June is Pride Month in many parts of the world, including Canada. In fact, according to our government (which has a complicated history with LGBTQIA2S+ people…) the entire stretch of time between June and September is considered “Pride Season.” That’s something I just learned today! Isn’t learning fun?
I have my own interesting history with Pride, and with the queer community in general.
Recently I was talking to a friend about how I never actually “came out”. Coming out is a right of passage for most queer folks, and I just…never did it. I saw the 1999 cinematic masterpiece The Mummy when I was 13 and like millions of other youths from my generation realized I was into boys and girls and whatever was in between, and then just…did that for the rest of my life. (Actually that’s a bit of a joke. It was the shower scene in my favorite movie, Starship Troopers, when I was 11 that made me realize I was queer. But The Mummy has long been considered the quintessential bisexual awakening film for Millennials, and I happen to absolutely love that movie, so I like to seize any opportunity to reference it)
I am openly queer, and I identify as pansexual/omnisexual/bisexual, which are all technically different things, but not everyone knows what they mean, so I use them interchangeably.
To learn more about them, let’s go the dictionary definition route…
Bisexual: A person who experiences emotional, romantic and/or sexual attractions to, or engages in romantic or sexual relationships with, more than one sex or gender.
Omnisexual: A person who is attracted to those of all gender identities and sexual orientations.
Pansexual is: A person who does not feel attraction to a gender, specifically, but to all people regardless of their gender identities.
To put it in lay mans terms, I like to jokingly describe myself as being into “bimbos, himbos and thembos.” For me, personally, attraction and/or love does not need to be tied to the gender identity of someone else. I like who I like, and that’s perfectly fine with me. As long as they’re hot, and a consenting adult, I’m open to attraction with them. Although I do draw the line at people who are too young for me. I see 20 year old adults as essentially children, and they are not viable romantic/sexual partners.
Though it’s always put me into a bit of a strange place within the LGBTQIA2S+ community.
Technically, I am both the “B” and the “Q” of the LGBTQIA2S+.
But when it comes to the gay and straight communities, I find I often do not belong in either. I have been too “straight” for lesbian spaces, and too “gay” for hetero spaces. Sometimes I joke that I’m actually a “pigeon” because I sit on a fence and don’t go either which way.
That often leads me excluded, or feeling “less than”.
If I don’t belong in WLW (women love women) spaces, but I’m gay enough to have literally been the victim of hate crimes because of my sexuality, then where do I belong?
Well, the simple answer is: somewhere in the middle.
The complex answer is: I don’t actually belong anywhere.
I’m kinda okay with that. I say “kinda” because it would be nice to have a more definitive “home” within the LGBTQIA2S+ community. But also, I don’t really care anymore. My lack of a distinct place used to bother me, but I never really ever carved out a place within it anyways so what does it matter? As an adult, I’m more okay with that than I was as an angsty teenager. And there’s people out there with much more difficult lives than me, so I’m okay with just existing sometimes.
During Pride Month, its important to reflect on the history of queer people, and the struggles we still face at present. Transphobia and violence is on the rise. The art of Drag is under attack. Sometimes just existing in the world can be a struggle, and the fact that we exist is offensive to some people.
So when it comes to Pride Month, my goal is to celebrate our diverse culture and my own weird history. I encourage others to do the same, and if you can, maybe consider doing something more pro-active.
You can get involved with activism through EGale Canada.
Or, you could just do something queer. After all, to make change we have to be the change we wish to see in the world <3