BY DEVON HAYES
One of the biggest misunderstandings in our society today is the idea that one can only be gay, straight or bisexual. One of my biggest pet peeves is when people decide to label someone based on whom they are attracted to either romantically or sexually, or even by how they dress.
At the end of the day, the only person who can tell you what you are is you. There is nothing wrong with labelling, but there is also nothing wrong with choosing not to label yourself. Just because one chooses not to, does not mean he or she is hiding something.
There are different types of attractions, making it difficult for people to label themselves. Romantic attraction is NOT the same as physical or sexual attraction. For many, sexual attraction doesn’t happen until an emotional or romantic attraction has.
I think that sexuality is much more fluid than most people think it is.
In other words, sexuality is a spectrum. While one may be gay, straight, bisexual or so on, there are also in-betweens.
Pansexuality is an attraction to a person regardless of gender or sex. This is different than bisexuality, which pertains to men and women in that they can find attraction in any and all people including those who are trans men and women, androgynous and cisgender (cis men and women have gender identity that matches their sex – for example, males who look like how society thinks men should look). Demisexuality and asexuality are similar in that a sexual attraction is rare or nonexistent.
The first time I had experienced this realization of how the spectrum works was about three years ago. One of my closest friends started dating somebody of the same sex, who also happens to be my friend. It came as a shock to everybody because they had both dated boys, but I realized that just because you date somebody of the same sex however many times does not necessarily mean you have to label yourself as gay or bisexual.
Many people just fall in love with the person, regardless of what goes on below the waist.
The important thing to remember is, it is not OK for somebody to label you. It is not OK for somebody to suggest something about you to his or her friends or to your face. The best thing you can do for yourself is embrace whatever you are and take pride in who you love.