Thursday, March 1, 2007

I Am Confused, But...

I Am Confused, But…

I was, I suppose, lucky enough to find this group that was only for people who were not really "out." And, of course, I heard a bit of the "I’m scared" sentiment. But what I heard way more than that was, "I don’t really know what I am." I said it, too, several times. And the funny thing was I had assumed for years that I was bisexual, that I liked both men and women. But, for some reason, the more exposure I get to gays, the less I understand myself. I know that either fits a bisexual stereotype or completely bucks it, to some people. But just let me explain.

One thing that happened at one of our meetings was the leaders handed out these sheets stapled together that listed and defined several GLBT terms. I’d known for some time that there was more a person could be other than GLBT, but I didn’t really know, care or think about those things. I think "bisexual" is often used as a catch-all term, and many people label themselves that rather hastily for a variety of reasons…including the human desire to know something instantly, to create labels. But the point is I looked at some of those terms and started to rethink myself.

Another thing that happened was I got the TV channel Logo, the gay and lesbian channel. I saw a couple shows that taught me, for the first time, what "genderqueer" means and is about. Prior to that, I had a friend who considered herself something along those lines and had written blog entries about it. But it was one of those things that, again, I didn’t care about and didn’t pay attention to. So now, in addition to not really having a grip on what my sexual orientation is, I also feel as if I don’t have a grip on exactly what my gender is. I just know that I have never been "girly," and I, admittedly, harbor a rather unhealthy dislike for femininity. And when I say that, I mean things and qualities considered feminine. Oddly enough, at the same time, I’m attracted to it in other females (and absolutely hate it in males). But I think that’s partially because it’s something completely foreign to me, something I really don’t understand. I suspect that’s the same reason why heterosexual men are attracted to heterosexual women and vice versa. It amazes me how little I know about women, given that I’m allegedly one. But I have never understood them and can count on one hand the number of women I’ve ever met that I have related to. I find myself explaining men to women, yet thinking about how crazy women are.

This leads me to something else—how I look. On the surface, I am probably feminine to most people, although I definitely am not as feminine as a Portia de Rossi or Halle Berry type of woman. But no one would call me "butch," at least not from my appearance. And so, I think the fact that I don’t conform to any physical stereotype actually makes figuring labels out for me even harder. In fact, the way I feel about labels is—who cares?! Because if I keep going about all the ways in which I’m confused, I’d take you down a deep, dark abyss that we’d never get out of. So eventually, I have to give up thinking about all of this once I get started because it never leads me to any answers. But I feel like I have to be fine with that, and I do feel as if I am for the most part. I am fine with these answers, or lack thereof, for me—the problem is everyone else, because everyone else wants definite answers. So if that’s the case—what do I tell them? It’s just too complicated, and I don’t think I can deal with explaining myself to anyone when I can’t really even explain myself to myself. And this is basically what I heard other people say in my group, the other people who weren’t out.

The one thing—the only thing—I 100% know for sure is that I like women. That’s it. And I do feel happy with that being the only thing I know. I don’t feel this sense of urgency to discover whether or not I really do like men after all. I don’t feel the need to figure out exactly what my sexuality is or what my gender is. And I think that the way I feel about the whole thing can be very unsettling or unbelievable to a lot of people, especially a lot of GLBT people. And when I say "unbelievable," I mean in the sense of "I don’t believe you." "You’re in denial." "You’re confused." "You’re really a lesbian." And so on. But honestly, I don’t feel all that confused when I think about it this way. "I like women." "I’m not straight." All I’m really saying with these statements is "I don’t have a label for you." And why should I? I’m the kind of person who has always defied traditional labels, pigeonholes and stereotypes—why should this be different?