Confusion of Love

I made this piece in February of 2009, when I was in the 7th grade and questioning my sexuality for the first time. By the time I created this I knew for certain I liked girls, but couldn’t decide if I also liked boys. That struggle continues to this day.

In a previous post I had labeled myself as pansexual, but that was a very recent decision. I had concluded I would probably love and stay with my partner regardless of how she identifies, therefore being attracted to her regardless of gender. However, today I decided to change the wording of that post and revert back to the Nonbinary Lesbian lable I have been so comfortable with for the past 5+ years.

Although it may sound contradictory to someone unfamiliar with the terms, yes I do identify as both Nonbinary and a Lesbian. This is because our language lacks words that would better describe how I feel. Sex, as in one’s body parts and chromosomes, is not a factor in who I am attracted to. Gender on the other hand, a personal identity and social performance, does for some reason. I am attracted to people that, for lack of better words, have “feminine energy”. This isn’t to say I am not attracted to masculine women though, and I’m not sure how to explain better what I mean by it.

I am also “woman-aligned”. My relationship to gender is so tumultuous I can no longer return to the label and identity of “cisgender woman”, but when forced to “pick a side” between man and woman I always choose woman. This unfortunately happens quite often, an example is when filling out forms that only have two options for gender and there is no way to write anything else. When I can discuss my gender more at length as I am doing here, I am able to convey that I reject the binary and don’t want to be forced into a box. I also continue to struggle with gender dysphoria that once had me identifying as a trans man for a few years, but I no longer feel comfortable identifying as and behaving as a man.

I’m not only attracted to women, but also to fellow nonbinary people. If more people understood that “bisexual” doesn’t just mean “attracted to both binary genders” but often means “two or more genders” perhaps I would use that instead. Unfortunately in our current world many people do not know that, and therefore lesbian is the best word I have to convey my sexuality in simple terms.

If you would like to read more on the topic of nonbinary lesbianism, I found an article that I would highly recommend to anyone wanting to understand the lable better. I am aware that it can be very confusing to people both in and outside of the LGBT+ community, but I urge you to approach the subject with sympathy and compassion, we are all just people trying to navigate this very complicated world.

At the end of the day it really doesn’t matter what my sexuality is, because as I’ve said before I am happily partnered (hopefully for life) to my favorite (also nonbinary!) lady in the entire world. I continue to question the labels I use for the sake of understanding myself better, as well as being understood better by others, not because I need other women to know I might find them attractive. Anyway, at this point in my life I think I would choose solitude over another relationship if the one I am in happens to end for any reason.

My relationship to sexuality and gender has always influenced my creations, as all other aspects of my identity and life experience do. So today I publish this very old artwork on this blog to pay homage to the very long journey I’ve had questioning my labels, and to thank my younger self for making this piece that I still resonate with so deeply.

Thank you for reading this and for keeping any unkind thoughts to yourself (wink!), I hope you have a wonderful day and I will see you in the next post!

Happy Pride Month!

You can find the original files for these coloring pages in my digitally-drawn coloring pages Google Drive folder!

This coloring page was a special request from my mom, who gave me the idea for the little blank flags. I went with something super simple and open-ended so it is very customizable! I am eternally grateful to have a mom who accepts me and wants to support me and my community.

My queer identity has a very long and complicated story behind it. Today I have settled with the labels of “nonbinary lesbian” but it’s still something I continue to question on a regular basis. Luckily I am happily partnered to the most wonderful woman in the world so I don’t really need to think so hard about it!

I hope June is kind to each and every one of you, see you in the next post!