I Don’t Know What I Am

But I know who I am, and that’s what’s important

AtAt twenty, I was tall and lean. I had no breasts, and very short hair. I wore combat pants, t-shirts three sizes too big for me, and army boots. I did not wear makeup or jewelry or nail polish. I was often mistaken for a boy.

As a new student at university, all the lovely people I was meeting assumed that I would fit in perfectly at dances hosted by the gay and lesbian clubs. And I did fit in. Beautifully.

With a few cheap beers in me, I could get down to any music that was on the turntable. With a smile in my direction, I would dance with anyone who looked like they were having fun. And, when it came time to leave, I’d sooner leave with a group of girls than even one young man.

In the first semester of my second year, I took a film production class. We were asked to work in pairs — to write a script together, then divvy up the roles of director, camera operator, and editor.

“I want to write a film about having tolerance for people who don’t fit the molds of society,” I told the class.

Suzanne approached me. She said she wanted to write about the same thing. It was through this partnership that I learned that Suzanne was a lesbian, though she was still in the closet. I also learned that many of my friends thought that I was a lesbian who just hadn’t figured it out yet. I was told that I was triggering people’s “gaydar” all over campus.

If I wasn’t in a heterosexual relationship now, I think I’d still confuse people — hell, I still confuse myself.

I was shocked, but not appalled. I suppose it made sense based on what people saw in the way I dressed — people can’t help but stereotype a girl who seems to be trying to appear as unattractive to men as possible — and the fact that my social group included a lot of gay and lesbian friends.

Was I a lesbian without knowing it? I guessed it was possible, since I wasn’t having sex with men. But then, neither was I with women.

If I wasn’t in a heterosexual relationship now, I think I’d still confuse people — hell, I still confuse myself.

I think women’s bodies are far more beautiful and erotic than men’s bodies. Show me a full-figured woman, breasts and hips, over a man’s pecs and abs any day. When I have sexual fantasies, men are superfluous. Women are center stage.

On every level — except sexual — my relationships with women are far more intimate than they are with men.

When I imagine my dotage, my last years, in my perfect world I live in a commune of tiny houses, each with one woman living in her private space, all of us coming together for meals and companionship in a main house where we share cooking duties and stories from our day. There are no men in my old age utopia.

And yet, I am married to a man. I’ve only ever had sex with men. I don’t feel I have the right to say I am anything but heterosexual, because my actions all check that box. But my heart and my energy and my longing all tell an entirely different story. A story for which there is no box to check.

What I am? I have no idea.

Who am I? I’m a woman who deeply loves a lot of women, and just one man.

This story was published in response to Human Parts’ Weekend Writing Prompt, “The taste of vanilla and tobacco. Leather and lace and last night’s campfire. The rise and fall of a particularly broad chest. Tell the story of your sexuality — or lack thereof — without referencing the labels we wear to save time. What attracts you, human to human?” To receive prompts like this one every weekend, subscribe to our newsletter by following Human Parts.

Romance author. Speaker of things best not said in polite company. My books on Amazon: amazon.com/author/danikabloom

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