Ben Leander Willgruber | Visual Designer and Writer

Sexuality as a spectrum

Do you believe that you are born either a girl or a boy? Do you believe that sex and gender are assigned at birth? Do you believe that someone is either straight or gay? Do you believe there’s no ‘in-between’?

I talk about all this topics inspired by a conversation I heard on the bus. Kids oversharing their sex life in public…

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting in a bus and eavesdropping on a conversation between a couple of teenagers. (Don’t judge! They were really loud and I didn’t even had to make an effort to hear them). If I remember correctly, there were two guys and a girl and I guess they were 15 to 17 years old (I’m bad in guessing ages though so maybe they were 25). They were talking about dating and who-liked-whom. In this case, it was more like who-humped-who, but never mind. One of the boys said that he was hit on by another guy. And he added that if he weren’t in a relationship, he’d be open to getting down with a guy. The other boy was surprised, maybe a little shook. He asked him if he was gay. ‘No’, the boy answered, ‘but maybe a little bi’.


This made me smile so hard that I had to restrain myself from giving this boy a high-five. I thought that his honesty and openness were incredible. When I was his age it might have been okay for a girl to say that she’d get down with another girl, but a guy saying that – no way! You would have the label ‘gay’ forever. And I would know, because I was in that situation. Maybe my social circle was uptight, but maybe times really are changing. In the words of the awesome bus-boy: ‘Are we all a little bi?’


I think it’s great that slowly but surely ‘other’ forms of sexuality are becoming more normal accepted. I think it’s great that people are opening up to broader possibilities. I look forward to times where everyone will be able to be honest with themselves, without pressure from society. Of course, homophobia still exists nowadays, and we have a long way to go. But one step at a time I guess.

I believe that sexuality is a spectrum. I believe that we are not either straight or gay. I believe you can be ‘in between’ and that bisexuality doesn’t mean you’re equally as attracted to both/all genders. I am solely attracted to men, but I do have a couple of girl crushes (Ruby Rose, anyone?). Does this make me bi? I know some guys who identify as straight who told me that they got head from a guy in the past. Does this mean they’re bi? I’d say you are how you feel like. And if you don’t feel like it, you don’t need to label yourself at all. It’s not like you need that info for your tax declaration.


I believe that most things in life, including sexual orientation and gender identity are on a spectrum. I’d be okay with saying that most people are happy with their sex assigned at birth and straight. But some people are not happy with their sex and may want to change it. Some are not straight and that’s okay too.

When I was young, I thought that only gay people could be transgender – if they pursue treatment and surgery they’d end up straight. I probably believed that because I wasn’t too happy realizing that I might be gay and thought others changed their sex to ‘fix’ their sexuality. The reality is that both, straight and gay people, might feel that they were born the wrong sex, resulting in an even more diverse mix of possible sexual orientations and identities.

In Sex and the City (what a cliché memory!), Samantha once says that in the future we’re all gonna be pansexual. I don’t believe this to be true. But would it be the end of the world? No.

It’d just make dating a little more complicated.

As a final thought, I want to post this video of Bill Nye explaining the gender and sexuality spectrum. Maybe we’ll be able to look past binary concepts in the future.

Suggested further reading:
Is bisexuality a myth?
The truth about bisexuality
Is bisexuality natural

14 thoughts on “Sexuality as a spectrum

  1. I loved this article not because I could relate to it particularly (I\’m kinda very straight?) But because I really feel like at the end of the day, we\’re all still human and you get to be whoever you want to be 😋 *raises hands in support*

    1. I cannot particularly relate to being attracted to more than one gender/sex as well but I feel like I do understand it in some way. And yes, we are all here because we are meant to be. There’s nothing to question about it 🙂

  2. People can definitely fall somewhere in between. It\’s only important that we look beyond each other\’s sexuality and accept each other as we are and get on with life! Like you said, it is not something that is needed to be mentioned in our tax papers!
    Accepting people and their preferences and their way of life needs to be \’learnt\’. In my country, India, sadly it is looked upon as a disease if one falls somewhere in between or is gay, and kids get sent to doctors and quacks to get \’reformed\’!
    I like the way you express your thoughts and your views!

    1. I guess you can\’t change the view of a whole country, but as long as you\’re spreading positive vibes, you\’re doing your part. And I know how hard it is to express that you think differently than the majority of the people around you!
      In Austria, not that long ago, you were required to state in which \’category\’ of sexuality you fall if you applied for certain jobs (soldier, police officer etc.). Now, this is forbidden in any context of a job application. Austria didn\’t use to be a very forward-thinking country as well but things are changing. And I\’m sure that a similar development will happen in India. It\’s just gonna take more time.
      Thanks for the compliment, it\’s much appreciated 🙂

  3. One of the kids in my life is exercising their (note the pronoun) option of exploring the borders between the genders–and, of course, exercising each generation\’s inbuilt right to freak out the generation ahead of it. My parents weren\’t prepared for me to come out, but they learned to accept it, and I\’ll have to do the same. But I\’ve gotta say, when my generation fought for the right for people to claim their own sexuality, we (or I, anyway) had no idea this is one of the directions it would go in.

    I\’m still trying to get my head around it all.

    1. Concerning pronouns, I think that language is making it harder to accept gender fluidity as I believe people aren\’t ready to let binary pronouns go. Everything that forces people to make an effort to accept something feels like an obstacle to me.

      I guess it\’s a process to understand sexual fluidity just like it\’s a process (for some) to learn their child is gay or trans or doesn\’t want to go to college, doesn\’t want kids, etc. As long as you\’re supportive of your child, you\’re doing everything you can do. And if you have questions, just ask them. It\’s your right to be confused or worried. Understanding something makes it easier to accept it as a normal variable of human existence.

      1. I\’m with you. This isn\’t actually my kid I\’m talking about–someone else\’s kid who I\’ve been close to for a long time. But it\’s good advice all the same.

  4. Love this! Sexuality is so fluid and we need to understand that it\’s okay to \’be a little bi\’ !

    Also, thank you for linking my blog post! 🙌🏻♥️

    1. Thank you very much! I think so too, we just have to accept all kinds of human sexuality as part of a broad spectrum. I look forward to more open times and I hope that everyone, no matter where they were born, will be able to be free in love and sex at some point.

      Of course, I really enjoyed your article 🙂

    1. Thank you so much! Couldn\’t agree more, I guess it\’s just that people don\’t understand this concept as they haven\’t experienced it themselves.

  5. Such a good read love it!!! While i identify as gay and am not attracted to women besides the little girl crush lol. I totally agree that people can fall anywhere between totally straight and totally gay.

    1. So I guess we\’re both totally gay haha 😀 I agree with you, there may be more people who identify as clearly straight or gay, but I think there are lots out there who are more fluid. Thanks a lot, man!

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