Sexual orientation is a notion that encompasses all forms of sexual desire and attraction, as well as all the fantasies that are linked to it. It is an important part of a person's identity and can influence the way they perceive themselves and interact with the world around them. Sexual orientation can vary in intensity and expression over the course of a person's lifetime.
It is important to emphasize that sexual orientation should not be confused with gender identity, which describes how a person perceives and expresses themselves in relation to being male, female, or non-binary. Sexual orientation and gender identity are two distinct aspects of a person's identity.
We all know the terms heterosexuality, homosexuality, and bisexuality, and yet, there are many others! There is pansexuality for example, which takes into account the spectrum of gender. Being pansexual means that you can be attracted to people without any consideration for their gender: male, female, non-binary, or genderfluid, they don't care. There is also asexuality: not feeling any sexual desire towards anyone. (Be careful not to confuse it with aromantism, which accounts for the absence of romantic feeling). All in all, there are about fifteen possible sexual orientations. As you will have understood, sexual orientation is a big playground with an unlimited amount of options, even if our society is heteronormative, where heterosexuality is considered the standard.
This overbearing view can make it difficult for people who don't identify as hetero to feel accepted and encouraged to explore their own sexual orientation. Of course, it's okay to be heterosexual, but it’s important for those who don’t conform to that norm to have role models to identify with.
In this article, what we want to emphasize is that everyone can find their place, regardless of their desires and preferences. It is possible for each of us to navigate the turbulent waters of sexual orientation in order to find our own path and embrace our authenticity.