national coming out day

I’m bisexual. I didn’t admit this to myself until I was in my late 30’s. Is there a story? Of course there is. And it involves a woman. All the best ones do.

I met her at work, and I felt that instant pull that I have with some women over the course of my life. The pull that sometimes ended in a broken friendship, with neither of us really understanding what went wrong. This woman was different, though, or maybe I was. Maybe the timing was right for me to deal with my sexuality. Whatever it was, over time things progressed from that instant pull (which I now recognize as attraction of the romantic/sexual sort) to an admission following an evening of karaoke and a few glasses of wine. From there, it moved to a lightning fast relationship, one for which the details don’t matter, save these: it was fast because it was full of revelation, it was absolutely the wrong time, and because I had no idea what to do with either complication. Probably, neither did she. I ended up with a broken heart and a very confused life.

When it was over, the aftermath lasted a long time. For awhile, I thought maybe I was lesbian – as in, not attracted to men at all. Actually, to be more accurate, I felt pressured to “choose a side.” A good (bisexual) friend shared the concept of bisexual erasure with me, and it played a role in my struggle over the next few years to figure out how to deal with this revelation about myself. I’m a person who feels like they have to DO something when a big epiphany occurs, so what was I going to DO? There were several lives that would be affected, not the least of which would be my (male/hetero) partner of many years and my children. Things got very, very messy in pretty much every way. I didn’t really know anyone I could talk to. It was lonely.

My closest friends know the details of this and have watched me bumble my way through. Some people kind of know things because they leaked out, or because I made an impulsive confession but never filled in “the rest of the story.” No one knows ALL the details because there were many times I just shut down and stopped trying to explain to anyone else (or even myself). The person who has been steadfast, and who probably deserves THE Partner of the Millennium award is Jeff. He accepted, he waited, he loved unconditionally. I am incredibly lucky to have him, and that he’s stuck around.

At the moment, what I know is this. I am bisexual. I am attracted to people. Gender isn’t relevant. And I’m really picky, so (fortunately) it doesn’t happen often that I have to address what (if anything) to do about it. I have always been this way. I regret the times that it complicated my female relationships because I couldn’t face what was so clearly there. I get pissed when I think about how coming to terms with this part of myself has absolutely been impacted by homophobia. And now you may see my dedication to queer causes in a different light. Good. Hopefully this doesn’t change anything, but if it does, at least I feel clean and honest.

So yeah. This was my year to officially announce the announcement. I’m out. I’m proud. I am bisexual, and I will not be erased.

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