When I was in high school we discussed heterosexuality and homosexuality. It seemed to be implied that you’re either one or the other. But sexuality, as I discovered in university, is much more complex than that. When I was growing up, I was quite confused. I would see a boy and think “he’s attractive,” but it never got any stronger than that. I had the same feeling towards the girls. I felt some attraction towards them, but I never felt any pull to do anything. How is someone who’s told that you’re either straight or gay/lesbian, and everybody has some level of sexual attraction, supposed to respond to those feelings? I didn’t know if I liked boys or girls and I didn’t know why I didn’t want to kiss and have sex like my classmates so obviously did. I used to wonder what was wrong with me.
In university I met people who were bisexual and asexual for the first time. That’s when I first began to learn about how complex sexuality really is. It made me happy because now I was able to say that my feelings were normal. But I still didn’t have a label for myself. When my partner and I began dating, I told him that I didn’t know what my sexuality was. I seemed to fit in a number of categories kind of, but not really. I had tried to do some research, but never found an answer. It was my partner who found out what demi-sexuality was and explained it to me. That was when I figured what what I was. After four years of high school, four years of university, and numerous classes and workshops on gender and sexuality, I finally had a name for myself.
So why did it take so long? Why did nobody ever mention demi-sexuality? Why was I told about heterosexuality, homosexuality, bisexuality, asexuality, pansexuality, and omnisexuality, but that’s it?
I’ve been told that demi-sexuality isn’t a really sexuality. I’ve been told that, since it only discusses how I fall in love and not who I fall in love with, it can’t be a real sexuality. But that doesn’t seem to be the case to me. In fact, that’s kind of the point of it being it’s own sexuality: how I fall in love determines who I fall in love with. With demi-sexuals a relationship is required before sexual attraction takes place. I’m not going to see some hot guy, or beautiful woman, walking down the street and think “I’d like to have sex with them.” I will notice that they are attractive, but that’s it. I need to have formed a relationship with someone before I’ll find them sexually attractive. That can mean that I’ll find my close friends sexually attractive, but usually it means that I require a romantic attraction first. As such, the sex, or gender, of the person that I’m attracted to doesn’t matter. I can fall in love with anyone, I just need to form a bond with them first.
I’ve also been told that it’s merely a sub-set of asexuality. I don’t have any problem with that. So being demi-sexual means I’m asexual. Whatever. But why then is it not discussed when asexuality is discussed. And, if demi-sexuality is a subset of asexuality, why don’t we hear about the other subsets? If it’s the only subset, why call it a subset? Why not just let it be its own category?
I have a lot of issues with my sexuality, and my gender, when it comes to how they are discussed, or rather, because they aren’t discussed. I’m technically LGBTQ with both my sexuality and my gender, but I don’t feel included it the group on either fronts. I feel ignored. My straight cis partner feels more welcome as an ally than I do as someone who is LGBT. So why does nobody ever talk about demi-sexuality? Why does any sexuality get ignored? Wouldn’t it be better if we let people know everything that we know so that they know how complex sexuality is? Wouldn’t it be best if we discussed all the possibilities so that nobody feels left out?