By Eric Ramirez
There’s homosexuality and there’s heterosexuality.
Then there is bisexuality, asexuality, polysexuality and pansexuality. But sexual orientation isn’t that clean-cut. It isn’t so easy to categorize, it’s more of a spectrum and people can fall anywhere within it.
My friend Alix, for as long as I’ve known her, has identified herself as a lesbian. But recently, she began a relationship with a man.
Was she just confused? No. Does she still consider herself a lesbian? Yeah. And an even more important question: does it matter what she considers herself?
Not in the least.
Upon coming out, the identity of a person’s sexual orientation changes, obviously. But does that mean they are strictly, unquestioningly attracted to one gender? It does for some people, but not all.
One of the more commonly touted phrases in the LGBTQ community is “love is love, no matter what.” So why is it that a small handful of lesbians didn’t receive her new relationship all that well?
Not to sound like a fortune cookie, but we are all people. Who is to say that just because she identified as a lesbian that she is unable to be, should not be, sexually attracted to men?
Alix is naturally attracted to women; her boyfriend is an exception. Men had never interested her physically or emotionally.
So why should labels be used to explain how we feel toward others? People may assume that she is confused. But to her, there is nothing confusing about her or her orientation. She is with who she wants to be with.
A close mentor of mine found herself in a similar, albeit opposite, situation. She identifies herself as a heterosexual and did so even when she was in a relationship with another woman. Just because that one person came along, it didn’t mean that she suddenly became bisexual or confused about her sexuality.
She is naturally attracted to men in the same way that Alix is naturally attracted to women. But both found themselves in relationships that didn’t follow the conventions of their sexual orientations.
The identity of one’s sexual orientation can be a vague subject. It deals with sexual identity, sexual behavior and both physical and emotional aspects of attraction. And it gets even more hazy when you consider the people with unwanted sexual attractions, those who remain closeted and choose not to identify with a minority sexual identity.
In the end, sexual labels don’t matter. If you strictly prefer people of the opposite or same gender, fine. But who is to say that someone is wrong for turning down feelings they have for those exceptions? Who is to say that those exceptions cannot happen? No one.Contact Eric Ramirez.