Pride month is only three weeks away, and that means it’s time for people like me to get defensive about who we are. I’m queer.
But am I queer enough? Am I pansexual enough? Am I demisexual enough? Who gets to decide?
I’m on the asexual spectrum. Like all things human, asexuality isn’t a one-size-fits-all descriptor. In fact, I believe human sexuality exists in an entangled quantum spectrum, not a linear “this much of that or that much of this” spectrum.
But then again: I’m not only queer, I’m also different.
I don’t prefer men, women, or enbys. In fact, I don’t find myself sexually attracted to anyone. Until I am. And then I really am. I’m a hypersexual, demisexual, pansexual.
Does that mean I’m not asexual enough to be Ace or pansexual enough to be pan?
There’s an ‘acephobic’ or ‘anti-asexual’ movement. It consists of queer-identifying people who think asexuality doesn’t count as part of the LGBT movement because it doesn’t necessarily involve “same-sex” attraction.
I don’t really experience attraction to anyone until I make a deep connection. It’s such a rare experience that I tend to dive in with reckless abandon when it does.
So, am I demisexual enough to be on the asexual spectrum and, if so, does that alone make me queer enough to be LGBT?
Worse, I’m pansexual. That should definitely count… but am I pan enough? I’m a man raising a child with a woman I love. I’m not currently involved in a relationship with anyone else. Is my queerness on hold? Can I even go to Pride this year???
WTF do I have to be so proud of?
Well, it turns out: everything. My pride isn’t about how many non-hetero sexual experiences I have or how queer I can appear. It’s about living my best life in spite of those who would harm me just for living it. I’m queer enough because I exist.
You’re queer enough too. You’re gay, lesbian, queer, bi, pan, ace, and/or trans enough. And that’s just science. I can prove it.
Ready? Read on:
As to “how” queer or “what kind of” queer you are: who gives a fuck? No really, you can’t measure it.
How many angels can dance on the head of a pin? What color do clear penguins see when they eat orange mushrooms on Venus? What, exactly, makes a person queer?
You can’t measure queerness. As I’ve pointed out several times in the past, there’s no external way to determine whether someone is, for example, gay.
Seriously. What is gay? If someone says they aren’t gay, but you observe them having so-called “same-sex” intercourse, does that make them gay? If someone says they are gay, but you’ve never seen them have “same-sex” intercourse, does that make them straight?
Can someone stop being gay? If you’ve never had sex, but you have gay thoughts, are you gay, or do you have to have sex first?
If you have sex with 1,000 members of the so-called “opposite sex” and one member of the “same sex,” are you bisexual? If you’re not attracted to the “same sex” at all, but you enjoy intercourse with them, are you gay?
If you’re a brain in a vat and you’re romantically attracted to people who are the “same sex” as you were when you had a body, can you be gay?
Can you be gay without knowing it? Can you become gay without realizing it? Can you stop being gay without knowing it?
If you’re straight and, in an out-of-character moment, you have a gay experience, are you then gay? If you’re gay and have a straight fling are you straight? Does it matter if you like it or not? When do you become bisexual? What ratio of “same sex” to “opposite sex” must be maintained for someone to be officially straight, gay, or bisexual?
What is the ratio of gayness per sexual act versus latent mental homosexuality in a sexless lifestyle, and what effect would this math have on total gayality per capita?
What the fuck is gay?!
I don’t mean that in a dismissive way. What I mean is: nobody can tell YOU whether you’re gay or not. The same goes for all queerness.
Human sexuality cannot be defined in scientific terms because it cannot be quantified or measured. Queer isn’t a label you achieve through action; it’s something you (may) choose to identify as.
The bottom line is, with the exception of bad actors trying to intentionally harm our community through subterfuge, we’re all queer enough.
Tristan is a science and technology journalist who values life, humanity, and taco soup. He/him