On Coming to Terms with My Queerness

Everyone’s experience with queer identities is different. I don’t mean to be obvious, but it’s true. Some know from the very beginning about their identities in terms of sexuality and gender, and some struggle for a major portion of their lives, and of course, other experiences include everything in between these two ends of a spectrum. In my personal experience, I was unaware of my queer identity until at least 15 years old, and let me tell you, I’ve been through a lot of different labels for myself.

At 15, a friend of mine told me that she “might be bisexual.” This was the first time I’d even known there was a word for it. Looking back on it now, I had a HUGE crush on this friend before I even acknowledged my queerness. But at the time, it was kind of an eye opener. I played around with the idea of being bisexual myself for a while; I never told anyone, but I questioned it at least 10 times a day. For a year I came to terms with myself as being bisexual. I never told anyone until I was 16, if I’m even remembering correctly. I remember telling my sister, who was already out as pansexual, but that was about it. The first girl I knew I had a crush on was a friend I’d made through Twitter. We don’t talk anymore, mainly because neither of us even still use that platform, but regardless, we don’t speak. I told her I had a crush on her, but she didn’t make much of it. This led to telling another friend about my bisexuality, because it was insisted that I spill who my crush was.From there, it transpired into telling my closest friends, but I never dared to tell my family. And, at almost 17, I FINALLY admitted to myself the huge crush I’d had on the friend who essentially awakened my queerness.

At age 17 I learned about the word “asexuality.” The discovery of this word was made because a boy had a crush on me and I didn’t want to get into that kind of a relationship. I began researching asexuality and trying to identify myself with that community. It took me a year to realize that I was demisexual. But for that year I was especially confused. I was confused about where I fit on the spectrum of asexuality, and I was confused about asexuality itself. That boy and I dated for a few months, and my confusion about the whole ace thing kinda destroyed it. It was an unfortunate circumstance, but we’re much better off as friends anyhow. Age 17 was also the year of my first ever gay haircut; I’d officially come to terms with the fact that I was bisexual and I was out to most of my friends. I also told my mom this, but she tends to forget a lot of the time.

And here we are at age 18. Actually, 19 in two weeks time. Over the past year I’ve decided that the term “pansexual” fits me a lot better than bisexual does, and am officially open about being pan-demisexual. So that has the basics of my sexuality covered, and I thought that would be the end of my self-discovery. However, during this past year I’ve been struggling with my gender identity as well. Currently I’m still working out the labels that fit me best, but I do know that I’m not a girl, and I’m not a boy either. It’s been difficult to think of myself as transgender since I’ve always thought of trans being strictly FTM* and MTF** transitions only, but during my first year at university I came to learn that being transgender means that you’re someone who transitions away from the gender you were assigned at birth, and hey! that’s me! As a genderqueer/non-binary person, I am trans. And I will be honest, I often feel like I’m not “trans enough” to be considered trans, but I’m working on that.

I haven’t come out about gender to any of my family. My boyfriend knows, and my closest friends know, and that’s about it for now. I’m still working on things in terms of pronouns and how I want to present myself, but that’s the adventure of coming to terms with my queerness. And while I’m at it, I love identifying with the term queer. I think it fits me incredibly well, and it covers my identities on a romantic, a sexual, and a gender identity level. It used to be a word I would never dare to have enter my mind, but recently I’ve been all about reclaiming it and using it as my identity marker.

Thank you to those of you who took the time to read what is pretty much a timeline of my queerness. I know it’s pretty straightforward but I haven’t posted in a while and I wanted to write something. Hopefully I’ll be back up and running with this and I can go further into detail on my experiences with identifying with some of the most invisible orientations and identities.

Thank you all. Good night.

 

 

*FTM- female to male

**MTF- male to female

 

Beyond the Plus Sign

In a recent bout of what I’m going to call insomnia (I’m not certain it is, but it sure seems that way) I had the crippling realization that my life is just sort of plain. Wake up, go to class, read for the next class, go to sleep, repeat. University has brought more structure to my life, sure, however it’s proven to become more and more stale as I go through it. Thankfully I’m into my second semester and summer will soon be right around the corner, but already immediately after the winter break I’ve found myself in the same boring routine, spiced up by a little bit of a twisted sleeping schedule.

Within the realization of my utterly stale weekly routine, I decided that starting a new project to dedicate some time to would probably help to reduce the boredom. I’ve wanted to run a blog for a while, but I’ve never had an idea for what to have a blog on. I’ve never been excessively interested in something; at least not to the point of writing a whole blog on it. Recently though I’ve realized that I do have an excessive interest in something: myself. I know that sounds egotistical, but hold onto your seat for a moment. I don’t mean this to say “I only care about myself because I’m so incredibly interesting that nothing else could possibly be better than me,” I mean it more like “there is a particularly big aspect of my identity that provides a pretty decent topic to have a blog on.” Essentially, my excessive interest lies mainly in a community I’m part of, not myself.

The title “Beyond the Plus Sign” came to me before the entire idea behind the blog came together. I’m sure at this point, it being 2016 and all, a lot of people are aware of what LGBT means. Of course, there are tons more letters to that acronym, but because acronyms are supposed to be short and sweet it becomes simplified now into LGBTQ+. While Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender are clearly the most well-known and accepted orientations, beyond the plus sign lie an abundance of other titles. Two of which I would like to draw the most attention to are Pansexual/romantic and Asexual, as these are the two categories I personally fit into. “Beyond the Plus Sign” is my clever way of expressing my experiences with identifying with two of the most ‘invisible’ orientations.

I figured I may as well make a formal introductory post while my self-diagnosed insomnia keeps me up a little longer. I’m really excited about this blog as it gives me something new to do with my life as well as give me an area to talk about my experiences and challenges with being in the ace community as well as the pan community. A fair warning that not all my posts will be as formal as this one should be given out; as a member of two invisible identities I can’t promise you that they will all be polite or very formal in any way. But hey, as you’ll come to notice (hopefully), it’s all a part of my charm.

I appreciate the time anyone has taken to read this post and I doubly appreciate anyone who decides to take time out their beautiful lives to follow me on my “adventures” so to speak. Thank you all very much. Enjoy your lives folks.

-Max