A note about the sexual identity of others

One thing that I think is missing in a lot of the Queer dialogue that I hear is the importance of self identification. What I mean is that it is impossible for you to label someone’s sexual orientation, only they can do that.

Now, there is a difference between sexual orientation and sexual identity.

Sexual orientation describes your desires. Who and what sets off the tingly feeling in your pants.

Sexual identity is how you label yourself.

These do not always align, I know plenty of women who are attracted to women who identify as ‘Queer’ rather than ‘lesbian’. In other cases, people who engage in homosexual activities may not identify as gay. There is a difference between men who have sex with men, and men who identify as gay. Just because I am dating another woman does not mean I identify as a lesbian.

Long story short, until someone tells you how they identify, you cannot assume their label, nor can you go about giving them a label.

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2 responses

  1. Pingback: LGBTQ « The Hipster Hubster

  2. word. this is something waaaay too many people in the queer community are confused about (not to mention the cis-and-straight community. so, yay! the only thing i’d add is “sexual behavior”.

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