• Les Gazzette


By Tiya Parmar

Initially when I first heard of the LGBT+ community, I thought it only encompassed lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders. I held a complete disregard to the + sign following the T. It was like I was told these are the identities that exist beyond what you’ve come to relate to and I was like Cool. Good to know.

I didn’t even stop to think that these might not be the only identities, that there might be people who associate with more identities than I acknowledged. And here’s a thought that didn’t enter my mind at all – there are people who identify with various identities of which I know nothing.

Thing is, I really was in the dark about all the various identities. Still might be. But don’t put all the blame on me, it is slightly confusing. There are all these types of types of identities ya know ( That was not a typo ). Like you have your gender identity, gender expression ( Yeah, they mean different things ), sexual orientation, romantic orientation, etc.

All these terms are very interesting if you care to delve deep enough, especially the latter term, romantic orientation. I read about asexuality and aromanticism in a couple of books this year and I was confused. Mostly because we often assume that the person (gender wise) you are romantically attracted to is also the person (gender wise) you are sexually attracted to. Or vice versa. Often, that is the case. But there are always exceptions to the rule.

Romantic orientation is basically the sex/gender of the person one is likely to fall in love with or harbour a romantic attraction towards.

I’d like to point out here, that sexual attraction and romantic attraction are completely different things, though they are often correlated.

Like you can be pansexual and heteroromantic, meaning sexually you an be attracted to any human but only have romantic inclinations towards people of the opposite gender. Such a scenario is also called as having a cross orientation, meaning your sexual and romantic identities differ.

That was only one example. There are many romantic identities of which I’m probably only stating a few down ( still doing research, remember.)

· Aromantic: No romantic attraction towards anyone

· Heteroromantic (or heteromantic): Romantic attraction towards person(s) of the opposite gender

· Homoromantic: Romantic attraction towards person(s) of the same gender

· Biromantic: Romantic attraction towards person(s) of two or more genders.

· Panromantic: Romantic attraction towards person(s) of any, every, and all genders.

· Demiromantic: Romantic attraction towards any person(s) but only after forming a deep emotional bond with the person(s).

· Greyromantic: Experiencing romantic attraction rarely or only under certain circumstances.

- Copy Pasted from Wiki by yours truly.

PS: Even the Wiki page on romantic orientation does not give a lot.

Coming back to the point I made earlier, people often confuse lust with love. Love is an independent entity of its own and so is lust. People who say that lust is equally needed as love, commitment, trust, communication, and blah,blah for any romantic relationship to work out well are wrong. I want to use a stronger word to underline the seriousness of this misconception, because it is a very serious misconception.

Through ages our society has placed the idea that a romantic relationship cannot survive or be successful without sexual attraction or intercourse. Take a look at all the romcoms you watch, there are so many comments made on a person’s sexual life with their partner and how their relationship is failing due to a lack of it. Again, I don’t mean to be generalising, but I can name about three movies at the top of my head without even thinking.

Marriage also evolved, over time, into a social structure to prevent infidelity and divorces. People married, not because they wanted to reproduce or they were in love, but because it was recognised as the only socially acceptable way to satisfy their carnal desires. That’s one of the reasons why there is so much pressure to marry once you reach a certain age. That may not be the only reason for the pressure, but it surely is a major one.

People who can’t make or take crude jokes are called 'sajjan'. Even in some of the YA books people who are virgins are called stuck up or prude.

All I’m trying to point out here is how we, as a society, think that people who are in love have to be sexually attracted to the person we’re in love with. We don’t recognise that people can feel sexually attracted to a person without liking or even loving them and that people can love each other without feeling sexually attracted.

(On another note, did you know that there are various types of attractions? Like there’s aesthetic attraction in which you find someone good looking without feeling anything for them.)

I get that there’s not much awareness about this and that illiteracy is the prime motivator of hate and discrimination. I mean even Wiki has nothing much to say about this. Which is a feat in itself, because Wiki has something, and by that I mean a shit ton, to say about everything and everyone.

So moral of the story- People, educate yourselves and other around you, spread love and hugs and chocolate (who doesn’t like chocolates?), know that you keep evolving and changing as a person and you will go through times when said love and hugs and chocolate will be rare, and remember you as a sexual person and you as a romantic person can have different identities, and while often they work well together, sometimes they don’t. But at the end of the day….

You do you.

Happy pride month and year and life! Be proud of yourself!

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