“I found a metaphorical shovel, and dug a deep, deep grave for those feelings”
WORDS BY GEORGIA BUTLER, IMAGE BY ANNA SHVETS VIA PEXELS
I think everyone who identifies as queer has had one of those moments. You know the moment I mean; one of sudden clarity, or perhaps the complete opposite – a moment of complete confusion. For me, it was the latter. A swimming party at age 11. We organised ourselves into a train-formation meaning that I had to hold the waist of the girl in front of me and my fingertips tingled. Actually tingled.
I knew that this meant something, but I didn’t know what. Frankly, I wasn’t keen to explore it either. The idea that something else might isolate me from the pack (I am a naturally red-headed, glasses-wearing, braces-needing individual) was horrifying. So, I found a metaphorical shovel, and dug a deep, deep grave for those feelings. Cue a teenage attempt to date every male within reach to find one which would put those tingles, finally, to rest.
I ended up stumbling across one. A boy. We were together for four years. Two of which were passionate and difficult, the other two comfortable if based upon compliancy. I loved him, I was definitely attracted to him, but as the relationship wore down so did my desire to have sex with him. Or touch him. Or even smell him. I am trying to be honest, but a real exploration of my experiences in this relationship do not paint me in a good light. I can’t even rose-tint it by saying he was a good-guy. He wasn’t. It got to the point where I would masturbate whilst I waited for him to come home so that I would be “in the mood” for the sex he would inevitably demand.
This was nearly two years ago. Since then, I have almost exclusively dated and slept with women. There is absolutely no doubt that I am attracted to women. Whatever I am, heterosexual is not it. Throughout this time, I would joke that, “I can’t be dealing with that male ego right now”. But to an extent, I think this was true. It is hard to tell if I was temporarily a lesbian, or suffering from a provisional revulsion with men.
I am the kind of person who likes clearly labelled recycling bins and bright white lined parking spaces. I like green or blue, not teal, and I hate being a walking blurred line. Because I am not straight. I am not a lesbian, and I don’t even really feel bisexual.
I can go for months at a time without a hint of interest in men. But the same has also happened with women. My sexuality is the scientific explanation of a Newton’s cradle. It is subject to change, often the result from a ripple effect. This is difficult to explain to others, but perhaps even more difficult to explain to myself.
So, I don’t. Instead, I am trying to accept that which I cannot change. Let go of that which I cannot control… or whatever Psalms-something says.
Not everyone is as flexisexual as I am (flexi-sexi? Flexual? Sexible?) but, for me at least, variety is the spice of life ‘n all that. The reality is that if any friend of mine explained that this was how they felt, I would welcome it with open arms. I would tell them that it is completely normal to not feel like you are one particular word because who the hell is just one thing anyway?
I am not gay or straight – I am an artist, a writer, I am a naturally redheaded, glasses-wearing, braces-needing individual.
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