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16th June, 2022 |

5 minutes

“My advice would be not to judge people by how they look”

Emily Cogger-Carter (she/her)

Emily is a positive behaviour support worker in Kent. Read about Emily’s journey as a pansexual woman.

I am a young pansexual woman and part of the queer community. I grew up believing I was straight; find a man, get married, have children. So, I didn’t act on my attraction to women until I was 20.

My first relationship with a woman left me anxious, depressed and questioning who I was. She was a very narcissistic person. Although it was a horrible experience, I was able to grow into someone I like.

I am now married to a fantastic woman that I love. This is what I am most proud of. Marrying my best friend, becoming homeowners and being able to build a life together.

Being pansexual isn’t always easy because I look straight. Although this means I’ve experienced less phobic abuse than others, it also means having my pansexual identity misunderstood and erased.

My biggest challenge recently was people asking for my husband’s name whilst booking wedding suppliers. This happened nearly every single time, even at the hotel when we were booking into our bridal suite!  The level of heteronormativity in the wedding industry really shocked and frustrated me. We had a wonderful Pride-themed, rainbow-filled wedding surrounded by our supportive families. 

I really admire my younger sister, she’s a primary school teacher and a fantastic ally. She takes an active role in LGBT+ education of young children.

My advice would be not to judge people by how they look. I look straight and I’ve spent the majority of my life believing I am straight; it doesn’t mean I am. Just because I married a woman, it doesn’t mean I am a lesbian. There are lots of sexual orientations and genders that we need to recognise. It's not just LGBT anymore.

 

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