I don't need to come out.

3 May 2021

Hey, peaches. 

So, I recently filled in my very first Census. It was exciting, to say the least. I was baffled when I spotted it on the doormat, and did a whole 'who? me?' bit. Then it sat on my kitchen table for a few days, because despite it being lockdown and me being home ALWAYS, I still couldn't find the time to do it... you understand. When I finally got round to filling it in online, I'd already seen a fair few posts on social media about it; friends of mine were expressing astonishment and joy that there were several options for 'gender', others were annoyed there weren't more options for careers... and one of my new friends (Demi of S3x Theory with Demi) posted about the importance of writing 'queer' in the sexuality section. 

Now, I definitely can't put it as eloquently as Demi did, but I'll try. Let me be clear - there were more options in the sexuality section than I was expecting, and that was so wonderful to see. Oh my goodness. It warmed my heart. Well done, Census peeps. We're proud of you. 'We', here meaning those of us who don't appreciate the heteronormativity that's forced down our throats all day, every day. Those of us who have been politely asking to be recognised for decades now - and when that didn't work, screaming and picketing and marching. Those of us who don't fit into a box - and don't want to. 

Putting 'queer' in the 'other' box on the Census was the best option for me because, in all honesty, I can't identify myself any other way. I have tried, oh lordy how I have tried. Every time I've thought I have it pegged, I'm proven wrong. As I said to Demi, in the podcast interview she did with me, I have always fancied women. When I was in primary school, I remember complaining to my best friend Fran that the boys in our class had it so much easier than we did; they could just pick any girl to fancy 'because all girls are beautiful' and 'only a few boys are alright looking'. Then, in secondary school, I remember holding hands with one of my female-identifying friends while we watched Donnie Darko, and squealing inside. Fast forward to uni, when I was almost exclusively making out with women on nights out in town, and at the SU... I always went home with men, though. Go figure. I think somewhere along the way I accepted that I was bisexual. It wasn't a big moment, it was just a simple acknowledgment. 

But as I said, every time I think I've got my sexuality sussed, it flips on me. In early 2019, fresh from an amicable break up (if you can even call it that) with a very lovely guy I'd been seeing for a couple of months who was perfectly nice and handsome but I'd not felt much of a spark for, I told my friend it was because we met via a dating app and I didn't actually know him before we got together. I had done some research and realised I must be demisexual. 

'Demisexual people only feel sexually attracted to someone when they have an emotional bond with the person... A common misconception is that demisexual people need to be in love with someone to feel sexual attraction. Demisexuality requires a connection, but for many people, that can be a close friendship or another type of non-romantic relationship.'

- Web MD.

Yep, I had read a hot take article on sexuality somewhere, taken a quiz, and realised Demisexuality was me to a tee. When I look back over my romantic history, every one of them has been a close friend of mine for a good while before we took it that step further. And while my sexual history is slightly different, I would definitely say my best experiences have been with friends of mine. I always thought it was a security thing; a comfort, the safe space to laugh when there were mishaps and not feel the need to be flawless and sexy ALL the time. 

I felt a little smug telling my friend this. After years of mystery, I had finally cracked it. There was a handy label I could slap on and point at when anyone asked. It explained so much; why my first love was my best friend, my FWB situation(s) at uni got complicated, and one-night stands with perfectly lovely Londoners never really did the trick for me. Yep. I'd finally got it sussed.

Then, a matter of days later, I walked into a cafe and saw him. We made eye contact, and instantly, my heart somehow reached up and out and smacked me in the face. I'd never seen him before, we'd not even spoken yet, he was a total stranger, and yet I immediately felt intrigued, excited and flustered. It was amazing, romantic, sexy - and confusing. 

Because, how could I fancy this guy? I'd never seen him before!? 

I went back to the drawing board, after that. I looked at the facts: I was attracted to men. I was attracted to women. I was attracted to trans men. I was attracted to non-binary humans. I fancied the Hot Priest, but I also fancied Kristen Scott Thomas. I was madly in love with @bodyposipanda, AND @kennyethanjonesEvery relationship I'd had before was with a close friend turned Something More, but now I was feeling ALL THE THINGS for a complete stranger. 

That's when I realised that labels are nonsense. And even if you identify with one (yay for you!), it can change. And that's okay! 

A friend of mine and I agreed a while ago - and I discussed it with Demi in the podcast interview - the term 'Queer' feels like a comfortable umbrella we can nestle ourselves under. It's neither gay nor straight, it's not bisexual or asexual - it's in between and far beyond. It's not a clear percentage men/women/other, it's everything! There's room for change, and no space for judgement. 

This post is not intended to be a 'coming out' event. I actually don't feel the need to come out, really. Nobody really should feel pressured to label themselves, and announce it to the world, in my humble, queer opinion. We are who we are. It's nobody else's business. That said, I really hope that by putting that in the 'other' box on the Census, I've made a point. I am hoping that by the time the next one is shoved through my letterbox, they've updated it to include 'Queer' as a bona fide option. We deserve it. 

You can listen to my chat with Demi HERE; be sure to subscribe to the podcast on Spotify or Apple, and if you like what you hear, maybe follow Demi on social media and slip some pennies her/their way on Patreon!

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