Sythyry (sythyry) wrote,

OOC: On Choosing To Be Queer

Some people, many of them anti-gay, say that homosexuality is a choice. Here's my story on choosing to be queer, and not choosing to be queer.
I'm queer three ways. (1) I identify as neuter-gendered. (2) I do not pick my lovers on the basis of their genitalia. (3) I am polyamorous.
(1) neuter is a bad thing, and I did not choose it.
(2) pansexual is a good thing, and I did not choose it.
(3) polyamory is a good thing, and I *did* choose it.
I have always hated being masculine. The physical bits are the worst, with the social aspects a close second. This half is probably similar to M2F people. However, I'm not M2F: I don't want to be feminine any more than I want to be masculine. I don't want to be personally involved in the gender system at all.
As far as I can tell, there is *no* upside to being neuter-gendered. It makes me uncomfortable and unhappy in my own skin and my own communities (except the genderqueer community). It's definitely not good for sexplay; details available in private. I haven't figured out how to have any fun with it. Except, I guess, when I do interesting things with gender in my fiction.
I didn't choose to be neuter. I discovered that I was, after a long time of poking at gender identities. The discovery felt most like someone who has been sick with something mysterious and unidentified for years suddenly, finally, discovering that their condition has a name and some medical reality.
I'd like to choose *not* to be neuter. Except, I can't.
I measure my sexual orientation by observing myself: noting who catches my eye, who I get crushes on, what kind of porn works for me, that sort of thing. Those observations are not heavily sex-biased. I don't like highly masculine men, or sometimes highly feminine women, but the other 70% of the population and the gender spectrum is nice to look at.
I'm going to call this "pansexual" because that's the closest standard word I can think of before caffeine.
I didn't choose to be pansexual. I'm pretty happy with it though. It doesn't limit my behavior or my happiness the way being neuter does.
If left to my own devices, I would have been monogamous. Perhaps with occasional cheating, more likely with occasional nearly-cheating and feeling terrible about it for years afterwards.
But I met Vicki, who *is* naturally polyamorous. And part of the price of being with Vicki is dealing with her being polyamorous. Well worth it! But it's some emotional work anyhow: a fair bit at the beginning, rather less now.
After years of envying her dating success, I decided to try it out myself. The first while was not brilliant. My current second relationship *is* good polyamory, for which Charlie and Vicki get all the credit.
I did choose, intentionally and consciously, to be polyamorous.
It wasn't a casual choice. It was essential for being with the love of my life.
It isn't an easy choice for me. Even after twenty-five years, it takes significant amounts of conscious work for me and for Vicki. And even with that work, I don't feel like I do polyamory very well, compared to the innately poly people in my community. I feel like a human swimming with dolphins: after all this practice, I'm a pretty good swimmer for a human, but the dolphins are infinitely better and always will be.
It was worth it. It would be worth it just to be one of Vicki's life partners. Charlie is a delightful bonus.
I do know what it's like to choose a romantic orientation. It's hard! It's constant work. It wakes you up at night and sits on your chest and asks "Is this who you really are?", and the best reply, "This is who I really want to be", only chases it off for so long. It's holding your boyfriend's hand and getting a quick anxiety attack of "What if your wife finds out?", and the best reply, "She knows, she gave permission, she's right behind us holding her girlfriend's hand." doesn't quite bring calm.
I also know what it's like to innately be queer, in a way that society doesn't approve of. That's hard in a very different way, even in my very first-world-problem situation. You constantly have to work to be some approximation of your true self. The world at large often doesn't even see who you are, and when they see they are generally unfriendly and unhelpful, at best.
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