Tuesday, November 15, 2011

actions and identity, or a consideration of love

I'm going to give a vague Glee spoiler alert here if you happen not to have watched any of season 2 or season 3 thus far. Okay?

Santana is in love with Brittany. She's come to the conclusion that she is gay/lesbian. Now, these two things could very well both be true, both in the world of brilliant television musical dramadies, and life, but the first does not necessarily make the second true.

What do I mean?
I mean that who a person loves does not encapsulate and define all of, or even most of their sexuality. Sometimes, a person just falls in love with a person, or for that matter, is just attracted to a person and that person may be of a sex and/or gender that they have never before or never again been attracted to, collectively or individually.

This is a tricky thing to talk about. "Okay Kinsey, so if who you love and who you fuck doesn't define your sexuality, what does exactly?"
The answer is: lots of things. Those included. Right now, for the sake of brevity, I just want to talk about this one person idea.

A person can be a revelation. I always had some sense that I was attracted to women and really didn't think much of it until I had been given a vocabulary and context for those attractions: lesbian, gay, dyke, and, the women with whom I wanted to get all dykey, or, specifically here, one woman. At the start of grade 11, when I had not yet turned 16 there was this new girl in my English class. It may have taken all of five minutes being in vague proximity to her, without her even flashing that heart-melting smile at me, or becoming my friend and cuddling with me while we watched movies to turn vague sense in to,
"WHOA BABY DEFINITELY DO I LIKE GIRLS!!!"
or at least "WHOA BABY DEFINITELY DO I LIKE THIS GIRL OH MY GOD SHE'S LOOKING AT ME WHAT DO I DO WHATDOIDOWHATDOIDO???"
That single revelation allowed me to understand that there were a whole lot of other women in the world who were going to make me feel and act like a complete idiot. I was right. There were, they did, I did.
It didn't take much time, maybe 3 years all told to go from crazy about the girl from English class, for whom I would carry a torch during the rest of high school, which included: her dating a boy with whom I had a brief flirtation thing the year before and him being super weird about our friendship and me thinking it was so funny how backwards he was on the matter that I almost told him, both of them getting expelled, her coming back the next year, me marshaling all my courage and asking her to go to the prom with me and her telling me she didn't want to be my date to the prom because she wanted to go with a boy, and later turned out also to be queer and is some roller-derby superstar now. I digress.
We were talking about some time later when I had mostly come to the conclusion that I was only interested in women. I solid in my identity as gay, BUT, even then, I did hope and believe that I was capable of loving people as people and not just social constructs and bodies. (again, tricky stuff)
This change was a little more gradual, but the big, HOLY SHIT, MEN! moment came again with an individual first. I was so unbelievably head-over-heels in love with this man that I didn't really consider for a while whether or not other men might possibly be appealing to me, because I was in a place in which I couldn't imagine ANYONE ever being interesting except for him ever again. Well, life happens, and as I mentioned Mon Amore and I went our separate ways over a year ago now, and I have found out that, yes, men are, if you will, 'on the menu' for me, they held appeal. I believe what I discovered somewhere along the line was that BOYS held no interest for me, where as MEN sometimes do.
Being as I am now one of those confounding fence-sitters who will not even allow themselves to be called 'bisexual' because it is a label that, for me, does not fit. I am frequently asked to explain myself in this regard, or break down my attraction into ratios or fractions. I believe I have addressed my annoyance at this point ad nauseum in the past. I like people, I love individuals for who they are, not 'what'. People are 'whats,' they are 'whos'

In brief review: loving a single person does not define a person's sexuality. Individuals can help personify and clarify desire. Identity is complicated. Love kicks my ass.

Yep.