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I’m Hannah Everhart and I’m from Sterling, Virginia. And my story that I want to share is about personal identity.
Right now I identify as queer, which means sort of an all-encompassing point of view that I am attracted to who I am attracted to when I am attracted to them, and that gender is fluid. It’s just easier to say I’m sort of this broad identity rather than I’m just this one letter in the alphabet soup of being not straight.
When I was in college I sort of became a token activist and I was asked to participate on three different student-led panel discussions. In the first panel discussion, my Junior year, I identified as bisexual. When really in my head, gender identity did not matter to me at all in aspects of some of my own gender identity. And so I didn’t even really think about it at the time because it was normal for me. And so I’m sitting next to one of my close friends who identifies as pansexual, and she said to me basically like, “to me, gender identity does not matter.” And it clicked, I was like oh, these are different. Wow.
I got a lot of “What does that mean?” And then having to explain the difference between sex and gender and then defining cisgender and then cisexual got to be really kind of frustrating because since there’s so much transphobia in the queer community that I got to kind of experience people’s reactions to that, as well as their reactions to the fact that I identify–or identified as something that they had not heard before.
I actually had a couple people ask me about my sexual orientation a couple of times. And someone asked a really inappropriate question, he said, “What are you?” And I said, “Oh, I’m Blank intern.” And then he said, “Yeah, but what are you?” I said, “Well what do you mean?” “You know, like what are you?” “Do you mean my sexual orientation?” “Yes.” And then I said, “I’m queer.” He said, “So you’re gay.” “No.” “So you’re straight?” “No.” “So you’re bisexual.” “No.” And then he just got really confused and then he just looked at me and asked, “Are you a top or a bottom?” And I basically said, “That’s none of your business.” And then he seemed really surprised by that and he had no idea that asking me that was a completely inappropriate question. I don’t think he had bad intentions but it was in a very inappropriate way. So, kind of a “things that are really rude to ask people one-on-one” might be needed in the future.