First off, quick disclaimer: If you don’t support the LGBTQIA+ community, which of course includes POC that are bi, trans, ace, aro, gender fluid or neutral, then I don’t want you here.
Okay, Happy Pride! If you for some reason don’t know, June is the month that celebrates all sexualities and genders outside of heterosexual and/or cisgender identities. The reason it’s celebrated in June is to commemorate the Stonewall Riots which happened towards the end of June 1969. In the spirit of those riots and the fight for equity, I want to open up about my identity and the journey I’ve taken to explore and understand this part of me.
This is my story.
If you’ve been following me for a while, then you know that I’m not at all straight.
My earliest memory (that I can recall) of exposure to something other than heterosexuality was when I was in sixth grade. I had just learned that Artemis, the Greek goddess of the Moon, did not allow men into her hunt; thank you, Rick Riordan. When I told my mom that I wanted to be like her because I too didn’t like boys, my mom posed the question, “Oh, so do you like girls?”
My first reaction was to laugh and say no but her response stayed with me for the next decade of my life, “That’s okay too, as long as you’re happy.”
At the time, I didn’t understand the significance of what she was giving me so I just shrugged it off and continued to talk about my book.
Over time, I realized what happened that day and I’m eternally grateful for my mom’s unwavering support. Now I see that my mom has never once cared about who I’m attracted to as long as I was safe and happy. And I know how lucky I am because I’ve seen friends and peers be disowned simply for not conforming to the binary. I’ve heard the stories of people who are abused, assaulted, and killed for being “different”.
And for a long time, I figured that my only option for a partner was a cisgender man. It wasn’t until high school that I finally began to question my hetero status. I was sixteen going on seventeen when I realized I’d rather hold hands with a girl than a boy; I’d rather hug and kiss and cuddle with a girl than a boy. I never “came out” but I’d make jokes and laugh and occasionally, accidentally stare at a girl just a little too long but no one said anything. Not to mention, I also greatly “admired” one of my best friends, thinking she was far brighter and bolder than I could ever hope to be and then I realized I had a crush on her. In a conversation years later, we found out that we had crushes on each other but neither one of us made a move because we were too scared. C’est la vie, I suppose.
But then I got a boyfriend, a few actually. And the questioning came back.
Did I really like girls?
Was it just a phase?
I can’t actually be gay, right?
I was understandably confused. Many–if not most–people are surrounded by hetero-normative culture from a young age and even though my mom validated any “outlying” identities I still didn’t understand that there’s more to this world than gay and straight.
I once had a hetero friend tell my friend who was constantly attracted to different genders at different time and for varying periods that, “You just can’t switch, like that.”
But what they were really saying was, “Hey, your attraction to multiple genders is uncomfortable for me. Stop being different.”
This was my first experience with bisexuality. As you can imagine, it wasn’t a positive one.
And for a long time, I thought my sexuality had to be validated by my history of relationships. I’ve only been in straight relationships so I couldn’t be gay in any way, shape, or form.
But I couldn’t stop that sensation of confusion and questioning; I couldn’t shake the feeling that I didn’t fit the binary.
It wasn’t until I turned eighteen that I embraced that I was bisexual, a label that I held onto for the next few years.
At this point, I was much happier with myself and my identity so let’s shift gears for a moment.
I never really “came out”. I never sat down with the people I love and said, “Hey, I just want you to know that I’m bisexual.” I didn’t really have to. My mom knew before I did and she never made a big deal about it. She just waited until I was comfortable to start talking about it casually. For example, when we were out and about a girl walked past me. Me, being very gay, watched her go by. When I turned back, my mom was watching me and said, “I want to introduce you two.” I was of course, incredibly embarrassed and told her not to even think about it because I’m quite awkward. Even though she’s a little odd, I know she supports me and who I love. The same extends to my immediate family; my brother, sister, and step-dad. I’m not concerned about what the rest of my family thinks of me, the older generation at least. And no matter what, I’m not going to hide who I am anymore.
Okay, back to identity.
I was happy with the bi label for a while. It felt safe and comforting to know that there was a name for people like me, something I could call myself. But after a while, I started to feel limited.
Now you might be wondering what the fuck that’s supposed to mean. Attraction to two genders? It’s the best of both worlds, right?
If you’re one of those people who thinks there are only two genders, then get the fuck off of my blog. Stay away from me and my social media, the world is too complex for you to comprehend with such archaic thinking.
There are countless genders. Genders that I’m still learning about and trying to understand, but regardless of that I can fall in love with someone no matter who or what they identify as. Isn’t that kind of incredible? That someone has the capacity to fall in love with a person regardless of labels, I think that’s pretty amazing.
Gender fluid? Fantastic!
Gender neutral? Stunning!
You get what I’m saying?
So, yes, I thought pansexuality was the label for me. I am able to be attracted to a person regardless of sex and/or gender.
But here’s something new, I have a huge preference towards girls.
And in the search to learn more about pansexuality, I found that by definition pansexuality can also be called “gender blindness” and that “true” pansexuals don’t care about gender. This lead me to learn about omnisexuality. This label is VERY similar to pansexuality, but whereas pan people don’t see gender, omnisexual people do AND it may/can play a role in choosing a partner.
This all happened within a few weeks leading into Pride Month and I’m officially fed up with labels.
I’ll be honest (since that’s what I do here), I’m the kind of person that wants a label or definition to accurately and completely describes me. Otherwise I don’t want a label at all. This isn’t something I like about myself and I’m trying to change that part of me because I don’t want to rely of labels to feel safe, I don’t want labels to be something I rely on. I want to be a person that when someone asks me who I like, I can just say, “Yes,” and give a cheeky wink. I don’t want my sexuality to drive who I am because who I am is a young Filipina woman that likes being nerdy and goofy and wants someone who’ll be there to do that with me.
Cheesy? Yeah, but I’m a romantic, sue me.
As of right now, I think I’m just happy with calling myself gay or queer. Broad umbrella terms that encompass everything and that’s what matters to me. And who knows, maybe I’ll change my mind in the future and be more comfortable with a different label. Life is all about change, after all.
If you are questioning who you are and what you identify as, I’m right there with you. Try not to worry about labels so much because what matters is that you stay true to who you feel you are. And who you’re attracted to? Well, all that matters is that everyone’s safe and happy.
Happy Pride Month to all of my LGBTQIA+ family, I see you and I love you. I’m still trying, still learning but I will always love this colorful community.
Until next time x
P.S. I made a Facebook page! Share it with all the gays so we can be gay together. While you’re at it, check out my social media!
You can also support me by buying me a coffee!