Ideas of Sexual Fluidity: A Personal Narrative

WORDS BY ANN LEMONNIER / @COOLJEWISHBOYY

From a young age, I've always been oddly self aware and reliant. This was especially displayed after coming out as gay in the eighth grade. At fourteen years-old, a meager amount of my fellow classmates had come out of the closet. When I admitted my feelings for women, I was proud and excited about my open identity as a gay person. Throughout the remainder of middle school and into my freshman year of high school, I only pursued girls and had a slightly serious girlfriend. Well, as serious as freshmen can be, for about six months. Though we were both quite young, at fifteen years-old, I took a lot out of dating her and learned many things about myself. A huge part of dating at a young age is learning; not only from mistakes, but gaining an understanding of how to work closely with someone. It's interesting stuff you take away from relationships, not just about yourself, but the other person and other people completely in general.
Though I was secure in my emotional sexuality for women, I'd never had sex and 'lost my virginity' (for lack of a better phrase) with her. Along with exploring physical aspects of relationships, I also learned how to live a healthily balanced life when in a relationship and how incredibly important trust is when dating another person. As my sophomore year started, things became rocky with a recent breakup and sudden need to fill my girlfriend sized hole. After quite a lot of first dates with no follow up due to my lack of true want to move on so soon, I met my second “serious” partner and fell in love--hard. My relationship with this person who we’ll call “#2”, was a lot different from that of my first girlfriend, and I was ok with that. In fact, I loved that. I loved their personality and being around them. The two of us became incredibly close whilst dating and just like my first high school relationship, I learned a lot more about myself and my own preferences from that breakup and the five months spent with them. For starters, I had to address my uncomfortability with sex. Though I projected an image of nonchalance, sex honestly really stressed me out and gave me anxiety. There’s this idea that after the first time, everything is super easy and non scary, but for me, this was very much not the case. Especially with genitalia I’d had no experience with. On top of my own reactions, a lot of people close to me were very confused by the relationship which I had with my new partner, due to them being non binary and not as feminine as my last girlfriend. I’d love to say I was OK with those comments, but they got to me.
As I became more and more fluid with my sexuality, more and more confusion arose. I claimed I was gay, so why wasn’t I dating girls? As I began feeling attracted to guys, I was met with a plethora of questions as to what this meant for the label I slapped onto myself at fourteen years old. I had put so much of being gay on myself that it had become my main definer and personality trait. Though, I am largely proud of my queerness to this day, I will never let my sexuality outshine who I am. The more I looked into my own attractions and just kind of let it “do its thing”, the more I learned that sexuality doesn’t have to be so black and white. It’s ok to embrace that.
As my life progresses along with my maturity and self-awareness, I hope to change. I say this not because I don’t love myself in the present, but because of how I wish to develop my ideas, forms of expression, and overall self even further. At sixteen years old, I have a set idea of who I am, but can only desire that in ten or twenty or thirty years, the amount of experience that I gain can help fuel these ideas to different levels. Hopefully, I can see things in ways I was not able to before, due to them not applying to me at the time. I am only in the process of growing and want to embrace this instead of pushing away the idea of opening up to new possibilities.
At the moment, I am identifying as 'queer'. Labeling myself as gay made me feel more trapped than it did free, which was a huge contrast from my eighth-grade self. My newfound identity gives me so much more comfort than the last. I love women, but I also have a boyfriend whom I adore and I'm ok with that. Actually, I'm more than ok with that. Though it was quite confusing for me and those around me, I'm honestly incredibly happy that I gave myself room to grow and define my sexuality, wants, and ideas further. Though it sounds quite corny, nothing stays the same and I've embraced that wholeheartedly. I'm confident in my decisions to not box myself in and always be open to change and possibilities.
I once had a friend say to me, "My sexuality is like water. It just kind of molds to whatever container." I thought it was quite funny, along with also eye opening, and oddly appealed to me. I love the concept of being free to love, be attracted to, and even be heartbroken by any gender instead of setting up needless personas for myself based around some close minded and plain idea of what human attraction is.
I used to think that if I let go of being gay, '’d be less whole or not myself. Though that could have been correct two years ago, I realized there are so many more important and prominent aspects to a person than who they are attracted to and overall see this within myself. Once I opened up more to looking into my personality and talents instead of hiding behind the thin veil of being 'the gay one', I began to see how ridiculous it was that I thought of this in the first place. Instead of losing my identity in the LGBT+ community, a large fear of mine, I can now feel so much more in touch with not only myself, but the ones around me.

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