Lockdown gave me time to think. In my early 20s, a year before lockdown, I started to think I may be bi. I’d pushed this thought to the back of my mind, out of fear of confronting it. Lockdown came and with nothing to distract me, I was forced to confront my sexuality. It made me miserable for some time. I literally couldn’t think or talk about it without breaking down in tears. I didn’t understand why I was so upset. Luckily, my family and friends are very liberal so wouldn’t care. But I’d felt so sure of myself before. Sure of who I was and what I wanted. For the first time in my life, I felt scared.
It has been so hard being surrounded by predominately straight friends and family. Especially during lockdown when it’s been impossible to meet anyone new. They just do not get it, as much as they try to. Sometimes they overcompensate in a way that makes me feel patronised. Worse than that, I’ve become hyper aware of the subtle microaggressions that straight people carry out, as a result of heteronormativity, which only become apparent when your entire waking day is preoccupied with thoughts about your sexuality.
I am sex positive, and I often think that means people assume I’m bisexual just because I’m horny. This is a common stereotype imposed on bisexual and pansexual people and it is deeply harmful. You can notice it often when you tell men that you’re bi/pan and they reply with “that’s hot” or “would you have a threesome with me and my girlfriend?”. Even joking in this way is deeply harmful, it centres male pleasure whilst reducing women to objects of their pleasure.
Although it’s been hard, I feel more self-aware. Interrogating harmful stereotypes and the damaging effects of heteronormativity has enabled me to understand why it’s been so hard to come to terms with my sexuality. As time has gone on, I’ve started rejecting the binaries imposed onto our sexualities and sex lives even more. That’s why I personally identify more with being pansexual now.