Photo by Delia Giandeini on Unsplash

An idea has been going around in my head ever since the pandemic started. I’ve been thinking a great deal about gender, sexual orientation, and their connection to my identity, more-so than I ever have in my life. This feels significant as someone who was an angry, young queer activist. I won’t bore you with my thought processes (that may come at a later time), but the conclusions I’ve reached thus far are this:

  1. Gender is a myth and an utter fabrication, and any allegiance to it is completely nonsensical now. Yet, people can and do feel variably female, or male, or other, or both, or neither, and they can do so at any stage of their life because gender is a fabrication and like all fabrications, it can be dismantled;

  2. That even though I have identified as straight, questioning, bisexual, lesbian, monogamous, married (but bisexual), the apex of a polyamorous V, and “just Cecily” at various points in my life, I have come to the realization that for me, queer is my political identity, but gay — no, not lesbian, GAY — is my sexual orientation. Do I still find men attractive? Yup. Would I slide into a dude’s DMs some night? Nope, not anymore. Besides, I’m done looking.

  3. The term lesbian has never suited me1; I have always felt excluded from it. Furthermore, lesbian always seemed to signify a particular political ideology2 that I did not share;

This may not be news to my close friends, but it felt like a big shift in my thinking. I believe in learning in public, and so… gestures at this whole blog

  1. While I owe a lot of my ideas/political awakenings to the community of second-wave lesbian feminists (especially since I’m old as dirt), I never felt like I was among their number. Queer always fit me better. “Dykey” was fine, but still not quite right unless I was feeling full of swagger, which was never, and; 
  2. Women who identify as lesbians are still an important part of the history and continued viability of the Alphabet Mafia, and I wish to GOD dyke bars would come back because I miss them more than I miss angel biscuits, which is a LOT. 

By Cecily Walker

Cecily is a mid-career library professional. She is an internationally recognized speaker in library and information studies, user experience, equity and social justice. When she's not being a humourless feminist, you can find her holding court on Twitter or riding a Vespa around town where she entertains fantasies of being Batgirl. The ideas and thoughts expressed on this blog are her own: Cecily does not now, nor has she ever, spoken for her employer.