Sexuality is a weird thing. It’s only weird because society makes it so difficult. Everyone knows the normal ways of attraction, man + woman = love and family and the main point of life. Thankfully humanity is advancing and starting to realise that the normal is not the only way. It’s common knowledge that people have preferences, most learned, many uncontrollable. Red, Blue, Purple, or Black? Chocolate, Vanilla, Strawberry, or Cookie Dough? Dogs, Cats, Birds, or Goldfish? Action, Drama, Romance, or Science Fiction? So is it really that crazy to think that people can have preferences of the gender they’re attracted to?
My gender and sexual identity discoveries are different, but both long and difficult. I’ll just keep this to sexual identity today. That journey started in High School. High school was the time I became aware that life was not the same route for everyone. I discovered what the acronym LGBT for the first time in my junior year. Now I did have to suffer a long time with my religion conflicting with these new views. Christianity has a long time history of being against homosexuality in all ways. This affected me a lot in my early days since I started being more interested in women than men. Since being assigned female at birth, I am expected to end up with a man. I don’t find my attraction to men as much as women, so this caused me a lot of distress. I did pray over it a lot. I thought me swooning over Marvel superheroes taking their shirts off in their movies meant I was okay, but that’s a fictional universe. In my real life, I can’t picture myself actually having a good romantic relationship with a man as much as a woman. This is a sin to a lot of people, and it was to me, but only because I simply believed it when anyone said it, especially online. I knew all the jokes about gay people early on. I knew that it was once ok to make fun of them and be mean to them. When I started questioning myself, I simply thought I deserve any and all harassment because I was sinning and deserving of mistreatment. Another prime example of why strict religion is harmful to youth; it makes children grow up seeing themselves as failures and embarrassments, especially about things they can’t control, like sexual orientation. Only in college, and attending a pretty liberal school, did I start doing my actual research. Sexual orientations that are not heterosexual are actually quite normal in every species. I also started to see that it’s not truly against religion to be gay or any other orientation. Gays and straights need to follow the same rules; be kind to one another, cause no harm, and show love, not hate. There is nothing that actually says two consenting adults can’t be in a healthy relationship if they’re not a cisgender man and cisgender woman. It should be like every other relationship, healthy and equal for both parties. (Disclaimer: I’m still learning about polyamory. I don’t feel I should say anything about something I have such little knowledge over. But I do want to acknowledge that polyamory and polysexuality is something becoming more and more accepted. Yes, not every relationship is just “both” parties, but for the sake of my little info I will keep this piece about monogamous relationships for now)I did not spend too much time praying to be straight. I tried to leave religion altogether because I no longer cared about something I already knew I couldn’t control. I spent much time thinking about how I’ll just stay single forever and forget about relationships to avoid the problem altogether. I still think like that sometimes. The few months I had a legit girlfriend were ok, but we had too many differences to get along. And she moved away from the USA and both of us weren’t sure if we could keep together long distance. I used to tell myself that that was a sign from God that I was meant to never have a partner. I am somewhat hopeful for a chance, but I have also taught myself to enjoy singleness. That is the only good thing to come out of hating myself for possibly being gay.
While I still have my doubts here and there, and I still hear the echos of “God hates the F word”, I’ve learned that I shouldn’t think too hard on this subject. For this day in age, I just tell people I’m Sapphic. My gender flows back and forth, but I firmly believe now I could like anyone of any gender that shows any sort of femininity. Man, woman, trans anything binary or not, I am drawn to the feminine side of people. I’m ok with this conclusion and I’m trying to stop second-guessing it. I’m not one to care much about sex or bodies, I’m more into personalities. I don’t have many requirements, I’d just at least like someone spiritual and a nerd like me. Not much.
My real hope is that homophobia is eradicated. I want all hate gone, it’s unnecessary. There is no difference between a gay person or a straight person like there’s no difference between a furry pet lover or a bird lover. Someone who likes the colour red is not different than someone who likes the colour blue. People who watch different movie genres are still human. People have preferences over everything. Some people have no preference over something and some people are picky about what they like. So why are people still freaking out that some humans don’t prefer the opposite sex? There are many sexualities out there and each one valid and not harming anyone. Discovering a sexual identity should be a personal journey free of harsh judgment from religious extremists. There’s always room to hope for a nicer future and nicer humanity. Until that day, I am going to continue being satisfied with my own identity and not be forever guilty for being different. I hope others can be happy with themselves too.