Identifying as a lesbian for most of my life has given me a place to belong. Even when I produced my two children the ‘old fashioned way’, in my eyes, I was just a lesbian having heterosexual sex to create a child. Bisexual was never an option for me, even though I have had relationships with men. At that time in my life calling myself bisexual would have meant, to me, that I was unsure of whom I was, or that my attraction to women was simply the fashionable thing to do. I refused to be lumped in with the sorority girls making out when they were drunk or for the pleasure of their boyfriends. I took my love for women very seriously.
As I grew to understand my gender fluidity better I was able to see that my sexual choices were truly based on my need for a specific person, not a gender. My attraction was to people and what they offered me mentally, not to their genitals. I definitely have a preference for women, but that isn’t solely based on their physical body. My preference is the connection I have with women and the broad spectrum of needs that a relationship with the same sex offers. I am not a man hater, nor does the thought of sexual relationships with them disgust me. I think my own blurred gender enables me to understand and associate with males in general. I can relate, just not connect.
Now that I have come to terms with who I am, and finally found a person that compliments all of those components, I don’t feel the need to constantly defend my sexuality. I prefer not to identify as a lesbian, but rather a person who loves women. When I am feeling comfortable in my feminine skin I fit the lesbian label. However when I am feeling more masculine lesbian doesn’t feel right. In those moments I am still loving a woman but from a heterosexual place. The more open I am to my fluidity the more I no longer fit into the typical identity boxes. This is true for many in the genderqueer community.
Most of us start somewhere on the spectrum and end up evolving either into something broader of more defined. The communities we choose to surround ourselves with change as we need different support during our metamorphosis. Great difficulties arise when you have established yourself within a group and then no longer seem to fit. Pieces of you remain connected, but you don’t fit the stereotypical mold of the group as a whole. Segregation is unfortunately the normalcy causing those of us that fit a little bit of a lot of communities searching for a place to fit in.
Genderqueer is such a broad term and no two people who use it as an identifier will tell you the same story or explain it in quite the same way. Whose community do they truly fit in with? Whose fight do they fight? Whose agenda do they take on? Genderqueer people are male, female, both, neither, gay, lesbian, straight, bisexual, monogamous, poly and all races. Being fluid in gender and ultimately sexuality makes it easy for the identity boxes to collapse and leave us questioning, where do we belong?
Echo resides in northern New Jersey with her wife and the two youngest of their five children. You can visit her blog at dysphoricallyspeaking.blogspot.com