I’ve Known Since I was 5: An LGBTQ+ Stereotype

One of the most damaging stereotypes about being LGBTQ+ is the belief that all LGBTQ+ people know from a young age that they are LGBTQ+.

While this is often true for many people, it’s not for others. Many people (both LGBTQ+ and cisgender heterosexual) believe this idea wholeheartedly, and it actually invalidates many queer and trans* experiences; it can even lead to people invalidating their own identities because they didn’t discover this identity or part of themselves until later in life.

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Double Rainbow.. all the way

As a young kid, I didn’t think about sexuality or gender in any way. I was just being me. I was a “tomboy,” but to me that was just who I was. Attraction and gender didn’t even enter my mind; I was too busy playing Runescape and worrying about whether Harry would defeat Voldemort (spoiler: he does). When sexual attraction did enter my life, I was attracted to men. This is still true, but it turns out that I am also attracted to women. But, did I know this in middle school or high school? Not at all. I was so oblivious to my sexuality; I assumed all girls had a crush on Katara from Avatar: the Last Airbender, dreamed about dating Emma Watson, and felt tingly when hugging girls and boys. Looking back, I was so, so, so bi. But I didn’t know.

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Me in the black shirt with the attached tie. Soooo queer. So unaware of it.

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Confused Gender Rambles

I was in the middle of writing a post about making tofu scramble, but I just couldn’t finish it. I don’t want to be disingenuous and continue to write something that I don’t care about (right now, anyway). I’m not in the mood to make a joke about how “eggs-cellent” my recipe is. I want to write what I feel. Writing when you have something to say is always better than when you are writing what you think you’re supposed to say.

 

So, I’m writing about gender today. And I have honestly never given gender much thought, besides being an ally for trans/non-binary/genderqueer people. I feel rather informed about the subject, but I never really considered it to personally affect me.

 

But now I’m not so sure, and it’s making me feel weird. I feel so many conflicting and differing things that I don’t even know what I feel. Excitement at the possibilities of who I could be combined with depression at not knowing who I am sends me on an endless cycle of questioning. I feel cripplingly lonely, but I also have the love of my life who makes me feel so incredibly happy and loved. I’m happy and sad, I’m confused, I’m scared, and I’m excited. All at once. Yikes.

 

It reminds me a lot of when I was trying to figure out my sexuality. I knew I wasn’t straight, and I knew I wasn’t gay, but I didn’t really know anything else you could be. The sorts of “middle” sexualities that are under the bi+ umbrella are not as defined in our society. Or when they are, they are belittled or stereotyped to seem horrible, inherently sexual and, overall, lesser than the binary sexualities. I would spend hours agonizing over how I felt, wishing that I could “just be straight” or “just be gay,” because then it would be ‘easier.’ At least I would have one category to belong to, and at least people would understand and accept being gay (again, I’m not saying this is actually how it is, but this is how I felt at the time). Being bisexual was so hard for me to accept, not only because I didn’t really know anything about it, but because I subconsciously knew that being bisexual had it’s own struggles and obstacles that were so much different than the ones for monosexuals.

 

I feel like I am right back where I was 2 years ago when I was agonizing over being bisexual. I started watching a lot of videos on YouTube back then to help me figure out my sexuality, and it’s no different now with gender. I’ve been watching so many FTM transgender videos on YouTube, and those videos made me start thinking about my own gender. But yet again, I feel stuck. I don’t feel like I am trans, as I don’t really feel like a man. But I don’t feel like a woman. But I also don’t feel agender either.

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