Labels are for Soup Cans

“It’s insane to assume that everyone who identifies as one thing, has the same understanding of the world. I feel like labels really discourage individualization.”

491b925d5f7d6577b50df588fd18ffd5If you found the title of this blog to be clever or amusing, I did too. That’s why, when I first started to open up about my sexuality and everyone just had to ask the age-old questions: “What are you?” “Are you a lesbian?” “Do you still like boys?”, I simply answered by saying one thing: “I’m Fransexual.” It took me a really long time to be able to identify as anything. I wasn’t sure how to call myself, because I didn’t understand my sexuality just yet. But the pressure of everyone asking so many questions made me anxious to pick something—anything, so that it felt real.

I choose to identify as queer at the moment. The only reason I feel that identity suits me is because it is the broadest term. I’m a very open person, so it makes sense that the broadest term is the one that resonates the best with me.  The other identities, like lesbian, bisexual, pansexual, etc. are too specific for my taste. I feel too straight to be considered lesbian, and too gay to be considered bisexual. If I had to describe my sexuality, I would say I’m about 80% attracted to women, and 20% attracted to men. These attractions are vastly different. My attraction to women is more substantial, mind blowing and emotionally rich. My attraction to men, on the other hand, is very shallow and almost strictly physical. I have never connected emotionally with a man like I have with a woman. And that’s just including the gender binary. I don’t know if I would be attracted to a transgender person, or any one who identifies outside of the gender binary for that matter. I’d like to say I’m open to it, but I’ve never explored that route, so I’m unsure. That aspect could change the way I identified. For example, if I identified as being bisexual, and found myself attracted to a trans person, my sexuality would go to pansexual on a technicality. It’s all too specific for me.

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I actually hate labels. At the same time, I can understand their importance. For some, labeling their identities gives them a sense of home and belonging. They can feel part of a community. But I feel that we as a society focus far too much on how we refer to someone who is different than us. Differences are what make us people. The world would be so boring if we were all carbon copies of one another. It is important to recognize the distinctions that make us unique, but not so much that we try to force each other into these pre-cut little boxes. Everyone’s experience is completely different, even if they share things in common. It’s insane to assume that everyone who identifies as one thing has the same understanding of the world. I feel like labels really discourage individualization.

There was a time I thought I found a sexuality that was right for me. I remember scrolling on twitter, and I came across a sexuality thread. It had so many unique sexualities I had never heard of, so I was giddy at the fact that I could possibly find something that suited me. One, in particular, that stood out to me was homoflexible. Homoflexible is to be primarily attracted to the same sex, and occasionally attracted to the opposite sex. It is under the bisexual branch. I read about it in a little more detail and decided it could be my sexuality, so I got excited and sent it out to a couple of my friends. It was ill received; two people completely didn’t respond, and one other person equated it to bisexuality. I don’t know if it was the poor reaction or just my ambivalence about labels in the first place that made me automatically reject it. But in the end, I decided I didn’t need that concentrated of a definition for my sexuality, and just opted for queer.

The truth is, when I chose not to describe my sexuality as anything, people didn’t like it. They would say, “there’s no way, you need to know what you are. “ “You like girls so much, you’re a lesbian.” Or “You still like boys so you’re bisexual.” This made me feel that I had to identify as something, for my sexuality to even be valid. It shouldn’t be that way. Why should someone who doesn’t understand how I feel be able to tell me what they think I am? People love putting everything into little boxes, especially things they don’t understand. I believe we, as humans aren’t meant to fit into a box.  We are far too great, far too complex to be stuffed into just one word. One thing should not define a whole person. I am more than how I choose to describe my sexuality, however it may be: lesbian, bisexual, queer or even Fransexual.


Please Note: The views of our student bloggers do not necessarily reflect the views of the UAlbany Advisement Services Center. These are their stories and their voices.
About the Author:
franshelis
Franshelis C.
Class of 2018
Major: Linguistics
Minors: Italian and Criminal Justice
Blog Theme:
Fransexual
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