This primacy fails to clarify that from an

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as essence. This primacy fails to clarify that, from an existential standpoint, the very subject that reflects upon its existence and essence is itself an essence. That is to say, the ‘I’ (or ‘we’ in their statement) is already a reflective construct attempting to clarify its own construction. In brief, to argue that ‘that I am’ precedes ‘what I am’ is, at best, a limiting dilution of the existential argument. Why? because the issue is not concerned with ‘I’ (or ‘we’) but with being per se. As such, the argument that existence precedes essence is more accurately an attempt to clarify that being precedes any particular form or structure – such as ‘I’ – that being might adopt. The point being made here is not simply a matter of semantics. While it is the case that human language cannot but essentialise or ‘thing-ify’ lived experience, it remains crucial to avoid the false foundational primacy of the ‘I’ (or ‘we’ as in the case of the above quote). Thatbeing is (or, more accurately, that being continually becomes) precedes whatbeing is (which is to say, both whatstructure being adopts and howbeing is expressed through it). With regard to the issue of essence as viewed from the standpoint of being sexual, an interpretation of ‘existence precedes essence’ from the standpoint of a foundational ‘I’ (that I am) paradoxically elevates an essentialist position such that one could conclude, for example, that being heterosexual or LGBT expresses thatwhich I am as opposed to whatI am. Being Sexual: Human Sexuality Revisited
24What is lost in this stance is the revolutionary claim being made by existential theory which, from the standpoint of being sexual can be re-phrased in the following way: Being sexual precedes whatever form, structure or expression that being sexual chooses to adopt.Even at the more everyday level of subjectivist-dominated language, the radical shift being proposed by the argument ‘existence precedes essence’ can be partly (if still problematically) expressed in the following way: The statement ‘I am heterosexual/LGBT’ is not the same as the statement ‘I am being heterosexual/LGBT’. The former expresses a viewpoint that is mired in its primacy of essence. The latter at least approaches the dynamic of an ever-becoming being by seeking to express a view that acknowledges that being as reflected through the structure ‘I’ is labelling it-self as heterosexual/LGBT. Clumsy as it may be linguistically, this latter statement admits at the very least a potential fluidity, an awareness that ‘being is (becoming)’ prior to any subjective statement asserting its own essence (that I am) or identity (who or what I am).Being Sexual: OthernessUnderpinning the essentialist arguments surrounding being sexual lies a related concern: to essentialise permits the appeal (or accusation) of otherness.

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