Unpacking your sexuality later in life is a little like living out that scene in The Matrix where Neo is offered a choice between two pills.
"You take the blue pill... the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe," Morpheus tells him.
"You take the red pill... I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes."
Like most people, I grew up swallowing the idea that sexuality and gender were binary constructs, so interrogating my sexual identity essentially meant accepting the existence of another entirely different (and frankly terrifying) reality – something feminist essayist Adrienne Rich coined 'compulsory heterosexuality'; a term that's since become internet canon.
Rich's alternate reality isn't dystopian, though. It's simply the argument that what we think we know about sexual attraction is actually just the byproduct of social conditioning. Case in point: women are told to view an exclusive attraction to masculinity as evidence we're straight. Even though this logic ignores a rarely spoken truth: masculinity doesn't belong to men.
So, here's the red pill: are you attracted to MEN? Or are you simply attracted to MASCULINITY?
But first, here's an explainer on the correct terms to use when it comes to the LGBTIAP community. Post continues after video.