Author Topic: Bi, pan, lesbian or something else?  (Read 3499 times)

Offline Wongy

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Bi, pan, lesbian or something else?
« on: Jun 14, 2013, 12:10:29 AM »
I haven't had the guts to ask this before so thank you to everyone that made this section happen :)

Basically I love, adore, crush on cis-women regularly. With only cis-females in my life forever I would probably be happy.

However I also find myself attracted to some trans* people and once in a blue moon the odd cis-man. I can't quantify exactly what I go for because I don't know and as such have always just been as lesbian.

It was easy to come out as a lesbian because it's 'neat' and saves explaining to guys why I just don't like them. I like effeminate people generally and most guys just don't twinge anything (other than my final nerve normally). Also the general guy odour is faintly revolting a lot of the time but the odd one, at a blue moon, sets me off and I think they smell nice.

I would also feel fraud-like if I IDed as pan because I just don't feel that attracted to everyone. I feel like I'm being picky and should just stick to women because that way noone else gets confused.

I'm not asking to be IDed as such but wonder whether anyone else finds they're more one way than the other and if others of you have hidden away that side? I will admit to hiding it from the scary lesbians that think you're wrong if you're not gold star :/
« Last Edit: Jun 14, 2013, 06:57:56 PM by Wongy »

NaughtyNat

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Re: More than lesbian but less than bi?
« Reply #1 on: Jun 14, 2013, 11:08:34 AM »
Basically I love, adore, crush on cis-women regularly. With only cis-females in my life forever I would probably be happy.

However I also find myself attracted to some trans* people and once in a blue moon the odd cis-man. I can't quantify exactly what I go for because I don't know and as such have always just been as lesbian.

Love your posting Wongy! :) This is exactly how I feel/am with my own sexuality...

I fall for people for WHO they are... Yes, my sexual attraction is by faaaaaaaaaaaar more leaned towards cis-women, but I wouldn't feel embarrassed to admit feelings or develop a relationship with a cis-man or a trans-person... It's nowhere near being "greedy" (as I've heard before), I am attracted to a person for their qualities, not their sex/gender...

Because of this, I find it difficult to "label" my sexuality - I like who/what i like and that's that :) I rarely think about what it should be classed as... But I guess "Bi" makes it a bit easier for my hetro family and friends to digest! :)

Whatever people might want to call it, I'm happy the way I am! :)

XxxX

Bizoute

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Re: More than lesbian but less than bi?
« Reply #2 on: Jun 14, 2013, 02:30:54 PM »
Do you have to ID, Wongy? (I don't know how to type that so it reads gently; I mean it gently.) Not all of us do. Sometimes my ID of choice is just "not straight."

I tend to be more attracted to one gender than the other, yes. (And sometimes to people who don't ID as having a gender.) I reckon the biggest thing is allowing that and getting comfortable with one's self and one's inclinations. What anyone else thinks is their own business.

Offline Night Nurse

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Re: More than lesbian but less than bi?
« Reply #3 on: Jun 14, 2013, 03:35:28 PM »
I haven't had the guts to ask this before so thank you to everyone that made this section happen :)

Basically I love, adore, crush on cis-women regularly. With only cis-females in my life forever I would probably be happy.

However I also find myself attracted to some trans* people and once in a blue moon the odd cis-man. I can't quantify exactly what I go for because I don't know and as such have always just been as lesbian.

It was easy to come out as a lesbian because it's 'neat' and saves explaining to guys why I just don't like them. I like effeminate people generally and most guys just don't twinge anything (other than my final nerve normally). Also the general guy odour is faintly revolting a lot of the time but the odd one, at a blue moon, sets me off and I think they smell nice.

I would also feel fraud-like if I IDed as pan because I just don't feel that attracted to everyone. I feel like I'm being picky and should just stick to women because that way noone else gets confused.

I'm not asking to be IDed as such but wonder whether anyone else finds they're more one way than the other and if others of you have hidden away that side? I will admit to hiding it from the scary lesbians that think you're wrong if you're not gold star :/

I don't think you're at all unusual in this, Wongy.

Generally I think sexual identity labels are only useful indicators, there's almost always some small print. Often quite a lot.

It's not your responsibility to stop other people being "confused". What's it to them, anyway?

I don't think the term "pan" means you have to be attracted to *everybody*; you can refine your interpretation of it to suit yourself.

The interpretation of "bisexual" that I find most useful is this one: I can be attracted to people of the same gender ID as me and people of other gender IDs. For me, that covers it nicely. It doesn't mean I fancy *everyone* or that I think the only kinds of people in the world are men and women.

Maybe I'm just really lucky but I know a lot of lesbians, including many who are "gold star" themselves, and the vast majority have been nothing but supportive of my choices.

In my experience, it's worth being open (tho you don't need to announce all your small print) if you can. I'm always so delighted when I say I'm bi and the person I'm talking to suddenly blossoms and says, "Oh, me too!" or just carries on as if nothing's changed but starts saying "lesbian and bi" instead of just "lesbian" (unless they mean just lesbian, of course). It's like a light coming on in the room, for me.
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onmyway

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Re: More than lesbian but less than bi?
« Reply #4 on: Jun 14, 2013, 06:41:38 PM »
^ that, pretty much.  Except I haven't always been so lucky in finding other women so supportive of my choices.

But yeah - bisexual doesn't mean (to me) that someone is 50/50.  I am definitely not.  I would say that I lie somewhere in between lesbian and bisexual, so I get to choose which label I use, if I use one at all.  I choose to use a label, but I don't feel everybody has to and I don't feel everybody has to use them to mean what I mean.  They are just shorthand.

I had a relationship with a trans-woman in the past.  She is a lesbian, I regarded that relationship as a relationship with a woman, full-stop.  It is not why I label myself bisexual.  I say I'm bisexual because once in a blue moon I am attracted to a man, and I have had relationships with men in the past.  Also, because I am open to relationships with people who are genderqueer, intersex, or do not use a gender label about themselves.  This last bit is what I find most limiting about the bisexual label - I am not convinced there are only two sexes or genders, in fact I know there aren't, so the "bi" bit rankles somewhat.  Seems to only make sense in a binary system.  However, as I and others have said, it is just shorthand after all.

I hope some of that makes sense  ;) I am in a bit of a rambly mood...

onmyway

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Re: More than lesbian but less than bi?
« Reply #5 on: Jun 14, 2013, 06:44:03 PM »
PS I am quite sure you meant nothing by it Wongy, and have no wish to attack/criticise your choice of words, but I do think the "less than" and "more than" shorthand could be a bit of minefield - some might not like what it infers.  As I say, I'm sure you did not mean that at all, but still I wanted to say it in case anyone is offended by it, it does read a little odd.

Offline MzB

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Re: More than lesbian but less than bi?
« Reply #6 on: Jun 14, 2013, 06:50:16 PM »
I thought that about the thread title, too, onmyway.

And I thought your post was very clarifying.

Offline TheLaughingMedusa

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Re: Bi, pan, lesbian or something else?
« Reply #7 on: Jun 14, 2013, 08:18:42 PM »
Yes, that makes a lot of sense to me too... I really struggle to 'decide' whether I'm lesbian or bi, because I'm SO rarely attracted to a man but it has happened and I guess could happen again. I prefer women in pretty much every way, but I do fully believe it's down to individual chemistry at the end of the day.

I'm also aware that I hesitate to use the 'bi' label because having long hair, painting my nails and wearing high heals often makes people assume that 'bi' reads as 'straight and wanting to experiment, but will always go back to men' which really isn't the case. But I also hate it when I realise that I'm defining myself to please / appease others, so all in all I feel very confused!

(And also kind of ok with being confused, even if that is a contradiction to what I've just said!). 

onmyway

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Re: Bi, pan, lesbian or something else?
« Reply #8 on: Jun 14, 2013, 08:24:49 PM »
I've read stuff written by women in the US where they identify themselves as Bi-lesbian.  Sometimes I think that's what would fit me best, but unfortunately I don't think anyone here in the UK would get it.  Well, maybe some people would, but I can imagine some being utterly confused and/or hostile to the notion and I'm not feeling up for the battle at the moment.

Offline Jenny Talia

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Re: Bi, pan, lesbian or something else?
« Reply #9 on: Jun 14, 2013, 09:02:04 PM »
I had so many conversations about this when I became engaged.  Suddenly I had people asking me, 'So what does this make you now?', and I had absolutely no idea.  Was I still gay?  Was I bisexual?  Can you be bisexual if you still feel like a lesbian?  Can you call yourself lesbian if you're married to a man?  It was made worse by the fact that there was a label out there that fit my situation beautifully - Queer - only I hated it.  Yuk yuk yuk.  I couldn't tell you why I hated queer but I just do. 

Eventually I remembered that it didn't matter what you called yourself, as labels are just preferences, not absolutes.  I didn't automatically start questioning my friends preferences when they showed interest in a man or lost their gold star, so why did I feel the need to agonise over mine? I fell in love with a person who made me happy, but that happiness did not inherently change my sexual preferences.  I can still be a lesbian inside, only now I am also socially bisexual. 

I'm a lot more chilled about the who thing now, I'm even relatively comfortable with the whole queer thing.  If we judged every LGBT girl out there who was sexually flexible we'd spend all of our days judging people rather than getting to know them.  I only have to jump on Facebook to remind myself of that.  Only the other day I chased up an old friend only to realise she's now hooked up with a boy!  I'm pleased for her as she seems happy and I was never a fan of her ex-gf.
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Honeybabs

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Re: Bi, pan, lesbian or something else?
« Reply #10 on: Jun 15, 2013, 08:12:21 AM »
I recall the word back in the day when I was bi was "lesbian-identified bisexual" which basically meant "functionally socially lesbian, occasional attraction to a guy, main attraction women"

which was basically what I was for a couple of years. though that wasn't exactly a "nice" label when dykes said it at the time. it was more of a mild accusation, but I thought it fit at the time.

also, queer was the word for those who weren't straight but didn't really fit in to any label neatly. it's sort of taken on a slightly different meaning these days, more political, but when it was being used in the circles I came out in, I used it because I dated pretty much only tg butches, whom didn't ID as women, or men. just their own thing. So I figured queer was the best way to describe my attractions... there was no other word except "transensual" which made me gag.

Queer, in the broader sense in non-descript and could mean anything that isn't straight. But I do admit that these days it has a bit of a "right-on" political bend to it that I find slightly annoying. More so here on the left coast of north america than in england. But if I do use it, with lesbian, people understand that I'm fine with dating transgender butch along with boyish, non-ID'd lesbians.

It's a mine field sometimes  ::) sometimes I just say "lesbian" if I'm with lesbians and "queer" when I'm at a queer event. I loath to hyphenate  :P


Offline Danger Rabbit

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Re: Bi, pan, lesbian or something else?
« Reply #11 on: Jun 15, 2013, 09:03:06 AM »
I like to define myself as a gay bisexual.  It's not just about my sexuality but also my affinity with gay culture.

My friend who is bisexual sexually but who would only pursue serious relationships with men i would define as a straight bisexual and she said she thought that definition fitted her nicely.

I reckon most of the bisexuals on this board would probably be lesbian-identified.
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Bizoute

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Re: Bi, pan, lesbian or something else?
« Reply #12 on: Jun 15, 2013, 09:09:03 AM »

I reckon most of the bisexuals on this board would probably be lesbian-identified.

I hear you, but it's better not to assume. I'm not a lesbian-identified bisexual. The word 'lesbian' in any context doesn't fit me. I'm pansexual/queer/bi/me.

Popsicle

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Re: Bi, pan, lesbian or something else?
« Reply #13 on: Jun 15, 2013, 10:23:14 AM »
Both the women I've had long term relationships with are bi, but neither comes anywhere close to being 50/50 attraction wise when it comes to gender. My ex, who is now with a man, is on average more into men and prefer dating men. My girlfriend on the other hand is on average more into females and only dates females. Since they both seem wired the same way i.e. they both have a strong preference gender wise, I assumed that's how bisexuality works.

But I should know better than to attempt to generalise anything from two observations.
« Last Edit: Jun 15, 2013, 10:25:48 AM by Popsicle »

Offline Jenny Talia

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Re: Bi, pan, lesbian or something else?
« Reply #14 on: Jun 15, 2013, 10:50:43 AM »
All the bisexuals I've known have had a strong preference towards one or the other.  Except the occasional person who really doesn't know, like a friend of mine in Australia.  She went from a 7 year relationship with a man, to a 14 year relationship with a woman.  If you ask her if she's gay she shrugs.  Her gf's gay and that's enough.

All the people I've known who have strongly ID'd as queer could have just as easily ID'd themselves as pan.  Perhaps that's why I don't like it.  There is nothing pan about me, but then what is pan really?  For a while when I lived in Sydney, it was all the rage for straight-identified bisexual kinksters to call themselves pan.
You may be wondering what a map of the trade winds of the North Atlantic is doing on page 134 of a book entitled Is Sex Necessary? In our opinion a map of the trade winds is equally useful in understanding women as a cross section of the female anatomy -James Thurber

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