One of the problems with the language we use around sexuality is this business of “hetero, homo, or bi”—as if only three orientations exist. Feeling the need to categorize yourself as one of these things is a symptom of a society that has a hard time talking about sex.
There is nothing wrong with a label as long as it isn’t dogmatized. I am a garlic-lover. There. I said it. That wasn’t so bad. But if a bunch of stupid associations were attached to “garlic-lover,” it would be weird at best to use this term. Garlic-lovers are freaks. If you’re a garlic-lover, that means you will always want garlic in all your food. See what I mean? Isn’t it silly?
In the same way, there is nothing wrong with “gay,” “straight,” or “bi” in and of themselves as terms. But so often we are prisoner to them. Men who consider themselves heterosexual and like anal stimulation will often go out of their way to prove they aren’t a “homo” – as if there is something to defend oneself against. Or there is the situation in which a man or woman is thought to “act” gay. A woman cuts her hair short, puts on little to no makeup, and works out a lot… what does that make her?
It makes her normal, that’s what.
Now here’s the other thing: sexual attraction varies along many other lines besides gender – gender is merely the one we are most conscious about. Are you “logorrheosexual?” (Do you get turned on by people who talk a lot?) Or maybe you are “athletosexual” (sexually attracted to athletic types). Or “megalanthrosexual” (sexually attracted to large-bodied people).
We could go on all day with these labels (as far as I know, these words don’t exist; I made them up). And you see how it can get a little ridiculous, don’t you?
The moral of the story is this: being normal does not mean fitting neatly into labels like gay or straight – it actually means exactly the opposite. When many labels used to describe you don’t fit well… that’s when you know you’re being your normal, unique self!
Take comfort in not fitting in. It’s what makes you interesting – more than just ” a straight guy,” or “a lesbian,” or whatever the crude label of the day is. The people you want around you will honor how you choose to identify yourself and will see all of you – and respect your right to change your identity, too – something that is always possible!
On a personal note, I have always been weird and out of place in my life, but then I learned that “dork” is not just a noun, but a verb too – and if you learn how to dork well [and dork safely], using your uniqueness as a point of interest and diversity, people will usually appreciate it! 🙂
More on this subject in this post.