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Celeste's blog

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Sexuality vs Orientation

I've been thinking more about sexuality versus sexual orientation. I've found that sexual orientation appears to be a social construction in the way that our sex is. Orientation suggests a single direction--a rigidity that I believe is found less often than expected when talking about human attraction.  These are the vocabulary words handed down to us.  In the way that our bodies are sometimes forced to commit to male or female, the same occurs with our sexualities because for some, it can be hard to imagine a world where words cannot define. These terms do not provide the prope scope to explain and define the sexual, emotional, or romantic experiences of humans. And for me, that is frustrating.  It's frustrating to see eyes roll when I mention being queer.  Once, somebody asked me if I wanted to be "special"--if I was "above just being bisexual"?  I choose to use some different words because I try to find the most specific language possible to describe my experience and my feelings at this point in my life.  It would do little justice to pick one over the other, as they provide little space for reflection and even self-doubt, which I find is the best prompt for internal reflection.

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In my home, we have a book of Joseph Stella paintings that my dad keeps in the basement.  One of my favorite things to do as a little girl was to sneak down and examine the many pages, filled with the variety of works Stella completed in his lifetime.  My favorite was always my avatar.  It was mesmerizing for me to look at. I loved the placid expression on Mary's face, and the way all the colors of the fruit and flowers seemed to tie into her body and facial language.  When I attended weekly Catechism, I imagined her in the same way as I imagined Disney princesses. As this godly, "chosen" human, she formed one of my first images of the female identity--the creator, the provider of all that is good and holy in this world.  Although I never was terribly religious, and wasn't capable of fully comprehending Mary as the Christian figure of divine femininity, I connected with the natural, lush beauty that she portrays in the painting.  I identify as cisgendered and queer.  In reflection, I realize that the allure of Mary's presentation intiated the beginning of my fascination with women on a sexual and spiritual level.  Through this, I could see that the woman is a beautiful and essential part of nature, and that as a self-identifying girl, I was part of that.  

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