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Monday, June 01, 2009

Gender Bend-her

(this is such a cute pic of Rachel...she's normally smiling though. This must be her emo pic;-) haha)

My friend Rachel (the british chick I wrote about here) wrote something on her blog that I thought was really interesting. I know there are some of you out there who will relate, so of course, I'm sharing it:

I do not consider myself ‘straight’. Nor do I consider myself ‘gay’. I am uncomfortable with ‘bisexual’. Saying ‘I am…’ any of these things gives me a muscle-tensing feeling, that one I get when I know I’m saying something that isn’t quite true.

I have far too much of an invested interest in girls to be straight. It’s not very often that I actually have what I would call a ‘crush’ on a girl; I don’t often imagine myself dating a girl, it’s not something that I feel I’m looking for. But I would never rule it out either. I’m attracted to girls in some ways. I think most people are, even if it’s only the tiniest little thought at the back of their mind, I think it’s hard not to be in this society that makes us stare at girl’s bodies all of the time, in this society that fetishizes girls. We compare ourselves and we want to be each other and maybe sometimes that admiration of shape goes a little further.

I daydream about guys and crush on almost every guy I fleetingly meet. When I think of the future, it is males I see. But they scare me, and I haven’t worked out why that is yet. I have far too many issues with myself and my body to be very comfortable around them when I first meet them. For this reason, I don’t have many male friends, nor many male acquaintances, though I’m trying to work on this.

I don’t believe in calling myself bisexual, because I honestly don’t believe that it sums me up. To me, bisexuality is about having at least an almost equal interest in both sexes, and I just don’t. I’m interested in girls in more of a sexual way than a soppy way in all reality. But I’m willing to believe that one day I may fall in love, or just in lust, with a girl. If that happens, I have no problem with it, and I don’t want to have to have some big deal change of sexuality if that happens. To me, sexuality is a free-flowing shape-shifting thing. I understand that to others it isn’t; I’m definitely not telling you that I think everyone is bisexual, though I did ponder on that at one point. To me, giving myself a name for the way I feel is like calling myself ‘happy’ or ‘sad’, it changes, it is always at risk of changing, so why build something so concrete? I can’t read the future, I can’t know for certain how I will feel tomorrow, let alone in ten years time.

I’m interested in so much more than anatomy. I like the little things; the way someone stumbles over an explanation, or forgets to catch themselves before they expose their passion for something silly. I think there is a lot of bad press for bisexuality; many view it as a source of desperation, or a sign of promiscuity; a passing phase, or a stop on the way to ‘coming out for real’.

I’ve always felt it was restrictive to the nature of love and lust to try to bind it, section it off, call one part ‘right’ and one part ‘wrong’. In my ideal world, sexuality wouldn’t have these names, or they wouldn’t be at all important. It’s never made sense to me that anyone would discriminate based on sexuality. Because really, what does it matter who your friend is sleeping with, as long as it’s consensual? What does it matter if your work colleague dresses up at the weekend? No human is born without emotion; that is what it means to be human after all. ‘Only human’, that’s how the phrase goes, because humans cannot control their emotion. And love is one of the strongest emotions. How could that be wrong?

What do you guys think of this? Leave a comment and Rachel will check it out!

You can follow Rachel on Twitter at


DOLLFACE. said...

This was a very well-written post. I like what you said about the shape-shifting nature of sexuality, and the comparison to sectioning off your total feeling range to "happy" or "sad" and just that one word description.

Nicely done.

cleofaye said...

I have dealt with enough feelings of changing sexuality and desire to completely understand where she is coming from. My queer girl book group is reading "sexual Fluidity:Understanding Women's Love and Desire" by Lisa Diamond, and it deals with these exact issues. It follows a group of women who range from self identified lesbians to unlabeled to straight, and their changing levels of same vs. other sex attractions and their changing understanding of those attractions over time. It's amazing and anyone who has ever felt alone in a shifting attraction or a desire to not be boxed into one sexuality should look into it.

nerdmafia said...

rachel is awesome, and please do tell her i said so. very well written piece...

broadwaybabay11 said...

I love how this was put. I've thought this many times, but never found the exact words to express it. I do believe sexuality can and does constantly change. And for me, making it concrete was a huge mistake. And I believe I've lost...well, I have no other way to say it.. but..credibility. For changing my sexuality so many times. It's a confusing topic. Thank you for posting this, Arlan. And thank you, Rachel, for writing it.

Anonymous said...

Haha I didn't expect to scroll down and see my FACE on the page! I'll have you know that is exactly how I look 90% of when I'm browzing the internet. I'm happy on the inside. Thank you for posting this :]

olivia said...

i think what was said is very deep and commend her for shairing her thoughts. sexuality is a bit overrated and as human i believe that we are oppsessed with labeling things so that we know how they should be placed in life! i like the whole sexuality is a shape shifting free flowing thing and if more people thought of it that way we wouldnt have to conform to what people deem "appropriate"!

alli naisbitt said...

wow, AMAZING words. your feelings are so true and real, very deep i admire you for opening up to the readers like that. beautiful!

Chevy said...

I applaud this woman for her raw honesty! I agree with many of the things said here. The bit about sexuality being a flowing shape shifting thing was brilliant