Developing An Understanding of Sexual Orientation

As we get ready to talk about Sexual Orientation at The Kickback, Mhairi shares her thoughts and experiences in relation to the topic to get the conversation started.

Sexuality and sexual orientation is a hugely controversial topic for so many, but it is something we consider when talking about equality. Yet I’m sure many of us find when it comes to equal opportunities, it forms a struggle, despite the confidentiality, to know what to put down or a pressure to choose heterosexuality, because they don’t know what other category they might fall into.

Truthfully, we are not educated enough about sexuality in the ways that we need to be. Therefore, it is often difficult when you are left with your own thoughts to correctly identify the category you fall into, if there is one.

I often find myself speaking about asexual or pansexual orientation and having people listening ask me what exactly I mean. It is in fact possible to be sexually attracted to nothing and no one just as it is possible to feel an attraction to inanimate objects and animals. The one that strikes people as extremely confusing is the term pansexual, which means you do not see the person you are attracted to and therefore do not assign gender – I personally interpret it as an attraction to the soul or a neutral basis on which to form your attraction.

For many of the people that fall into this category, it must be so challenging to navigate our world of tick box categories. It must feel frustrating to try to explain yourself to another individual who has never been educated on the way that you and others like you feel about their sexuality.

People often make the assumption that those who identify with a gender different to that assigned at birth, must be attracted to the opposite sex still, but in fact there are many homosexual transgender people out there, as well as many heterosexual transgender people. It is all about feeling comfortable in your own skin and comfortable in being able to freely express who you are attracted to, regardless of gender.

I am personally someone that sees sexuality as extremely fluid and although I wouldn’t take it as far as saying that I’m attracted to the soul and completely see past gender, I do find myself to have quite a niche selection of qualities to which I am attracted.

I am one of those people that never knows what to say when someone asks my sexuality, as I distinctly remember my first few loves and crushes being female, perhaps due to my boarding school environment. Although I have very much fit the heterosexual category for the past few years, I never seem to forget the feelings and attraction I have felt towards the same-sex and I don’t doubt that there are many out there, going through or who have gone through something pretty similar in their lifetime.

I therefore find the discussion on sexual orientation to be an important one, especially for young people, and hope that by talking about it, people are able to find some level of clarity when tackling sexual orientation.

Join the conversation today at Project B from 6.30-8.30pm, and stay updated on what Mhairi’s getting up to by following her on Instagram: @mhairishona

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