The amount of times that I have attempted to put these particular sentiments down on the page would astound you. I went from being a prolific writer during puberty and college, to a semi-permanent sufferer of writer’s block. It’s real ladies and gents.

Do you know how few people really and truly take a look in the mirror? I’d dare to say very few. When you look in the mirror what are the first things you notice? The superficial. The mundane. The things that don’t matter in the grand scheme. When you genuinely look in the mirror and into who you are, it can be quite jarring. The things you see are mixed with the skewed perception of yourself and the predicted outcome of how others will perceive you. If you’re feeling better about yourself in general you’ll worry less about your impact on other people. This is why you find that most genuinely confident people are willing to take more risks and care less of what other people think of them.

I digress. You see, I’m avoiding talking about myself again. Typical Angie. A former friend and multiple exes have told me that I am the queen of avoidance. I try many different tactics, but interesting tangents are probably my favorite.

I’ve always known I was different. Now, remember, our definition of different will differ from person to person. But I felt like I didn’t mesh with the majority of other people. I would come to recognize that this was caused in part by a severe social anxiety that I’ve managed my whole life by forming genuine emotional connections with people as a form of endearing myself to them. I’m practiced in the art of caring about other people and letting them see it. We could also get into my unnatural desire to help people emotionally, but again, I digress. What made me different spanned several areas in my life. One in particular that I've grown to hold in high regard is my collection of misfit toys. My cousin unceremoniously dubbed my friends as misfits in high school, and as a Rudolph the red nosed reindeer enthusiast, I ran with it.

Yes, my island of misfits toys made me different but also made me stronger. Because what was once a wave of greedy parasites who easily overpowered my good nature became a tight knit circle of incredible, loyal, precious friends. All different, but alike in the important ways and I reveled in throwing parties for my birthday through the years just so I could see them all in one place.

Another thing that made me different was my deep love and appreciation for men and women. This includes the emotional and the physical. While there are times in my life that I’ve been convinced I’m more into men, and times where I was more into women, the constant thread has been the unease that came with truly not knowing which sex I would end up with. It may sound ludicrous to the modern queers but I come from a devoutly italian family. I understand that the verbiage there would indicate I was referring to a church, as in “a devout christian”, but no: our religion is Italian. They were raised a certain way and in total honesty, the majority of people don’t understand queer people. I say queer, but you could use pansexual, or bi-sexual, or sapiosexual, or fluid, or whatever other label you want to attach to something. In the end, it’s the word you most identify with.

So persecution of what I am came from multiple directions: my friends, my family, the gay community, and the straight community. Company cultures are even awkwarded out around this topic. What I am. More odd word choices but that’s what I’ve felt about myself for a long time. Like my sexuality made me a monster. Trust me, I’m as confused as you guys are. Don’t make me feel worse about it.

Ah, there you have it. It all comes back to that mixed perception of yourself, caused by BOTH outside influences and how you feel about yourself. The majority of the rejection of my identity was caused by myself. I have been deeply insecure in my life and can say it’s gotten much better. A few years ago when I started embracing the queer, things started to change. I got more brazen, but more guarded. I got more confident, but more distracted. So while I can acknowledge how my attraction and feelings work, as I understand them, I deeply wish it was more simple. I am so exhausted of the complications associated with being involved with both sexes.

I am also exhausted and deterred by the hesitance and the predisposition about dating or trusting bisexuals (pansexuals, queer folk, fluid). I have tried in earnest to put myself out there with some women but feeling in any situation that I have to be less honest with them about my history with men makes me doubt compatibility. Some women flat out reject the notion that you would even be interested in men. Strangely, I’ve been received with more open mindedness by men with interest in me. However, that could be largely due to the sexualization of being a gay woman.

I have met the most incredible, brilliant women in my life. I find them to be gorgeous stars up in the night sky: refreshing and energizing. I am capable of loving both sexes and I have. I have met people who loved me openly, for exactly who I was. But the hesitance that persists stokes my own hesitate to love and trust anybody. Man or woman. I have fantasized about being an aunt to all my friends children and living with 7 dogs in a cabin upstate somewhere, baking edibles and selling them to the local high school kids.

I’ll close with this; I met an inspiring young woman last year who laid the reasoning for this hesitancy out for me. She told me that lesbians have enough competition out there and adding men into the mix makes it unfair. In addition, it makes the chances of being hurt greater. which is a sentiment I understand deeply, as I am also incredibly guarded. I appreciate self preservation. Truthfully, I do believe that we are all the masters of our own destinies and no one should ever enter into a romantic situation that makes them nervous. Taking that anxiety into a relationship won’t benefit either partner. However, confused young women everywhere who are met with situational rejection based on their label shouldn’t be forced to suppress who they are because “they aren’t gay enough”. I hope for a world where expectations of people’s identity have less impact on their opinions of them.

I value kindness and I value bravery. I incessantly work towards a better, truer version of myself where I am at peace with the finished product. I will continue to meet people with an open and loving mind because I want to believe that love begets love. I don’t want to let my insecurities and doubts be the primary driver behind the decisions in my life. To say I have actively sought acceptance by the gay community would be a lie because I historically felt like I couldn’t be truthful about who I was. Luckily, that has changed now. I know there are many other women, other people, who are like me in the world. Hopefully I can continue to be a bright light for my fellow “misfits”.


About the Author:
Andrea is a born and bred New Yorker who talks like a fortune cookie. She is a lover of pizza, a lover of animals, a lover of culture, and a lover of love. She suffers from anxiety, self doubt, negative body image, and pretty much everything else that plagues emotionally intelligent women. You can find her meandering the streets with her dog, singing along to whatever music is playing through her crappy apple earbuds, and toting a coffee the size of her head. 

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