what being queer
means to me
written by Georgie Peck (she/her)
As a young child, I alway struggled to fit in. I was always friendly and kind, just like my parents had raised me to be. Other children were nice enough, but I always felt a little left out.
I always struggled to just be myself, especially around other girls. I had a few friends, but I never felt like I was myself around them.. I would lie about my favourite colour, all my friends liked the colour pink, but I liked purple.
As I grew older, it really started to dawn on me that I was not like all the other girls. Now do not get me wrong, I know that not every cis and straight girl fits into this "feminine" stereotype, but there were a lot of things I found that girls were into, that I just was not. I did not wear make-up until I was at least 14. I did not like to wear skirts, only trousers or shorts. (Which seems odd now as I do sometimes wear skirts and dresses nowadays.)
I suppose that's what being queer means to me. I’m not saying you have to be queer to feel a little differently each day, but now that I realise I am queer, I do feel a lot more comfortable in saying "This is me". When people ask me why I am dressed a certain way, I reply “Why not?”.
I am fully comfortable with my assigned sex at birth, female. I completely do identify as a woman, however, accepting that I am queer, is kind of like, just accepting that I am unashamedly me and I am different... so is everyone and there is nothing wrong with that.
Another reason I have struggled with who I am so much, is that I have always wanted to fit into
some kind of labelled box. As a kid I always thought you were either this or that, boy or girl, gay
or straight. Now I realise that gender and sexuality are not about which chromosomes you have in
your body. Your attraction to other genders is not automatically assigned to you upon your birth-sex.
My parents taught me from a very early age that women can love women and men can love men in the exact same way as a woman and a man would love each other, so I am lucky to have grown up with such a supportive and accepting family. However, growing up I did not really consider myself attracted to girls (looking back i'm like, "aw hun, you were always so gay") but back then I, as far as I was aware, was attracted to boys.
I always had a boyfriend as a kid in primary school. I think I really struggled as I hit my teens, when all my other friends were out getting with guys and having sex. It’s like I would lose interest whenever I got close to a boy. I would not be comfortable or find any enjoyment from being intimate with them. Any attraction I thought I had, would completely dissolve. I always thought, maybe it's because I am not ready? Maybe I am just developing more slowly than my friends? Deep down, no matter how much I prayed and how much I forced myself to try and find attraction in men, I just did not feel the same way about men as I did women.
So you're probably thinking, "oh, she's a lesbian then?" - but I don’t feel that the term 'lesbian' completely suits me. (Again, here I am trying to put myself in a box.) I also do not think I am bisexual;. I find some men attractive, but it’s just not the same attraction that I have for women.
What I am sure of is that being queer, to me, finally allows me to stop fighting with who I am.
Being queer enables me to stop trying to find a socially-constructed label to bestow upon
myself. Using queer as an umbrella-term for who I am is the most confident way I feel I can label myself.
What is important to remember is that it doesn’t matter if you don’t fit into one of these pre-designed
labelled boxes. I finally have found a community of individuals that are a lot more similar to me in ways
I could never comprehend as my younger self. I have found a group of people I feel more comfortable being myself around. So if you are ever arguing with yourself, just be you the best you can.
Love who you want to love, be who you want to be. I have become at peace with not trying to label myself as lesbian or bisexual because I am fully happy knowing that I am just completely queer.
My advice is, enjoy life, take your time, stop trying to please everyone and most importantly, just chill.