It started with an innocent comment but my friend’s response made it clear it wasn’t the sort of thing you were supposed to say. The way she reacted you would have thought I’d said something really shocking; as she quickly dismissed my comment, reiterated that I “have a boyfriend”, and told me because I liked sex with men I couldn’t possibly be a lesbian. The real kicker was when she said “I know lesbians, they are horrified by the idea of touching a penis, that’s definitely not you.”
Think sexuality is just a case of ‘one or the other’? Think again. ‘Heterosexual’ and ‘homosexual’ are terms that have existed for a very long time, propped up by the gender binary (which assumes only two genders: male and female). However, as time has gone on researchers have found these two terms, and the linear thinking that goes along with it, to be inadequate.