It isn't accepted very well in some circles.
When we use the term "sexual orientation," we use it as it is most commonly defined, which is about what, if any, sexual/romantic attraction people feel to others when it comes to gender.
So, we wouldn't include preferred, wanted or existing relationship models here like polyamory or monogamy, because that's not what sexual orientation refers to as a term. But! We could certainly make our next poll about what comfort or lack thereof people feel when it comes to what relationship models they want or choose. :)
Editor & Founder, Scarleteen: Sex Ed for the Real World
Author, S.E.X.: The All-You-Need-to-Know Progressive Sexuality Guide to Get You Through High School and Col
This poll needs an option for asexuals, particularly as trying to explain our little-known orientation to others can lead to a lot of emotional upset. If I could, I'd tick the option 'asexual and feel somewhat safe' here.
...for that unintended exclusion. You're right. I don't want to add it in now, since we already have so many results and thus, asexuals would be misrepresented, but I assure you, I will not be so forgetful in the future. My apologies.
Many thanks for such a quick reply. This site is immensely useful, and while I think it could benefit from a bit more information on asexuality, I'm sure the exclusion wasn't intentional. Keep up the good work! :)
When we say "safe" or safety" we're talking about being free from danger or the risk of harm of some kind: physical or emotional.
I know a number of heterosexual transgender people who feel unsafe identifying themselves as heterosexual because they will be stigmatized within the queer communities which have been supporting them through their coming-out and even their transition processes. I know a couple of cisgender women in this situation, too -- they were lesbians for a long time and active in the lesbian community, and now identify as heterosexual but will say that they are bisexual to avoid alienating their queer communities who go by the belief that sexual orientation can never change, even though these women are pretty clear in their own minds that they are only attracted to men.
For those checking that, would you mind talking about why you feel unsafe identifying as heterosexual and in what communities? I'm interested to hear what this is about and how your personal safety feels compromised by your orientation. Thanks!
As a 16 year old Bi male, I am scared of being bullied as some people at my school are openly homophobic, I have a feeling the world outside of school will be more open and accepting.
As a trans man, I do sometimes feel myself to be on the recieving end of straight hate in LGBT spaces. At Uni, I usually loudly point out that trans people, asexual people, the partners of bi and pan and poly people and some queer-identified people can be and are straight so making jokes and commments about us hets in LGBT spaces is less than inclusive.
I've been in some spaces though where the only hets allowed in are trans people - and those grudgingly and, I feel, on the basis that het trans people are "really gay". I don't feel safe announcing or displaying my het identity in those spaces, even to call people out on what they say, because I am afraid of transphobia from those people and saying that I'm het would out me as trans.
But I feel unsafe identifying as heterosexual at school events or on public transportation. I get hit on by a lot of persistently creepy men at both of these places, and if you say that you're not interested then they try to convince you and if you say you're taken then they try to argue that they're better for you. When I say that I have a girlfriend however, these guys back down. I know that I could end up saying this to the wrong person who could end up hurting me for being allegedly gay, but so far that has been my only way to get them from trying to get my number or even from getting off on the same trolley stop as me and trying to follow me home (this has happened before after the "I'm not interested" line, unfortunately).
Hope this helps your confusion.
-- Stacey of San Diego, CA
And now I feel wholly silly for asking, particularly if many of those who answered that way were cisgender women.
Think this is one of those places where my own perspective gave me a blind spot: as a queer female who who not ID as heterosexual, I just didn't even think this way. At the same time, I've also never found that telling men harassing me I'm lesbian or bisexual curbed their interest. In fact, sometimes it seems to only make them more persistent, so I usually don't share that kind of information with them. "I used to teach self-defense to women to deal with men attacking or harassing them," has always been far more effective. :)
I am a bi female, going into 9th grade, and feel completely safe. My friends weren't surprised, and everyone else was just fasinated. I came out completely in 6th grade and I don't regret it at all.
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