I am pansexual but I don’t feel LGBTQ+
My sexual orientation has never been an issue for me. No, let me say it differently. I have never felt the need to “come out”. Whoever I felt sexually or romantically attracted to, had never occurred to me as being different to what others felt. It felt so natural to me, and at the same time something that really only should matter to me and those I love. It was not something that I had to shout from the rooftops. And it took me quite a long time to figure out where I would place myself sexual orientation wise anyway. But one thing that I have struggled with a lot is that people expect me to be proudly LGBTQ+. I am pansexual but I don’t feel LGBTQ+.
Figuring it out
Let me elaborate. This is about my own experiences. It is about how I feel about my sexual orientation, my gender and how important it is for me to define myself using those categories. And I don’t define myself through my sexual orientation. It is one small part of me. It is not all that I am. And it definitely is not the most important part of me.
It took me ages to figure out where I would place on the sexual orientation spectrum. I assumed I was heterosexual. Then I thought I was lesbian. Then bisexual. And the last ten years or so, I have described myself as pansexual. I feel confident enough to say that that is the accurate term to describe my sexual orientation. Because I have been in love and have been attracted to people who identified as female, male and genderfluid. And I have been in relationships with men and women. I don’t get attracted to genitals in the first place, I get attracted to the person.
I never felt the need to come out as whatever I assumed I was at the time though. And hence, I don’t relate to the struggles that many in the LGBTQ+ community had to go through. I think it is terrible that those in the community still get shamed, hated on and need to fight for their rights. See, I am privileged in that I never had to fight. I think most of my privilege comes from that I am a cis-female. While I am not the most feminine woman, I am quite sure about my gender identity.
But it isn’t only that. I basically don’t give a fuck about what my family says. My parents never really met any of my partners and knew nothing of my love or sex life. There are a lot of disadvantages from a broken family, but I guess my sexual orientation being private to me because my parents didn’t even care enough to inquire about my partners, is probably a privilege.
Coming out is the one thing that connects most of those in the LGBTQ+ community to each other. Either the struggle of having come out and having met prejudices, or maybe still being afraid to come out. It is not something that I can relate to. I would feel like a fraud being in the same category as those who have struggled so much with having to hide their sexual orientation. Especially if they felt like their sexual orientation defines a lot of who they are.
When I started to explore my romantic and sexual attractions, my group of friends was non-judgmental. There were trans* people, there were gay men, lesbians, heterosexuals, crossdressers. I didn’t stick out for being in love with a girl, dating someone who is bisexual, or having a crush on someone who is genderfluid. The alternative music scene is beautiful like that. People are often non-judgmental and just respect others the way they are. For many many years, my best friends were LGBTQ+, and even now, the closest friend I have in real life is queer and gay.
So I never had a huge need or pressure to come out. No one ever questioned and judged my sexuality. That actually allowed me to explore and understand what my sexual orientation is. On my own terms. And that is why I feel okay with being pansexual today. I have no issue with it. I embrace it. But it doesn’t define me.
A struggle that isn’t mine – I am privileged
One of the things that connects many in the LGBTQ+ community is the fight and the struggle. The fight against the heteronormative patriarchy. Against lawmakers who deny them marriage, legal status and protection from hate crimes. And I stand by those that fight those fights. I respect them. I am an ally. But I don’ t feel that those struggles are my own struggles. I personally have never been discriminated for my sexuality.
Technically, I would fit under the LGBTQ+ umbrella due to my sexual orientation. But I don’ feel that that is where I belong. I am cis. and I don’t define myself through my sexual orientation. I never had to come out, nor do I know feel the urge to let anyone know. If they ask, I wouldn’t hide it. And well, if my next poly partner is not a cis heterosexual man, then I wouldn’t be able to hide it.
But hide it from whom? I live in a privileged world where none of my friends would discriminate me for my sexual orientation. Additionally, I don’t give a fuck about what my family thinks. I don’t have a job. And because of that, I have never experienced the struggles that connects almost everyone in the LGBTQ+ community. I would feel like a fraud to define myself as something that goes so deep for many, that has caused them so much distress, and that they want to proudly shout from the roof tops.
I don’t feel proud about my sexual orientation. It is not something that I have accomplished, or that defines me. And I wouldn’t want to diminish anyone’s struggles by defining myself as something that is often linked to struggles that are not mine. I would feel bad if I my presence in the community had the same standing as the standing of those whose lives are threatened, or who lost everything due to their sexual orientation or gender identity. For once in my life I am privileged, and I want to leave the spotlight to those who deserve and need it instead. I am pansexual but I don’t feel like part of the LGBTQ+ community. And that is okay.
well written i share many of your thoughts and ideas
Oh, thank you so much. I am glad that I am not alone with having these kinds of thoughts.
This is a very interesting post. I never really saw feeling as lgbt as having to have gone through the hardships. For me, it was just finding ‘a home’ in the same way that I find a feeling of home by being around other kinksters and I think it would actually be positive, if we weren’t only bonded because of similar hardships we might have faced. For me it’s about acceptance and the space to be oneself but I completely get and respect where you’re coming from. There’s no need to feel lgbtq!
I can totally see your point and I know that for many the LGBTQ+ community is a home for them. They can be themselves, and don’t need to hide who they are. I guess it is all about how important you feel your sexual orientation is to your identity or how you want to perceived. And for me, it is just lower on the priority list, especially because I never felt like I needed the acceptance, or a home, or a connection, linked to my sexual orientation.
I agree with what you say here. I might be bi or pansexual. I don’t know and I don’t really care. My sexuality is mine and belongs to me and to what I do in my life. The things I have accomplished in my life were regardless of my sexuality. What I’m going to explore is what matters to me, it’s not something a group should have an opinion about. I’m supposed to form an opinion, as well as my husband, but I don’t need an LGBTQ community teaching me what I’m supposed to feel. It’s challenging enough as it is 😆
Thanks for your post 😄
I totally love what you said here: “My sexuality belong to me” – I so very much agree with that. It is up to us if we want to turn it into something we identify with, that we tell everyone or not, or that we want to explore more or not. I don’t have the strong urge to identify with my sexual orientation, but I know that others do, and often fight for their right to be allowed to do so. And I totally support them in that. But I am not like that, and people just generally assume that you feel like you are part of the loud LGBTQ+ movement if you are not heterosexual.
If two men walked down the main street of my hometown when I was a kid, far away and long ago in a country town in Australia in the 80s, people would have stared, gossiped, maybe yelled insults, maybe much worse. That seems pretty alien now. Since I moved to London I have zero friends or acquaintances who are remotely homophobic. and probably none of their friends or friends of friends. I get that homophobia must still exist and this probably says more about how sheltered I am than about the state of the world but I like to think homophobia is well on its way to extinction. I’m a male escort and most of my clients are men or couples where the man is bi or bi curious and I do a lot of duos with female escorts and Mistresses and their male clients where the guy wants a male escort involved. Lots of “forced bi” sessions with Mistresses where the client wants to be told to suck a cock or take it up the ass.No real force involved since it’s his fantasy but it’s a popular scenario so I guess a lot guys like it that way. I’ve never considered myself a part of the LQBTQ+ community either. As you say I’m definitely an ally and supporter. As a professional I see a lot of bi curious and closeted married men seeking a safe and discreet way to live out their man on man fantasies. But my family and friends back home don’t know about my job. And outside of my work, I’m straight. I’ve never had a boyfriend and never will. I enjoy my job and that does involve a lot of sex with men so does that make me bi? I don’t know and to be honest the label does seem completely redundant to me. The only people who will ever know I’m having sex with men are my clients, my girlfriend and other sex workers I’m friends with. None of them are going to be shocked. So I’m never going to face any kind of discrimination. I hope in the not too distant future the entire concept of LGBTQ+ will be redundant in that nobody will care who has sex with who or whether they look or act like a cis gendered straight person or not.
Hello! Thank you so much for your long and interesting comment! I definitely think that things have changed, especially for those of us living in the West, and existing in sex positive spaces. We are of the generation that is lucky enough to feel safe, but also isn’t safe enough for us to forget that LGBTQ+ warriors exist for a reason. If we were to live in let’s say, Iran or Poland, we would probably feel differently about it. I like those sort of people who look at the big picture and see that the fight needs to extend to those who don’t have a voice at all yet. I really love the hope that you shared: a world where it doesn’t matter who you have sex with, or what gender you do or don’t identify with: a world where everyone is respectful.
It is interesting, you know, because from what you describe, just objectively, a lot of people would say you are gay. But the important thing is always how we personally feel about it. Sex without emotions involved might actually not count as a way to determine one’s sexual orientation, for instance. And yeah, as you said, if we never faced the struggles, then it would feel wrong to identify with something that is a lot about struggles. Being an ally is the best option there, and I am glad you see yourself as one too!