This is our truth, tell us yours
Laurie Penny, who is always worth reading, tweeted about being pansexual, and queer, and almost immediately apologised for the assumed implication that to be bisexual is cissexist.
I have to confess that I raised an eyebrow.
I generally describe myself as bisexual, to those to whom I think my description of my sexuality will matter in a positive way.
It’s safe to say that I know the genital configuration of all the people I have had sex with.
I don’t know what gender they describe themselves as being. It may be shameful to some people, but in a few cases I never knew their names, and had no inclination to ask. I judged their desirability not by their gender, but by what they were willing to do.
I sometimes describe myself as omnisexual – I’ll fuck anyone who can consent, but I grew up in a world where the options were straight, gay, or the slightly shameful bi.
I feel as if switching to calling myself pansexual would be too much of a change, too much of a refutation of who I have been.
Polyamory poses similar problems.
I am comfortable being the third or fourth person in complex relationships, where I know the role I play, and the limits upon it, even as I eschew domesticity and prize my privacy. I have been the primary in complex relationships too. The only reason why I’m not living in a household of gender fluid people sharing a communal approach to living is because I’m too old, too selfish about my space, and too used to the way my life was before i even knew what polyamory was.
Redefining the labels we apply to relationships is not the same as defining new relationships. If I am comfortable with being bisexual that might be nothing more than the label I grew up with, back in a time when even being bi was adventurous.