So as you can probably guess from the title,
I am coming out
To clarify, for a long time I was identifying as pansexual.
It was a word that took me a long time to discover
and a long time to understand,
but when I finally did I realised that, at the time, it fit me best.
As I've grown over time, and as labels have evolved and changed,
I think it's time I redefined myself.
For a long time my understanding of the word bisexual was that
it meant an attraction to men and women.
But with the prevelence of nonbinary and trans people in our community,
this label has been redefined.
And, I mean, this isn't even necessarily redefining the label, it's just
clarifying what the label actually means.
And bisexual - bi meaning two - is an attraction to
your gender and to other genders.
So technically that is two, but it's also inclusive of trans and nonbinary people
as a lot of bisexual people aren't just attracted to the binary genders of male and female.
And that was kind of how I understood pansexual to be.
At the time, I thought pansexual was an attraction to people of all genders,
when actually, when I thought about it,
pansexual was the attraction to people regardless of gender.
So my understanding of the label pansexual is that pansexuality is an attraction
to people irrelevant of gender.
Like, gender is not a thing that plays into the idea of being attracted to a person.
So coming down to how I now define myself.
I define myself as being bisexual and panromantic.
Bisexual meaning that I am sexually attracted to people of all genders, my own included,
and panromantic, to me,
is my romantic attractions don't take into account somebody's gender.
So when I am developing romantic feelings for a person, it's solely down to personality,
and it's never taking into account someone's gender, someone's biology,
someone's identity. It's all just about other things.
And that might sound strange, that might sound like
"Oh, isn't that how everybody develops romantic attraction to anyone?"
I kind of think the differentiation in my head is that
when I'm becoming romantically involved with someone
or romantically interested in someone,
it's very specific. It's a very specific feeling.
It's not just me falling in love with their personality,
or me falling in love with who they are,
it's - it's kind of like a break up of different elements.
So like, I'm romantically attracted to Alex in every element.
Like, I'm attracted to him as a person with a gender.
I'm attracted to him as a person with a body,
as a person with a personality and interests,
but when I was becoming romantically attracted to him,
it was very removed from the idea of him being a gendered person,
or him being a person that even has a body.
And that sounds weird but it's like, it's like an out of body thing.
I don't know if I'm making any sense here at all.
I sound like I'm talking utter bollocks.
But basically this new development of my sexuality has been quite important to me,
and I feel like it's very relevant, and it's very nuanced,
and it's very specifically defined, but I am a person that does take joy,
and does take pride in being able to specifically define my identity.
So to go back a bit more on bisexuality.
So me as a bisexual person, the way I feel sexually attracted to other people
is very much a gendered thing.
I don't necessarily look at people and assume their gender
and think "that is a gender I'm interested in".
I just sort of, I look at people and I
identify the fact that they are gendered people and I am sexually attracted to that.
I feel like I want to clarify that
whilst I am sexually attracted to people that have genders,
I am also sexually attracted to agender people.
So you might be thinking
"Jake, why do we give a fuck?"
I'm not saying you should care that I specifically have redefined my sexuality,
but you should be aware that redefining yourself,
however many times, and however many days, months or years between
redefinitions of yourself.
Like, there is not a limit to the amount of times you can label yourself,
and there are not a limit to the amount of times you can question,
you can be confused.
You can find clarity and then be confused again.
And this is not just about our understanding of our own feelings.
You could have a very deep understanding of how you feel,
but the way you define that can change over time.
Because the words we use in our community, the labels that we have,
we're redefining them all the time.
We're coming up with new labels that are more accurate.
For example when I was 13 and when I was first trying to figure out what bisexual,
and even pansexual, meant,
there was no such thing as demisexual.
To me at that time, that didn't even exist.
That wasn't even a possibility.
There was, like, the vague brief idea in my head that asexuality existed.
But back then, when I was uneducated, I didn't know about these labels.
And that's not necessarily for a lack of them being around,
it was just a lack of accessibility, and a lack of education.
But also as we progress as a community,
and as we progress as a society,
we find that labels emerge,
and the labels that we used to have take on a new definition.
Or we tweak labels slightly to adjust our view of the world,
and adjust our understanding of people.
So as we started to understand that gender isn't a binary thing,
and we started to understand that "hey, trans people exist,
and nonbinary people exist",
there was a redefinition of sexualities,
and of labels of sexualities.
And none of this is for a lack of those people not existing before,
but it's for a lack of the education
and a lack of the knowledge that these people were out there.
So what I'm trying to get at is that
we redefine labels all the time,
so why should we not feel okay to redefine ourselves all the time?
If we want to make progress as a community, we have to accept that
labels take on a new definition
all the time, almost every day.
People take on a new definition of themselves all the time,
and we should be open and we should be accepting of the fact
that one week I might say I'm gay,
and then two weeks later I might be like
"actually, wait, I think I'm a bit bisexual".
And then I discover that romantic attractions exist, so I'm like
"hey, maybe I'm demisexual and biromantic".
And then I realise that I didn't think bisexuality was inclusive of
trans people and nonbinary people so I said "pansexual", and then.
It just snowballs, and it goes on and it goes on and it goes on.
And that's great, and wonderful, and we should be so -
We should be accepting that redefinition is just a part of life.
It's just a part of who we are.
It's a part of growing and understanding.
I sit here before you today, a bisexual panromantic nonbinary trans person.
And a year ago,
I sat here before you as a pansexual trans man.
I don't think I've necessarily changed how I feel.
I'm more confident and I'm more happy.
I'm growing as a person just as time goes on, and I mature into an adult.
My understanding of labels, and my understanding of myself has grown,
and therefore my labels have changed.
If you're struggling with a person that keeps telling you have to define yourself,
or you have to choose a label and stick with it ...
Because it is so freeing
to be able to just discard a label that you no longer feel a connection to.
And adopt a label that you now feel defines you so wholeheartedly.
So you should be free to try on labels like you try on clothes.
And you should feel free to explore yourself.
And you shouldn't worry that there are people out there that want you to pick,
or they want you to pick an easy label,
they don't want you to pick three or four labels just because
those three or four labels come together to form the exact idea of how you see yourself.
You shouldn't bend to that idea that you have three options, or you have two options.
There are a infinite amount of labels. Almost.
Quite possibly an infinite amount of labels out there,
and you should pick whatever the fuck you want,
or feel free to pick nothing if you don't want a label at the moment.
But the important thing is, is that you are happy, you are confident,
and you are empowered by these labels.
I find that it gives me a sense of community,
it gives me this connectivity to a person that I wouldn't have had if I said
"so kind of like, like, maybe, like, people, not like, just one type of person".
You know? It's, it's less complicated, and it's more quantifiable,
and I like that.
And the most important thing that I will say till the day I die is that
you define the labels, the labels don't define you.
So. If the way I've described bisexuality and panromantic is not on par
with how you define it,
I'm just saying this is how I understand these labels to be.
And this is how I apply these labels to myself.
If you have a different definition of these labels, and you apply these labels to yourself,
that is also correct.
And there are a lot of people out there that will sit there and look at that and think,
"Well, if we're just saying that we can redefine words whenever want and
words can mean whatever the hell we want them to mean,
then were is the context? What is happening to the English language?"
The point is, is these aren't just everyday words.
This isn't like, a word like 'walk' or 'sit' or fucking 'orange'.
I'm not trying to redefine a staple of the English language.
I'm redefining these labels that we use for people.
These are very personal things
and we are allowed to redefine words.
We are allowed to redefine words, and invent words,
and if you want to fight me on that,
you can fucking take it up with Shakespeare,
'cause god knows bitch did a lot of that.
So, this has been my take on labels,
and my coming out as a bisexual person.
I will see you next week.
Peace out, bitches.