The Answers (for Now) - Gerbil

When did you start to question your sexual orientation? What in particular made that question arise?

I'd known I was attracted to other girls since I was young, but it wasn't until I transitioned to living as male, those first few months of being called "he," that I realized my attraction to that entire gender was gone. It began in subtle ways-- noticing cute guys on the bus, instead of the girls I'd fawned over previously-- and before I knew it, I was imagining Hugo Weaving as Agent Smith sweeping me off my feet in my fantasies, instead of Trinity.

This is part of a series of personal stories about questioning & coming to understand one's sexual orientation! Check out the other experiences, from: 

Asher • Ben • Jack • Mo • Riley • Riss • Ruby • Sam • Sebastian • Wyn

When (if ever) did that question resolve itself?

Over the years, as I claimed a more and more solid genderqueer identity, and my attraction shifted to androgynous/genderqueer people, things became clearer to me in hindsight: I'm attracted to whichever gender I present myself as. My friends noticed this from my string of announced crushes before I did, dubbing me "the Queermeleon."

How would you describe your sexual orientation as you understand it now?

I identify as bisexual, or pansexual in conversations where it's clear the other party knows what that is. I don't personally see a difference between the two terms, as I understand many bi people have been trying to make it clear that trans and gender-diverse folks are included within the descriptor as well. However, I'm attracted to enough fictional nonhuman aliens and monsters that "pansexual" seems like the more fitting identity.

How do/did you feel about being questioning? Positive? Negative? Something else entirely?

I remember feeling confused at first, because the change in my interests was so organic. The new fantasies came into my head without me needing to give them a stamp of approval first. I thought I'd at least have to second-guess the old ones, to stop first and say, "No, I'm attracted to THESE kind of people now."

What is or was the most confusing? When you thought "maybe I'm [x]," what made you feel unsure or second-guess yourself?

What baffled me the most is how viscerally penis-averse I'd been all through my days of lesbianism, and how completely that disgust evaporated once I found myself looking at the more masculine folks around me. I thought, surely I must have to work through that feeling of fear and disgust first before being okay with, say, giving oral sex to a cis guy, right? But no, my brain gave me a free pass on that. The change in desire was so effortless for me, after it'd been an issue for so many years, that it was baffling.

Was there a defining moment that clarified things for you, or did you come to a more gradual realization?

Going to a gay sex club where trans men are welcomed, and not having any clue what genitals I might see once the towels around people's waists came off, only to realize I didn't care one bit what I'd find, was a bit of an eye-opener to me. It crystallized in my mind that genitalia didn't define my interest in people anymore. I used to only be comfortable calling myself a lesbian, and then gay, but "queer" has become a more comfortable, all-accepting option for me to use when the corners of my gender (and those of the people I fancy) aren't as squared-off and sharp as they used to be.

Did you talk to other people about being questioning, or compare notes with other people of an orientation you thought you might be?

To be honest, I'm still not sure how to qualify my orientation because of how many people I fancy are fictional characters-- it's easily a vast majority. I've heard the term "lithsexual," which was rejected at large and became "autochorisexual," used by people on sites like Tumblr to describe such an orientation, but I've had just enough interest in real-world people that I'm not sure I could claim the term like I've seen others do.

Isn't that such a Queer Experience? That feeling of doubt, whether you're ____ ENOUGH.

What would you say to past-questioning-you if you could send a message back in time? 

You're going to find SO MANY AWESOME PEOPLE hot, and not end up caring what junk they happen to have, so long as they're interested in having fun with you, too. That's not a problem to worry over, that's freedom! Enjoy it!