Lesbian? Bi? Or Pansexual? Why I Refuse to Label My Sexuality

Gender

Lesbian? Bi? Or Pansexual? Why I Refuse to Label My Sexuality

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

I

was 16 when a classmate unsurely asked me if I was a lesbian – all I could do was marvel at her bluntness. It was the first time someone had addressed me with the loaded term, and after recovering from the initial surprise, I asked her why she thought so. She nervously pointed at the girl standing next to me and blurted, “You act like she is your girlfriend. You dress like a boy and never let down your hair!” She sounded less upset about my sexuality, and more by my fashion choices.

It was only my second week in college and I’d already managed to tick off every box of the “Lesbian” checklist: Doesn’t like makeup, or anything “girly”? Check. Sporty and brawny? Check. Short hair? Check. Flannels? Check.

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