LABELS AND FABLES

I don’t have any New Years Resolutions WOO! I didn’t have any last year but I decided to write down nice things that happened throughout the year (which did last a few weeks at least) and keep them in a tin. I found them the other day and it made me happy, so resolving not to make new years’ resolutions was a great plan, evidently. The ‘Rememberlutions Jar’ is a lot better than creating unrealistic expectations for myself and will help me see the positives in my life. I think I blogged about this last year but who knows. I might try to be more consistent with my blog, but I say this every few months so we’ll see. I am settling into the new routine a bit now so everything is beginning to seem more manageable (other than my body clock, which likes to be all over the place gaaaaah). Hence why I’m writing here at midnight on the first day back at work after Christmas…whoops.

I have recently become OBSESSED with YouTube – vloggers, animators, the general community, theories on channels… it is brilliant. It is with the internet that I see my life represented: there are always two extremes. The internet has been my ‘rock’ when I have been alone. There are people I can relate to, there are outlets for people to share their views, it gives me a way of keeping in contact with people when I am unable to talk or communicate effectively with those physically in the vicinity. Some might say everyone does this and it’s antisocial but it really is a great support when one is prone to anxiety. There are stupid things, fun things, educational things, videos, articles, real people, characters, spaces for everyone. The other extreme, and the fear of vlogging I have, is of course the ‘haters’. I’m not going to dwell on that – it’s self explanatory and they don’t deserve my time.

We’ll see if I get anyway…new to the whole editing thing and need to scope out what I want the aim to be so starting up a kind of silly try-out channel (Pyjama Diaries is the link if you want to check it out) to play around with some ideas while I figure out where I want the main channel to go. I mean, obviously it’s location will be youtube but in terms of metaphorically ‘going’ somewhere, I’m unsure what tone to take. I would quite like to be educational and do societal commentary-esque stuff, but there’s so many brilliant ones out there already, I think I have some brainstorming to do. I could do a spider diagram…wow this evening just got even more exciting!

AND NOW… time for the actual post…

 

 

I love writing; I love words; and I love language. The general gist of this post is to provide commentary on my view of the world, why we should question societal standards and enforced binaries and challenge the patriarchy in order to be our true selves.

We’ll start with labels: some clarifications, the meaning of them, their relevance and ones with which I identify.

Bisexuality does not mean anti-trans. 

People are just starting to realise what pansexuality is, and if I’m honest, one could argue that I am ‘technically‘ pan too – if you’re going to stick to a strict confined definition and impose it on someone else. BUT (yup, there’s already two big buts in this post, I have a feeling it may be yet another lengthy rambling)…I’m not. Because I don’t identify with that label and your identity is something you decide, not something you should force to fit others’ standards or worldview. Saying I am bisexual does not, for me, exclude transpersons, in my opinion this term already encompasses them: capable of attraction to two or more genders.

Why do I not use the ‘pan’ label?

I have only recently admitted to myself and a handful of friends that I am capable of feeling sexual attraction towards women, thus the label I have heard growing up – ‘bisexual’ – made sense as something that I could relate to as I realised I had these feelings. I’m kind of ‘out’ but also not – depending on who you speak to. It’s not that I hide it (anymore), it’s that I don’t shout about it, and when you have a boyfriend, or have had boyfriends, people (being the heteronormative bananaheads that they are) automatically presume that I must be ‘a straight female’ fitting into some socially constructed box that has no account for my personal feelings. Hence, the fact I’m not even properly ‘out’ as being attracted to women as well, and definitely not to my family, I’m only just feeling comfortable having found a label that does seem to be relatable. Personally, I do feel that people should identify as they…well, identify. Sounds pretty simple when you put it like that! I guess the issue is people not accepting those who identify as themselves for a lot of reasons (MAYBE I CAN VLOG THESE REASONS BECAUSE THERE ARE LOTS OF POINTS TO DISCUSS HERE). Throwing words like ‘pansexuality’ at my parents would completely confuse them, and I would not even make them aware that I am bi, even though they know this word and its definition, but I’m only recently welcoming it as a fact of my life so I need to have some time to sit comfortably with the word without anyone else interfering.

Bi erasure is a real phenomenon. 

This makes me really frustrated, because we get it from some straight people…and some gay people. A lot of people aren’t openly bisexual and this perpetuates the myth that we are ‘non-existent’, which only serves to further push back in the closet anyone who has understood their feeling for themselves and not seen them to be validated. If you’re a bi girl, it’s presumed that you’re straight. If you’re a bi guy, it’s presumed you’re gay. This is ridiculous, and obviously originates from the patriarchal notion that ‘men’ should take the lead in society and be the authority on relationships (which is obviously not true). Much more on the patriarchy throughout my blogging I would imagine. Often, (some) lesbians view bi girls differently to lesbians, which is odd because you are feeling the same attraction, even if you can also be attracted to men and all this does is actually serve to enforce the fact that women should pair up with men – this cannot be their intention, and it is probably a subconscious effect of the hegemonic influence of patriarchal authority. If you’re a bi girl in a ‘hetero’ relationship, everybody assumes you are straight. Same reasoning, I suppose. This makes me so mad. In case you couldn’t tell. Just because you’re in a relationship with someone of the opposite gender, it doesn’t mean that suddenly your sexuality is not valid, just as if you were a single heterosexual person you would not be invalidated just because you weren’t in a relationship with someone of the opposite gender – that would be stupid.

(Disclaimer: This erasure doesn’t just happen to bisexual people, obviously – trans people, asexual people and other members of the queer community get this too, and don’t even get my started on double discrimination…but that will all be addressed to as full an extent as possible in another post at some stage.)

If you want to know more about labels and identity, check out Ashley’s channel below, which has some very educational commentary and discussion of gender and sexuality, in a mature way and in a safe space.

WATCH ASHLEY MARDELL SHE IS MY FAVOURITE PERSON ON THE INTERNET AT THE MOMENT. Seriously, she’s super cool. This is the kind of role model young people need. I am a little bit in love with her. But she has a fiancée 😥 …AND THEY ARE SO CUTE. They also happen to be my favourite couple on the internet. It totally sounds like I’m stalking her but really, her channel is super-informative and I seriously recommend favouring this kind of education over listening to some of the things that your school and your parents come up with…

 

SO guessing the next post I need to do will be more LGBTQIA+ related talk, maybe some more on gender and definitely something on sex education and attitudes to sex (see Hannah Witton’s channel for some interesting sex positive discussion).

See what I mean about there already being some great people out there educating the world one youtube video at a time?

How do you identify? Do any of you struggle with labels and just being yourself without people questioning it?

Here’s my romantic and sexual spectrum as it stood about a month ago, in the form of a chart-type-thing. This can change, because my sexuality is fluid and gender is not binary but just to give you a very rough idea of who I am:

 

spectrum plotting!

FUN SPECTRUM CHART. Get creative and make your own one. Another brilliant concept of Ashley and other like-minded wonderful humans.

To paraphrase Chris Evans, welcome to another year on Planet Earth.

E.M. x

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