To Be Revealed
I was reading a blog today about what the author termed "gender dysmorphic pansexual[ity]." Biologically, she was female, but she never felt female. She identified with the stereotypical male persona in many ways, but it didn't feel exactly right. She could label herself as bisexual, but hated the black and white extreme issue it made out of her feelings and preferences. She read, she did research, she reflected.... and she came up with an expression that she was comfortable with, that fit who she felt she was and always had been. Also important to her, it gave her a way to tell her friends and family how she viewed herself. It's so hard trying to dissect one's own feelings, much less try to get others to understand them. With this, she felt stronger and more honest with herself and those around her. The funny thing was that, in spite of this revelation, this "coming out," it didn't change anything. It didn't change any of her behaviors. It didn't change her relationship with her husband. People didn't get it. Why make this revelation at all? They didn't realize her proclamation was more for her than for them.
I had a conversation or two (a long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far, away) about how there was no way anyone but you could ever know the real you. There is no other person in the world who not only went through all the same experiences you did, but also interpreted them and reacted to them in the exact same way. So many different aspects are at work as we shape our personalities: genetics, environment, learned behaviors, those around us.. even down to the music we like or the food we crave.
But if we are all so wonderfully unique from one another, why does society and the world in general try to put us all into our "proper" niches? If we are so diversified, why do there have to be names like Gay, Straight, Bi, Geek, Dork, Jock, Diva, Alpha, Submissive, Black, White, Yellow, Punk, Goth, Mod, Redneck... So many different labels in this world. How do I know if I'm being classified correctly? How does a general consensus know enough of my intimate details to tell me where I belong and what type of personality I have? I can't just stroll on over to Blogthings and take a quiz that will put me in the right category. As much as we like to identify with them and say they are "spot on", they're just for fun.
There was no one in my head the first time I kissed a girl, taking notes about how I felt about the whole thing. Hell, I didn't even know how I felt about it.
There was no one around the first time I had an alcoholic drink or smoked my first whatever to survey me afterward about what I thought.
There was no one there but me when I decided I couldn't be in my marriage any longer.
And mostly, there is no one in this world who has read all of my journal entries, past and present, to even begin to understand what I've gone through in my life to get to this point. There are a million of these experiences we all have gone through, putting a pet to sleep, having a child fall asleep in your arms, eating a favorite dish, throwing up after drinking too much, falling in love, regretting a moment, a conversation, a month... the common thread here is that we've all gone through something similar, but after that.. whoa nelly! The way I've reacted to these things, what I've taken away from them and what I've learned is so different from everybody else.
I don't know what I mean by all this... Sometimes it's so important for me to be known. To be loved for myself. To not come home at the end of the night and be completely exhausted beause I felt compelled to be "on" all night. Maybe it was just that woman's account of letting other's know of her refusing to be defined by pre-existing labels, that touched me somehow.
Alright, time to get off my soapbox. I'll save the rest of the camping stories for another day...