Still, there have been times where people have chosen to doubt my sexuality. Hell, there are even times where I doubt my own sexuality – but why?
I have had multiple people in my life ask me, “Well how can you know you’re bi/gay/queer if you’re never had an experience with someone of the same gender?” which is a pretty bullshit question in so many ways. Asexual, bi, pan and gay people do exist and you don’t have to have “had experience” with someone to know you like them – shocking, I know. I mean I’ve had crushes on people I’ve barely even talked to and they’re a real thing. Also, by this logic, sexuality would not be something we are born with but something we would have to acquire through experience. And in order to be certain of our sexuality, we would then have to experience every from to decide which sexuality we had – it all sounds a bit ridiculous, doesn’t it?
I mean, I understand people wanting to have an experience with someone of the same gender to know for sure. I’ve had friends who say “I think I’m into girls, but I feel like I need to actually have sex with/date a girl to know for sure”. This is perfectly valid, but it is not a requirement in actually deciding who you’re attracted to and who you want to date and/or have sex with.
The thing is, I have had “experiences” with girls; I came out at quite a young age with one of my very best friends. Though back then I came out as a lesbian, I pretty quickly realised that gender didn’t matter to me. And this realization or preference should remain valid forever- unless I personally change my mind, right? Well, apparently not for a lot of people, nor for my own self doubt.
Since the age of 13, I’ve pretty much only dated cis dudes. All of my serious relationships have been with cis dudes and no matter how many times after a break up I say “Ok, let’s try dating girls,” I always end up with a cis dude. There, I said it! Does this mean I have to renounce my bisexuality now?
Sometimes I think it means that I should. That maybe I’m not made to be with a woman. I have a terrible track record in the female deating department. Every time I try and just date girls for once, it goes horribly wrong. From being stood up on first dates and cancelling dates because the other party is just plain weird, to getting ghosted all together after a promised date that never happened. It makes me wonder whether I’m doing something wrong, whether I’m just not meant to date women. And so I end up dating a cis dude again.
The cycle continues and I’m left questioning my identity entirely. Now a lot of people might just say “Yep, maybe this just means that you’re heterosexual, give up your rainbow flag and pride badges and go back to hetero town.” But the reality is I’m only doubting my sexuality because of other people’s perceptions. With that being said, I’ll say no to hetero town, thank you very much.
Our identity is in no way determined by who we are dating at this current moment in time, or at any moment in time. Our identity is determined by how we feel about people as a whole. And while that can be fluid, it doesn’t just change based on each person you date. The fact that I keep ending up with cis men is probably due to a fair few different factors. Yes, it could just be I’m bad at dating anyone who isn’t a cis man (I mean, this is probably true and I might have to just accept that), but it could also be down to to the fact that there are a lot more straight/bi dudes out there than there are gay/bi women, or non-binary people, etc. It’s just statistics. Still, I’m probably just going to pin this down to overall bad luck, rather than the fact that I am just terrible at dating people who aren’t cis men.
Overall, what I’m trying to say is that despite my dating history being rather heterosexual to say the least, it doesn’t necessarily mean that I am. Only I can determine my own sexuality. That being said, it does help when my friends turn around and say to me, “No Iz, there is no way on this earth that you are straight.” In the end, it’s how I feel that decides how I label myself and no one else can decide that for me. The moral of this article? Don’t let other people try and police your identity; it is yours. You’re allowed to doubt it, you’re allowed to change it, but no one else is.
Photography by Evelyn Kosta for YEOJA Mag