Discovering ourselves is a journey. While we wander the world, a lot of questions are built up in our minds. We encounter new experiences, new people, and new perspectives. And, sometimes the answer to a question is not that difficult to understand. Growing up, there’s this constant dilemma between me, my sexuality, and how I express myself. Even people are confused every time how I can have those three terms identify me. In this article I will be sharing with you some frequently asked questions to my S.O.G.I.E who identifies as a Cisgender Lesbian Woman.
*S.O.G.I.E is the sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression of one’s person
Frequently Asked Questions about my S.O.G.I.E
#1 Why do you sometimes dress masculine and sometimes feminine?
This is probably the most asked question by people. In our community, they put me in a masc category if I wear masculine clothes and femme if I wore a dress. Meanwhile, I like to express myself in both ways. They tell me it’s confusing but Ido does not owe people an explanation on why I express myself like that.
While growing up, I mostly wear clothes that society may consider masculine. However, not wearing any dresses did not make me not want to wear one. For most of my teenage years, I struggled with fashion. I have no idea how to properly dress and I did not even mind it. So, there’s that.
When I was in college, it was when I started being somehow conscious of what I wear. Admittedly, synchronizing with the trends is difficult because my clothes have little variety. I am not usually the type to go along with peer pressure. However, since we have no designated uniform, I have to wear casual clothes.
For people in the old generation, masculinity means wearing pants, suits, and polo. Femininity, on the other hand, means wearing dresses with different designs, gowns, and stilettos. I, however, am hopeful that we the younger generations can change how most people see expression—nonbinary. Feminine and masculine styles of clothes should not define our gender or sexual orientation and can co-exist in a person.
#2 You had a boyfriend before. Why do you consider yourself now a lesbian?
Questions like this may invalidate someone. Although I take this chance to inform people what sexual orientation is.
Simply because sexuality is fluid. I have considered myself straight all my teenage years. When I was in senior high school, I started questioning myself. I was in denial, at first. The term SOGIE does not even exist for me and identifying myself as someone who likes women is—scary.
I finally identified myself as bisexual when I was in my first year of college. Despite not having a relationship or crushing with any woman yet I know for sure that I may have romantic feelings for a woman. It was in the third year of my college life when I started Identifying myself as a lesbian. It just feels right, especially since I am not seeing myself being with a man.
I am a lesbian. And, yes, I had a boyfriend. However, I believe that’s no reason to invalidate my sexual orientation.
#3 You’re a lesbian, are you trying to be a man?
In many cases, since I am a lesbian, people thought I was trying to be a man. Plus, the fact that I wear masculine clothes might’ve contributed to the thought. Being a lesbian and identifying yourself as a man is different.
My sexual orientation is different from my gender identity. In my experience, this is what most people misunderstood. People with the same orientation as mine were mostly portrayed as women who wears masculine clothes. That’s how media contributes to how this society views us.
There’s a distinctive difference between sexual orientation and gender identity. Sexual orientation answers the question: Who are you romantically attracted to?—Now this is where people get their context of identifying someone, when in fact it’s just one of the many things to consider. While gender identity answer’s the question: How do you see yourself?
I get these questions a lot from adults especially heterosexuals or people who identify themselves as ‘straight’. It comes to my attention that they never really had the idea of these terms. Some are willing to learn, some are not, and some are just uninterested in the topic.
This kind of topic should discourse as early as possible. Start them young. One should not be denied the right to know and understand themselves. Even as children, they do have a choice and say about who will they love, how they identify themselves, and how to express themselves.
Genesis is a sensitive soul although thick-skinned. She is hungry for knowledge and change. Her goal is to amplify the voice of many through her writing.