I’m about to write my most intimate post yet, and quite frankly, I’m terrified. But it’s Pride Month and as good a time as any to just bite the bullet and get it all out.
I’ve spent the last few years examining who I am. Trying to make sense of myself. I have been thinking deeply about my gender, my sexual orientation and my romantic orientation. It’s been an eye-opening journey to say the least. And what I’ve realised is: my gender is non-binary, I am bisexual, and aromantic. Each of these subjects deserves a blog post of their own, but I’m not ready to write them yet. So, I’ll dedicate a paragraph, or two, to each and hope that will suffice.
My gender is non-binary:
Non-binary gender is often shortened to NB, or enbie. It’s kind of an umbrella term as there is a lot of heterogeneity amongst people who identify as such. Non-binary itself merely means “neither of the two binary genders”. The binary genders being male and female.
More specifically, I am genderfluid. This means that my gender shifts from time to time. Again, this can be different for different gender fluid people. How it manifests for me is, most of the time I’m NB. Sometimes (more rarely now) I’m female. I’ve realised that the times I’ve identified as female have been mostly when I’ve either been going through puberty, or when pregnant or breastfeeding. So, in times when I’ve had large amounts of hormones in my system, I guess. Again, that’s just how it is for me, I cannot speak for any other genderfluid people.
The rest of the time, I’m NB. This has been something I have known for as long as I remember but had no words for till recently. As a child I thought of my gender as ‘fairy/elf’. But not of the Disney variety. More like some ancient creature that was neither male nor female. I’ve never felt like I was a tomboy – I don’t like playing football or climbing trees etc. But I’ve never felt like a girl either. But I thought I ‘must be’ a girl since everyone called me one. So, here I am, realising that my earliest childhood identity was closer to who I am. A nebulous being who is neither male nor female!
I am bisexual:
My first kiss was when I was 11. I really really fancied this other girl, and we agreed to kiss, to ‘practice’ for kissing boys. I then went on to kiss many, many boys. And yet, I would still melt when I saw certain girls, but I tried to put it out of my mind. Years later I met up with that girl again. We were both wild teenagers and somehow ended up in a threesome with some bloke we picked up. I kept thinking the guy was getting in the way! I somehow convinced myself it was a ‘once-off’ and put it out of my mind.
One time, I got ‘warned’ by my boyfriend’s female friend that a mutual friend was ‘a bit AC/DC’. I had no idea what that meant. When it was explained to me, I suddenly realised that the ‘intense’ conversation that mutual had with me a while ago, while sitting on her bed during a house party, was actually her coming onto me. I was very confused but also somehow really happy. Except for the part where she was married and I had a boyfriend. That was when I thought ‘hmmm, maybe I’m bisexual’. But again, I put it out of my mind.
But, it’s not really something I can put out of my mind. And I’m done with denying parts of myself. So, I’m embracing being bisexual even if I never have a sexual encounter with a non-male ever again.
I know if I were ever single again, I’d consider a relationship with another woman. Or a person of a non-binary gender. Or at least, have lots of sex if not a relationship! I do sometimes debate whether I’m pansexual rather than bisexual. It can be a subtle enough difference and there are differing definitions of both. Right now, bisexual seems a better fit so I’ll stick to that.
This one is my most recent realisation. And the one most difficult to wrap my head around. I hadn’t even heard of the term until recently. It suddenly dawned on me, during a Twitter chat about love, that I’ve never actually been in love. Yes, I’ve often said the words ‘I love you’. If anything, I’ve been accused of saying them too often. Of being flippant and insincere when saying them. And I now realise that the folks who said that were right. I said those words because I thought that they were expected of me. But I never truly felt them. So far, all my relationships, even now that I’m married, have been more akin to ‘friends with benefits’. I cannot seem to form romantic relationships with anyone. And the term for not forming romantic relationships is aromantic.
This is not to be confused with being asexual. I’m definitely not that. In fact, I consider myself ‘hypersexual’ in that I have an extremely high libido. So, I can form friendships, I can have lots of sex, but I cannot seem to fall in love, no matter how hard I try.
Lots of aromantics are fine with who they are. I’m not quite there yet. I really really want to fall in love some day. I used to think it would happen eventually. That I just needed more time. And who knows, maybe it will. Maybe I’ll turn out to be demiromantic or alloromantic after all. But, right now, I’m trying to learn to accept myself just the way I am.
So, there you go. Finally, at the age of forty, I’ve realised I’m triply queer, and I guess I’m ok with it!