Two years ago, I fell in love with a girl. It was surprisingly similar to falling in love with a boy. There was the same incongruous rush of nerves and comfort—completely terrified and completely safe at the same time. All of my friends and family were warm and accepting of S. into my life and my surprising attraction to her.
The two frustrations were strangers’ reactions on the street and the incessant need to label me. “Oh, so you’re a lesbian. No? OK, then you’re bisexual.” I resented the need to label myself, or change an identity marker simply because I was in love with and having sex with a woman. I didn’t feel different, I didn’t want to be called something different.
My attraction continued to be mostly male-dominated, and I continued to have sex with men when my relationship became polyamorous. I began to partake in a budding young queer scene in the city and met a lot of queer women. I was fresh meat—untouched by the web of local lesbians (or non-hetero-women). It didn’t take long for me to get caught up in the stereotypical lesbian dating scene, and I began dating L. quite seriously.
A coworker of mine was surprised to learn about C., a boy I had been having casual sex with for two-years. I explained to my coworker that all of the elements that made me like spending time with C. still existed. He was well-read, intellectually stimulating, silly, spontaneous, and we were extremely compatible in bed. Just because I started dating and sleeping with women didn’t change any of those things. Until I got a text message from him a few weeks ago, asking me to come over and “but, I’m gay” came out of my mouth.