Why Must We Choose Sides?
I’ve never understood the argument ‘you need to choose a side’. Especially, when don’t agree with either of the two opinions I’ve been given to choose from. I could apply this to my sexuality now, but even before I identified as bisexual, I never understood the argument that you. needed to choose a side or that you can’t like both or you’re just too afraid to admit you’re gay, etc., honestly the list could go on. I could say the same about my gender identity. There are days I don’t feel completely male and I just know female isn’t the answer either.
I’m going to tell you a story and without names or context it might be a little confusing but the statement this person said annoyed me considering they know part of my identity regardless of whether or not they accept me or use the right name or pronouns. So, there was this dad and his son, and the son had a “girlfriend” or at least that what they were identifying as when they were together, the “girlfriend’s” sexuality was pansexual at the time so they liked people regardless of their gender. They ended up dating for a month. Then the “girlfriend” decided to come out as a lesbian so they broke up.
For some reason, a few months later, the father went onto the “girlfriend’s” Facebook page, I have no clue why don’t ask me. Like they dated for a month, it's none of your business what they're up to now especially if they are no longer dating.
So, they had apparently changed their name and their pronouns, I think they said to both male-identifying ones.
The father made the comment: “She just needs to pick a side.”
There are so many things wrong with this statement.
One: You misgendered someone, not that I think he understood pronouns considering his relationship with me.
Two: This person is sixteen. Let me say that again: Sixteen. I know some of you people know your gender identity when you’re four or your sexuality when you’re eleven or whatever but I know that’s when I figured myself out. When I was sixteen.
Third: Why do they need to pick a side?
Four: Gender identity and sexuality are completely different things. I questioned my gender identity before my sexuality but it could happen the other way around.
You just pick a side you might never figure out who you like, and if you are constantly told you need to pick something because you can’t be both or neither but the choices you are given don’t feel right you’re just left confused. It also makes people stay in the closet about who they truly are for decades because they feel they will be judged for who they truly are.
I’ve seen the argument made time and time again, and I don’t understand it. Especially, when it comes from others both outside and within the community of LGBTQ+ people. Lots of gays and lesbians and straights will not date people who are attracted to multiple genders because they think they are more prone to cheating, when in reality, most of us wouldn’t like to be cheated on any more than you, or because the people can pass as straight, or could just be afraid to admit they are gay and just using bisexual as a “stepping stone” when in reality we are none of those things, some of us just like multiple genders.
No one chooses to struggle with their sexuality or gender identity, they do it because they don’t feel comfortable as who we are or who we are told we are or supposed to be according to society’s standards.
The reason I spent two years in the closet rather than tell this person well I was questioning myself was because I was afraid of comments like this, that I was wrong, or I’d change my mind, and now I regret telling them because, despite the fact that they said they did research and that they know it’s not a choice and they accept me, they still made a statement like that. That people need to choose sides.
My identity continued to change and so did my sexuality but I didn’t bother telling this person because the argument felt futile and pointless. And it felt like no matter what I said his opinion wouldn’t change and there would have been no point putting myself out there and arguing my point because he’s set in his ways.
I also wished I was comfortable with this person to tell them what I was going through well questioning myself. I felt the person was lucky that they trusted their family enough to come out to them and get them to call them by a different name and pronouns before they were necessarily sure. If we can’t question what we are how are we supposed to figure who we want to be? With the developing list of sexualities and genders, what might have once felt right might not one day because people change and grow.
I’ve seen people get into screaming matches on YouTube over having to pick a side and I just want to know why we have to if we feel like we don’t feel like if we fit into one of those perfect one-sided boxes.
With all this in mind, think before you speak or tell someone to choose a side, especially on a topic as minuscule as their sexuality or gender identity.