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Is it worth it to be specific?

Discussion in 'Coming Out Advice' started by mettaton, Dec 20, 2016.

  1. mettaton

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    i've been questioning my orientation for three years and i'm almost sure that i'm biromantic homosexual. my problem is that i worry coming out as biromantic homosexual will be, quite frankly, a hassle. i think most people aren't familiar with those terms and (as a slightly awkward person) it could be a source of anxiety for me to have to explain my orientation every time i came out, rather than use the much more well-known "lesbian". and after having adopted lesbian for a bit while i was questioning, i've even become kind of comfortable with using it, but i feel that it hides part of my identity.

    so to anyone with a lesser-known orientation, or a two-part orientation: is it worth it to have a more accurate label? and do you have trouble when you're coming out to people due to them not knowing/understanding your orientation?

    and thank you :slight_smile:
     
  2. Chip

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    Personally, I vote (strongly) for the well-known label. First, there's little to no evidence to support the idea of separations between romantic and sexual attractions, and second, you avoid having to explain to 97% of the population what your label means.

    Most people are somewhere on the spectrum, and so any label is baslcally a label of convenience. Of course, if it's important to have a special label that makes you feel like it fits you exactly... then by all means, go for whatever works for you. But in practical terms, I think you'll find it much less hassle, particularly given the anxiety, to just go with the simple, widely-recognized label.
     
  3. wanderinggirl

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    I started getting really specific with labels at one point, and then I don't know, I started to let things go. Bisexual fits best but it's not a perfect label, it feels fixed and narrow in its scope when the reality for any individual falling under that label is different. You may never find the perfect label, because so many of us are label-defying; if you do find the perfect label, then great. But if you don't that's okay too. I've been through 80 permutations of labels for gender sexuality and romantic orientation, and at the end of the day it made my life more complicated. It might be different for you, and I did find it useful to explore the whole space of labels, but in the end the labels I settled on (for now) are pretty boring. Labels help inasmuch as coupling up is (for better or for worse) a big part of society, and what you choose to project to people says something about what kind of partner you're looking for at that moment, what kind of community you align yourself with, and how you understand yourself. Since any one of those things can be in flux, so can labels.
     
  4. Chiroptera

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    Sexuality is a spectrum. If we created labels for every small, tiny difference in our sexuality, we would have a label for each person on the planet. Labels are words, and their purpose is to serve us, making communication easier, and not the contrary.

    As Chip said:
    For example, i use "bisexual" as my label, even though my attractions aren't limited to people who identify themselves in binary labels. But i don't think using "pansexual" would be effective, as, at least where i live, bisexual is already a label most people don't understand. Pansexual is even harder to explain, so i prefer to use bisexual and explain that my attraction isn't limited to binary genders (if the topic is important to the conversation).

    In the end, of course, everyone is free to choose any label they want, and i respect the freedom of choice. But, if you choose a label that isn't well-known, you will have to explain it to people anyway, so why not use a label supported by science and, when explaining it, adjust it to the differences in your case? It is much easier in my opinion, instead of using confusing labels.

    And, as wanderinggirl said, you can simply forget the "label game" if you prefer. You are who you are, and that's what is important. You don't need a word to describe yourself if you don't want to.
     
  5. pd04

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    It might be better to go with the well-known term. I'm straight up just bi but if my opinion matters then I would say just be specific if someone asks you about it or is interested. Most people, I find, when opening up and coming out, aren't curious about where on the spectrum you are. So it saves possible confusion.
     
  6. YeahpIdk

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    I agree with what others are saying. I identify as queer leaning to women, but that would be annoying to explain so I just say Queer or not straight. Queer is a nice umbrella term for when you're not exactly lesbian or exactly bi or straight. I also call myself gay and lesbian though. I just like who I like and most of the time it's women!! You also don't have to say anything. But if it's helpful to, I say a generalized statement is best.
     
  7. AnAtypicalGuy

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    As the others has said, it's far easier to use a more common label. Around here I don't use any label because I'd honestly rather not (my sexuality is far too complicated for labels), but when I'm dealing with people who know less about LGBT topics, I just call myself bisexual.

    The whole point of labelling sexualities is that it saves us from having to describe our preferences, or likes and dislikes. Once labels begin to require explanation, they start to lose their purpose.