Tuesday, 4 August 2015

My sexuality as a hobby

Mostly, I work. That is what spend most of my time doing. I'm a freelance stage manager, and each job is generally 3-8 weeks long, and there is a basic schedule that productions follow. This means my hours generally go in a cycle that looks like this:

Rehearsals Mon-Sat 8.30am-7.30pm (sometimes later)
Technical/Dress Rehearsals 8.30am-11pm (sometimes so much later it's early again)
Show Call 5pm-11pm or 12pm-11pm on matinees.
- rehearsals for the next job might start whilst I'm on show call for the previous one.

With such a cycle, I have no time that I can guarantee I will be free on a regular basis so my ability to have a hobby is somewhat limited. Downtime that I get is either spent on essential rest (which trust me, you need as well as enough sleep to function) like watching TV and painting my nails; or catching up with life stuff, like doing my grocery shop/cooking/laundry/accounts/reminding friends I'm still alive.

I don't count TV or reading as real hobbies, as they don't feel interactive enough to elicit the term, and I mostly do my reading whilst travelling anyway. And the fact that I manage to have any sort of love life or sex life is almost miraculous.

The only activity that I do on a regular basis is church. Sunday mornings are the only thing close to a regular free slot, and even then I do work on Sundays occasionally anyway. So I would count church as a hobby, "an activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure", as well as my faith, religion and a social event. I get a lot out of it, I miss it when I can't do it, and because I sing the choir, it has some level of improving a skill.

The only other thing I see as hobby in my life is my interest in my sexuality. To be more specific, my interest in the experience of bisexuals, the changing understanding of what it means to be a bisexual, the way bisexuals are seen and treated in the world, and beyond that the implications on gender, and the changing understanding of gender and biological sex.

I'm not a fanatic hobbyist. As you, dear reader, know, I don't keep up this blog with any efficiency, nor my erratic attempts at Youtube videos. At best, I keep abreast of LGBT related news, discuss things like "is the soul gendered?" with friends, and I'm generally vocal about being bisexual in a sort of understated flag-waving way.

The point of this post is it's interesting, and seen as a little bit odd, to deem one's sexuality as a hobby, even to the low level with which I am involved. Such a personal part of my identity is somewhat private anyway, so to toe the line of talking about my sexuality without delving into the details of what I get up with whom - which is a breach of trust with said partners - is a tricky situation to be in. For me, it's more of an interest that I dip into when I can. Is it narcissistic? Is it just wanting to talk about myself and learn about myself? I think that's part of it. But it's not the route cause of calling my sexuality a hobby.

As I said in my list above, my interest is broader than my own personal sexuality. It is beyond psychology, into sociology and anthropology. That includes my general desire to make the world a better place for bisexuals, because I'm lucky enough that it doesn't bother me a lot in my life, so I have a duty to do what I can from my position of privilege to work on behalf of those less fortunate to improve their lives and prevent others from suffering in the first place. My hobby, as in the activity, is bringing it up in conversation, being proactively 'out', calling people out of biphobia, sharing posts about bisexuality on social media, consuming material written and made about bisexuality, even signing petitions that are relevant to improving the world we live in for bisexuals and other minorities that do not conform to social gender expectations.

That said, it's still only my hobby. It's not my crusade. I'm in awe of those who dedicate so much time and effort into the cause, but I would not want to be one of them. It's an odd place this middle ground. I feel a kind of sense of guilt that I don't do more, but I do feel I at least do something, and right now, I don't feel in a position to do more.

People find it a little strange. It is a little strange. But if my minor involvement in the bisexual community, my nudge here and complaint there IRL against biphobia, my rambling blog posts that appear at odd and prolonged intervals - if both I and other people get something out of that (and from messages and comments in response to posts and videos, other people do) then it's a great hobby. I can't help it if some people don't want to talk about the complicated and fascinating way humanity falls in love, has sex, and deals with relationships - I do. And I think the world would be in a better place if it wasn't hushed up under an cover of propriety and the myth of spontaneity, this pedestal on which organic romantic and sexual relationships have been put, as if anyone has any idea what they are doing until they learn what others have done before them, to then work out what is right for them. Talk about love, talk about sex, get educated, spread ideas, communicate with the people you have relationships with.

That is why my sexuality is my hobby and I don't care if it's weird, I enjoy it, others do too, and I think we're having a small but positive impact on making the world just a little bit better.

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