I Came Out A Bisexual, Then Pansexual, And Finally Panromantic Demisexual, So Let's Talk About It

I Came Out A Bisexual, Then Pansexual, And Finally Panromantic Demisexual, So Let's Talk About It

We're largely ignored both in and out of the LGBTQ+ community, so let's change that.

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Trying to figure out my identity came with many twists and turns.

I graduated high school knowing I was part of the LGBTQ+ community, but I didn't know which letter I fit under.

I thought I was bisexual for the longest time because I liked both boys and girls, but that word just never sat right with me.

When I started college 3 years ago, I told a friend about this. She recognized herself in my story and suggested I look up the word "pansexual".

Immediately, a lightbulb went off. Pansexuality described me down to the last detail!

I was so happy to finally have a solid identity, but it wasn't over yet.

I had to come out 3 different times: the first time as bisexual, the second time as pansexual, and the third (and hopefully final) time as panromantic demisexual.

I adopted the identity of being demisexual fairly recently because I'm still learning a lot of the LGBTQ+ terminology. Nevertheless, this identification also describes me to the last detail.

For those of you who don't know much about this identity, demisexuality is "a sexual orientation in which someone feels sexual attraction only to people with whom they have an emotional bond".

We are considered to be on the asexual spectrum, but we may not identify as such.

Demisexuality can mean different things to different people, but for me, it means that I care nothing for the part if I don't have the heart.

I also don't experience much physical attraction to anyone of any gender. Most people my age go crazy over people they think are "cute" and try to shoot their shot solely based on outer appearance.

There's nothing wrong with that, but that doesn't make sense in my brain.

Out of all the crushes I've ever had in my almost 22 years of life, I can count on 1 hand how many of those were based on physical attraction, and most of those are celebrities.

Nearly all the people I've ever had feelings for were my best friends first and foremost. I could never be romantically attracted to anyone I didn't have an emotional connection with first, and it always has to start with friendship.

Ever since I came out, I had stereotypes thrown at me left and right.

I got told that that's just "having morals" or "resisting temptation".

Sexual orientation is not based on morals, but rather on who you're attracted to. Period,

I'm not "resisting temptation" because, for me, there is none.

It doesn't make me different, broken or any less of a person.

Different doesn't mean less than.

I am who I am, and that's more than good enough.

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This Is How Your Same-Sex Marriage Affects Me As A Catholic Woman

I hear you over there, Bible Bob.
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It won't.

Wait, what?

I promise you did read that right. Not what you were expecting me to say, right? Who another person decides to marry will never in any way affect my own marriage whatsoever. Unless they try to marry the person that I want to, then we might have a few problems.

As a kid, I was raised, baptized, and confirmed into an old school Irish Catholic church in the middle of a small, midwestern town.

Not exactly a place that most people would consider to be very liberal or open-minded. Despite this I was taught to love and accept others as a child, to not cast judgment because the only person fit to judge was God. I learned this from my Grandpa, a man whose love of others was only rivaled by his love of sweets and spoiling his grandkids.

While I learned this at an early age, not everyone else in my hometown — or even within my own church — seemed to get the memo. When same-sex marriage was finally legalized country-wide, I cried tears of joy for some of my closest friends who happen to be members of the LGBTQ community.

I was happy while others I knew were disgusted and even enraged.

"That's not what it says in the bible! Marriage is between a man and a woman!"

"God made Adam and Eve for a reason! Man shall not lie with another man as he would a woman!"

"Homosexuality is a sin! It's bad enough that they're all going to hell, now we're letting them marry?"

Alright, Bible Bob, we get it, you don't agree with same-sex relationships. Honestly, that's not the issue. One of our civil liberties as United States citizens is the freedom of religion. If you believe your religion doesn't support homosexuality that's OK.

What isn't OK is thinking that your religious beliefs should dictate others lives.

What isn't OK is using your religion or your beliefs to take away rights from those who chose to live their life differently than you.

Some members of my church are still convinced that their marriage now means less because people are free to marry whoever they want to. Honestly, I wish I was kidding. Tell me again, Brenda how exactly do Steve and Jason's marriage affect yours and Tom's?

It doesn't. Really, it doesn't affect you at all.

Unless Tom suddenly starts having an affair with Steve their marriage has zero effect on you. You never know Brenda, you and Jason might become best friends by the end of the divorce. (And in that case, Brenda and Tom both need to go to church considering the bible also teaches against adultery and divorce.)

I'll say it one more time for the people in the back: same-sex marriage does not affect you even if you or your religion does not support it. If you don't agree with same-sex marriage then do not marry someone of the same sex. Really, it's a simple concept.

It amazes me that I still actually have to discuss this with some people in 2017. And it amazes me that people use God as a reason to hinder the lives of others.

As a proud young Catholic woman, I wholeheartedly support the LGBTQ community with my entire being.

My God taught me to not hold hate so close to my heart. He told me not to judge and to accept others with open arms. My God taught me to love and I hope yours teaches you the same.

Disclaimer - This article in no way is meant to be an insult to the Bible or religion or the LGBTQ community.

Cover Image Credit: Sushiesque / Flickr

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Finding Out My Brother Is Gay Made Me Rethink My Religion

Who knew a simple sentence could be so hard to get out, come to terms with and to understand.

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When I found out that my brother had "come out of the closet," I was upset. Why would he choose this for himself, can't he change his mind? “Maybe it's just a phase," I would tell myself. I was hurt, after all these years that I had stood up for him, I felt that he was deciding to finally give in to the bullies who mocked him for being feminine. I felt that he had conformed to their hateful words and in a way let them choose his sexuality for him. Being raised in the LDS church I had it engrained in my mind that being gay was very wrong and a decision that was looked down on by not only the members of the community but by God himself.

Now that I knew my brother, my best friend, was a part of this group I wanted to understand. One question that was in the back of my head through the process of accepting him for who he is was whether or not people are "born gay." Since the initial confusion and frustration, I have grown tremendously in accepting not only my brother but many others for who they are. After learning of my brother's sexual orientation I have had many discussions with him as well as done my own research both online and in my heart. Finally over time, and many changes in life, my views have changed and my mind opened on the heated debate of homosexuality's origin.

I want nothing but happiness and true love to find its way to my brother's life and will do anything and everything in my power to help him feel comfortable in who he is. I have come to develop a strong appreciation for his strength and ability to be so true to who he is. His knowledge in who he is at such a young age has truly become an inspiration to me in a way I never could have imagined. However, I often forget that just because his family accepts him doesn't mean he doesn't still face discrimination from others who have not come to terms with the fact that our sexuality is not a choice.

In this article, I'd like to share parts of a (not so greatly written) essay I wrote in high school on the topic. Although it is not my best writing I am sharing it in optimism that it inspires others to do some research of their own. I am hopeful that in my lifetime I see a society that is safe and supportive for those in the LGBTQ community including my brother.

Homosexual: (of a person) sexually attracted to people of one's own sex.

To Love: feel a deep romantic or sexual attachment to (someone)." (Dictonary.com)

The way we are raised is a huge part of who we are and who we will become. Finding ourselves and our personal beliefs become complicated by the ideas of our parents. Place of upbringing, religion, parenting, interests, are all a few others of the many things that impact our views and actions throughout our lives. For example, a child raised by say, two dads will grow up being accustomed to the idea of "love is love" and there is no assigned gender to marriage. Whereas a child growing up in a home of strict religious background will be most likely taught that "a man leaves his father and his mother and cleaves to his wife."(Genesis 2:24), meaning that marriage should be between a man and a woman. These ideas taught by their parents and mentors from young ages and will influence them for life. Studies have shown that neither child is at an advantage or disadvantage compared to one another. It doesn't quite matter what the gender of your parents is, it matters how they raise you. A neglected or abusive home with a mom and a dad is not a better environment for a child than a gay home.

I have found in my research that there seem to be two main sides to the argument that I have decided to focus on. There are those who think that homosexuality is a chosen sexual orientation. They often say that they feel LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) members have an illness and believe it can and should be cured. Then there are those who feel that everyone should be accepted for who they are. These people often those that see the attraction to the same sex as something that some are born with feeling. There are actually many scientists and psychologists who stand on this side of the debate. They have found even some animals have some sexual tending. That's right, humans are not the only species that has same-sex relations. At the Edinburgh zoo, according to UK mirror news, "a pair of male flamingos adopted a fluffy grey newborn chick after it was knocked out of the nest by its parents."

The topics of love, gay rights, ethics, and human equality are all a few of many hot topics in our society today that can be put into the subject category of homosexuality. So why would someone choose to put themselves through the pain, hate, losses, and evils of the world if they didn't really feel what they say they do for others of the same sex as them? If people weren't born gay how would there be gay Christians for example. If they are told all their life that being gay is wrong why would they want their family to turn away from them? Why would someone choose to live a life of discrimination and constant fear of being harmed by others? Many even say they wish they could change how they feel. Hannahbrooke30, a writer stated in a post on debate.org "Trust me if I could change I would. My own family looks down on me because of this..."

If gays choose to be gay, then when did you choose to be straight?

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