Pride Month started today. I did a small post on Facebook for friends and I thought I’d expand on it here. You know, for extra credit?
“Hey friends. It’s Pride Month. This isn’t a coming out post as such, because for me specifically it seems redundant. I’m still figuring a bunch of that stuff out (and certain scenarios have indicated that there’s definitely stuff to figure out).
What I’d rather mention is how proud and privileged I am to have such a wealth of supportive community around me. The fact of the matter is, I’m not worried about rushing into labels because I’m unbelievably fortunate for it not to matter. I have all the time in the world to test the waters and see what it is that I’m drawn to across romantic and sexual spectrums.
I know that I have all the time in the world entirely because I’m surrounded by so many wonderful people with a myriad of sexual and gender identities. If I did decide to start identifying in any new way, I know that I’d be greeted by nothing but love. I feel like that’s really something to celebrate. Not everyone has access to the same freedoms and support networks, which is heartbreaking. I wish that wasn’t the case, but I’ll do my damnedest to try and make space for anyone I can to do so.
Happy Pride Month everyone. I sincerely hope that wherever you are, you feel pride in whoever you are, even if you’re still figuring that out.”
I’ve never really been one to care for labels or identity. My sexual identity is no different. Frankly, playing Magic takes up more of my mental and emotional energy than thinking about whatever genders I’m attracted to. It just hasn’t been an important factor in my life. As far as I figure, putting a name to it only seeks to neatly put myself in a box for the sake of others. This isn’t about them, so why should it matter? That’s not to say that identity isn’t an important thing full stop. I’m not knocking it. A lot of people find comfort in how they see themselves. Identity politics can help them gather like-minded individuals and seek out community. I think that’s wonderful. I just don’t think it’s super relevant for me.
Maybe I’ll get there one day. In as far as my sexuality goes, I find myself occasionally attracted to other men. It’s not often though, that this translates into sexual interest or desire. I’ve had a handful of intimate encounters with male identifying people. So far they’ve all been mediocre or bust. Nothing’s particularly grabbed me and encouraged me to seek more out en masse. Then again, I didn’t like oysters for the longest time. I’ve had good oysters once or twice, so who knows? Maybe I’ll meet a good one and they’ll grow on me. Whether it takes further hold or not, I don’t really see the sense in denying myself any burgeoning desires. I know for certain that emotional intimacy with other men holds great importance to me. I’m very fortunate to have a lot of close, supportive friendships with other guys. Tender hugs have become pretty standard. Occasionally we’ll kiss hello or goodbye. It’s stopped holding any kind of weirdness for me. It’s just an expression of compassion.
It’s not like these feelings have come out of nowhere. They’ve been growing slowly over years, discarding outdated societal norms because they no longer make sense in my life. It’s at the point where, irrespective of gender, if I can’t be honest and vulnerable with a friend I start to question the point of that friendship. It’s precisely because of these vulnerable and honest friendships that I feel entirely comfortable taking my time to work it out. I have an overwhelming amount of love in my life. If I did suddenly discover a queer identity that fit me to a T, I know I’d be able to adopt it without fear of persecution or ridicule. I’m pretty fucking lucky. I have a supportive and loving community, a wonderful family that I assume (Mum? Dad? It hasn’t come up, but I kind of figured you wouldn’t care. You’ve always just wanted me to be happy) has my back no matter what. If I came out at work, I doubt anyone would care. Society (and in particular, Toronto) has reached a place where sexual identity isn’t cause for concern. I sweat privilege, and it’s because of the sacrifices and principles of years worth of brave individuals that I don’t have to put a label on anything. It’s evolved to a point where I don’t have to care about it. If that isn’t progress, I don’t know what is.
But I’m certainly proud that we’re getting there.