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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Identity » Labeling? Ourselves.

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Author Topic: Labeling? Ourselves.
Member # 43514

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Looking through all these topics, it's easy to see most posters are wondering about what they are, or should be called-orientation wise.

I've recently been thinking about labels and such, and was interested in other's opinons.

For instance, I realized that although I've completely accepted the fact I'm attracted to both men and women, I still label myself as straight, which has confused quite a few people I know.. Anyways, I realized that in a way, I think of myself to be presently "straight" but that I could later have lesbian relationships.

I generally don't believe that anyone ever needs to be clearly 'labeled' and that doing so puts one in a box, metaphorically. But I do think there is some power in what we call ourselves and how that reflects our outlook on our own orientation..

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Executive Director & Founder
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To me, this has always just been about telling the truth about who we are, whether we're talking about the language we use to describe our orientation or other parts of our sexuality/relationships, our gender, our race, the kind of people we are, how we feel politically, what have you.

Obviously we either can't always tell the truth about who we are in all settings, and/or in some it just isn't safe. Also obviously, sometimes we're still in the process of finding out the truth of who we are.

But I don't think we can question what someone else's truth is: if yours is that you're straight, it's not my place or anyone else's to question that. Same goes for recogizing that everyone doesn't always know the truth at a given time, is still getting comfortable with what their truth is in their own head and heart first, or doesn't always feel safe telling their truth.

At the same time, when it is safe, even if it's scary or uncomfortable, I do think it's important for those of us who know we aren't heterosexual to tell that truth, whatever the language is that we want to use for that. Doing so really benefits everyone, whether it's about helping other people feel more comfortable being out, or helping our culture see that we're here, we exist, and we're not ashamed of who we are.

I also think it's important to recognize that in many areas, especially in the west, being out and coming out really has gotten easier and easier, even if we're still a long way from it being as easy as it should be.

[ 02-24-2010, 11:39 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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The AVEN website (the Asexual Visibility and Education Network, not to be confused with Avon, which is something entirely different) has a comment on their front page a while back saying something along the lines of "Labels can be useful. For example, when you offer someone a cookie, obviously you're not describing the whole vast range of cookie varieties available, but at least they know you're not offering them a ham." I find this quote really rings true to me, both about my probable asexuality (I'm still sort of confused, but I think it's the best word to describe it) and my Asperger's Syndrome.
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ragazza deviata
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I've been thinking about my orientation and gender for a while and still haven't decided if I should call myself straight or bi, transgender or cisgender. And after a while I kind of gave up on trying to label myself and thought "I know what I am, I just don't know what to call it."

For example, I am sexually attracted to men and women both, but my attraction to women is so much greater and more intense than with men. I know not all bisexuals are 50-50, but I'm more like 85% attracted to women and about 15% to men. (not sure if this is the best way to measure it but you get the point) So I feel like a phony if I say I'm bi because I like women so much more, but I also feel like I'm lying if I say I'm straight because then I'm ignoring the part of me that likes men.

Originally posted by Heather:
At the same time, when it is safe, even if it's scary or uncomfortable, I do think it's important for those of us who know we aren't heterosexual to tell that truth, whatever the language is that we want to use for that.

This is actually one of the reasons I haven't come out yet, because I don't know what to come out "as". I would like to tell people I'm not completely heterosexual, but yet I feel uncomfortable describing myself as bi. Like, if I was gay, I could say "I'm gay" and people know what that means, it's simpler to explain I think. But it's difficult to explain that I really like women but every once in a while I'll get a huge erection when I see a guy take his shirt off. (Don't take this the wrong way, I'm not trying to imply that gay people have it easier here, just trying to point out that I personally wouldn't have as hard of a time coming out if I had a label I liked)

Edit: I'm biologically male by the way

[ 04-10-2010, 08:41 PM: Message edited by: ragazza deviata ]

"A question in your nerves is lit, yet you know there is no answer fit, to satisfy, insure you not to quit, to keep it in your mind and not forget, that it is not he or she or them or it, that you belong to" -Bob Dylan

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