Happy and Strange

I reblogged this comic on Tumblr this morning, adding my own comment at the bottom: “I love this! I usually refer to myself as straight and I’m mostly attracted to women, but…I’ve never really felt *straight*.”

Maybe it’s because I grew up with relatives who were out about their sexuality–and their sexuality wasn’t always static. Maybe it’s because I was often teased and bullied in high school and college for being seen as possibly or probably gay. Maybe it’s because throughout my life, going back as far as elementary school, I found myself having emotional crushes on boys but didn’t know how to handle or express that (especially since I wasn’t physically attracted to them, which obviously meant I wasn’t “gay,” right?). Maybe it’s because when I was in preschool, I played “Archie” with my brother and my best friend, and while my friend played Archie and my brother played Reggie and Jughead, I played Betty–and I never thought there was anything weird or “wrong” about it. Maybe it’s because I’ve had so many friends and family in my life who identified as gay, lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, hetero-flexible,  “undefined,” whatever. But  the real answer is certainly “all of the above” for why I’ve never really thought of myself as “straight.”

I don’t feel straight, I feel queer. Yes, I’m male and I’ve only ever had romantic and sexual relationships with women. That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t snog some men if I had the chance. (As I’ve said to friends, “I wouldn’t go gay for John Barrowman, but I’d definitely go bi.”) People are attracted (physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc.) to all kinds of other people. I think people are generally happier when they accept this about themselves and others, and as long as everyone is a consenting adult, it doesn’t matter who you have relationships with and how those relationships play out.

While “straight” implies “normal” and “queer” basically means “weird” or “unusual,” I find straight to be much weirder and rarer than queer. But I love living in a world that’s happy and strange, gay and queer, so…if we’re going to have labels and definitions, I’ll take queer, thank you very much.


8 thoughts on “Happy and Strange

  1. I am the EXACT same way, though I’m perfectly happy being called “straight.” I’ve only ever had relationships with men, but there are plenty of women I get lady wood for, and women I will openly proclaim my attraction to (to my husband, not the woman, lol). My gay sister calls me “heteroflexible.” 😉

  2. I love her take on the whole spectrum of sexuality! I’ve long identified as bisexual because, if I have to pick a label, then that’s one I’m comfortable with. I figure it’s simple, direct, and doesn’t leave much to ambiguity. I guess the reason I like that is my background in science and my life as a librarian leads me to shun ambiguity.

    I was really lucky. I “figured this stuff out” when I was a teenager in high school. There was no teenage angst about “Oh my god, I like guys too, what the hell?” or “should I hide it or come out or what?”. For the most part it answered a lot of questions when I “got it” and thus, it was a relief.

    As to being out, well with an online name like Bibrarian, obviously I am. But I’m not militant about it or anything for the same reason I’m not militant about about a lot of personal things – namely my sexuality and how I live it isn’t really anyone’s business. 🙂

  3. This so reminds me of our college rating system, Josh! I remember a number line system that ran from 1-10/ gay to straight. If I recall, we rarely described people as pure 1’s or 10’s–almost everyone seems to be somewhere in the middle (even if they don’t accept it!)

  4. Exactly, Jen. It’s a queer world out there!

  5. As I recall, when we met and you were but a wee tot of 32, you were pretty up front about digging the various ladies but also having the odd crush (admiration or physical or otherwise) on guys. I also recall you were kind of hesitant to let that be known publicly (I could be wrong about that). In any case, obviously you’ve made huge strides towards owning yourself and not being ashamed or shy about it. Nothing to be ashamed of anyway. Good on yer.

  6. Thanks, Julie. It’s good to know other people can see my progress. 🙂

  7. HA HA HA!! Yay, Flight of the Conchords!

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