I apologize beforehand. This is yet another post from the infamous LGBT category. I’ve had some good talks with friends about this lately and need to clear my head, so I’ll just leave these thoughts here.
I’ve been asking myself the terrible “What am I?” question for (much!) over a decade now, and I’ve recently noticed that I am not only asking myself this constantly, but also, for most of these one and a half decades, daily.
When I talk to my (mostly heterosexual, sometimes potentially-open-for-same-sex-experiences-although-it-was-never-really-an-issue-bisexual friends)*, they listen to me patiently and wonderfully and then, at some point or another, most of them have come up with one and the same question:
Why do you need to know? Can’t you just leave it open? See what happens? There is no need to assign yourself a label!
I used to agree with that for a very long time. It was my mantra. I ran around telling everyone that I did not “see gender”, that it was all about the person. I probably have even been a bit of a snob about this whole idea of my desires transcending these silly wordly categories of male and female. But that feeling passed, and it was replaced by a stronger need to know. But it’s not about the label. The label is more like a tool, and searching for the right label is like searching for the tool for understanding.
I need to know because I want to understand why I felt what I felt and did what I did.
I need to know because I need to find out if I was and if I am much more afraid than I ever acknowledged.
I need to know because I need to understand what I was and what I am afraid of.
I need to know so that I can begin to find words to describe the feeling of wanting two completely different futures for myself, and wanting them in two completely different senses. I need to distinguish between what I did because I wanted to and what I did because I wanted to be someone who wanted it.
*If any of my friends who have talked to me about this read this and feel that they have been inadequately described, I am 1) very happy to change the description and 2) very happy to listen to how you would describe yourself!