In Shakespeare’s play, the character of Hamlet asks, “To be, or not to be- that is the question.” tt was a line repeated many times during my youth, but I never grasp the true meaning of it. I had struggled with the decision of simply being or choosing not to be whom I really am.
Now I’ve chosen to just be! How I got there is very long winded and complicated story, so I’ll share the cliff notes.
I knew that I was “different” ever since I was a little girl, as no one would let it happen without pressing upon me that I wasn’t like them. Some of the labels I got was “weird”, “quiet”, “slow”, “stupid”, “withdrawn”, and “misfit”. And as I got older, I began trying to find new labels for myself, ones that didn’t make me feel like crap as the given labels did.
At age twelve, my own chosen labels were wrong, as I was trying to smash myself into ideas that existed at the time. A few of those mismatched labels were “tomboy”, “lesbian”, “shy”, and “late bloomer”. I was none of those things! In my mid to late-twenties, my vocabulary expanded to “bisexual”, “masculine”, “recluse”, and “creative”.
And now, at the age of thirty-four, I’ve come to realize yet again that maybe I’m both types of things without a clear direct meaning for it. Maybe I ought to stop labeling and face the facts about myself…
I am attracted to both females and males, sexually and emotionally, but I don’t have a particular preference for one over the other. Personality is everything to me, not body parts. This part of me is never going to change and it is what it is. I shouldn’t try to label it, to let it just be. The word “bisexual” fits, but so does “pansexual”. I rather claim that I’m Dani and call it a day.
As for gender identity, my brain is half feminine and half masculine, I believe. I’m definitely not girly (unless a spider happens by, then I’m screaming like a little girl!) and I’m not overly “butch” either… I don’t think. I do have a higher level of testosterone than most women should have, a natural occurrence in my system that doesn’t seem to worry my doctor, although it’s a mystery as to why it is that way. I was born with it, I guess. ^w^
I identify with most of the stereotypical “guy stuff”, male pride, and attitudes. However, I’m very feminine within my sexuality, the most feminine of all in that arena. I identify as female, because that’s who I am and feel that I am, but I’d estimate that I’m 65% male in my brain. I shouldn’t worry so much about classifying my masculine/feminine sides. I am female and male respectively, I should just leave it at that.
I am “right handed”, yet I tend to use my left hand for tasks, like texting, opening doors, bottles, or jars. A few times I’ve caught myself using pen and paper with my left hand. I typically favor my right hand for writing. I’m told this has a name for it, but maybe I’m just both left and right handed, depending on specific tasks or circumstances.
My inspiration for just letting myself be, was a soundbite from Neil deGrasse Tyson: Is Gravity Made Of Particles? Is That The Right Question?. In the video he explained that there is a false dichotomy in our human language of trying to place things with more than one category into a sole definition.
He argued that society would be a much better place if we would learn to “…chill out and just let things be what they are. Allow there to be a spectrum in all that you see.” I agree with him fully on this. And the clip was an eye opener for me to STOP trying to find labels for who I am as a person and to JUST BE. I am Dani and that’s good enough. ^_^
It’s nice to have labels sometimes, in order to introduce ourselves more easily to others, however it’s not always necessary to define ourselves in definitive categories in order to simply exist. Or so, that’s how I feel about myself. I’m honestly satisfied with being “neither” or “both” things, instead of trying to pigeonhole myself into one direct meaning. I feel a lot free this way!
Thanks for reading! ^_^v