…but I’m almost always thinking bi.
To all those who have come out, I have a question. Were you confused as a child? When playing with your hetero toys given to you by your parents, making Action Man into an interior designer or Barbie into Action Man; was this confusing?
I don’t remember struggling at all with who I was until I learnt terms such as gay, straight, bi, homo, hetero, blah, blah and that was probably 9-10 +.
I knew clearly that I loved Greg, Robert, Lauren, Sunny. My feelings for them were all the same, and I began to have sexual feelings very young.
At no point did I worry that it was a problem. Until language forced me to define myself, to make a choice out of one or the other of which social expectation was ‘one’ and not the ‘other’.
These terms I first learnt from the kids at primary school. Some boys came up to me and in derisive tones asked if I was gay. I honestly had no idea what it was but their tone was enough to make me realise I didn’t want to be one, so I said no. From that point life starts judging you.
Yes, there are other factors. Who your parents are; how informative they are with you. My problem is with language.
At sixteen I fell for a boy. I did work experience at a bookshop and he started and our eyes met over a stack of D.I.Y books, up till that point I had only known D.I.Y.
In truth I came on very strong and swept him up in it all. At that time I saw something I wanted, I knew what I felt and I’d be damned if I was going to hesitate or let anything stop me. So for the time of our relationship I was gay.
But, my best friend at the time. That girl who is always following her gay best friend around, pathetic in the knowledge that he is the one she loves but he cannot reciprocate it. That was her. It must have tormented her when I spoke about mine and Matt’s relationship. But when we broke up, and she was there. I was straight.
O.k. so I missed a few flings out in that story. But you get the gist.
Now I am much older. I heard about Pan a while back and I lack the patience for it. My world view is that I dislike most people, those that I willingly give up my precious free time for are my friends, those that stimulate me mentally could be something else.
I don’t think you really come out of the closet as bi. It isn’t strictly necessary, because you don’t conform to society’s structure of absolutes, so why give a damn.
The hardest part is the hostility from both sides. Straights still call you gay or see you as something worse, the missing link, the link that passes on Aids from homos to decent straight folk. The gay camp (or camp gay) see you as undecided, confused, still closeted, in denial, experimental, cowards and particularly, not one of them. For the stigma that they have gone through they should damn well know better.
These terms have not been around for long. The *sexuals turn up in usuage among psychologial and sociological studies in the late 19th century. This was where people began to be classified depending on their gender orientation.
Up and until that point people were not refered to as gay, instead the sexual acts that they commit were refered to as such. Although of a more Biblical terminology.
In that era homosexuality and gender fluidity was, undoubtably illegal being that which deviates from the structured mores of familial society, but was largely accepted and widely not spoken about.
Wilde condemned himself by writing too openly about his gay lifestyle, his many homosexual relationships were tolerated or ignored, but he pissed off the wrong homophobic Douglas!
I’m not saying these were better times to live in. I’m admonishing the use of labels to define a person based on their sexual preference, of which was never the case. But now as opposed to then, we do openly have a dialogue about gay rights and equality which before was restricted to camp stage shows and molly houses.
But this dialogue doesn’t quite fit with members of the ‘b’ in LGBT, we adopt other people’s language and use it as our own which often restricts or misrepresents us. Do we suffer this or attempt to make an identity of our own? Will this liberate us or define us to the exclusion of others, the same way this language has done since it’s irresponsible birth a hundred years ago?
I have no answers. But at least I’m not thinking straight.