Twice in the last twenty-four hours I had an experience that really reminded me how awesome my friends are.
First, last night, I was talking with both of my roommates. We had one of those long, meandering conversations, and it came up that a girl we all knew in highschool was engaged. This was particularly noteworthy because she’d dated another girl in highschool for about a year, and explicitly identified herself as a lesbian at the time.
One of my roommates said something along the lines of, “So she was gay then, but is straight now.” I was about to speak up and point out that sexual identity doesn’t need to be so simple, that A) bi people exist, and B) there are other possibilities as well (that she only publicly identified as a lesbian but never really felt it, that she only now publicly identifies as straight but doesn’t really feel it, that she doesn’t identify with any mainstream sexuality, and so on).
But, before I could, my other roommate said almost exactly that.
As I’ve mentioned before, I’m in a liberal group of friends to begin with. But there’s a big difference between being liberal-and-well-meaning-but-still-ignorant and absorbing all of the identity politics I sometimes feel like I spew. So it felt really good to hear one of my roommates speak up against making assumptions about identity and, on top of that, point out that sexuality doesn’t need to be a binary.