Sexuality is super complicated. Way more complicated than just ticking a box on a job application form. I am in my final year, applying for as many jobs as I can and the same question always stumps me: what is your sexual orientation?
Personally, I’ve had my own conscious, secret battles with it. I do not, and consciously have not [to my adult knowledge] called myself heterosexual. However, I’ve probably let people believe that I am. I’m in a long-term relationship with a guy. This, for me, has always complicated my relationship with my sexuality. I’ve been with him since I was seventeen, which means, while many people are out experimenting and exploring their sexuality, I’ve almost pigeon-holed myself as a straight female.
Despite this, I have never been a straight female. When I was a teenager, I explored my sexuality a bit. I had crushes on women and kissed girls in the same way I kissed boys. But is that enough? I find it hard to openly call myself bisexual as I have not experienced lesbian sexual encounters as a grown woman.
I still find myself attracted to women and men. I see no difference in the feelings I have for people. That’s it. I’m attracted to people. It’s like Miley Cyrus said in a recent interview with Vanity Fair. “People fall in love with people, not gender, not looks, not whatever.”
While there are so many labels and names for people on the spectrum of sexuality, it can be very complicated to define yourself. I am happy to simply say that I’m not heterosexual.
However, this isn’t really possible in the world of administration that we live in. When filling in forms for jobs/ doctors/ any kind of administrative situation, you are asked for your sexual orientation. But it’s more complicated than just straight, gay, bisexual and prefer not to say. What do you say when none of these options apply to you? I am an open, confident and sometimes outspoken person so I don’t want to be hiding behind the ‘prefer not to say’. But, that leaves me with three other choices, none of which I feel define me.
I love the analysis of sexuality by Alfred Kinsey. In the 1960s, he said that sexuality is on a spectrum. He created incredible diagrams that showed men and women as colours that changed. That is how I like to see sexuality, and while society is catching up, it’s not there yet.
The teaching of homosexuality and materials relating to homosexuality was only made legal in 2003. The repeal of Section 28, gay marriage, was only legalised in 2013. These dates are way too recent and the mindsets of the past still remain in administration. Whilst we might hear of fluidity on the radio and social media, it still isn’t normative.
The youth of today are more fluid and they’re more understanding but also more confused by the definition of heterosexuality than ever before.