I remember the night before my 17th birthday. “This is it,” I whispered into my Sailor Moon pillow. The clock flashed 11:59 pm, burning its red LED numerals into my eyes. The air was thick but I wasn’t sure if it was anticipation, or nerves. Counting my breaths, (in, out, and in, and out) I watched for the numbers to change, for everything to be decided, to start my future. What would I be? Who would I love tomorrow? I crossed my fingers that I’d at least be bisexual. I had always crushed on my best friend, Sky.
I can almost imagine her lips pressed against… “No, Mimzy. You can’t think like that”, I scolded myself, “No one knows what their true orientation is until the strike of their 17th birthday”. But, was it a hint, I wondered? Was it a preminition? Or would I only end up wanting to be with, specifically, male identifying individuals? Would my crush on her instantly stop the moment that clock rolled over? I silently wondered if my mother was staring at her clock, too. Did it matter to her? What would she think of me in the morning? On her Orientation Day, she woke up a monogamous demisexual, panromantic. I mean, that doesn’t sound so bad. I could hear my father’s snores drifting through the walls. Was it the sound that was shaking my bed, or was the static tension of my excitement causing me to tremble? My brother had another year to wait before his Orientation Day. Would he be clenching his teeth? Digging his nails into his palms until he swore there was blood? He swore he’d be bisexual, but who knows at his age? I started to imagine living in a world where people’s orientations are fluid and can change over time. It’d be a pretty place with daisies, where you could be straight leaning one week and be homosexual for years, a place where you can grow and keep rediscovering yourself… I sighed.
I swear I heard a click as the clock hit 12:00 am and all the queer, polyamorous feelings flooded through my body. What was this? Compersion? Why did I suddenly want to be cuddled by 2 other people? What was this? Why did I have a sudden urge to buy a day planner and and talk about my feelings so much? Why didn’t I care about the genders or genitals of my future partners? WHAT WAS THIS?
And that, children, was the very moment I became a queer, polyamorous person.