If there's anything that I've learned from my life, it's that I have a somewhat deeply rooted hatred for people who believe you can only fall into certain labels and there's no picking and choosing of different labels.
I was born female and thankfully had a family deeply rooted in equality for everyone and anyone. When I came out to my family (really my mother) that I was more interested in girls it wasn't any kind of shock, especially since we were in Hawaii for my aunt's wedding to her lovely wife. My mother had a talk with me to calm my nerves and we went on with the rest of the trip. I now didn't feel stressed about telling my mum about my problems with socializing with a girl I had a crush on and everything was fine.
At the same time, it wasn't.
Ever since puberty I hadn't felt comfortable in my body. Or rather, should I say, with my chest.
Despite knowing that the growth of breasts is completely normal occurrence for a teenage girl to have, it felt wrong in every sense of what could be wrong. It became more apparent as I got older: I hated seeing myself in bathing suits because my chest was evident. I love swimming, but was now uncomfortable with it because of how I felt in the bathing suit. It was a slow, gradual process in which I figured myself out, pretending at first of having a flat chest and being called sir, realizing any sort of words like "miss, daughter, she" made me more and more uncomfortable.
It wasn't, though, until a bit of a joke that a friend started calling me Charles and by "he" that I had the sudden revelation.
I took to the internet, looking up everything and anything trans. I figured at first that because I was completely fine with the parts in my pants I wasn't completely trans or a guy because to me I thought that to be trans you wanted to fix your body and completely switch it.
I figured, because I felt like a guy and loathed being called female names and wanted my chest to be flat that I was a possible mixture of the two genders or no gender at all.
But I learned over time that there are no defined rules to know your trans, you just sort of figure it out. It's yours: you get to make it.
I didn't know this before. When I came out my Mom was graciously supportive of me, except she told me that either I felt like a boy or I felt like a girl. It made me collapse in on myself a bit. It made me even more confused about myself.
Regardless, I figured out that while I would rather have people refer to me as some male pronouns, I do not want to be exclusively male. I am absolutely not female, this I know, rather I am a sort of male-neither gender. It's complicated for people to understand, and maybe I do over-complicate it a bit, but what is important to me is that my partner is understanding of it and supports my sort of quite situation.
I was blessed with a person who loves me and understands my struggle because we share it together, both being for the most part trans and female by birth. From the beginning we decided, because I did not want to be called "girlfriend" but was slightly uncomfortable with "boyfriend" that we would refer to each other as "partner" for the fact of being gender neutral and that "we don't know if we're in a romantic relationship or a buddy cop movie."
With all of this confusion people have hesitantly asked me the big question. "So you're mainly into women and girls, and not usually into guys, but your partner is a guy and you respect that so are you gay? Or bi because you like women but you're with a guy?"
The answer friends is within the preference of my gender-neutrality that I'm just gay no matter who I'm with. It has made people angry claiming that I'm just avoiding the bi orientation. And that's not the case, I just don't find that the label of "bisexual" fits with me. I do identify as demisexual, as I'm only able to see myself in sexual relations with a person after I've gotten to know them and there's a deep bond of caring and understanding but that only really matters for my partner.
Can you argue that I'm overcomplicating things and trying to make myself a special snowflake? Many have. Can you argue because of the possibly overcomplicated situation shows a sort of down side to labels? Absolutely.
Personally I hate labels but they generally make it slightly easier to explain my situation and relate to other people. The labels I place on myself are there just to create at least some understanding with people I talk to. Internally there are no labels because simply you can not label every part of yourself.
So when you get worked up and stressed out about labels and not knowing which ones you fit into, I suggest you relax, take a step back, and breathe. Understand that you do not need to label yourself constantly for your own being. Labels, especially the kind you don't make for yourself, can force you into categories that you might only fit part of the way in, but they also make it slightly easier for those curious to understand you. But always remember you also don't owe anyone labels to help them understand.
You are you, you are your own person, and every single one of your feelings and actions do not need justification and approval from other people.