So last night Magda Szubanski came out as gay on The Project whilst publically sending her support for gay marriage. I’m sure you all read about it and have seen or heard someone talking about it by now. I support her choice to do this and her timing was fantastic. On a day when we were all focused on love and romance, there was no better time to stress the point that we should all have the same rights to love in the same way.
After thinking about this for a while, what is confusing to me was her terminology and maybe even her understanding of the full extent of human sexuality. The panel and audience all laughed at the time, but when she uttered the words “ I’m gay gay gay gay gay and then a little bit not gay and then gay gay gay gay ,” I wonder if this was meant for laughs or if she really does think her sexuality turns on and off like a light switch. Did she really come out on national television or just confuse a whole lot of viewers?
First of all, I don’t believe you should identify as something and then retract it and then confirm it again. It’s like jumping in and out of the closet or going from male to female, male to female. I don’t think it’s the most sex positive or healthy terminology to use. There are some people out there who’s sexuality is fluid and does change, but I’m not sure Magda has used the best words to describe how she loves.
What she also said was, “ unfortunately there is not a word to describe me.” This is when I wanted to jump into the TV and have a good old sex ed chat with her. (Anyone have her mobile number?). In this day, there are words to describe everyone’s sexuality if you want to use them. Just when I think I have heard it all, new sexual terminology appears. I wonder if Magda has considered the word pansexual? I wonder if many others out there who don’t quite feel 100% gay or gay all the time (as in Magda’s case) have considered or even know what pansexuality is?
Pansexuality, also referred to as omnisexuality, refers to the potential for sexual attraction, sexual desire, romantic desire, or emotional attraction towards persons of all gender identities and biological sexes. This means everyone is an option. They are attracted to the person not the gender. Someone who is bisexual is saying that are attracted to both men and women, but someone who is pansexual is attracted to the person, not what’s between their legs. It is what is upstairs not downstairs that is most important. Now this is where Magda might fit in. She potentially could be pansexual with her primary attraction to women. If she is not always gay and not straight and not bisexual, then I think this just might be a good fit. I know I am making a lot of assumptions here, but I am just using the information that has been made available.
Magda, there is a label that fits you and there is probably more you could even choose from than this, the only question is which one do you want to use?
There is another possibility. You might just be gay! Not an on and off gay, but gay! Some people feel and think that if they identify as gay and then have an opposite sex encounter, they are no longer gay. I’m not going to always say or insist I’m right, but my understanding of being gay is your sexual preference is of the same sex. If you have sex with the opposite sex, but you still prefer the same sex, then I would still consider you gay. If you have sex with both men and women and are attracted to both, then this is bisexuality. Here is the challenge, if a gay man has sex with a woman once or twice, is he still gay? If a gay woman has sex once or twice with a man, is she still gay? I would say yes, as long as their sexual preference is still to that of the same sex. (I hope you stayed with me on that one).
Do we even need labels these days? For some of us we need to feel like we have a word to describe ourselves, we want a sense of identity, but for others it can be so limiting. Like Madga, if she is not always gay and wishes at times to be with men, will calling herself gay be limiting to her and others thinking about her sexuality? Would calling herself a pansexual give her more freedom?
We have a choice to use a label, but we also have a choice not to. Why can’t we just be? But I do think someone of Madga’s public status needs a label and one that is or can be understood. The average person is yet to have a level of knowledge to understand the concept of sexuality just being free. That is not an insult to the general public, but simply from the mere fact that in-depth sexuality is not something that is widely taught these days or in years gone past. But I do think we just might be ready for the word pan!
Would calling herself a pansexual be easier to understand? Maybe not at first, but at least it is a label with defining characteristics that eventually people can read up on and learn to understand. Being gay gay gay and then a little bit not gay, is not.
I agree when celebrities use their star power to support causes such as gay marriage, and also like Magda I am 1000% in support of gay marriage. But in this case, unfortunately I’m not sure that her argument was entirely correct. In the opening of this segment, she compared serial killers and same sex couples. This is not comparing people and the right to marry based on their sexuality but by their criminal records. She stats that “you could be a serial killer and have killed all your spouses and still be fit to marry, but you could be gay and not deemed worthy”.I know this might have be partly for shock value and to get people’s attention, but has anyone considered the fact that serial killers could be gay too? I know that she is trying to get a strong and powerful message across, but I’m not sure this comparison is appropriate.
In saying all of this, I am still a huge fan of Magda Szubanski and I commend her on her courage in coming out in such a public way. I only hope her strength rubs off on others and that she realises there is a label out there for her, whether it be pansexual or not.
Happy labeling ( or not),