Lipstick Lesbian

What’s in a label?

I threw my fifth attempt at a column in the trash and decided to watch an old episode of Glee, rather than single-handedly destroy a rainforest or my fingernails. Glee tends to get my brain juices going, sometimes even other ones, but mostly it just makes me sing off-key and dance without rhythm.

Anyhoo, I started watching a re-run of Glee in which Santana actually wears a shirt that sort of labels her a lesbian. Santana is someone, who in the past, would go to great lengths to hide the real her. This episode brought me to tears and laughter, and gave me a topic to unblock my writer’s block.

Labels. We can’t live with them, we can live without them.

There are many sexual orientations, there’s asexual, bisexual, pansexual, heterosexual, homosexual, etc. Since I’m nowhere near asexual and heterosexual, I scratched those off my list.

Even at 20-something I needed a label. I hadn’t left high school. Well, not in my mind. So I tried to figure out if I was the preppy kid or the designated loner, the lesbian or the straight.

After coming out as lesbian when I was 21, I thought my bisexual days were long gone. That bisexuality was just a stop on the way to lesbian-land. My friends believed the same way. It was just how things were.

It took me a decade of going back and forth between men and women before I realized that just wasn’t the way things were.

Far from it! Many of us fall somewhere in the middle and then somewhere in the middle of that. For example, nowadays some kids have to come out as straight. They can be wrapped up in the gay and lesbian world because their parents are in it, and even act on being gay before they ever come out as straight.

As someone unlucky enough to be born after the turn of the century, the people I surrounded myself with weren’t so far evolved. I was cursed with everything being either/or, for example: left or right, bad or good, innocent or not so much, gay or straight.

The dichotomy of either lesbian or straight caused me to judge myself as not good enough. Sometimes I even considered myself a bad person, as some people called me a whore.

I tried hard to live up to one side of the rainbow; a task extremely difficult as I’m often more physically attracted to women but more romantically and emotionally attracted to men. I tend to get many things from women I don’t from men and vice versa. I thought going out with only women would finally make me a lesbian. While the fact that I came out as a lesbian, but still end up bringing guys home, made me certain there was something immensely wrong with me.

In this quest, I almost walked away from someone because they didn’t have the right equipment, no lady parts. I immediately regretted it as I started dating other people, who all fell short of the man who made me feel at complete peace for the first time in my life.

I stopped caring whether or not bisexuality existed and stopped blaming non-existent beer if I slept with a man.

After losing the second person I ever loved, I realized I didn’t need the reverse discrimination anymore. I stopped listening to so-called friends joke about how being bisexual is not good enough, and I decided not to walk away from love. After all, love is really all that matters, not sexual orientation. A label is really just a label.

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