Have you ever held in your mind two opposing viewpoints, and had it really bother you that you couldn’t reconcile them? I’m having on of those days today. The topic: sexual orientation. Specifically, about how I kind of hate the idea of labeling sexual orientation.
I’ve felt for a long time now that labeling one’s sexuality is almost limiting in a sense. If you ask me, love, even sometimes sexual attraction, are fluid, malleable, and transcend gender.
Sure, you can have a sexual preference. Personally, I prefer men. I have only ever dated men, and may only ever date men. But does that mean I could never have a relationship with, or fall in love with a woman? I really don’t think so.
Right now, you’re probably thinking, “well, then you’re bi-sexual,” and maybe I am, but that word has never sat right with me. A friend of mine once said to me during a conversation “admit it, you’ve always been a little bendy.” Now bendy, bendy I’ll give you.
As a society, we place a lot of importance on sexual identity. I’ve seen friends of mine struggle endlessly with their own sexual identity, so I understand their need to be able to stand up and say “I’m gay.” We place limits on the things that gay men and women can do (marry, donate blood, etc), and we make same-sex relationships taboo to a point that I’ve struggled with having this very conversation for fear that people will judge me based on my opinion (and why it took conversations with two people, and more than 2 hours of debate to actually write and publish this post). After all that, it’s no wonder people hold onto their identity so tightly.
Bi-sexuality is a strange topic for me, because I’ve been, and continue to struggle with being, one of those people who judges those who can’t seem to make up their minds. One day, they’re dating the opposite sex, the next the same, and it bothers me. It bothers me, because I can’t label it in my own head. These are my opposing viewpoints. I believe that love and sexuality are fluid, I even believe it about myself, but when faced with it out in the real world, I still have trouble stuffing it into my tiny little logic box.
Labels are for other people. They help others categorize you in their minds, make sense of you, skirt around sensitive topics in conversation, make judgements about what you might like or who you might like, and find a way to be comfortable (re: not confused) around you on a day-to-day basis.
In the end though, does what you love matter as much as who you love, or even that you love at all?