‘Have You Always Known?’

I’ve been thinking a little more about my last post and how people react when they find out that I have a girlfriend. The more I think about it, the more I realise that even some of the people who appear to take this little snippet of information in their stride still have a lot of questions once it comes up in conversation.

Don’t get me wrong, questions can be good. Questions show curiosity and can demonstrate an open mind and willingness to learn about things that you don’t quite understand. However, it is the same questions that keep getting asked over and over again, therefore you can understand why I’m beginning to find them a little bit tedious.

When someone wants to ask me about my sexual orientation I can guarantee that they will start by asking:

“Have you always known?”

I tell them that no, I haven’t always known. At this point they look at me searchingly before proceeding to ask me a question which, essentially, requires a brief rundown of my past sexual relationships:

“Have you ever been with men?”

When I say that yes actually I have been with men, a look of understanding will fill their face and the little light bulb above their head turns on as they exclaim:

“Oh, so you’re bi?”

This is where I tend to upset people because I really prefer not to label myself as anything. I extinguish the light bulb that was shining so brightly by responding with “I’m just me,” when people demand to know exactly “what” I am.

I think there must be some kind of lesbian chart that has been kept a secret from me and people are trying to work out whereabouts I stand on it. Am I just a little bit of a lesbian, more confused than gay, or am I a full blown lezza completely past saving?

We seem to have this incessant need to know all about a person’s sexual identity so that we can label them accordingly and slot them neatly into boxes.

What I truly want to know is this; why does it even matter? How does hearing about a boyfriend I had six years ago effect someone’s understanding of the person that I am today? Let’s face it, it doesn’t. These questions are completely irrelevant yet, for some reason, people keep asking them.

Image via Instagram.


One thought on “‘Have You Always Known?’

  1. I have never been asked if I have ever been with a man, have I tried it? When did I know I was hetrosexual? So why should you have to answer these questions? I would never divulge anything about my sex life so why should you? I never have to justify myself to anyone, so why should you?


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