One of the things that feels challenging to me as I think of Lyn/Ezekiel transitioning is the loss of my identity as a lesbian. I claimed the identity of lesbian when I was about 18 and a half and I am now almost 41, so I have 22+ years as a lesbian under my belt. I don’t draw my friends or social networks exclusively from the lesbian community, but I do think of myself as part of that community. If you asked me last month to name five important identities to me, my list might have been mother, lesbian, wife, carfree person, and teacher/academic. Or something like that. Lesbian is way up there on my list.
I know that I get to identify however I want. I can be a lesbian in a relationship with a man if I want. But I feel like I am already losing the identity of lesbian. If you asked me right now about my sexual orientation, I would say queer, because it’s not as simple as lesbian anymore. I also have started to question what I mean by lesbian. I don’t really think of it as a sexual identity but more of a social identity. I mean by it that I am partnered with a woman, and that I align myself with women that are partnered with women. And that’s just apparently changing.
I do feel like I can fully embrace the identity of queer because to me that identity is about alignment with the entire queer community, whatever my partnership status or gender of my partner. It works for me because it doesn’t depend on Lyn/Ezekiel’s gender identity and it situates me socially.
But it still leaves open the question, how would I describe my sexual identity (as opposed to my social identity)? In some sense this feels like a question I can just avoid. I am in a monogamous relationship and plan to stay there, so what does it matter? But it really really does matter — who and what am I attracted do? what kind of things do I want to do sexually? And here’s where a hit a wall because I don’t see that I can fit the answers to those questions into a box. I suppose that pansexual might work. Honestly, thinking about this kind of stuff makes me feel old. I have a sense that young people don’t get quite so bent out of shape about all these labels and just do what they want with the people they want to do it with.