If your body and gender identifies with the sex you were assigned at birth, and you've only dated people who are of the opposite sex, but you feel like there's some exploring to do with your own identity, let your New Year's resolution for exploring your sexuality be to queer TF up. Seriously. Drop the labels. Realize that your gender has nothing to do with the body you were born in. Find the places where your binaries — the parts of you that you consider masculine or feminine — overlap. Start opening yourself up to relationships with all kinds of people, regardless of the body they were born in. Study love until you see that it's liquid and flows between you and every single person you care about. Realize that there is very little difference between friendship and romance. I can't tell you exactly how to go about doing this, but basically, I think the key to lasting peace on Earth is for every individual on this planet to shake up their old notions of sex and romance. What could be a better resolution than that?
This starts with identifying the taboos and shame that you have built around sex. Cis-heteronormative society seeks to regulate the way in which people relate to one another. That means that it imposes a lot of toxic belief systems that stop us from acting on our desires. Everybody needs to do serious work within them to undo the homophobia, transphobia, body issues, and other oppressive belief systems that every single one of us has likely internalized in some way or another.
If that sounds like big work, well, that's because it is. And this process probably won't happen in one year. Your gender and sexuality will continue to evolve over the course of your entire lifetime. But if you're down to get started with expanding it in 2018 to really explore who you are, here's how.
1. Resolve To Try Other Forms Of Sex
Probably the biggest obstacle to me breaking down my relationship to sexuality and my body had to do with learning there is more than one way to have sex. For me, penetrative sex dominated my idea of intimacy. Experimenting with non-penetrative sex was immensely healing for me and completely changed my relationship to my body.
That's not to say that penetrative sex doesn't have a place in queerness. Far from it. Our bodies have openings for many reasons, and one of those reasons is to give and receive pleasure. However, resolve to broaden your horizons in the bedroom and experiment with different partners.
2. Resolve To Learn More About Your Gender
Gender is unfixed and has nothing to do with the body you were born in. The way you choose to present yourself — whether you wear long fake eyelashes or plaid shirts or both — doesn't have anything to do with what you have under your clothes.
If you have never experimented with wearing different clothes before, now is a good time to start. If you're in a partnership right now, then resolve for the both of you to play around (if your partner is comfortable with that). Encourage your SO to wear a ball gown to the bar. Drastically change your hair and stop wearing makeup for a month. When you vary up your gender presentation, you find new expressions of beauty that you might have never considered before. Do yourself a favor, and look for it.
3. Resolve To Find New Queer Icons
A new generation of queer intellectuals is pushing the boundaries of love and intimacy. Instagram is an excellent tool for finding some of them. A handful of my own queer icons include Joshua Allen, Precious Okoyomon, Karmenife X, and Loren Crow. And that's just a start.
When you make a break from your restricted notions of love and sex, you start a healing journey that ultimately ends in wholeness with yourself. In order to fully resolve your relationship to patriarchal notions of tenderness, you need to find some people who have challenged social norms before you. Online, you can find membership in a huge, caring, centuries-old community of people who have shaken up stale notions of gender and sexuality. We're open. Come join us.
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