I grew up thinking girls were beautiful. I also thought guys were beautiful. I simply thought that humans were beautiful and thought nothing of my sexuality.
I've lived my life without a real relationship, and to this day, I still haven't met someone with whom I've been able to have a romantic relationship.
Even without having had a real relationship, I started questioning my sexuality in 2015. I was 16 at the time, and my life was a mess in all honesty. I was a mess. I was dealing with personal issues, and on top of that, I noticed how I would think of girls the same way I thought of guys. I starting wondering if I could be gay. It wasn't too hard for me; I'll be honest here. I realized that I was attracted to girls and guys. I initially thought it might be just a stereotypical phase, but I still embraced it.
I started writing about girls and guys, and I found myself liking girls more and more. As time went on, I learned more and more about the LGBT+ world and all the different orientations and identities. I even questioned my gender identity for a while, but I soon realized that I was completely happy being a girl.
With that out of the way, I wondered about my sexuality. I could be attracted girls, guys, people who were non-binary, gender-fluid people, and everyone in between. I then came across the word "pansexual". It just...fit. It fit me perfectly, and it was almost as if it chose me rather than me choosing to don the label. I don't think people should be ruled by their labels or be judged based on them, but I think if a person finds that a "label" is an accurate characteristic for them (such as me with pansexuality), it's fine—especially if the person likes it. I love being pansexual and referring to myself as such. It's liberating because the world is my oyster. My sexuality is not limited by gender or gender identity. I can fall in love with people as people, and for that, I am tremendously grateful.
However, this realization hasn't come without its setbacks. While I do accept myself, I have felt pressure to "pick sides". A lot of bisexual people have probably experienced this sort of thing, and I as a pansexual person have as well. I can't choose who I fall in love with, and being judged for it is just flat-out horrible.
Ironically, I feel more pressured to like girls. Perhaps I feel like I am not truly pansexual if I like boys. That is, of course, absolutely ridiculous because even if I marry a man, a woman, or someone else, I will still be pansexual. Yet, I do feel that pressure. But ultimately, I'm glad that I'm pansexual. Being able to love people as people is something that I love.
One final steppingstone: earlier this year, I came out to my dad through a story. That story is actually posted on my profile—"Shockwave" is its name. Through the help of two people I consider my older sisters as well as my friends, of course, I finally did it. I finally came out to my dad. He took it incredibly well, and he's now even gotten to the point where he mentions my future "girlfriend or boyfriend".
I feel that my story isn't filled with tremendous hardships like other people's. However, that doesn't make it any less valid. It was a journey to find myself, and I'm still on that journey. Sexuality is fluid, and I never intend to limit myself in any way—perhaps that's why pansexuality fits me so well.
YOU ARE READING
Since it's pride month, I've decided to publish a short piece regarding my journey to realizing my pansexuality. © 2018 Erika Smith (jawdroppingluke) All Rights Reserved