2017 Free to be me? Being Sexually fluid and Non-Binary.

I’m not one for New Years resolutions, if you want to do something why wait till a man-made-construct such as a specific date (better known as the 1st of January) to do it? But this year I’m going to jump on the bandwagon, with perhaps the most cliche resolution of them all.

“I’m going to start being more true to myself.”

 

For no other reason than I fucking should. I can’t hide behind a “Cis Binary” mask forever. I need to be honest about who I am, not just here, but out there in the big ol’ scary world.

 

MY SEXUALITY

I’ve never felt much love for labels. I’ve never felt queer enough to be part of LGBTQ community, always feeling like an intruder under that umbrella. I have a boyfriend, and we’re monogamous. I haven’t touched anyone who isn’t ‘male’ sexually in over five years.

Theres another reason I feel too guilty to consider myself a member of LGBTQ community – I’ve never suffered due to my sexuality. (Well, I was bullied and harassed as a teen but children can be cruel creatures when it comes to the unknown). I know that suffering isn’t a prerequisite for being ‘part of the club’ but the reason that in my adult life I’ve never been hurt because of my sexual preferences is that I don’t publicly embrace my sexuality.

I get to walk around without worrying about anyone being homophobic towards me because people ASSUME I am straight. I rarely go out in public without my boyfriend, so I can’t blame people for jumping to those conclusions. I am generally safe from stigma and so I don’t suffer because of my sexuality. But I do feel untrue, I feel misunderstood and overlooked as a person. Part of my identity is always ignored. And I don’t just LET it happen… I often encourage it! The worst moment of my relationship with Sam was sitting down at the dining room table claiming I was straight because I was afraid, no terrified, of how his family would react to my sexuality.

Whatever I am though, its most certainly not ‘straight’ and though it’s easy to just write that I’m Pansexual and be done with it, that’s not really the case either. The reality is that I’m sexually fluid, that’s part of who I am, and I know it to be the truest form of myself. When my mental health is bad I feel almost completely straight, when I’m happy and relaxed I feel attracted to all sorts of people regardless of their genders or lack of, when I’m feeling confident, sociable and strong I won’t look at a man twice. I fantasize about women and yet it never affects my feelings for Sam because I love him regardless of his gender, sometimes even in spite of it.

The truth is I probably would be pan-sexual if it weren’t for past trauma. I know that the effect my mental health has on my sexuality is not healthy, but again it’s a part of who I am, just as what happened in my past is a part of who I am. It’s unavoidable.

 

MY GENDER?

My gender feels fluid, ambiguous and somehow unimportant to me. I wish it didn’t exist at all, that I could just be me instead of she. I’m non-binary or ‘gender queer’ or whatever you like to call it, I’m not particularly fussed about which label I use but I understand how important that sense of definition/affirmation/belonging can be for other people.

Whilst personally I really struggle to see gender as something definitive because my own gender is so non-existent or at the very least irrelevant to me, that’s not to say I think yours is. If you strongly identify as a certain gender, THATS COOL, I respect that. It’s part of WHO you are (just like not being gendered is part of who I AM). Basically as far as I’m concerned if it matters to YOU, it matters.

I’m lucky and I get that. I don’t have any body-dysphoria (provided I stay away from heavily gendered clothing and products) and whilst I don’t hold any particular love for my body, I’m not at war with it either. I appreciate my body (despite its weaknesses), it’s MY body, it’s the body that Sam loves, the body that’s been through it all with me, the good moments and the bad ones.

And that’s my other big issue with accepting that I am Non-binary, if I am not a woman what does that mean for my relationship with a straight man?  I know it wouldn’t matter to me if the situation was reversed, joys of being sexually fluid an all. But San is STRAIGHT – wouldn’t even look at Ian Somerholder twice, kinda straight. What will it mean for us romantically if I make my non-binary-ness a big deal? It’s something I worry about a lot and I still don’t have the answer. Sam has learnt so much since we’ve been together, he’s grown so much as a human being, and I know his passion for equality and trans acceptance and all sorts of things started because they were important to me. But how far will that really stretch and would it even be right to expect him to still be attracted to someone who no longer identifies as ‘female’? His sexuality is important too.

For now, I can just feel safe in the knowledge that I will always have this ‘female’ body, and that will always be attractive to him. Maybe he doesn’t need my mind to be gendered in order to love it, HECK he already loves who I am on a purely mental level and I’ve never identified as gendered in my head.

It’s time to be me, where it counts, out there, spoken, known, accepted. Wish me luck.

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