Watching the “Cait Jenner show” on the “E entertainment” channel, I must say I am honestly impressed with how she has put herself out there to help others try understand Transgender people.
However, there remain a many sexual orientations and gender identities that people still don’t understand, or are not even aware of. Trust me, there are more than even I realised …. and that’s impressive!
It’s 2016, the 21st century, yet we are still not being educated on these important issues. My god, sexuality is one of the most important aspects of one’s, anyone’s, life; and yet so many in our society are simply ignorant of the vast diversity in sexuality and gender identity that exists within our communities!
In the world of sex and relationships, this diversity is far more accepted and open than it has ever been. And life is more interesting and far better for it. These days, there should be no reason or justification for ‘hiding in the closet’ or being afraid to speak about your sexuality or gender identity. We are all human and equal, no matter our sexuality, and no matter what gender we are, have been or choose to become.
During my recent trip to Bangkok, I really got to understand the third gender – so-called ‘lady-boys’. I was overwhelmed how natural and accepted it is, particularly in comparison with the approach to transgender people I have witnessed in Australia and the UK
In school, I was only taught about ‘straight’ relationships. You know, those between one man and one woman, along the lines where they meet at or after school, have sex a couple of times, get married, buy a house, have a baby or two and live happily ever after ….. Yeah, right! How many of you actually had it happen this way?!
It will not surprise you to learn I chose a different route. I had relationships with men and women, had two kids with two fathers (and the associated bitter break ups), skipped marriage, rented houses, became a single parent, full-time working mum, got engaged (skipped marriage again), went into rehab, bought and sold apartments, went to college, dated and had lots of casual sex, kids left home, went travelling, went to college again, moved to Australia and then started a new career at 40! Yes, I have definitely lived the life of someone double my age, that’s for sure.
One thing I can say was the right decision for me was to do it my way. Why would I want to be a clone of anyone else … if we were all the same, it would be damn right boring!
Anyway, back to sexual and gender diversity. I thought it might be helpful to introduce you, at least, to the lexicon of the range of sexuality and gender identities. So, here are fifteen types of recognised sexualities. As you consider them, remember each one is human and equal to one another. There may be more, and you will possibly know someone different from you sexually,or will at some time in your life.
Heterosexual: The only one we were taught about at school – you know, the boy meets girl thing. This is probably the most common of sexualities and, historically at least, the one most openly accepted in all countries.
Homosexual: Sexual attraction between two people of the same gender – male and male or female and female. There are many other words that cover this type of sexuality such as gay and lesbian etc…
Bi-sexual: Sexual attraction to both the opposite sex and the same-sex as yourself. You could like dating and be sexually attracted to men and women at the same time.
Asexual: This is also known as non sexuality, which means a lack of sexual attraction towards others. Yes, a sexuality without a desire for sex.
Aromantic: This is when a person experiences little or no sexual attraction to others, very similar to asexual people. They do not lack emotional or personal connection, they simply have no instinctual need to develop connections of a romantic nature. They can have just as much need for empathetic support of romantics, however their needs can be met in a platonic (ie. non-sexual) way.
Graysexual: This is someone who falls somewhere in the middle between an asexual and a sexual person. People of this sexuality may also identify themselves as gay, straight, or any other sexual identity outside of the binary.
Polysexual: This is where it gets interesting. Sexual attraction to more than one gender but the person does not wish to be known as Bi-sexual as this would imply that there are only two binary sexes. In my opinion, this is one that needs to be more recognised especially, as I truly believe in more genders.
Pansexual: Sexual attraction towards people regardless of their gender. This is also known as omnisexual. Some pansexuals refer to themselves as ‘gender blind’, as gender to them is insignificant in determining if they will be sexually attracted.
Transsexual: This is when a person sees themselves of a physical sex that is not the same as their own biological one. Some people experience discomfort in the body they are born in, and have a desire to be of the opposite gender. An example would be a male being born male and uncomfortable with this and with a desire to change to female – or vice versa.
Demisexual: Sexual attraction is only felt when a strong bond has been formed with someone. This is more about an emotional connection than a physical attraction.
Demiromantic: Similar to the demisexual, the individual does not feel romantic attraction unless they have already formed a strong emotional bond with a person.
Lithromantic: A person who experiences romantic love but does not want their feelings to be reciprocated. It has also been noted they may or may not be ok with romantic relationships.
Cisgender: This to a vast majority (99% of the population according to some studies). Cisgender is the gender you were born with. It’s similar to heterosexual. Some people use this term to indicate that they understand gender politics and believe people are the same, no matter what sexuality or gender.
Skollosexual: This refers to sexual attraction to non-binary identified individuals – those who do not identify as cisgender.
Queerplatonic: These are based on relationships that are not of a romantic nature but they involve a very close emotional connection that are deeper or more intense than what is traditionally considered a friendship.
Life should be lived with an open mind, embracing adventure and finding your own happiness, including in particular your own sexuality. There is so much more to life than stressing about what people think of you and your sexuality. Be you at all times, follow your heart, and your chance to find someone who will love you unconditionally, no matter what sexuality and gender you and they are.
Absolutely, do not pretend to love someone else more than you do just to be accepted. Trust me, the best people I have ever met are the ones who have lived their lives for themselves, explored themselves and life, and have not been afraid to be who they found out they are. Remember, life only comes around once. So be who you are and be with whoever makes you happy.
So, there you have some term to think about. But I would encourage you to think deeper than that. Think about who you are; who your friends are; who you are attracted to; and who they might be attracted to. And respect that others may and will feel the same or differently to you. Despite what a number of institutions might tell us (churches & so on), there is no right or wrong in this debate. It is what it is. We are who we are.
.As writer John Steinbeck famously wrote in his classic novel, East of Eden – “What freedom men and women could have, were they not constantly tricked and trapped and enslaved and tortured by their sexuality! The only drawback in that freedom is that without it one would not be a human. One would be a monster.”
Tomorrows article is Truthful Tuesday’s questions and answers followed on wednesday on the different types of genders amongst us.