Editor's Note: This article deals with the mature subject of sexuality. Prior to reading this, I encourage you all to talk to your parents/guardians. Please remain respectful in the BBS.
For quite some time, I was very, very lost. As I grew up, I never really developed a crush on anybody, but that was okay. Though, when all of my friends started swooning over their new Prince Charmings, I got kind of worried. At the lunch table, they'd all talk about the guys they liked, or how their latest boyfriend had been such a jerk the other day. I'd just sit with my salami sandwich on whole-wheat and listen, wondering every so often if I was normal. Stupid, yes, but pretty much all teenage girls want to fit in at least a little. I started questioning if I was straight or not; after all, I never thought about guys the way my friends did. I would be fine with being a lesbian, too, but I did wonder what my family would think of me. My father just wouldn't understand; my oldest brother is deeply religious and homophobic; my mother is a no-nonsense sort of person.
I just gave up after a while; there was no point in worrying so much about it. Time would tell . . . and it did; just this year, I had the most massive, heartbreaking crush on a boy that I knew just wanted me as a friend. Even if it was a terribly painful thing to like this boy, I was relieved . . . Of course, then I caught myself. My eyes would linger where they shouldn't in changing rooms . . . I would notice how pretty the girls crossing the street were and wonder what it would be like to be there with them, my arm around a waist or my hand in someone else's. I didn't really mind; it wasn't as if I was doing anything wrong, so I didn't think about it much.
Months went by. And then, while dwindling my life away in front of the computer, I found it. Yes, it was only a few weeks ago, but as soon as I saw what it meant, I knew. I am pansexual. Pansexuality, also known as omnisexuality, is attraction to a person regardless of gender. (Pan means "all" in Greek.) Although not many people know about it, pansexuality is becoming a more mainstream term. It means I like all people; men, women, transgenders, transvestites, androgenous . . . I have no preference.
Now, you may be thinking to yourself, "Oh, she's talking about bisexuality." No, I'm not. A bisexual likes men and women; a pansexual likes anybody. Yes, it's a small difference, and you may think it's a stupid one, but to me, it's not. There are some people that think pansexuality is just a dumb term for people to feel unique or different; after all, any way you look at it, a human is either male or female. There isn't a third gender . . . and either you prefer males, you prefer females, or you prefer both, right? Wrong. Yes, I agree that there isn't a third physical gender, but what about a psychological one? What about people that don't see themselves as a man or a woman? Or people that look like the opposite gender?
I know this might not seem like a big enough difference to call for another sexual orientation for some people, but I don't know. It just doesn't seem right to say I'm bisexual. When I first said to a friend, "Hey, I'm pansexual, and this is what it means," it just felt so right to say that's what I am. My friends were fantastic about it; they didn't look away, didn't abandon me. They said, "That's great, Keena," smiled, and then we went on with whatever we were doing. I am so lucky to have such awesome people in my life, when I know others lost their friends once they told them they weren't straight. I haven't told my family yet. I've tried to tell my mother, but I just can't seem to get the words out. I've thought about telling them in different ways - a letter, maybe, or leaving up a message on the family computer, but I can't bring myself to do it. I'm not ready to tell them yet; and that's okay. It can wait.
This is Keena, for once at peace with herself.