Saying something like this is problematic. I have announced myself to the world as a gay man for a few years now. But, as a wise friend once said, labels are tools, not cages. So, I’m announcing myself as something different. I don’t know what quite to announce, or why bi-curiosity requires an announcement — sexuality is fluid, so most of us are bisexual on some level — but I feel I need to say something, since I’m thinking about women more lately, and I don’t know what else to do with these thoughts except say something about them.
The label you use — “gay,” “bi,” “genderqueer” — is a dating tool, a community demographic, an easily-digested tag to make hookups more systematic. It is not a box you must fit.
In the journey to self-understanding, many queer people try on many labels, which do different work at different times. This is OK. You will never stop searching — we never really figure ourselves out — but at some point you may feel content with the word you are currently using for the indefinite future. That’s where I was with “gay.” That’s sort of where I still am with “gay.” I’m not quite ready to change my label yet. That’s OK too.
For convenience, I call myself gay. I like other gay men. But take away the label — take away all labels — and I’m just another horny, lonely person seeking sex with people. That need is human and universal. The particulars — this is a message I have for all homophobes — on how I meet these human needs to satisfy desire and not be lonely should not be an issue. I’m meeting a need you share with me, a need we share with others.
I will give a healthy 5 percent to the possibility that I will at some point meet these needs with women. So, if we’re going to percentage it, I’m 95% gay.
I don’t know the straight dating world because I’m not familiar with it, so I can only confess my attraction to women and concede that I have no idea how to make myself attractive for women, how I would approach heterosexual sex, or whether or not I want to have heterosexual sex. I’m not closed off to the idea, but the idea is daunting.
A lesbian couple explained to me what, exactly, a clitoris was at IHOP one night during my freshman year of college. One of them drew an illustration on a paper napkin. She said it looked like a bean. I was mystified then and now with bodies that aren’t like mine, identities that aren’t like mine.
What does one do with bi-curiosity? Do I approach woman I’m interested in and tell them? Do I ask for help? How could I ever be brave enough to do that without looking like a fool?
Why do you use the label you use? Do you see it as a parameter you cannot cross or a social device you employ? Maybe you wear your label closer to your heart, and have made it a more vital part of your identity. Maybe you disagree with everything I’ve said. Maybe you see your identity as far deeper than the word-tools you use.
Tell me. Let me know.