I'm extremely anxious about writing this, but deep down I know I shouldn't be.
Why am I anxious? Because there's still so much stigma around how people express themselves, how they feel in terms of sexuality, being able to truly identify themselves in terms of gender and the idea that you're trying to be something you're not, or trying to be "quirky" and keep up with "modern trends" if you're anything but heterosexual, or even gay or lesbian.
There's nothing new or modern about anything I feel or identify as, I've just never openly put a label on it or allowed myself to embrace/accept how I feel. I've always been an advocate and fought in the corner of all LGBTQ+ people, so why shouldn't I be able to do that for myself? Expressing who I truly am doesn't for one minute change me as a person, much like being given a new mental health diagnosis doesn't change a thing. I'm still me, I'm just a more open version of me who isn't hiding my true identity.
I know many people still can't get their heads around the idea that life isn't as straight forward as boy or girl, straight or gay. It's not that any terms within the LGBTQ+ community are new, it's just that we now live in a world where people are speaking out more, inclusivity is finally getting better (although there's still a very long way to go) and access to the Internet means more voices, across more platforms reaching more people.
I am in love with a man, a man I want to spend the rest of my life with. I am not straight. From as far back as I can remember I never have been. I do identify as female, but this isn't something I have always felt, and there are some days when I'd rather dress in a more "masculine" style than a "feminine" one. I enjoy putting on make up, I love having short hair. I prefer trousers to skirts. I buy "mens" shirts over women's. None of that really matters. Make up doesn't have a gender. Fashion doesn't have a gender. What is important is what I feel on the inside and as someone who is biologically female, I don't always mentally feel that way. A lot of the time, I don't really feel any gender. Which is why I am happy with the pronouns She/They.
When it comes down to sexuality, I'm just gonna go ahead and come out. I don't think it should matter either way, especially as I am with someone I hope to be with till the day I die, but in terms of being true to myself here it is. I am pansexual. I know a lot of people still go, "urgh, so you are attracted to pans and shit", or, "that's just some made up crap" or something along the lines of being greedy.
1. "Pansexuality. What the hell is that?" In Greek 'Pan' is a combining form meaning "all". Pansexuality, or omnisexuality, is the sexual, romantic or emotional attraction towards people regardless of their sex or gender identity. Put simply, I don't give a shit who you are, how you identify, what your preferences are.
2. "Why not just say you're Bi?" Sure, I could and I know many people still argue that pansexuality is redundant because bisexuality exists. However, I also know that not everyone sees bisexuality as including more than 2 genders. This is changing a lot and all depends on what your preferences are and for me, I feel that pansexuality is my personal preference.
3. "Why do you feel the need to come out or share this?" I believe in being true to yourself, especially as now I am back in therapy and learning so much more about who I am. Why live a life closed off or repressed when I have a choice to speak up and be a voice for myself and others? When I go to Pride or any LGBTQ+ event, or even comment on the topics, I get this sense that people are judging me for being a heterosexual (ironic, right?), white woman who has no idea and is just jumping on the rainbow bandwagon.
Whether I've come out or not I don't think this is such a big problem as either way I am a LGBTQ+ ally and always will be...and if you're hetero and an ally, please forever continue to be one. Some may see this as a waste of time, some as, a joke, but this is actually a huge bloody deal for me and although I didn't think it would be, I feel a huge amount of anxiety posting this.
As I said from the start this doesn't change who I am as a person, or doesn't change the fact that I'm in a committed relationship, it's something that's part of my identity that I've been hiding away due to fear of ridicule or rejection and I just want to live a life being my real self and full of happiness, openness and queerness.