I have been out since I sort of accidentally came out age 12 at school. Someone asked me if I was lesbian, I said no. They then asked "well do you like girls at all" and I was like yeah they're pretty cool and all of a sudden I was a LESBIAN. Except, I wasn't. At the time and for a few years after I called myself Bi-sexual. I've never felt comfortable with that term though and eventually came across Pan-sexual. I'm not sure if this is the exact label that is suited to me but it is closer. It's just slightly broader and means that I like everyone regardless of what gender they identify as. To me it doesn't matter if you are a man, woman or anything in between. I don't care what you were born as or who you feel that you really are. I am attracted to the WHOLE WORLD!!!! People talk about straight privilege but in all honesty I feel very privileged to be attracted to such a range of people. It can get confusing at times but generally speaking I'm very comfortable with it.
I wasn't always, of course. My parents were very accepting. I think my mother more so although she appears to sometimes forget that I like girls and transgender people. I think my dad would prefer it if I only liked boys who were born as boys but would never say so. Some school chums were less accepting of course. Although I think they're less homophobic now they've grown up which is of course great. Still there's a part of me that stings when they change their Facebook profile picture in support of LGBTQ rights and I'm like "I remember when you asked me not to get changed in the girls changing rooms". Or when I would be having a normal conversation and one of them piped up with "eh ma god Emma are you hitting on me?" Funnily enough I've never made a habit out of hitting on straight women. Ultimately a little disappointing don't you think?
I also found that when I moved to England people were easier going about it. In my experience Swedish people talk about how open and accepting they are but if anything disturbs the status quo they often become very uncomfortable. The English people that I've met who were homophobic were a lot more vocal about it which made it easier to cope with. Most people I've met have been either very supportive or just not seen it as a thing. Both of which I find equally pleasant. I have of course met the occasional guy who has got off on the fact that I also like women but unless they're unpleasant about it, it's not something that bothers me. Everyone has fantasies and many men fantasise about two women together. Generally any boyfriend has said "the idea of you with a woman is great, the reality not so much".
A question that I often get asked is "which do you prefer?" And the answer is; it doesn't work like that for me. I like everyone, sometimes I go through a phase of being off boys and I begin to wonder if I'm completely gay but my interest in guys always comes back. I do tend to like more effeminate men but I'm not sure there's much to be read into that.
Do I feel any shame in my sexuality? Hell no! I'm out and I'm proud!