Out of Which Closet? (My Husband Does Do That Part 3)

Not my mom.  So who am I then?   Or should I say what am I?  Sometimes my husband and I feel like we are different, gay perhaps, or maybe queer?  Is there more to being gay than the sexual preference part?  Where is the line between gender and sexual orientation?

I love and have sex with a man, but I don’t feel straight.  Women are sexy too.  I think I’d love being with a woman, but I can’t say I’d prefer it to a man.  But I also feel like there’s more to my not feeling straight than that, so calling myself bi doesn’t feel right either.

Perhaps it goes back to not believing in gender as most people see it.  Labels of gay and straight necessarily imply hard lines between male and female.  To define one’s sexuality by “who” or “which” one is attracted to, one must buy into the concept that there are clear males and clear females.

What about those who do not fit neatly into those categories?   Did you know there are roughly as many intersex people as there are Jews?  That’s a sizable portion of the population, and it doesn’t even begin to cover those along the transgender spectrum!

I went to a talk once where I was introduced to the term “omnisexual,” meaning attracted to basically anyone, because you reject the notion of dichotomized gender roles.  Is that what I am?

How does one “come out” as omnisexual, pansexual, genderqueer?  And does one have to look the part?  I surely don’t.  And what about the other aspects of my lifestyle?

My husband and I don’t live as male and female the way most people seem to.  We don’t organize our lives around gender… at all.  None of the daily tasks we do, the way we raise our kids, the way we organize work in and outside the home, the way we relate to each other, the power structure in our relationship, none of it is based on the fact that he’s a man and I’m a woman.

I often feel like this is my dirty little secret.  I don’t know how to talk about it.  There’s no word for it.  I don’t know how to find others like me.  This must be how it feels to be gay before one realizes there’s a concept for “it.”  How amazing would it be to be able to go to a bar or a website where everyone is, well, whatever I am?

It always amazes me that so many people seem to exist on the earth who fit into already existing categories.  There’s another “man” who “has sex with men,” must be a “gay man.”  Hell, there’s even a category for people who like animals!

What about the spaces between the categories?  What about new categories?  Isn’t our desire really way more complicated and varied than the available labels we have?  Where’s my category?  I want to come out, but I can’t figure out which closet I’m in!

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7 thoughts on “Out of Which Closet? (My Husband Does Do That Part 3)

  1. I always found it funny that people assume I’m straight because I happened to partner with a man and raise kids with him. I thought we didn’t organize our lives around gender either… until recently. Now I feel ensnared. I’ve worked part time for years and he always worked full time. I did a whole lot more of family organizing, and yes, more of the housework too. It was a compromise for me because I gave up a lot of professional advancement. But there were things I wanted to do for/with the children that didn’t seem to occur to him. Part of raising the children with our values meant being active in the community. I’m not a superwoman, I couldn’t have done those things and work full time simultaneously. Now I’m facing these complaints that he didn’t think he’d ever have to shoulder the burden of retirement and college tuition alone. Huh?!

  2. Oh gosh Kathy, that sounds incredibly frustrating. I find sharing parenting tasks constant negotiation and communication, and there are times when both Seth and I feel we are doing more and not being recognized. I could easily see one or both of us looking back and feeling things had been inequitable and the other not agreeing. Marriage is HARD!! And I’ve only been at it 7 years! I wish I had better advice on this. To your other point, I find it very frustrating that my pansexuality is completely invisible to people because of my lifestyle. Then again, it is partly my fault for not being out to very many people.

  3. Not organizing things around gender? That makes you my my family’s normal and my sister’s normal and all of my closest friends’ normal. Maybe society at large will catch up. Being a SAHP doesn’t drop me into mommy/girly stuff like you might think. I suppose it is because I take for granted that SAHP is a job for the parent is best suited and financially the best job parent should work. I hope half time and home daddies start working out better more often so it is less gendered soon.

    The whole increasing LGBT XYZ thing is making me nuts..Maybe when could all be just quuer or something to be all inclusive rather than adding letters. I want to make sure ace is in there and oh all the things I can’t even think of

    • Glad you have so many people in your life who have set things up in an egalitarian way, that’s great to hear. So… what is “ace.” This may be one I’m not aware of. Please inform!

  4. More on gender…

    You don’t sound remotely genderqueer to me but either omni or pan would work if you are attracted to trans, intersex, and genderqueer folk as well as well delineated men and women.

    Coming out? When you want to tell people your orientation you say. “I’m pansexual” The way I’d say “I’m bi” People will ask you what you mean and you go into your explanation 😉 This is BTW why I identify as bi, most people identify as a man or a woman ever if their parts or roles don’t match up so it fits well enough and I don’t care all that much. If you do go ahead and take pan and explain *a lot*, it will be a great service to everyone because it will get the term out there. Please to use pan because it and omni are the same and pan is the one people are mostly using so lack of confusion is good.

    Honestly a lot of this just sounds like egalitarian feminism. I am raising my kids to understand that gender roles are bullshit. My son and daughter 22, 19 and I all randomly shave our legs and armpits when we feel like it. I wear dresses almost all the time, my daughter almost never does and my son does occasionally. She and I wear makeup when we feel like it. The idea of men’s or women’s work or hobbies strike all of use as insane. I fight and shoot, I can do minor car repair and fix house stuff, I look ultra femme about half the time, love babies, play with playmobil forest and princess stuff, do crafts, I’m a math and science geek…My daughter plans to go in bio-stat.

    My son doesn’t seem any less a man to me because he shaves his legs and wears dresses and I don’t seem like and less of a woman to me because I think 50 sniper rifles are cooler than celebrities. Maybe that is why I don’t feel queer, or maybe it is because I also feel comfortable with stereotypically girly stuff. I am just as happy in stockings and 5 inch stilettos as in combat boots, for me it is exclusively a context thing. I talked to the kids about what was only for women and only for men. We came up with breastfeeding and being a Navy SEAL.

    BTW if you don’t like guns I would be happy to refrain from mentioning them again, it is just the least femme thing I could think of.

    I hope you don’t mind this spate of replies but I just found your blog and I have so much that I want to say. You are addressing many issues that are critical in todays society and I love the way you think about them. I also want to encourage you. It sounds like you are in a social circle of mainstream meh feminism and sexuality. It doesn’t have to be like that, there are other things out here, welcome to the radicals!!!

    • HI Falcon, welcome. Wow, thanks for the awesome examples of flexible gender roles within your family… very cool. Please don’e apologize for all the comments, I’m thrilled that you are interested in the blog, and I’m always happy to get comments. Guns are welcome here as is anything that doesn’t involve hatred. I’m not a huge fan, but that’s fine. I too would like to get the pansexual idea out there more… still working on getting more comfortable “coming out.”

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