I'm Bisexual and I Don't Need You To Be Okay With It. #NationalComingOutDay
Every year on National Coming Out Day I read the brave stories of people within the LGBTQ+ community; the ones of them coming out surrounded by love and the heartbreaking situations where they aren't accepted by the friends and family who should love them. Every year I write this post and share my own story. I hover over the "publish" button, and then I save it as a draft.
Maybe next year I'll be ready.
Maybe next year my family will be ready.
Maybe I don't want to wait for anyone to be "ready."
My sexuality has not been a complete secret. I came out to my boyfriend, close friends, and one of my sisters in 2017. I also have navigated this with my therapist and worked through the morbid fear I felt about accepting that I am and have always been attracted to men and women. My first crush as a child was a girl. As someone with a Pentecostal father and Catholic mother, it horrified me. When you grow up believing that everything you do is gonna end you up in hell your sexuality tends to be at the top of the list. I convinced myself it was just a phase. After all, I liked boys. I was attracted to them too, but as I grew older I realized that despite still being attracted to one gender - the attraction for the other didn't just disappear. No matter how much I tried to label it a phase or curiosity, it's always been there. When I began doing the work to accept and love myself in other areas of my life, I also worked to accept this part. I am attracted to men and women. I am bisexual. That is okay.
I've spoken publicly about it on social media, however I carefully chose which platforms I discussed it on based on who uses those platforms, like Twitter for example. When I came out, Twitter became my safe space to discuss my sexuality openly and to meet others who have similar experiences. The community I followed educated me and embraced me.
Bisexuality has been difficult to navigate for a number of reasons. There's phobia and hate toward the LGBTQ+ community, but there's also a specific type of phobia and ignorance toward people who identify as bisexual. We're often seen as "promiscuous" and as people who "can't decide" who we want to be attracted to. Additionally, I have always publicly dated men. I am currently in a relationship with a man. For many people, that may mean that I'm not really attracted to both men and women. For the sake of not wanting to constantly explain myself or my sexuality, I chose to keep this private and navigate it on my own.
As this blog grows and becomes more of a safe space for people from all walks of life, I decided to finally take this post out of my drafts. The fact that today is National Coming Out Day once again may have been a big push - you know how much I love holidays. If I am to encourage anyone in this world to love themselves for who they truly are, then I want to lead by example. This is just me. It's who I've always been. It's what I've always known.
I am not writing this to plea for acceptance. I am not writing this with the expectation that everyone will love the news. I know that any type of exposure as someone in this community means you brace yourself for love, but also brace yourself for people who aren't tolerant. I'm writing this more for me than for anyone else. This post will be my only explanation of my sexuality, and my last for as long as I live. I am who I am, and I'm out.
Today I send love and encouragement to anyone who plans to do the same, or still isn't ready. Being out is your choice. You are still loved no matter what, and if you ever need someone to talk to - I will always be that person.