Recently, I’ve been thinking about my sexuality a lot.
For years I identified as pansexual. Then I switched to using bisexual, feeling it fit my situation better. I’m now in a position where I feel like either of those labels could comfortably fit how I feel, being attracted to cis, trans, and gender non-conforming people alike both romantically and sexually, but I’m so open to everyone that I can happily say I’m okay with or without labelling it. Sure, I own a bi flag and pin badge, I have bi pride hair, I connect with the label like I did with pan and I recognise that they absolutely do fit how I feel, but I’m also happy labelling myself as simply queer if that’s how I’m feeling a particular day. Some days the feeling of sticking myself to a label is suffocating, other days it’s liberating. It differs, and I’ve learnt to accept it as what it is.
I’ve been musing a lot that I think this feeling has come with age and openness. I’ve been out for a decent amount of time as bi in personal life so I’ve been able to worry about it less. It hasn’t been a constant struggle like it used to be, nothing about it has to be hidden, and it’s a freedom I previously hadn’t known. It’s allowed me to explore my labels more casually. When I was closeted sexuality-wise, being secure on the inside was all I had. I felt like if I at least knew 100% how I felt, I could get by. Validating myself had to be enough. Now I have outside support, people I know I can be honest with, and it’s a breath of fresh air that’s led to the ability to question myself and experiment more.
For a short period I thought of scrapping bi completely, but honestly? It’s not about not being bi, because I’m very secure in the fact that I fit that label like I do with pan, it’s being so secure in myself that I’m just as comfy using it as I am not using it. I can all myself bi one day, queer the next, gay another. I don’t feel I have to confine myself, and that’s not what those terms are to me anymore. They’re not boxes I have to put myself in because I’m unsure of my validity without them; they’re just things I happen to align with and that’s cool if I feel like it, and cool if I don’t. It always changes. Fluidity is okay.
My confidence and security is in myself, my visibility and unity is in my labels if and when I feel particularly inclined to use them. I don’t need the latter to have the first.