I am bisexual.
I’ve wondered for a long time whether this was worth sharing with more than a few of my closest people. After all, I’m happily married to a cis, hetero man, and I can pass. But, for me, it comes down to authenticity. For years I lived in a conservative Christian environment where appearance was everything. Appearing put together, appearing righteous, appearing spiritual, appearing ladylike, appearing good. It was crippling and exhausting. I don’t want to appear as anything anymore, I just want to be.
Realizing my bisexuality was a long, cumbersome journey. I think the first time it truly clicked I was working at Barnes and Noble and started noticing that butch girls would flirt with me when I was working at the checkout counter. And I liked it. I met Tim shortly thereafter though and that relationship took precedence over whatever other attractions I was experiencing or noticing.
Looking back, I should have come to realize my bisexuality much sooner than I did, But I never had the tools. Growing up I was taught that sex was sacred, should only happen between a man and woman, and even then should only happen once you were married. Within this rampant homophobia there was also a huge amount of misogyny. Growing up I only ever heard of of the “sin” of being a gay man, never of being a gay woman. I think it never came up because within the conservative evangelical culture women are secondary and subservient. Our bodies were supposed to be under the stewardship of our fathers until our husbands came along and introduced us, on our wedding night, to sex. Female sexual autonomy was not a possibility, never mind “deviant” sexual autonomy.
My relationship with Tim is one of the first relationships that has been truly accepting and safe for me. He is not threatened by my bisexuality and he has been endlessly supportive, first as I worked through the initial realization and acceptance of my sexuality, then as I worked through the implications of coming out. I’m so much happier owning my sexuality, and it has only strengthened our relationship. He’s pretty great.
I turned 29 recently and my birthday always makes me a little reflective. On the whole, my 20s have been good. I got my first office job and have been promoted twice, I got married, Tim and I bought a house, we adopted, loved, and lost sweet Marcy, as well as adopted 3 other dogs, I was diagnosed with Autism, and have gone through some truly difficult times of depression and therapy. It’s been an eventful decade (almost) and I’ve found out a lot about myself.
For so long I was wrapped up in self doubt and dislike and insecurity but I finally feel like I’m in a season of embracing who I am. A lot of my previous unwillingness to be open about facets of my identity have been based in fear. Fear of what my family would think of me, fear of being too vulnerable, fear of being judged and misunderstood or worse dismissed and invalidated.
I still have a lot of these fears, but I’m back in therapy (seriously, I cannot recommend therapy enough) and I’m learning that I want to be authentically myself regardless of the circumstances.
The older I’ve grown the clearer it is to me that at their core people never change. I’ve grown and discovered and adapted, but I’ve always been me. Part of me is angry that it’s taken this long to know myself but part of me is comforted. I am who I am. If it takes me a while to get it all figured out, that’s ok.
So that’s where I am at now. I’ve got a ways to go yet, but at least I know better who I want to be: myself.