Exploring our sexuality can be fun and exciting, but also quite scary and sometimes daunting. This Fumble contributor shares her queer coming-of-age story and the journey she took whilst questioning her sexuality
Recently I told my friends I was pansexual. I was really lucky. It didn’t involve a big conversation, and nothing has changed since.
I had spent so long thinking about how my friends would react to me telling them that I didn’t really think about what coming out meant for me, in a practical sense… a dating sense… a sexual sense…
I’ll clarify a few things first. I’m 23, I’m a cisgender woman, and up until this point I have only ever been emotionally or sexually involved with men. I’ve had serious relationships, casual relationships, meaningful and meaningless one night stands, but these have only ever been with men.
I never thought about my sexuality, because being in a heterosexual relationship of any type usually means society doesn’t make you question it.
So, I carried on, relationship after relationship, man to man, not thinking too much about the fact that I would look, for slightly too long, at gorgeous women in films, at work and in life. I wouldn’t think too much about how my mind would drift when I was in the shower, just wondering what it would be like to be with a woman.
Because I am attracted to men I let that take a dominant space in my head and pushed everything else out. Almost a year ago, a serious relationship I was in ended. I was heartbroken and started questioning everything, including, for the first time, my sexuality.
The more I thought about it, the more I realised this was nothing new. I wasn’t having a stark revelation. This was the point where I told my friends, whilst I was still working it out.
I thought after I told them, once it was out in the open that would be that. I would no longer be confused, and things would be easy. I was wrong.
Now I had come out… what next?
Well, I’m still figuring this out. Is there a right way to be queer? Is there a right way to act around other queer people? How do I talk to others? Will they look at me? What happens when I take someone home? Am I ready to take someone home? Will they judge me for taking this long to come out? Can I be open about the fact that I have only been with cis-men?
And so, the endless questioning carries on. I know, deep down that none of this matters. These questions I have of course mean nothing, and I shouldn’t be judged on my sexuality at all. But, we live in a heteronormative world, and unfortunately society has conditioned me into thinking this way.
When it’s the right person, it will be okay. The first time I take someone home I’ll make sure I’m comfortable and be totally open. I just have to give myself time.
I feel like I’m a teenager again and whilst it’s terrifying, it’s also kind of exciting. Despite the confusion, despite everything else, for the first time in my life, I feel like myself. I feel like this massive load I’ve been carrying has been lifted.
There is no rush, I won’t push anything. When something happens, it will happen. I’m not in a race, this is my own journey, and I’ll take it baby step by baby step.
I’ve been on a few dates now. Nothing more has come of any of them… yet.
If you’re questioning your sexuality and want to read more, the Brook website offers some great help and advice.