Pansexuality & … Explaining

 

I’m going to write a few posts over time on different aspects when you are pansexual in a little series that I have very unimaginatively called Pansexuality & … This is the first of the series dealing with explaining.

 

Ok, so it’s not like everyone is going to instantly ask you your sexuality. That would be rather rude. Some might but they are a whole other story altogether. But when you get to know people it comes up in very casual ways like who are you into so they can set you up with someone and the like. I probably have been guilty of partially shutting myself off from getting into meaningful relationships either romantic or friendship because I fear the awkwardness which would follow saying I was pansexual. There is many people of course who wouldn’t care but you can’t always tell who they are. Not everyone at this stage knows what pansexual even means so you feel like you are opening yourself up to possible ignorant questions or possible horror on the face of someone who liked you before. Obviously that’s a problem they have but it can hurt nonetheless. That’s why I feel more comfortable with people who are pansexual or somewhere in the middle with their sexuality because I know they’d understand me. In saying that I don’t want to shut people out who aren’t in the middle because there is lovely people too who aren’t. It’s just a very nerve-wrecking thing often to open up to people who you aren’t sure will get you. And then if you defend yourself you’re deemed too sensitive. Which you’re not.

 

And it can be difficult because when you are going for anything it’s an extra thing to worry about. You want to get to know people but you feel like in some way when they know they’ll always see you as “different” or “something other”. Crazy I know but it is often true. The first thing that would be in so many peoples’ heads when they’d see me would be “She’s the pansexual girl.” and I am very happy and content in my sexuality but there’s more to me than it. It becomes something to comment on and I never think of anyone’s sexuality as something to comment on. It’s just part of them. So that makes you uneasy as well. I don’t think sometimes people put themselves in other peoples’ shoes. It’s uncomfortable when people comment on your sexuality and not everyone else’s. Take for instance if I commented on Kate (fictional obviously) being “the straight girl” and never on anyone else’s sexuality, Kate would get pissed off and she’d be right. And I’m no different. And part of the fear is not wanting to get into conflict with someone while they play the “I meant no harm” card.

 

Communications have an added fear for many of us who are pansexual. I’m an introvert anyway so it’s double the added fear! 🙂 Just be kind to each other, treat each other the same, we all just want to get on in life and be happy. Don’t do anything on people of a particular sexuality or sexualities that you wouldn’t do on another or others. I know most people don’t want to make other people feel uncomfortable so make a real effort not to. Then everyone will be a lot happier in their day-to-day communications.

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Pansexuality & Me

In October 2015, I realised that I was pansexual. Pansexual, for anyone not aware of the term’s meaning, is been attracted to men, women and non-binary people. It took me a while to work out that I was and a lot of the reason for that was because I had this belief that at 25 I should have known by now. That’s an important thing I want to say here: you are never too old to figure out your sexuality. It doesn’t mean you are “immature” or “slow to figure things out”. While I do believe that we are all born with our sexualities I don’t think, no matter what someone’s sexuality is, that there is a fixed age to find out. I was attracted only to guys growing up so I thought I was straight. I hadn’t knew or knew of anyone who was non-binary growing up so it wasn’t a surprise when I was attracted to people who were but I did know a lot of women so that was confusing. You hear people saying from an early age they kind of knew and my experience doesn’t follow that traditional path. So I was confused by feeling feelings for women that I had never felt before but then I realised that what it comes down to is that I hadn’t been aware of a woman who I felt like that for before. When you do feel strong feelings for someone you just know.

I can imagine that if someone had a “preferred sexuality” (which I don’t think anyone should have) that it would be a scary experience. But I didn’t really care. I just was so confused that I just wanted to know. Unless you have been through an experience where you have been trying to figure out part of your identity it’s hard to explain. You find yourself walking around in a blurred haze and your brain very often is trying to piece things together. You are actually worried someone will ask you what sexuality you are and you’ll have to admit you aren’t sure. Which goes back to the age thing again. I was scared I’d sound “thick” by admitting that because I thought people would think I should know. This sounds mad in hindsight because who is going to actually ask you your sexuality out in the middle of a casual conversation? Not too many would.

Again to really understand this it’s something you’d have to experience but when I realised a sense of ease came over my shoulders. It was like there had been a stress on me that I hadn’t even realised was there. It was a very liberating feeling, like a new chapter, like life was there and to be lived. My sister was great in listening to me rabbiting on about the process of finding out and then when I did. We don’t really have prejudices. She respects me as pansexual and I respect her as straight. I wouldn’t say I came out to my sister about been pansexual. It was a very casual conversation and that’s a really nice reflection of the times. Not everyone has that experience even nowadays though which is very sad. I never told my mum though. Mainly because pansexuality is not very much in mainstream media and my mum gets nervous of things which are unfamiliar shall we say. I don’t think she’d care if I was gay or bisexual but it would still be a lie so I leave it as straight because it’s better to tell one lie than two. Because if pansexuality ever does go more mainstream it would be less confusing to go from straight to pansexual then straight to bisexual to pansexual if that makes sense.

A lot of people don’t know what it means but most people when they do are respectful. The fact that it is pushed under the carpet a lot I hope doesn’t feed a prejudice towards pansexuality. There’s also a lot of misconceptions which surround pansexuality. I don’t fit into a lot of the stereotypes. For example I don’t have a preference for what gender I go for. My preference is someone’s personality. That doesn’t mean I’m “gender-blind”. I don’t really like that term to be honest because when I like or love someone I like everything about them and that includes their gender. I don’t think most people who use that term mean it in a bad way but it can come over as totally dismissing someone’s gender. Another misconception is that someone who is pansexual has a high sex drive. Someone who is pansexual for example could be asexual too. I’m not exactly asexual but I’m somewhere in the middle. What is important though to remember is that there is people who are pansexual who have a gender they have a preference for and there is pansexual people who have a high sex drive. And all of that is completely fine too. What isn’t fine is putting people into boxes based on their sexual orientation. It’s not based on someone’s sexuality. It’s based on who that person is as an individual. Another misconception is that someone who is pansexual couldn’t be in a long-term relationship or be monogamous. I happen to be monogamous and I happen to be an old romantic who would love to settle down with the love of my life someday. But obviously there is people in every sexuality who would prefer to be free. I don’t believe in boxes been put on people. For example a person with a high drive who is pansexual doesn’t have a high sex drive because they are pansexual and someone like me in the middle or someone who is asexual shouldn’t have to face misconceptions about who we are because they are pansexual. But also it’s the ones who put the boxes on people who are the problem. Not the people who happen to fit into any of the stereotypes. I hear people, not just in regards of pansexuality but in lots of situations, blaming the latter. Things like “it’s because of you people think this” or “you are confirming the stereotype”. It’s hypocritical. The fight is supposed to be for people to be able to be who they are and if a person happens to fit a stereotype and that’s who they are we should be supporting that, not knocking them for it.

It feels like pansexuality is on the bottom rung of the ladder because it still isn’t widely known about in the media. I can understand how a person wouldn’t know about it. I think some people think it doesn’t exist or that we’re following a “trend” (like it’s a new high street handbag which personally I think is a weird way to think about feelings) or that we’re confused. I can say my feelings feel incredibly real, that sexuality isn’t a trend, it exists very obviously because peoples’ feelings match what it describes and ironically that it’s the first time that I haven’t been confused.

So what does it feel like to be pansexual? It feels like to be human.

Oh and I’m not attracted to frying pans. If you think that it says more about you mate than me. Just saying.

3 Years Lovelies!

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Culture Vulture Express turns 3 today! 🙂

The last three years have been absolutely amazing. There is so much said about blogging much in a snobby way that “everyone who has a blog is a writer” and all that jazz but I think blogging is great. It takes away that elite vibe that is sometimes associated with writing and opens up channels of communication for people to express themselves through what they love doing. What could be better than that?

Us bloggers write because it’s a need, a passion, a love. We can’t imagine not having somewhere to create pieces. It isn’t about the money, the fame, the prestige. It’s about something so much more than that. It’s an opportunity to create pieces like we did when we were kids, only this time someone might actually read them. So in a way everyone who has a blog is a writer because that’s the true essence of been a writer.

As always I would of course like to thank my readers for sticking with me and to all new readers you are very welcome to the blog. I hope you find something of interest here. I hope the blog continues to be as wonderful an experience as it has been so far and I’m sure it will be. I do a lot of writing but this blog is my baby because I set it up myself and that’s very rewarding. And there is so many amazing blogs around that it is wonderful to be one tiny drop in the blogging ocean. And I’m looking forward to continuing to be. 🙂

The Voice UK – Take Two!

Read about my experiences at the Belfast Voice UK auditions over at my music site if you’d like to :-):

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So yesterday The Voice UK rolled into Belfast for the Irish leg of their auditions. And yours truly went along to audition. It was my second time auditioning for the show. I auditioned two years ago too.

My sister and I got the train into Dublin and then another train to Belfast for the audition. We arrived and couldn’t remember where the hotel was from the last time so we waddled around asking for directions which some lovely people helped us with. Thanks. 🙂 We got there in the end and I nearly tripped over the carpet when I was going into the hotel before registering and then nearly missing the holding room which the girl I registered with had pointed me towards. Socially awkward, much? 🙂

So then we were all waiting in the holding area for the group to become ten people before we could be brought up…

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Here’s To 2016!

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Hi everyone!

So we’ve all just arrived in a new year and in my case the need for a new bottle of hair dye shows that I am indeed approaching another year older. We are all making those resolutions that most of us probably will abandon by the end of January or earlier. My two this year are to be more myself because by nature I’m very introverted so maybe attempt to be more open and less guarded like in my writing but apply it to my everyday life. I’m sure every introvert knows that the idea of that alone frightens me enormously. The other is to start my own little business. It’s just a simple idea of framing my poetry and trying to get it sold in some of the shops that sell gifts and the like. Probably won’t work out but is worth a go.

Rejection is after all only one person’s opinion be in life or in work and we need not be scared of it. It is after all only one moment in time and once we get through that awkward moment we are on safe ground. So we shouldn’t allow that fear to stop us trying and progressing.

On a more lighter note, Happy New Year to all my readers and to all your loved ones. Let’s make 2016 a year full of fun, a year full of memories to take into 2017. I for one intend to. And in terms of the blog I hope to write interesting content which I hope you will all like. Thanks so far for all your support with the blog. It means a lot. 🙂

The Link Between Shyness and The Creative Arts!

When I was younger, I used to sing in school shows and the amount of times I heard that it was a surprise to people that I did perform on stage was countless. I don’t think people mean it with any malice. I think they just genuinely are surprised. I think it has been conditioned into peoples’ minds that shyness somehow means that a person will be cowering away in a corner half the time or something. And that doesn’t tend to be true. I think where the problem begins really is that people don’t understand what shyness is. Shyness is when a person is not confident in how they speak. That doesn’t necessarily mean that that lack of confidence in one area of their lives translates in any other particular area. It’s like a person who isn’t confident in their driving for example, it doesn’t mean they are going be not confident in another part of their lives such as playing a sport for example. And it can completely go the other way too. I have seen people who are the biggest talkers freeze when they go on a stage and that’s because they are confident in their speaking but not in performing.

I always find it weird when people say that they don’t think people can achieve in creative fields due to their shyness. Especially when you look at the history of so many successful people in the creative industries. And I’m not just pulling at straws. So many of the people who were successful shy creatives have been major names in show business and have been brave enough to be unique and do something new. Let’s look at a few and celebrate them for a few moments:

Music

David Bowie

“I’m not particularly a gregarious person. I had an unbearable shyness; it was much easier for me to keep on with the Ziggy thing, off stage as well as on. Who was David Bowie and who was Ziggy Stardust? It was motivated by shyness.”

Ella Fitzgerald

“I’m very shy, and I shy away from people. But the moment I hit the stage, it’s a different feeling. I get nerve from somewhere; maybe it’s because it’s something I love to do.”

Bob Dylan

“I remember Bob had soft, squidgy, little hands and was really shy – he hardly said two words.”

– Thin Lizzy’s Gary Moore speaking about Bob Dylan.

Freddie Mercury

“In real life nobody knew Freddie. He was shy, gentle and kind. He was never the one, he was on the stage.”

– Queen bandmate Roger Taylor speaking about Freddie Mercury.

Brian Molko

“I am actually a shy person, but there is a need for the flamboyant aspect of myself to express itself. The context for that is the live show. That side of my personality is satisfied by the act of performance, and I don’t need to behave extravagantly in my everyday life. Which I’m quite grateful for.”

Elvis Presley

“Here I was with somebody who I didn’t know was going to become famous. But I did know two things: I knew that he was not shy – I mean, Elvis was shy in the sense that he was introverted,but he was not shy to the camera – and he made the girls cry.”

– Alfred Wertheimer speaking about Elvis Presley.

And alas, that’s just six in music. If you Google it or read music biographies you’ll find so many more your eyes will burst with pride and awe if you are shy like me.

And now onto fashion which I shall list three people from but like music if you search you’ll find so many more!

Fashion

Yves Saint Laurent

“An ugly, ungainly, overgrown boy with thick glasses, and so horribly shy he couldn’t take his eyes off the floor”.

– Womens Wear Daily’s correspondent speaking about Yves Saint Laurent.

Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel

“I remember reading a book about Chanel in which a woman talks about seeing her singing in a little cabaret when she was maybe 18. Chanel was described as a shy, ambitious girl. This adjective of ‘shy’ surprised me. I think that is what is interesting about her, that she had such different dimensions. She couldn’t only be a strong and tough and stubborn person, because you don’t create with your confidence. You create with your doubts.”

– Audrey Tautou speaking about Coco Chanel

Gianni Versace

“I’m still the little, provincial shy boy who forced himself to be a public person.”

And three examples from the acting profession darlings!

Acting

Cillian Murphy

“The shy Corkman tells Stephen Milton about his venture to the small screen and how he’s recently started getting offers to play ‘dad’ roles”

– from independent.ie speaking about Cillian Murphy.

Ben Whishaw

“Dressed in a black polo neck and blue trousers — an ensemble that wouldn’t look out of place on Bond himself – Whishaw is sitting opposite me on a sofa somewhere in central London. Slender and stubbly, he appears initially nervous as he distractedly picks at a sandwich. But I soon realise that he is appealingly shy.”

– James Rampton speaking about Ben Whishaw.

Keira Knightley

“I am crap at parties. I tend to sit in the corner. I’ll sit in the corner and find one person to talk to or I’ll go on the dance floor and get quite drunk. But I am not good at that whole … (About been at the round of parties for Pride and Prejudice with her brother and parents.) We all stood in a corner, saying ‘Oh, this is weird!’.”

So I think all these people and countless others have proved that shyness won’t stop a person achieving what they want to achieve in life. And yet even today people say, “Great yet shy.” like the two can’t exist together or it’s strange that they do which I find a little strange really. I often wonder where the rule that to be publicly successful you had to be a great talker anyway came in. After all, what has it got to do with a person’s craft and talent? We may not be the bravest in social situations but we are in life.

A Day Out In Dún Laoghaire With My Girls!

I had a lovely day out in Dún Laoghaire recently with my mum and sister. We first headed to Ticketmaster which is basically part of a small shop in the shopping centre and where we get all our concert/musical tickets when we can afford them! And today we got tickets for Placebo at The Olympia and The X Factor Tour in the O2 in 2015. After that, me and mum brought scratchcards from the shop (trying to reclaim some of the money we had spent on our tickets! Hehe!) and I won 25 Euros. Yay!

Then I headed down to the record store. Got three Vinyl stickers: The Rolling Stones, AC/DC and “Plug In … Tune Up … Rock Out”. Possibles for my guitar! 🙂 and we then went and had a look around Penneys. Got some dog pjs. The girls got pjs too and then we went to Dealz and I got this incredible calendar for 2015. It has all Rock Legends in it from Sting to Gene Simmons, Bryan Adams, Jon Bon Jovi and my own two personal favourites Freddie Mercury and Jimi Hendrix. It’s amazing. We also went to Tesco and then we went home after that.

It was a lovely day out and we’re looking forward to the gigs. Me and my sister were laughing on the way home about how February is going to be a hot month because we’ll be seeing both Brian Molko and Ben Haenow in the flesh! Really looking forward to that indeed! 🙂