Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Sexuality 2.0

I've spoken about my sexuality in the past, I'm not one to shy away from the fact that for now, I identify as a lesbian woman, something that I haven't always done (I am completely open to the idea that this might not always be the case, I may fall for a man or somebody who falls into a non-binary gender - I'm okay with this, I believe that sexuality is something that grows and expands alongside us, but for now my only attraction is towards females.) Sexuality has never been complicated for me, something I've been very lucky to have as a privilege - especially knowing that I am still probably in the minority of LGBT young people to have grown up in an almost wholly accepting environment - it's not something I wear proudly on my sleeve as much as an extension of myself, something that just is.

LGBTQA+ Illustrations

Yet - attitudes towards women who have strong attractions towards other woman are still something that our society as a whole needs to work on. Although there is much less violent crime and general abusive behaviour towards lesbian women as opposed to gay men, the fact is that our sexuality is still not widely accepted as a legitimate one - and indeed my sexuality has been, well, sexualised - with men still, bizarrely, finding the idea that I am predominantly sexually attracted to woman (and therefore not them, in any way) a turn on. Hold up - I've got to be missing something here, surely?

There is a saying that resonates as true within me that has stuck with me from the moment that I read it "people jack off with the left hand, and point with the right" and it couldn't be more appropriate - growing up I spent a lot of my time around boys that treated gay peers as inferior, or inferred that I shouldn't have the right to marry a woman; these became the same boys that talked openly about their preference for lesbian porn, the same boys that asked me for threesomes when I was in my first relationship with another female. As comfortable as I am within my sexuality, the fact is that I should not have had to perfect a glare for when boys smirk suggestively at me when I'm holding hands with a girlfriend in the street, I should not have to feel as though I'm (in the words of Ellen Page) "lying by omission" by not explicitly telling people in my life that I'm not heterosexual, I should not still have to be writing posts about this in 2015.

Although I am lucky to feel safe disclosing my sexuality, something that I truly am aware is a blessing given to me entirely due to luck of the draw - where I grew up, the people I grew up alongside, my family - the fact is that, even after years of feeling the way that I do, there are still people out there that suggest that this part of my life is a phase, that the relationships I share within it aren't relevant, that my sexuality is nothing more than something that I am planning to exploit for the gratification of other people. Even some of the more accepting of my friends pointed out that I "didn't look like a lesbian" - as though we need to have some sort of dress code to identify each other.

The fact is - my relationships are just like yours. I share meaningful moments, I grow alongside another person, I put my past and future and trust in them - the only difference is that the person I'm giving all these things to is a member of my own sex. It's not rocket science - I'm not trying to destroy the sanctity of your relationship, I'm not trying to recruit your daughter or girlfriend or sister, I'm not trying to turn you on - I'm trying to get through life, the same as you, just with a partner of the same sex at my side. Oh, and if you feel like you some how have the right to ask me how I have sex just because you've never done it - expect me to ask your personal, sexually explicit questions right back.

Have you ever experienced discrimination because of your sexuality?

Sammy xo.

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