By: Emily Maybanks
February in the UK is LGBT+ History month, and with the month coming to a close, I wanted to write something that emphasises the fact that sexuality is a permanent, constant part of everyone’s lives. Of course the aim of LGBT+ History month is to celebrate the lives and the achievements of those in our LGBT+ community. Celebrating ourselves and our lives and our achievements should be something we do every day, especially among the LGBT+ community because we often face difficult challenges and unfair judgement at times.
LGBT+ is of course the umbrella term for the various sexualities that we use to identify ourselves with. For the sake of this article, the two that I will be referring to are bisexuality and asexuality. Bisexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction, or sexual behaviour toward both males and females. Asexuality is the lack of sexual attraction to others, or low or absent interest in or desire for sexual activity.
I have only very recently found the confidence to be more open about my sexuality. I have known that I am bisexual since I was around 16, but it’s never been something that I have spoken about to too many people, for several reasons. One of the reasons is that I come from a family with very “traditional” views about homosexuality, about marriage and about life in general. Coming out to my family was and still is something that terrifies me. In fact, the only person in my family who knew about my bisexuality until earlier this year was my late father.
Putting the fear of coming out to my family aside, another thing that has made me feel less comfortable about talking about my sexuality is the fact that while I have – in the past – experienced attraction to both males and females, I also feel that my sexuality has changed. As ignorant as it may sound, I didn’t realise that sexuality could change over time. I wasn’t certain as to whether telling people “I’m bisexual, but also I don’t really experience any sexual attraction to people of either gender,” was going to make me sound as though I was merely attention seeking. I fully remember lying in bed one night in floods of tears because I didn’t know if I should come out as bisexual or asexual. I did come out as bisexual because I know that, even though I would 100% label myself as asexual presently, I am certain that I could fall in love with either a man or a woman. I recently read an article with a list of the various definitions for sexual attraction and I found myself identifying with several of these definitions, including aromanticism, asexuality, bisexuality and demisexuality.
Everyone’s experiences of sexuality and whether their sexuality changes over time are unique to them. How and when people choose to come about is their choice. How open people want to be about their sexuality is also totally up to them. I count myself lucky that those who I am more open about my sexuality to are amazing and non-judgmental; although, I have also recently faced judgement when I’ve chosen to talk about identifying as both bisexual and asexual.
To finish with the quote used in the image: in a world full of hatred, everyone should be allowed to love.