M feels that labeling myself “gay” erases him.
Recently, I’ve begun to refer to my sexuality as “gay”. It’s not so much how I identify as…
Okay, look. I feel weird calling myself bisexual.
Since I realized that a person’s genitalia and gender identification have nothing to do with whether or not I’m attracted to them, and since “bi” suggests being attracted to two genders, or having dual sexualities, “bisexual” doesn’t feel like it fits me. Besides that, there’s this irritating stigma surrounding bisexual women that says they’re “confused,” or claiming they’re bisexual because they want to be cool, or they’re greedy and unfaithful. I’m none of those things, and while distancing myself from a label because of social stigma may make me part of the problem, it’s still a thing I’m doing. I thought about calling myself “queer,” but it still feels like this weird special club I’m not invited to join, so I don’t.
In all honesty, I’ve been using “gay” because it’s easier than explaining “pansexual,” or telling the person I’m speaking to that genitalia and gender identification aren’t factors for me. It’s not that I care what they think. It’s that I’ve always preferred to keep interactions with other humans brief and to the point. Explaining my sexuality takes longer than just saying, “I’m gay.”
M was really hurt by this. He says pissed off, because that’s how he handles negative emotions, but as we talked about it more, and I stopped being pissed off thinking he was trying to tell me what my sexuality is (because he really wasn’t), I realized that by calling myself gay, I made him feel like I didn’t really want to be with him. That I fuck him just to have someone to fuck. That I love him as a friend, but I’m not really in love with him because he’s a man.
That’s fucked up. Of me, not him. I mean, I didn’t even consider the possibility that his feelings would be hurt before I started saying I’m gay.
That’s my fault. I know better. Even in a non-master/slave relationship, one should never just plow full speed ahead with something without talking to their partner about it.
For that matter, M’s not much younger than the generation of people who are currently admitting they were always only attracted to people of the same gender and leaving their spouses. It makes sense for him to worry that I’ve suddenly decided I only like women and I’m just here because…I dunno…because I promised I would be, I guess.
I assumed he’d just know that wasn’t true. And because I’ve written here about how I am with him because genitalia and gender identification don’t dictate my sex life or who I can love, I assumed he’d understand that I’m not settling. I chose him because I love him. I’d love him and be turned on by him whether or not he had a penis. But I happen to love the fuck out of his penis, too. Hehe. Pun optional.
He said that me suddenly changing my sexual identity from “bisexual” to “gay” made it sound like I’d made up my mind about which gender I wanted to be with, and it wasn’t men. I didn’t mean it that way, at all, but because I never talked to him about it, he had no way of knowing that without asking.
He asked me why I was searching for a new label. I’m not, though. I have always thought I knew myself pretty well, but lately, I’ve had a lot of time to just exist, and with that always comes self-discovery; in one form or another.
For example, it’s showed me that I want to cook for a living. Not just cook, but own a food service of some sort. Nothing big. Something homey and delicious.
It’s showed me that despite all the bullshit we’ve been dealing with lately, we’ve consistently moved up in life. When we moved in together, we were evicted because I didn’t know my ex hadn’t paid the rent for three months before we broke up. We moved into an apartment so small the toilet and shower had to be in different rooms. Now we’re in a house that is smaller than we want, but at least three times the size of that apartment. We own our car and it’s mostly safe. Our bills are always paid. Things are still tight, but we’ve not been in jeopardy of eviction, or power disconnection in at least a year. And in another year, we’ll be able to qualify for a mortgage, though we still haven’t decided if we’re ever going to buy, what with property taxes and the school tax steadily increasing by leaps and bounds every year. M’s job appears to be recession proof. Hallelujah.
It’s showed me that genitalia and gender identity aren’t mitigating factors in attraction for me.
And it’s showed me that I’m more in love with M than I ever imagined possible. Every day, I marvel at how wonderful he is; from the way he treats me to who he is as a person. I’ve learned more from him than I knew I didn’t know. I’ve loved more since I’ve been with him than I have in my whole life. Being with him has allowed me to see myself for who I am, and not who other people assume I am. Being with him has taught me that I’m worth loving.
Being with him has quelled some of the “end of the world” thoughts I had on the regular before I met him.
So when he told me that I was erasing him, I didn’t understand, and I got defensive. I thought he was trying to dictate and diminish the things I’ve been learning about myself. And I got mad at him for being mad at me.
I wasn’t trying to erase him. I wasn’t saying I didn’t want to be with him. No one we know would think for even a second that he isn’t my world, no matter what label I choose.
But sometimes, it’s not about me. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter what everyone else knows. Sometimes, it’s gotta be about him and what makes him comfortable. After all, he is my owner and the one I’ve chosen to spend the rest of my life with. To infinity and beyond, no matter what.
And the fact is when I tell a total stranger, “I’m gay,” what they hear is, “Oh, she married a man before she realized or was comfortable admitting that she’s only attracted to women.” He doesn’t like that. It upsets him. And anyway, it’s simply not true.
So, I’ve stopped calling myself gay. It’s just not that important to me. It’s more important for M to be comfortable; to not feel erased from my life and my identity.
I love you, Master. I’m sorry you thought I was erasing you. There’s no erasing you. You are inextricably a part of me.