I decided recently to change the word I use to identify my sexuality. Up until now, I called myself bisexual. I’ve never been happy with that term and using it has always felt like wearing an ill-fitting cardigan. I guess it’s all the negative connotation that goes along with it. Lots of gays stop in bisexualville on their way to their final destination and lots of wannabes who play around with people of the same gender in college do the same. It sounds flighty, shallow, and insincere. At least to me. If you call yourself bisexual, more power to you.
Gay doesn’t work either since it suggests exclusivity to (or, at least, priority for) the same gender. I don’t have that either. I can honestly say that I average out to a Kinsey 3. Some days, I find myself more drawn sexually to women, some days to men, but never even close to anything like a preference for one over the other. As I’ve mentioned before, I find emotional comfort with women, but I’ll fuck (or be fucked by) anything. Which, of course, is why straight doesn’t work either. I may be in a heterosexual relationship, but that doesn’t make me straight. I feel just as far from being straight as I do the opposite of that.
And so I’ve settled on queer. Of course, I’ve been aware of the word for a long time, but it’s always turned me off because I associate it (right or wrong) with a certain militant sociopolitical stance which I’m not comfortable with. Now, though, I don’t see it that way. This change in perception started by listing to Dan Savage talk about it in a recent podcast. He wasn’t talking to me, of course, but the way he described it resonated in a way bisexual never has. I like that it suggests difference from the norm rather than anything specific. I like that is sounds permanent. I like that it encompasses the kink side of my sexuality, too – this entire other axis I’ve only recently embraced. I am not like the other kids, obviously. Not straight, not gay, not vanilla (whatever that is). I am queer.
Of course, none of this is either here or there. I’m not going to have to change my census answers nor will this be reflected on my tax forms. I’m still exactly the same, except now the cardigan fits better.