Today marks exactly one year since I officially came out as bi, at least according to a Facebook On This Day notification. I’d like to say that I’ve always been open about my sexuality, that I didn’t give a crap what others thought. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. As a child, there were certain girls that I felt like I wanted to kiss, but this desire arose maybe twice a year and with strangers, so I figured I must not be gay. There was also this slight obsession I had with with Lady Jay from GI Joe and April from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I thought that was just because they were kick-ass women that I wanted to emulate. I had no shame or fear around homosexuality, my god mother (I was raised in Catholic community) was an out and proud lesbian.
In my early teens, I changed with my girlfriends for gym and didn’t find any of them sexually arousing. I thought of this as further proof that I was straight. Also, I loved straight sex. I became sexually active at a young age and realized my appetite far exceeded that of my friends. As did my adventurousness and curiosity (I had a stint of abstinence as well but we’ll discuss that in another post) So that was it. I was sure I was straight. This was until I met an openly bisexual girl in my high school. There was something about her… I figured I was feeling a type of admiration for her strength. Coming out in a Catholic high school in the 90’s took some serious ovaries.
Fast forward to my last year of high school. I’m drunk at a party, my best friend and her boyfriend are there. She makes a joke about a threesome. I make a joke. Then we both stop and look each other in the eye.
“You wanna do that?”
“Yeah, why not?”
So we all went back to her place. We created quick ground rules. I was to just be with her. He was just to be with her. Then we got to it.
My first kiss with a woman was incredibly eye opening. I thought it would feel the same as with a Man. But it was softer, I could sink into her. I wanted to make this softness mine, I wanted to push into it, grab it and explore it with my mouth.
Then afterwards as she walked by me stark naked, I realized how beautiful the female body was. My exposure to completely naked women had always been in some cheap pornography, which I did not find arousing in the slightest. The natural moving female form, unobstructed by the lines of underwear, was one of the most beautiful things I had ever seen.
“I’m bi.” I thought…”Or maybe bi-curious?”
I decided that I wouldn’t label myself until I had more bisexual experiences. I went on to have several casual relationships with women. I guess I could have been considered some form of polyamorous then. Though I didn’t know the term, I just happened to have a boyfriend and a girlfriend and neither of them minded. Sometimes we would all go out to the same bar together and party and though I was affectionate with both of them, I only ever left with one or the other. I still considered myself bi-curious until I met one woman. She was in her late twenties and an environmental science student at the university. She played guitar. She was the coolest chick I had ever met (I was 19) and I fell head over heels for her. When she broke it off, I cried and was miserable for months. For me, if I could fall in love with a woman, that made it official. I wasn’t just curious, I was definitely bi.
I thought about telling my family, but I figured I’d let it happen organically. If I met a woman I was serious enough about to take home to meet my family, I’d simply call them a week or two ahead and let them know I was bringing home a woman I was dating. As I had mentioned earlier, my parents were down with the rainbow. However, I fell in love with straight male after straight male for several years. I got married, moved to a small town and basically buried that part of my sexuality. Why complicate things for myself socially by bringing up my bisexuality if I was fully committed to my husband?
After my split-up. One of the thoughts that brought me solace was that I could once again explore sexual relationships with women. To do that I’d have to put myself out there. I really wished there was a secret handshake or something for bisexuals. Though we are not far from the bustling metropolis of Toronto, my little town is very secretive about any sexuality deviating from the Christian norm. The perfect opportunity arose when my Facebook feed announced it was National Coming Out Day. So I created a “Hey, in case y’all didn’t know, I’m queer!” status to all of my Facebook friends. I realized that coming out this way to my parents may come across as insensitive, but I was pretty sure they would react exactly the same way to me posting was queer as they would to me posting that I bought a new pair of shoes. They did.
Unfortunately, my story is not the norm, I have an open loving family, supportive friends and live in an area where my queerness doesn’t put me in danger. So on National Coming Out Day, I’d like to express my empathy for those who feel they must hide their sexuality. I promise to continue to use my voice and my vote to create a world where you can love who you want to without fear for your physical safety. Everyone deserves that right.