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LGBTQ Voices

How Societal Norms Have Affected My Sexual Identity

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Arm covered by a gray sweater reaching out in front of a bare leg with black boots and pink skirt.
Gambier, Ohio

My sexuality kind of developed in stages. I liked boys first, had crushes on boys first, and flirted with boys first. When I started hitting puberty, liking boys evolved naturally. My attraction to girls came about later. For me, it was more physical in nature and it was linked to my own changing body. I think girls generally develop stereotypical attractive physical traits earlier than guys do. For instance, I had breasts before most of my male friends had abs or facial hair.

It was confusing when I started liking girls because it didn’t make me like guys any less, which I realize now was a product of bisexual erasure. I remember literally wondering how it was possible for me to like both boys and girls.

Coming out is definitely still an issue for people. I think this is because even with declining homophobia, being LGBTQ is still not the norm. Any deviation from identifying as straight and cisgender is a deviation.

Accepting a difference within yourself, whether it’s not liking peanut butter in third grade or it’s being attracted to more than one gender, is extremely hard. I believe this to be especially true in adolescence.

As a society, we need to dismantle the idea of the norm. There are so many variations within humanity that it’s crazy to try and put us into just one or two boxes.

I’m still not comfortable revealing my sexual attraction towards women. For me, it’s just part of who I am and I don’t feel like that is nobody’s business, but my sexual partner.

I guess that’s counter to the LGBTQ rights movement, which is all about the celebration of peoples’ identities. Sometimes, I wish that some celebration could be just a little more private.

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