Please Get Me Off This Ride I Was Too Short When I Got On
I spent far too long coming up with a title for this piece of shit, so I hope that it’s worth it. I’ve split this piece into two sections, discussing how I came to question my sexuality and gender through my uni experiences. This is a personal account that I do not intend to reflect the experiences of other students in the experience of questioning. This is an account about complete and utter confusion, a non-zero sum of self-hatred, and about pondering one’s identity. It was written by an idiotic arts student who has decided to vomit up some problems onto a page. If that doesn’t sound worth your time, go read some of our other lovely writers in the issue you numpty! I’m sure they would appreciate it!
There is a deeply satisfying yet incredibly undue sophistication in being more drunk than reasonable and chatting out a dribble storm into some equally drunk fool’s ear. You don’t know what stories will come up in those slobberish onslaughts, what wild claims and brewing conspiracies might be spread. You don’t know what comedies and dramas, tragedies and traumas, might be spilled upon the carpet like so many gin mixers. At least the stains won’t show for long. I remember one night like this over at the Whitaker, where one of my best mates had been posted in this dinky two-roomer for a semester or two and had invited around some seven or eight people in all to drink and eat pizza. Please Get Me Off This Ride I Was Too Short When I Got On It was there, with the last twisting slugs of grey matter hanging onto sanity, that I exchanged pronouns with a party guest I hadn’t met before. I told them I went by He/Him and was a cis man and they asked me how secure I was in that fact. I told them I was very secure and had never even thought to question the fact. Just kinda assumed it, y’know? Then they recommended, as I scrunched up into a coil upon the coach, that I should take a moment or two alone to question it and work out whether my gender was where I wanted it to be at. If I just assumed, I may as well make sure, right? What’s the harm?
A year later and I still have no fucking idea what’s going on. I know I’m not a woman, I’ve crossed that off the list, but it feels like there’s too much brain gunk to sort through and I’m never really sure what’s completely comfortable to me. I’ve been socialised as a man my entire life, so much so I fear it might’ve enforced some of the more toxic aspects of my personality. My violent expression of anger and hot blooded rejection of trying on clothing - a signifier of femininity - are two key examples of this. Both are things that I want to fix about myself. I treat the concept of manliness and manhood as a meme at best and a self-destructive standard at worst. If I am to be a man, then I must be Superman or nothing at all. I must ace every test or I might as well be all Fs. I can at least address that if I am a man, then I need some much better parameters. If I’m not a man, an option which is very much on the table right now, what the fuck kind of not-a-man am I then? Either a general spread of nonbinary could be applied, but other options seem fitting in more specific ways. One of my best friends posed the option of being demiboy, being considered a man at some points and not-a-man at others depending on my mood. That openness seems to fit with my confused flip-flopping that I spend too long meditating upon some days.
In the meantime, I’ve been using gender neutral pronouns to experiment with my gender signifiers. I still have to catch people sometimes. I find myself comfortable with it for the time being, which is bringing me to wonder whether it is worth it to make a more substantial switch. Of course, I am still terrified of mentioning any such things to my family. I can only be happy that I have such supportive friends and such a supportive girlfriend. 25 As soon as I got out of high school I started questioning my sexuality. I noticed that the more parties I went to and the drunker I got the more I would make out with and romantically proposition men. I know that one’s drunk actions are an imperfect guide to their sober personality but it served as the catalyst towards a proper internal analysis of my sexuality, I recall that in High School I was once very much in that no-homo camp of “I’m not gay but I’d totally fuck Chris Hemsworth.” But then I started noticing that line was coming up for far too many men to not be a pattern. So I figured I’d get around to clearing that mystery up one way or another. Yet again, fucking NOPE. I have no goddam idea what my sexual deal is, man. I feel as if I'm attracted to men and women on different levels, which leads me to question my attraction to men as it seems much lower. I never feel active in my attraction towards men, never “I want to fuck him” but rather “yeah, I’d totally fuck him.” Like bruh, I just want some simplicity here. I feel so wishy-washy on this shit all the time. I just wanna fuck a hot dude to get some closure on it. So my brain can just do the happy-juice or the gross-juice and I can go “Cool, this is what you want? Case closed then,” and gain some fucking stability in my sexual framework.
I’ve been going by pansexual for a while now, which seems to encapsulate myself pretty well. There’s still that sneaking suspicion, however, that I might have gotten myself wrong and placed myself into a social circle of which I am unfitting. There’s the nagging feeling that not matching feelings to experience through some kind of fucked up experiment means I am not qualified enough to title myself ‘PANSEXUAL.’ Then again, I knew I was attracted to women before I had any experience with them. So what does that say about how I view my homosexual tendencies versus my heterosexual ones? I’m too tired to psychoanalyse that kinda shit, man.
It is hard to talk for very long at all about something I am in a state of confusion about and I struggle to piece together any entertainment value from it. I had that same foolish hope that so many others caught when bubbled into quarantine, that I would be the most productive I’d ever been with so much more time to myself. That was kinda dumb. Not only did I have barely any motivation for my university work, I spent my early morning hours flailing without any success at furthering my self-understanding. Questions and hypotheticals with nary a satisfactory answer, or even a permanent one.
Why the fuck do I even care about this so much? I’ve talked with a number of people who have recommended just not putting a label on who I am and going with the flow. I don’t think that this’ll work for me due to the stability that I find in my identity. I know who I can align with and find mutual experiences with. I more easily understand where I am wanted and where I am not. Perhaps that betrays some issue in my character, but it’s just another to the pile, I guess.
I’m just too tired and too hung-over for this bullshit anymore, and I hope someone reading this can raise a glass with me in mutual suffering.