Today I changed my Facebook profile to say that I’m only interested in women rather than “men and women.” It feels like a bigger step than I think it should, but then again, it’s sort of the only step available to me in bringing my public identity more in line with how I actually feel. Expressing myself via checkboxes actually feels a little better than expressing myself via a letter from an acronym, and way better than expressing myself via useless rambly paragraphs trying to describe who I am and how my sexuality works.

At first I felt like I was lying. I sleep with men, don’t I? I have male partners, yes? (And nonbinary ones for that matter?) Maybe I shouldn’t get to say that I’m “interested in women.”

But then I realized that, if saying “I am only interested in women” is a lie, so is “I am interested in men and women” or “I am interested in all genders,” by the same degree. Because it’s also true that I don’t fantasize about sex with men. I don’t feel sexual desire for men. I don’t find them appealing in that way. When I imagine getting married someday, I can only ever imagine a woman next to me at the altar. 

I have sex with men because I’m curious, because I feel affection for them, because it feels good. It’s not what I think about when I’m lying in bed alone. I have romantic feelings for them, but those are almost always detached from any sexual desire (except kissing and cuddling, which I don’t view as particularly sexual), and I have to wonder if I only have those romantic feelings because it’s the only way I have ever learned to experience romance. Who can ever know, now.

I’m no longer comfortable making statements like “I am interested in men and women” because it implies that those attractions are in any way similar, and they’re just not. My male partners will, unfortunately, never get to experience actual passionate sexual desire from me. They want to feel sexually attractive to me, but I can’t make them feel that way. I can’t help that they sometimes have to take my hands and put them where they want on their bodies because I can’t always remember how I’m supposed to touch them. It’s not something that feels very natural to me. It’s something I only know how to do because my entire upbringing has in one way or another been preparing me to do it—the sex, and the dates, and the affection, and all of it. 

I don’t have to consciously think about how to touch a woman, because I actually want to, and that desire shows me how.

anonymous asked:

Sorry for the sexuality question today, but someone sent an anon earlier to me saying I need to pick a label and it's bugging me. Is it weird to fit a label's definition but still not like using it? I'm somewhere in the ace spectrum, the issue being that while I fall under the definitions of 'quoisexual' or 'wtfsexual' I don't know why but those labels feel, just, idk... icky, when I try to use them to refer to myself (like in general I don't mind them but using them for me is uncomfortable).

Fox says:

You do not need to pick a label, and that’s totally okay! Don’t use a label that makes you feel icky.

anonymous asked:

So I've been working on trying to figure out my romantic orientation for a while, and currently I am identifying as aromantic. I feel like for me there is a huge fear of labels / public relationships? like I dont mind having a friend who I hold hands with or cuddle or kiss, but if we were to try and label that person as a girlfriend or even just a qpp, it gives me a lot of anxiety and I hate it. Especially if we were to tell people that we were together. Is this a sign of being aro?

Yeah, it definitely CAN be. It doesn’t mean anything 100%, but I know a lot of aros that experience very similar things. These labels often carry very romantic connotations and make others expect us to perform a certain way when we’re actually not comfortable. 

The only one who can know for sure it you though!

— Chekhov

why does it matter if the definitions of bisexuality overlap with the definitions of pansexuality or polysexuality or other multisexual identities??

there are over 50 words that are synonyms for beautiful (or have similar but slightly different definitions/uses), but we don’t go around policing people for using words like stunning or gorgeous because “people might get confused and what you really mean is beautiful” 

Honestly though why does it matter if someone labels themselves as a feminist or not. If someone believes in & fights for equal rights then who the fuck cares. If you get upset that someone who fights for equal rights doesn’t label themselves as a feminist then it’s obvious you’re more concerned about labels than the actual issue.

“I’m a gay guy but I fell in love with a wonderful girl, who I’m now dating… What does that make me? Gay? Bi? Something?”

- Question submitted by Anonymous

Dannielle Says:

It makes you a person with an attraction to another person.

I have no idea how you identify, that is completely up to you. Labels are cool, when we use them to express who we are in a way that makes us feel comfortable. Labels are not cool because we all feel pressured to use them when we aren’t feeling comfortable.

If you feel gay, you’re gay. If you feel bi, you’re bi. If you feel queer, you’re queer. If you feel pansexual, you’re pansexual. If you feel straight, you’re straight. It is 10000000% up to you. These words all end up meaning different things to different people. That is what’s so beautiful about being able to find a word that you identify with. It’s yours. It means something very personal to you.

I like the word queer because it allows you the freedom to explain yourself a little less. I say “as a member of the queer community” and I call myself “gay.” I don’t identify with lesbian, and I don’t identify as bi or pan, but I also recognize that I am totally attracted to some dudes and there is totally a chance that I would end up with one of ‘em. A lot of people would force me to identify a certain way, but “gay” is what feels right to me. So, I choose “gay” and you choose whatever TF you wanna.

Kristin Says:

I echo a lot of Dannielle’s sentiments up there; I think that you have to reflect on yourself and your identity and own the thing you feel fits most… even if that is no label at all. I want to also let you know that it is absolutely okay if today you own the identity bisexual, but down the road you feel differently. Those shifts don’t ever invalidate who you are or you were (and those things don’t ever have to be in conflict).

When I first came out, I identified as bisexual. A few years later, I identified as a lesbian. I want to note that this first shift, for me, was actually rooted in a misunderstanding of what bisexual could mean. I was taught, strictly, that since I had dated several girls in succession, I couldn’t be bisexual. Please don’t let people tell you this, because it isn’t true. You are who tf you are (as Dannielle previously mentioned). I didn’t have a Dannielle back in the year 2000, though, and I didn’t understand that I could stand proud as a bisexual and still watch The L Word with my girlfriend.

Several years later, I discovered the word queer, and felt much more at home within it than I ever had identifying as a lesbian. This is the identity I wear most these days, but I also am always dialoguing with the shrugging off of my bisexual identity, because I feel that it still has a place within my self-understanding.

I tell you all of this to illustrate that your identity is yours, and it likely won’t be stagnant forever. You have a relationship with words and identities just as you have a relationship with people and the world around you. I think that the visibility of bisexuality is still incredibly important and necessary in this world, and that people perceived as male, especially, are discredited when they own the word bisexual. Since I am a fighter by nature, this makes me want to claim that identity even more. I like to exist in spaces where others challenge my reality. That’s me, though, and you have to navigate this for you.

Lastly: There is a good chance you don’t have a lot of interaction or experience with bisexual guys because this world tends to render them invisible. Two weeks ago I interviewed author Vivek Shraya, who identifies as bisexual and has written a beautiful book, She of the Mountains, which tells a bisexual love story. I have included the interview here, because I think it might also help. <3

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Hi! Our advice is always free for all to read & watch. Help us keep this gay ship chuggin’ by donating as little as $1/month over here on Patreon. xo

anonymous asked:

This may come off as discriminatory, but I promise it's not coming from that place. Why is there a need to "label" everything? Like "aplatonic," maybe they just don't connect with people as well as others. Isn't that called being human? Or "graysexual". I am NOT denying the existence of gray asexuals, but I think it should be addressed that just because you are not sexually attracted to everyone does not mean you are gray asexual. Doesn't it mean you have preferences? Again this isn't hate here.

Alright, I’m gonna apologize if this gets harsh (and it will) cause I saw this and got pissed. Look, I used to go “ooooh why do we need labels? We’re all just people :)))) Let everyone just be people!!!” and then I educated myself. (and figured out I was extremely queer in the process) That sentiment is extremely misleading. It’s not nice at all. It’s just naive and coming from a place of internalized phobias and heteronormativity. And you’re being an asshole by saying it. Not intentionally, but still being an asshole.

Gonna get real with you, Anon, cause you probably come from a place of privilege and don’t realize you have it. The world does not treat people as people. The world puts people in boxes and mistreats people based on those boxes even if people are placed in the wrong box. And that sucks and that’s awful. Just going “people are just people! Let them be people!” is only ignoring that discrimination and that solves nothing. That doesn’t stop discrimination. That only lets in thrive in subtle insidious ways.

Now, you saying “this may come of as discriminatory” and “this isn’t hate” is just further proof that what you’re saying is discriminatory and hateful. If you have to preface anything with “I’m not racist but…” or “I’m not transphobic but…” or “I’m not biphobic but…” you’re whatever you just said you weren’t.

These labels we make, we do this to better understand ourselves and bring a sense of community to have a safe haven from people like you. I’m not sorry at all if that’s a shock to you. Because we have to deal with this sort of invalidation all the time and it’s awful. You asking that question tells me that you’re already represented. Cause you and me, we might both be human but I guarantee that we’re very different. And we have very different needs. I need my label. And don’t you dare for a second insinuate that I or anyone else for that matter don’t. Again, labels bring a sense of community and provide a network of support for oppressed groups. We can fight the people who come in our spaces and tell us that we don’t exist easily. Those aren’t the hard ones. The subtle ingrained discrimination is the hardest to fight. And that’s what you’re doing right now.

I don’t want to end this angry though. Cause you seem like you do genuinely want to understand, which is why I got blunt with you. Sometimes we need that. We need to be aware that there’s a problem before we can educate ourselves and fix it. We link to a ton of sources and information. And our blog is also a good place to get started learning and hearing ace and grey ace experiences. Go read. Start with learning about how sexuality is not a binary but rather a spectrum and go from there. Come back to us with specific questions if you have them. But, please, do read up first.

-Kieren

An Unlikely Pair in Lebanon Teams Up in Hopes of Creating Change

Best friends Ryan and Noor are an unlikely match. He belongs to a religious sect called the Druze, and she is a Sunni Muslim. Kids from different religious groups don’t normally hang out in Lebanon, let alone become inseparable friends. 

Image by Ari Daniel. Lebanon, 2014.

‘“[This is a] movement of acceptance, [where] you accept someone as a person,” Ryan says. “Not a Sunni, or a Shi’a, or a Christian. You don’t do that. It’s a hat I was forced to wear when I was born – it’s not something I chose.”
Noor agrees. “What I have to give to people is not the fact that I’m a Muslim,” she says. “The labels are not supposed to be what define us.”’

Read the full story by Pulitzer Center grantee Ari Daniel for PRI’s The World. 

Valente’s Double Espresso by @blackwolfbrewery
I love coffee, but I’m not a fan of coffee ‘flavoured’ things, so it was with apprehension that I gave this beer a go. On opening the bottle a strong coffee and festive aroma filled my nostrils, as if I opened a cup of 2 day old coffee at Christmas. My apprehension heightened. The taste was therefore unexpected. Coffee…of course…but also sweetness, and a bit of a herbal finish. It’s also super smooth. A really nice surprise. 6%. Drink! 🍺 #beer #guzzle #guzzle.beer #ale #labels #bottle #drink #alcohol #hic #seeingdouble #goodtimes #happy #cheers #craftbeer #BlackWolf #coffee

“My teenage daughter says that she doesn’t care about the gender of the person she dates. She’s never dated anyone before and I’m trying to be supportive but I’m unsure if she’s bisexual, a lesbian and just isn’t ready to tell me or what. How can I get better at this?”

Question Submitted Anonymously
Answered by Cornelia Prior

Cornelia Says: 

A scene: I am 16, and I have laid the table like the diligent and wonderful daughter I am. Now, over sauerkraut and something, my mother to my right and my step-father to my left are discussing sexuality. Somehow, without really fully appreciating what it is I am saying, I say, “I don’t really think that, when looking at my prospective love interests, gender is very important”(for I was, of course, a precocious little babygay.) Neither my mother, my step-father, nor myself could really comprehend quite what this meant, but I understood that sharp feeling of the frustration of not being understood when my stepdad said, “It’s great that you think that, but…”

Like me, your daughter might understand how she feels but not quite how to urge that feeling into an articulate thought, let alone an explanation. And she shouldn’t have to. After this meal, I spent the next five years trying to emphasize—without any “proof,”which presumably, to my mum and my stepdad, would have been a girlfriend—that I didn’t care so much for the gender of the person I dated as I did for the way the sharp winter light falling through the French window cast the shadow of our shoes against the wardrobe’s scrolled base, or for their kind heart, or for the simple joy of becoming something almost-new with somebody. I spent the best part of five years trying to convince two people that I knew myself better than they did, than they might ever be able to. And by the time I had the proof they were looking for, I was so exhausted from trying to explain myself and being met with a wall of misunderstanding as thick as lead in response that I couldn’t possibly bear to tell them.

The thing about saying things like, “It is great that you think that, but…”or, “It’s wonderful that you’re so open-minded, but actually…”or speculating about future husbands is that in wanting your opinion to be heard, you silence your child and, moreover, take away their agency and their ability to self-identify. She may try on many of the labels people in the LGBTQ+ community use: bisexual, queer, pansexual—the list goes on—before finding one that properly fits her. If she is sensitive at the moment and doesn’t want to talk, there is a wealth of information on the internet, including many resources designed especially to educate those who want to know more about the nuances of sexuality, gender, or the LGBTQ+ community. All you have to do is read, listen to your daughter, and take her at her word—as she is—in the knowledge that while the label she uses to describe this aspect of herself might change, the person who opened up to you and asked you to trust her will not. 

Another, happier scene: The Photographer and I have been together for a while. I have told my dad in an e-mail that I am not straight and he wants to meet me at my local Portuguese restaurant, where they pile whitebait so high you can hardly see the person with whom you’re lunching. “So what does your partner do?” he asks. “Do you have a photo?” “Gorgeous, can I meet her?” “Would you like some dessert? The ice cream here is delicious.”

***

Cornelia Prior is a queer, androgynous, Visual Cultures student. When she’s not spending time frequenting art galleries, the cinema, dead people’s houses and other things that classify as either ‘Visual’ or ‘Culture’ she can be found on trains, reading about cetaceans, and surreptitiously squeezing the gay agenda into the culture section of The Leopard Newspaper. Follow Cornelia on twitter: @Little__Time

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asdfgklajd; life update time
I think my “period of emptiness” is over - or at least I’m doing my best to end it ! Actually I went from being a freak control to the laziest person ever and I suppose the fact that I wasn’t really doing anything with my life anymore was the reason I felt so dead. That’s why I’m starting again to exercise (I want a six pack and I’ll have it) and took some important decisions which are going to make me a much healthier person !
Btw I think gender and sexuality labels are fucking confusing, it’s always like “I FIT IN THIS BOX- wait, I don’t.” but they also help me understanding who and how I am ! So I guess I’m a panromantic gynesexual with strong akoisexual tendencies genderfluid agender demiboy ? lol
And I’m gonna get a real binder for my birthday, which is absolutely wonderful since the one I made is starting to make my back aches and we don’t want that, do we ?
#life #update #healthy #fit #exercise #recovered #empty #happiness #labels #binder #gender #sexuality #genderfluid #agender #demiboy #panromantic #akoisexual #gynesexual #wtf #clean #messy #gottasucceed #school #pressure #instamoment #selfie #feelings #rambling #diary #yay

When I say I am [a label]

(any label, pertaining to any trait or quality all)

I don’t mean I = [label]

I don’t mean all who are [label] = [label] = me

I don’t mean [label] = everything

Or everything you need to know

I don’t mean that anybody else has to be [label]

Or that we need more labels, in general

Or that I want to use labels for you

All I mean when I say I am [label]

(whatever the label) 

Is that [finally I know I am not broken

and finally I know I am not alone]