So in honor of National Coming Out Day, I wanted to share MY coming out story. This is something I have been wanting to talk about for a long time now, I just could never put the right words together. Hopefully, this will give some clarity on how I identify, since this is a question I get a lot, as well as show how complicated “coming out” can really be. There isn’t always a straight answer (no pun intended!).
Disclaimer: You do NOT, under any circumstances owe an explanation of your sexuality to A.N.Y.O.N.E. Not your friends, not your family, not even your partner. It is perfectly okay and normal to not be sure in or even have a “label.” Sexuality is so much more complex than it can seem on the surface level. I am sharing my personal experience willingly, and because I feel comfortable doing so (which I didn’t always). If you don’t feel comfortable defining, or explaining your sexuality to someone you don’t have to.
How I define sexuality:
I think it is important to first say that everyone has a different definition for sexuality, and you do not need to relate your sexuality to anyone’s definition but your own.
I define my sexuality based off of romantic, physical, emotional, mental and sexual preferences and their compatibility with another individual; without reference to THAT persons’ sexuality, sexual preferences, gender, or gender identity.
What this means is: If I meet a person at a bar I might be physically attracted to them, so I say hi. We chat and they have a great personality, and they make me laugh, so I am mentally attracted to them. Then we start hanging out more, we have really good conversation, and they are kind to me, they give me those butterflies in my stomach (you know the good kind) so I am romantically and emotionally attracted to them. Then, I get lucky enough to find out that they are actually a really good kisser, and I am sexually attracted to them.
In this scenario I find myself compatible with this person on all of the levels I personally find important. This person could be of any gender, or of any sexuality (obviously one that would align them with being attracted to me, by their own definition). How that person identifies plays no role in how I define attraction, sexuality, or compatibility.
How I identify:
So you are probably still wondering, “Okay Morgana that’s great and all, but how do you identify??”
The short answer? I don’t define my sexuality.
The long answer? I’m still figuring it out myself, and I don’t want to hinder my own experiences by trying to conform to a certain identity. Others may put an identity on me of “bi-sexual” or “pan-sexual,” but the truth is sexuality is so much more complex than that. I just don’t think that trying to find a certain “word” to describe myself, in order to please others, is a good way to spend my time.
This bothers some people, and they feel confused and even uncomfortable with the way that I “identify.” But that’s because we as humans, for some reason, have this psychological need to put ourselves and others into boxes, in order to make sense of this crazy world we live in. And I don’t blame them either. It confuses me too, I get frustrated and sometimes I wish I could just pick something so I wouldn’t have to deal with it all. But reality is much more complicated than that, and we all need to realize that at some point we have to just let things be.
So what do I call you?
Great question! As I said before everyone has their own definition for sexuality so by all means, use your own definition if need be. But the easiest way is to just simply say, “She likes men and women.” That usually gets the point across enough that the conversation can continue with relevancy.
I personally refer to myself most often as “gay” or “queer” or even simply “part of the LGBT community.” This is because most of the world wears “straight colored glasses” and assumes everyone is straight until proven gay (personally I think everyone is a little gay, but that’s another story!). I will also use these terms, because it is short and to the point. Plus at this point society has come far enough that “gay” and “queer” have become sort of umbrella terms meaning “anything other than straight.” Which I personally think is GREAT, and very helpful for people like me who may not have found the perfect label yet, but know it’s NOT straight.
I want to say that I believe that sexuality is a journey through a spectrum of love. (Yeah that sounds cheesy but WHATEVER I think it’s true). The older you get, the more you explore life, yourself, and others, and the more you learn about your own desires. Remember that it is OKAY for your desires to change. I can say 1000% that I am not attracted to the same types of people now at 23, that I was when I was 15, and more than likely will not have the same types of desires and attractions when I’m 30 or 50! But that is OKAY.
Life is about evolving, changing, and growing in every aspect, and sexuality is not exempt from that. So just remember, that you will be exploring your sexuality for the rest of your life, and be excited about that! You don’t have to find a box, or a label, or an identity unless you want to! Just love yourself, love each other, and love God (if that’s your thing).
I would also like to put out there that I myself identify as an ally of the LGBT community. Unfortunately, being a part of the community does NOT always equate to being a safe person to talk to about LGBT, coming out etc. In addition, just because someone IS part of the community doesn’t mean they feel comfortable talking about it or giving advice.
That being said I AM a safe person to talk to, if you have questions as an outsider or as someone who might be questioning their sexuality please come to me. Any and all LGBTQ+ related questions are on the table and my DMs are always open. Instagram (@Morganabydesign) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org) are the best ways to contact me if you feel you need or want to talk, please reach out! As always Love = Love and God Bless you ALL.