West Torrance High School

Column: Let’s talk sexuality

Sexuality. A topic most high school students are afraid to discuss. And it makes sense why.

In the past few years, the LGBT+ community has made a path so great in society, it has impacted the way many think and feel about each other. However, despite our country being more open to the idea of being sexually attracted to someone who isn’t of the opposite gender, we are still scared.

This is because sexuality is so suppressed. Our society was built “under God,” and it is likely that we often value what was supposed to be rather than what could be. Because of this we have a weird sexuality struggle.

Men are told to be “manly.” And this is constantly being drilled into them, so then we don’t allow ourselves to accept men when they want to wear makeup and have a flamboyant attitude. These men who wear makeup can identify themselves as being a part of the spectrum, but they can also identify as straight, like Belgian musician Ian Thomas. But in “real world,” these men seem like women and even if they are more of a man than any “manly man” and more of a woman than any women these “manly men” can get, they are constantly being threatened for being who they want to be.

Now there are some women who are called “dykes” and “fags” in a negative way in the way they dress and present themselves doesn’t correspond with what Hollywood displays. Although actresses like Kate Moennig and Evan Rachel Woods have shut some people up, tomboy still isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.

And the reason we struggle to accept a lot of people who don’t fit into the “norm” of society is because we learn about sex before sexuality. Actually sexual identity wasn’t even taught to me. I remember in the fourth grade when we were having “the talk” and I didn’t understand much because so much was left out. There’s a man and a woman. Things happen. Only that can happen. That’s it.

I was even more confused when I found out my school nurse had a girlfriend, which made me question everything about the talk. And because no one in my school was educated, it was okay to use terms like “gay” and “queer” in the negative connotations.

But “gay” means two people of the same gender are attracted to each other. And “queer” is a term that is different for everyone in the LGBT+ community. It’s an umbrella term. I knew this, so when people made comments like “That’s so gay,” I didn’t know what to do because I was CONFUSED.

And I think it made me feel weird because while everyone else saw “gay” as bad, I didn’t care. Just like now. I never cared about race, sexuality, or religion. It’s always been about the person.

Nonetheless, it has taken me quite long to even begin to think about what my sexual preference is because I never knew about anything as a child.  It’s automatically assumed that you are straight.

Then I watched “Rent” in seventh grade. “And out of the abyss,” I saw Maureen and Joanne and understood same-sex relationships a little bit better. I fell in love Collins and Angel. And I respected Mimi and Roger despite them having AIDS, which was a big “uh-oh” to a lot of people I knew. And then I realized I wasn’t straight. That’s why I cared when people used some words in the derogatory form. But I also wasn’t gay. I wasn’t bi. I wasn’t asexual. I wasn’t demisexual. I wasn’t…

I realized sexuality is fluid. Our emotions change every day. Attractions change every day. Relationships change every day. Nothing is ever solidified. I never “came out” because I can’t define myself. My relationship status has never existed because I can’t keep one. So with that my sexuality “status” is not a thing because if I label myself, I know that a door will open the next day and I’ll be somewhere else in moments to come.

We are so transfixed on what is “cool” in society that we forget to accept those that don’t fit into “cool.” It’s important for questioning people to see that it’s not abnormal for sexual orientation to change as we get older. Having change doesn’t mean that there’s anything wrong with you. And there will always be someone who doesn’t have a fixed sexual orientation, but it can be an exciting thing to explore.

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