Free your sexuality, free yourself

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Photo credit: Jerry Guo

Gay, straight, bisexual: as a university student in British Columbia, I am fairly confident that you know what these words mean, and you have more than likely identified yourself as one of these three options at some point

These are words we hear thrown around often as concrete, unnegotiable labels that tend to feel inescapable. This is nothing new. When it comes to a human’s sexual orientation, being put into an inflexible box is all too common — most of us have come to expect and even occupy fixed sexual identities.

There have always been those who argue that sexuality is far more fluid than mainstream society would have us believe, but until recently it was considered more of a fringe idea than an accepted reality. You see, things have been changing. As a society we have gone from discussing Lesbians and Gays, to LGB, then to LGBTQ+; it’s been over a decade-long process.

However, with celebrities like Caitlyn Jenner publicly transitioning, these discussions have not just hit the mainstream but have become part of celebrity culture. While some are still adamantly heteronormative, many of us have expanded our views to include and accept all orientations (as we should).

Our generation has had a front row seat for witnessing this cultural shift. But while we generally accept homosexuality, Western society still places shackles on the idea of gender fluidity, rejecting any movement outside of the three fixed sexual identities we are ‘allowed’ to occupy. Even bisexuality, I feel, is still placed outside most mainstream discourses, so the idea of a fluid continuum is the next frontier.

Many people’s sexuality will not be as definitive as ‘gay and ‘straight,’ and this is completely normal.

Is it truly realistic that amongst the 7.125 billion people that live on this planet, we are only capable of craving love and intimacy from one specific gender? Even considering the boundless complexities of the human mind? The reality is that our sexualities fall on a spectrum from heterosexuality to homosexuality, which could also be referred to as the Kinsey scale, developed by sexologist Alfred Kinsey in 1953.

Of course, one can be completely straight, gay, or bisexual, as these all fall on to the spectrum. But many other people’s sexuality will not be as definitive, and this, too, is completely normal. Some people may be attracted a little more to men than to women, or may feel physical attractions to women but more emotional attractions to men. The balances are infinite, and they are real.

Even scientific research has shown that many people possess the capability to love anyone, regardless of their sex or gender identification. Attraction stems from a deeper chemistry, on an individual case-by-case basis; not from preconceived notions and conditioning of our own (and other’s) sexual orientations.

This change in thinking opens all kinds of sex-positive doors; a rejection of a simplistic label defining the single most complex and intimate part of us. And for those not so sure who they like, or those sure they do not belong with only one gender, they could find their point on the continuum — which, in itself, is not entirely fixed, as people could slide back and forth on the scale at any point.

We cannot deny the existence of the sexuality spectrum, one that forces us to reconsider our sexuality, and fosters a positive and realistic perspective on a topic that has generated so much needlessly negative controversy. Without gender and sexuality labels we would all feel more free to be who we really are; a shift in thinking that will help make this world a better place.