After coming out when I was 17, beyond forming close friendship in the Navy during Don’t Ask Don’t Tell and work conversations (before I started working for myself), I didn’t think I’d ever need to do any sort of huge coming out again.
I’m not shy about my identities and they’re not a secret.
I just generally don’t give enough of a shit to talk about them in an open forum, because they’re matter-of-fact for me and I figure that those who need to explicitly know do (or are like me), and those that want to know will ask. [You can actually see most of this in my basic info on Facebook if you’re friends with me.]
The only reason I’m making a post about it today is because in the climate we’re currently living through, a lot of folks who fit traditionally binary, monogamous heteronormative–or even homonormative molds forget that they hire folks like me, that folks like me are their neighbors, or are on their friends list.
In the process of spreading uninformed opinions that dehumanize the people they’re othering, they forget that people like me see them (and are not impressed). They apparently don’t realize that their unimpressive opinions are about real people and I wanted to put myself out there as one of those real people so many hold strong opinions against.
Without further ado, at 30, I’m re-coming out as a bisexual, polyamorous, genderqueer woman.
I’ve settled on these labels as being the closest words in English to describe my feelings and experiences after having a lot of them, processing and integrating them. They’re not the end-all-be-all, but they’ll do for now.
On sexual identity:
I use both bisexual and queer. Since I experience sexual energy as masculine and feminine I just use bisexual To be technical: homoromantic disjunctive bisexual.
I’m generally more holistically attracted to the same sex, but have an enduring heterosexual attraction. Whether you define queer as radical, strange, fluid, or inclusive of a wide range of attractions, I think it sums up both my natural inclination and outward behavior. I find it to be a very empowering descriptor for both the complexity and simplicity of my feelings and sexual identity.
On my queer relationships, romance, love & sex:
I’m solo polyamorous, with a relationship anarchy streak a mile long.
To me, polyamory isn’t the relationship-centric, nonmongamous answer to what we think of as traditional fidelity.
I use it as an umbrella term that encompasses all ethical nonmonagamy, with a particular focus on eschewing elevator style relationships for myself.
I don’t so much run from labels as I reject the prevailing presumptions that all relationships need to look a certain way to mean a certain thing. I.e. serious relationships only count if you’re monogamous or live together or casual relationships are meaningless.
Equality doesn’t mean same to me, in relationships, or not—so nothing you have with me is the same as what I have with anyone else and I won’t try to make it. As long as everyone involved understand and consents (or consents to not fully understand), I’m good.
Polyamory for me is the answer to the question of, “How can I operate lovingly, sexually and romantically in the most authentic, and responsible ways possible?” I’m not “committed” to it, but don’t see it changing and don’t give a shit whether everyone else is monogamous or nonmonogamous.
1. Arguments about the naturalness of sexual behavior that promote monogamy and
2. The privileges and protections afforded to people that fit monogamous molds and how they try to foist their choices upon the rest of us, without regard for what healthy being and relationships looks like—while making folks like me out to be unhealthy and deviant.]
On my gender & sex:
I definitely identify as a her, but have no allegiance to my gender presentation. I lean feminine in being, but naturally slide around the scale of femme to masculine and often enjoy exploring what that looks like for me. Other times, I couldn’t care less, even if you paid me.
While I identify with the feminine as my primary energy, I’m pretty well in touch with my animus and enjoy it. According to a lotta folks’ definitions, what I feel would put be under the non binary umbrella, but I’m fine being called a her or woman. What I’m called doesn’t affect my day-to-day experience; I don’t even correct people that call me “sir”.
If I had to pin it to one thing, I’d say genderfluid female/woman fits the bill. When it comes to sex and gender, I feel more like an it whose experiences jive with most women in society, so I’m fine with her/woman.
There’s really no neat way to tie this up, as it’s not neat. The choice to live as authentically as I can is a simple one to make, but not always easy to deal with–especially given the assumptions people have that play out not only in the public discourse, but in discriminatory policies as well. In The Land of the Free in 2016, it’s hard to believe that instead of protecting people’s rights to be who they are, intrusive government and communities are still a thing…
As more people decide for themselves to step openly and proudly into who they are, my hope is that that will change. Hopefully, sooner rather than later.