Understanding sexuality

Danielle Zukowski

I am a bisexual. All this means is I am attracted to two genders. This doesn’t mean I’m greedy or that my eye is wandering any more than a hetero or homosexual person. Bisexuals aren’t polygamous either; I mean they can be, but the two are not synonymous. All this label means is that I have a slightly wider dating pool.

As one representative of a minority sexuality, I’d like to bring some awareness to an ignorance sometimes committed by the very people trying to fight against the discrimination faced by the LGBTQ community: allies. This one’s for the straight social justice warriors with kind hearts who don’t realize that they may be participating in an act of invalidation.

The act I’m referring to is the assumption of someone’s sexuality. For example, if you see a man holding hands with another man, you may say they are gay. You might even say they are a gay couple. Without thinking, you might just be reflecting on how cute of a couple the two are, not even realizing you’re assigning a sexuality to some strangers. However, these classifications are kind of jumping to conclusions without knowledge of who the individuals are.

A woman who is attracted to another woman may not only be attracted to women. A man who has sex with a woman might not only have sex with women or might not enjoy it or might have thought they enjoyed sex with women, but realize they in fact don’t. The same goes for dating. Whether you see a man with a woman, a woman with a woman, or a man with a man, the simple sight is not enough to determine someone’s sexuality.

Just because someone has dated or been attracted to or had sex with a particular gender does not mean they are only attracted to that gender. The gender of who you have or will date does not reflect your sexuality. The gender of those you have, are, or will be aesthetically, romantically, or sexually attracted to does not define your sexuality. 

A lot of people seem to understand that if a girl kisses her best female friend, it doesn’t mean she is a lesbian. A lot of people seem to understand you may think you’re attracted to an individual, but when it comes down to it, you’re really not. A lot of people may understand that sometimes you try something new and hate it or lucky you, you feel more right than you ever have. But people seem to have trouble outside of girl on girl porn when we switch to male on male or when we add in more than one gender. 

Listen then repeat. Actions and words and thoughts do not determine sexual orientation individually. However, together these three interact and can help better label what your sexual preferences are. But remember this: others’ sexuality, gender, actions, words, thoughts don’t define your sexuality even if you’re dating, in love or attracted to them.