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Author Topic: What's in a name?
goodmagpie
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This is a tricky one to vocalise, but we'll see how it goes...

Recently, I've been questioning how exactly I'd define my sexuality. I've been with my boyfriend for two and a half years, and so due to ease, I've just said I'm straight, as I'm not going to be doing anything with anyone else anyway. However, I have been in love with a girl before (not on the same level I am with my boyfriend though) and do find some girls attractive. I have never had a gay relationship or sexual experience beyond a couple of kisses. A friend said to me (this afternoon, kinda prompting this, really)'Doesn't that make you bi, then?'. However, I don't feel I identify with the label bisexual as I know it (I really don't know that much about LGBT culture though). I also find more guys attractive than girls, in terms of numbers. As well, the way I feel about anyone other than my boyfriend just doesn't compare, regardless of their sex/ gender.

Is this just adjusting to coming out (to myself, really)? Or does this sound like being bisexual, or straight, or pansexual, or what? And how important have people found 'labelling' themselves in terms of sexuality? It's something I don't really feel comfortable doing, regardless of the label, but I'm not sure whether that's just due to this limbo-esque state I'm in.

I'll probably add to this later when I figure out a more eloquent way of articulating what I mean...

Posts: 23 | From: UK | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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goodmagpie: why don't you first take a look at an advice piece on the main site, specifically at the section that talks about models of sexuality:http://www.scarleteen.com/article/advice/im_bisexual_so_why_dont_i_feel_exactly_the_same_about_men_and_women

You might also find doing that Klein grid for yourself helpful.

Why I suggest that is to try and help you (and maybe your friends) understand the broad range of sexual orientation and how people identify. For instance, there are a WHOLE lot of people who are Kinsey 4s or 5s who identify as heterosexual.

However it is YOU feel best identifying is the right way to do it, including if that way is "I'm really not comfortable with any of those labels."

Also, a hint: when you say LBGT culture, what are you thinking that is? To make clearer what I'm asking, what's heterosexual culture?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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goodmagpie
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Thanks. I did the Klein grid thing, and it said I was 52% straight, 48% gay, which I know doesn't feel right... (I'd probably say that if anything, it'd be more 70% hetero 30% gay, in rough terms).

I've never really liked labelling myself in any way, but not defining myself as anything feels somewhat self-denial-y and a bit of a cop out, plus that it'd be really irritating for other people and tricky in terms of explaination/ coming out.

The best way I can find to describe this is that it's sorta like the sexual orientation equivalent of agnostic, but not because I can't decide; because I don't think it's that necessary to do so (does that make sense?).

And, yeah, I don;t have the faintest what either heterosexual or LBGT culture would be, just that I've heard other people talk about gay culture, or whatever and even though I usually think 'What's that when it's at home?', I figured it might be one of those don't-understand-it-till-you-experience-it things. I suppose it would have been more accurate to say that I am rarely in large groups of queer people, nor do I often discuss people's sexuality with them in emotional terms/ terms of preferance ratio/ whatever (I always think it's a bit prying), therefore I don't have a very wide view of bisexuality as gained by talking to bisexual people.

Plus, what's the Kinsey scale, exactly? I vaguely know what it is (I think...)

And how common is it for people to just not name what their sexuality is?

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Usually when people say "gay culture" they are either being homophobic or unknowingly borrowing a page from homophobia. Terms like "gay lifestyle" and "gay culture" came out of anti-gay politics.

The Kinsey Scale is a scale from 0 - 6, where 0 is exclusively homosexual, and 6 is exclusively heterosexual. Most people ion the world fall somewhere in the middle, which is one reason why you might hear people say most people are bisexual (which is kind of accurate, but kind of not, because how people identify themselves is hardly irrelevant).

How common is it for people to not name any or all parts of their sexuality, including their orientation? I'd say it's quite common, actually, and even more so for younger people who are just coming into their sexuality. I don't agree that choosing not to name any part of your sexuality is a cop-out, either. When we feel like we don't know what something is, or it's very murky, we typically won't name that thing, you know?

I also don't think you need a label or name for your sexuality for other people. After all, the only people who REALLY need to know who you're attracted to are the people you're attracted to. And when they know you're attracted to them, why do they need to know who else you might be attracted to?

There are sound reasons for those of us who are not heterosexual to come out and be out. But when someone just doesn't know, or nothing feels quite right or solid yet, I don't see any benefit in a person grabbing a label just because, or to satisfy someone else.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About MeGet our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

Posts: 67145 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
goodmagpie
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Hmm, OK. Thanks. I think this is just going to be a time, experience and discussion type thing in terms of resolution (if there will be one [Smile] ). Ta. x
Posts: 23 | From: UK | Registered: May 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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