Posted by: eshne | April 8, 2008

When Sexual Identity Can Get In The Way

It’s weeks like this that make me want to throw out the whole idea of identity. Who cares about sexual orientation or gender or ethnicity or all of those other tags we put on ourselves and other people. When it comes down to it, love in its purest form it about one person loving another person. All the other things are accessories or labels we use to make ourselves easier to categorise, but they can get completely in the way!

I’ve been with my girlie for a few years now. We’ve had loads of ups and tons of downs. Right now just one of the issues bubbling in the background has to do with identity. We haven’t pushed it out into the open – it’s just on the peripheries itching at my feet.

After much internal tussling I have come to accept and be happy with identifying either as bi-sexual or gay. I’m not a big fan of labels, it’s just sometimes it can make life easier to stick on a label and join the club. My girlfriend has found it tough right from the beginning to even accept she is anything other than straight. Sometimes I find it hilarious. Other times it drives me nuts.

As our lives become more open and honest we’re starting to socialise with more lesbian couples. It’s deliberate on my part as I feel more normal being around other lovers of ladies. However it seems to make her uncomfortable. One minute she’s fine and the next she is shirking away from overly gay social occasions. She hates it when I out myself to friends. I try talking around the situations, how she feels, trying to get her to open up. As yet I’ve had limited success – it’s like a brick wall goes up in her mind when I knock on the door and ask her to let some lesbian identity in.

When it’s just the two of us together we only see ourselves through our own eyes – naked of tags. As soon as we step into the public arena it can feel like other eyes are mentally moving us into one box, compartmentalising our identities. It happens to everyone, all the time. And there is no way of stopping that happening. But there is a way to stop yourself caring.

There, I’ve had my rant 🙂 Oh I do feel better.

Any thoughts about sexual identity etc gratefully received…

E x

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Responses

  1. Well then, first of all I really love your new blog.
    Then as regards sexual identity…I’m still struggling with mine. Experience taught me that putting on labels is yes comfortable but very risky. Sometimes you can just be left with only the label and nothing else.
    I’m always wrestling with the easy-going label system and the freedom to be without one. Not only on myself but also on others.

  2. “naked of tags” would be the ideal! My partner and I really still don’t know what to “tag” ourselves… you are right… love in its purest form is simply about one person loving another! Glad I stumbled in! Wendy

  3. Thanks Wendy 🙂

  4. […] use to describe myself – and I still find it doesn’t fit all that comfortably (see rant about when sexual identity can get in the way). But hearing that a silly narrow-minded man in Greece wants to take it away has suddenly made me […]

  5. Hi there,
    I appreciated the thoughtfulness of your post.
    Sexual Identity is an interesting topic and your thoughts are valuable for anyone seeking more perspective.
    I recently (on my blog) suggested a distinction between desires, actions and identity; hoping that this distinction would help people of all persuasions discuss things more constructively, and accurately, etc.
    Among other things, I suggest (and I don’t mean to ‘push’ this idea on you) that letting our sexual desires (of whatever kind) ‘sum us up’ is unneccesary and can cause problems in all kinds of situations (including discussion with people with differing views).
    Thanks again!
    -d-


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