Quick Note About Identity

Posted on May 5, 2013 by




I’ve called myself straight my entire life, and I wasn’t lying. I’ve had girl-crushes on girls (a total of two so far, one in secondary school and one in college) – by girl-crushes I mean the kind of worshipping admiration that little girls feel for older girls. It wasn’t sexual, which I know because I tried – nothing.

I’m almost in my thirties and I’m bonded for life to a dude. This is how I know that you don’t have to experiment to know your sexual orientation: I’m crazy in love with my dude, but on honest introspection I found, to my surprise, that since college I somehow became a pansexual.

You just know. Not because you’d do anything about it or because you have a thing for anybody in particular. I just examined what I knew, and I found out I’m attracted to people rather than gender, and that this was not the case before, and now it is.

There’s got to be something genetic about this: some evolutionary adaptation that messed with my brain to mean that something changed. I have a theory that cortisol (the hormone released by stress and depression) is so dangerous because it’s supposed to pick off weak members of a species: it’s supposed to make us more susceptible to disease. If that’s true, perhaps now that I’ve paired off with someone reproductively viable, my brain is less pushy about focusing my attention on men? I’m woolgathering, I’m sure.

I started thinking about it after I had a conversation with women who aren’t straight. I said I was straight but that I’ve never wanted to be because it feels restrictive, and then I apologised, because they all laughed. (It’s a sad truth that straight women say this all the damn time to their not-straight friends and their not-straight friends find it annoying because being not-straight makes your life difficult, in general.)

After that conversation I thought: if my dude didn’t exist, who would I date? Surprisingly, the answer was “not the same dudes I was into in college,” then, months later, “actually, not many dudes at all,” and then “…probably a girl.” Even more surprising was that when quizzed in a totally unrelated conversation about trans people, I found it trivial to assign a person gender based on their preference because trans or no, I could see myself being attracted to them. Apparently, that’s being pansexual – because a lot of people aren’t attracted to trans members of the gender they prefer.

It’s nice, actually. I feel better about myself now. I like being an equal-opportunity admirer, even though I’m not in the admiring game and probably won’t ever be again – my admiration is taken. It feels comfortable to have this identity – and it is an identity – even though I’ve never acted on it and I never will.

Here’s a question that concerns me: am I now LGBTQ, or am I still an ally?

Posted in: Uncategorized