Monday, September 23, 2013

Bi Visibility Day: My story.

When I was 12 years old I had my first boyfriend. When I was 13, I had my first girlfriend. In the years and relationships that followed, I struggled with a way to accept who and what I was, and it wasn't until recent years that I've allowed myself to own the title:

I am bisexual. 

And with today, September 23rd being Bi Visibility Day, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to cross an item off of my 30 before 30 list.

24. Publicly come out.

As I said, I've know since I was 13 that I am interested in both men and women. The first kiss I ever had was with a girl. Realizing the crush I had on her was equal to the crushes I'd had on boys was a strange and scary thought. We dated, in the meaningless way that preteens do, for a few months. I told one or two friends and my Backstreet Boys journal about my feelings, but not a soul else. Until that BSB journal was stumbled upon by my mother...

Her reaction, unsurprisingly, was mostly that of confusion and worry. I heard all of the classic lines, "it must be a phase," "you're confused," "just because a girl is pretty doesn't mean you want her, it means you want to be like her," "you're too young to understand..." Etc.

I was brought to a psychiatrist and I spent the entire 45 minutes sobbing and saying nothing, until he finally asked. "What happened?!?" My answer "I kissed a girl..." His advice, "there is nothing wrong with you..."

After he had a follow up session with my parents and explained to them that there was, in fact, nothing wrong with me and that I was just discovering myself, the issue was not talked about again (until later in my adult life). My attraction to both genders remained but for several years after that I only dated boys. Not out of resistance to myself but just because of the fact that the people I was attracted to were boys. I wasn't interested in any of the girls at my school (save a few fleeting crushes that hardly seemed worth the risk of pursuing). It wasn't until I left for college that I dated another girl.

This time I was older, more mature. I made a fast friend in Waco, who quickly became my best friend. We were inseparable, and she just "got" me. After 2 years of bestie-ship we suddenly and surprisingly found ourselves in a relationship. She had never been with a woman, and I hadn't been with a girl since my preteen years. We dated seriously for close to a year, and after a rough break up and several months of turmoil, we are best friends again for the last 5 years.

She discovered her bisexuality through our relationship, and a relationship is NEVER a waste of time if it helped you learn something about yourself. She has dated a couple of women (and men) since then, and is now happily engaged to an amazing woman, and I am going to be her maid of honor!

My parents have come to accept the fact, although it's not really talked about, and that will have to be okay. They love me and they have not criticized or condemned me for it. My friends are all incredibly supportive and non-judgmental. My older brother is a constant pillar of support and advice. In other words, I'm doing okay.

I  am happily in a 2 1/2 year committed, loving relationship with the sweetest most genuine man I've ever known. He knows and accepts who I am, and does not make me feel ashamed. But I am still bisexual. I hope to marry him, and have a family with him. But I will always still be bisexual. Because my identity as Bi does not mean I'm greedy, slutty, performing to impress men, crying out for attention, indecisive, or any of the negative stereotypes associated with my orientation. To call me "straight" just because I'm in a Hetero relationship would be an erasure of my identity. I am attracted to both men and women. I am bisexual. And I am proud of who I am.

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