sexuality AND sexualise it.
Like at one point a female friend and I used to go out drinking together and end up making out like… a lot… but not around anyone else for “attention” like people assumed. More like while we were in the taxi home to our boyfriends.
Now I think about that…. what was that about? She’s probably reading this too hahah 👋 😘
I also rarely told my bfs that I had hooked up with a woman either. Cos I didn’t want them to enjoy the idea of it. They had given me the golden ticket after all. They didn’t care, right?
Clearly I was a little vengeful about their mentality.
And guys, please don’t do this to your bisexual girlfriends, unless they want to I guess? But it’s suuuuper rude to play down their sexuality like that.
I’m pleased to announce that this is no longer my approach.
Partially cos I actually would want a fully open relationship. But also because I’ve finally realised that instead of being angry at a man for undermining my sexuality, continuing to date him, and considering it a loophole is pretty unhealthy.
Maaaybe I could just find a nice person who understands how important all parts of my attraction to people are to me and that I want them to be treated equally.
i.e. plz stop fetishising me. Thx.
Where I’m at now…
I’m not particularly far along my journey, but I’ve been working on affirming my sexuality by trying out a few little exercises with myself.
This is really about being a bi/pan women but having dated cis men almost exclusively – it’s confusing out here! Are you like me?
Have you just kept choosing “easy” mode in dating (and by that I obvs mean straight men), but getting to the point that you want to explore your own sexuality for realsies.
Or did you, like a lot of “straight” women, download TikTok in lockdown last year and then realised that maybe you’re not so hetero… as you’re on the 15th time watching that thirst trap by a hot non-binary person in a maid costume..
No?…. Just me?… 😆
Ok, for me, I struggled to “sexualise” women, especially as a woman who hates that awful sort of objectification I get from men and do what I can to avoid it. I don’t want to do that to other women! The thing that makes me feel yucky and unsafe.
I feel like we’re brought up only knowing the male gaze and how it views the female form. It feels to me like an oozy goop sleazing over the female body against their knowledge or will.
I’ve tried to realise that that isn’t the only way to view women. And that even if I try overtly sexualise a hot woman, it’s near impossible for me to objectify her because that requires mentally removing her humanity, and how could I do that when I am a woman too and am human?
I know she’s a fully-faceted human, who is probably super smart, funny, successful, and just happens to have a booty like whoa.
I have actively been trying to train myself to stop looking at attractive women and only focusing on the innocent stuff, like “omg I love her dress!”, and instead be like “damn, she looks good in that dress” (in my head, obvs) (also, not ogling, obvs).
It was helpful for me to affirm that yes, I am attracted to the human. Rather than what I had been doing and abstracting the attraction till it was more like, “I want to be her”. And like… why not both?
This is an exercise I wouldn’t recommend to straight men, you guys generally have the opposite problem.
To add also, that when I think about it, I’d be flattered to be checked out by a woman. Basically any woman at all. There definitely feels like less of a threat or power issue there, cos leery men terrify me and I feel genuinely unsafe… so maybe that’s helpful to keep in mind. I’m not as scary as a man when being pervy ☺️
The other exercise I did was that I wrote down a list of famous women/non-binary people I found attractive. And then a list of women I’ve known in my life who I found attractive.
That was eye-opening, cos then I started to realise that I was attracted to people who aren’t men from way back. Helloooo Halle Berry in Swordfish, Drew Barrymore in Charlie’s Angels, Heather Graham in Austin Powers. Omg, Rachel Weisz in The Mummy 👀
I only can see that I was attracted to them in hindsight. At the time I just percieved that as…. thinking they were really cool and pretty. I couldn’t conceptualise being attracted to women at all.
These lists were super helpful to affirm my attractions. It was also interesting to see if I have a “type”.
My IRL type seems to just be “similar to me” in personality. Which I don’t know what that means in terms of narcissism, but I’ll run with it. I guess it makes them super cool.
That’s all I got.
I feel like a baby bi out here, so feel free to teach me tips and tricks to undoing all the heteronormative patriarchal learnings I’ve been absorbing for 33 years.
I think it’s more complicated to be bi or pansexual than people give us credit for. Bi-erasure is a real thing.
It’s easy to undermine these sexualities when you feel like bi and pan women particularly are defaulting to dating the opposite sex, and just “acting” like a part of the LGBTQIA+ community and faking oppression.
Honestly, it sucks to feel like a whole scope of my sexuality was crushed out of me so effectively that I went 17 whole years before I even REALISED I wasn’t straight.
It’s been 16 years more and I’m only brushing the surface of my natural state of being. Who I actually am.
It feels like I’m excavating a fossil with a little pick and a brush. Gently working down the layers to find the treasure that’s sitting underneath.
It’s hard work, but it’ll be worth it!
So good luck to all the others doing the same.
Sending you queer love! I see you ❤️🧡💛💚💙💜