When I was almost 22, something happened and it was like a light switch flashed on for the first time. But I quickly turned it off. I thought maybe I wasn’t straight… but I couldn’t comprehend how I could be almost 22 years old, in my final year of college, and not have known something so substantial about myself. I wasn’t at a place in my life where I wanted to be unsure about one more thing. I already didn’t know exactly what I wanted to do after college and that deadline was coming up fast, I was newly single, couch surfing, and trying to figure out what I even wanted in a partner, adding an additional gender just seemed like too much. I’d always been super boy crazy, there was no way that part of me was… something else too?
Flash forward a couple years after another relationship was ending and I was warming up to the idea, but still didn’t admit it to anyone out loud. I didn’t want to come out unless I was 100% sure, and I still wasn’t. I hadn’t fully accepted it as part of me.
Then, Mike and I started dating. It was serious fast and I knew right away that I’d found my soulmate, that I would end up marrying him, and having babies, and living out a “normal” life. I decided that those other questions about my identity didn’t matter. Why make a fuss out of something that I didn’t even know was true?
A few years passed by and I didn’t really think about that much. I had realized that I was probably bi, but again, didn’t feel like it mattered since I am living a straight woman’s life. As the Lady Planeswalkers Society continued to grow and evolve, it quickly became a place that welcomed the LGBTQ community and I wanted that aspect to thrive. I wanted to be a good ally. I started to get more involved in that community, one I’d always felt VERY comfortable to be a part of. Maybe always more so than any other group of folks. Almost every friend I’d had in high school ended up coming out since then and I’m pretty sure I have less straight friends than queer friends at this point in my life. It started to make sense. Maybe I wasn’t an ally after all… maybe I WAS queer. Maybe I always had been.
In retrospect, some past experiences made more sense with this new lens. I was pretty content to not make a big deal out of my realization. I started mentioning it to my closest friends, but I had no intention of it going further than that. And then I became a mother.
Being a mom means that my choices no longer just affect me, but they also affect my son and my actions will teach him ways to interact with the world. I want to be honest with him about who I am. I want to teach him that being honest with yourself is so important. I also don’t want him to think that this is a part of me I’m ashamed of, some deep, dark secret. I want him to accept all types of people and lifestyles, and not judge people that are different from himself. What message would that send if I didn’t come out?
I took Xander to march in the Seattle Pride Parade. I wanted him to be exposed to this movement and we had a wonderful day. I want this to be an annual mother-son outing. At the parade, it made me realize that I also don’t want to be quiet about who I am anymore. Not just for my son, but for me.
I started to do more research about what it means to be bisexual. Reasons for keeping it hidden, reasons for coming out, the struggles bisexual people deal with, the emotional issues they face, the stereotypes, etc. A lot of it didn’t surprise me, and a lot of it were things I had heard from others when the subject came up. That people who were bi were just confused, that eventually they would “pick” a side, that they had it easier because they get all the benefits from both sides and can always just marry the opposite sex and not worry about it. They aren’t often accepted by straight people and they aren’t always accepted by gay people. The stereotypes are far and wide across the board and so offensive.
I learned about the issue of bi-visibility and how there are way more bisexuals than we will ever know because they get categorized into being either straight or gay based on who their partner is. But I am not defined by who I am with. The feminist in me no longer wants my identity hidden by my lifelong commitment to a man.
Bi-invisibility isn’t helped by the fact that there isn’t much representation in the media, and when it is it’s usually sexualized or passed off as curiosity or a phase. It’s a big issue in society because it means that bisexual issues don’t get talked about or paid attention to. This makes it harder for people who are young and just realizing this about themselves to talk about it. It’s vastly misunderstood.
And I felt like that was me. Part of me was invisible. But it doesn’t have to be anymore.
I am bi. This literally changes nothing about my day to day life. I am still in a monogamous marriage with my wonderfully supportive husband. I’m not suddenly open to dating women or anything like that. I’m just not straight. Bisexual is just another word that describes a feature about me. To me, it’s the same as having brown eyes, preferring playing the color green in Magic, or having bipolar disorder. These are just all building blocks that make me ME and I’ve never wanted to keep pieces of me hidden. Being bisexual is no different. It’s just one piece of who I am.