Straight until proven fabulous

Abstract painting with colored stripes in red, green, and blue in the background and a rainbow in the lower right hand side.
Title photo by Steve Johnson on Unsplash.

The video essay Maybe You Haven’t Met The Right Person Yet by David J Bradley is a fantastic exploration of asexuality and the broader meaning of “sexuality”. It approaches the topic with humor but doesn’t shy away from the seriousness. One key takeaway for me: You don’t have to be one thing. A rainbow in nature is not quantized, it is smooth like a wave. Let me explain…

People tend to stuff other people into hard categories. She is female. He is male. This person is straight. That person is gay. This works if you are a government which can enforce arbitrary binary attributes that have to be stamped on an ID card. But the world out there is quite different and a lot less well-defined.

I consider myself somewhere in between bisexual and gray asexual. Sounds confusing and I assure you it is. It took me a decade to figure this out. During my schooldays I was attracted to several boys as well as girls. At the time I didn’t know this is an actual thing, I dismissed the “boy side” of attraction. Society teaches us to be straight by default.

About a year and a half ago on my then-daily commute I accidentally stumbled into someone from the past I really liked (and still do like, but I have since moved to 100 % remote work, so no commute anymore thus no talking to random people). This was the perfect trigger to finally think about my feelings for him and some schoolmates and friends in my teenage years (whoa… sounds as if I were a hundred years old, but no, I’m 25). It was then that I discovered attraction to every gender is indeed a thing.

But what about gray asexuality? How can someone be and not be attracted to other people at the same time? It definitely works and for me has been a development over the last few years. For three years I shared a flat with a friend. While he was all about “mating”, I couldn’t care less. If someone asks me whether I’m interested in a relationship, my answer is usually “Yeah… no… maybe… probably not”.

There you have it: Schrödinger’s sexuality. I’m bisexual / pansexual and sometimes asexual at the same time. You must take a “measurement” of my sexuality at any given moment to let the superposition collapse. I kind of like it this way. Why should I pin myself down? The rainbow is smooth and not discrete.