Personal Sexuality Story

Introduction

This is a coming out story, or rather, a story about sexuality. I have been requesting stories from people via facebook ever since I started this blog about how the process of “realizing” their sexuality has been over time, how it has developed, etc. This person emailed me their story and now I present it here.

The Story

I’m twenty years old, and I guess you would call me bisexual if I was forced to label
my sexuality in one word. I used to get frustrated by all the words, all the hype of
labeling sexuality—or, more often than not, NOT labeling sexuality. I understand it
now. “Bisexual” seems an entirely inadequate way to describe my sexuality or how I
feel about it. I feel like the only way to do the word justice is to tell my story from
the beginning as honestly as I can, which is difficult, since the person I’ve deceived
most in this whole journey is myself. But, as always, I’m getting ahead of myself, so
here it begins. I’ve always been of the opinion that one should fall in love with a
person, not a gender. We are, after all, attracted to individuals rather than collective
groups. I’ve differed from my family and peers in this regard, having spent my
formative years in a moderately conservative family while attending an Episcopalian
preparatory academy in America’s heartland. Still, I’ve never struggled with the
notion of whether homosexuality is right or wrong on my own moral compass—to me, it has
always been simple: if it adds love to the world, I’m for it. But I certainly knew
early on that this stance was unpopular and better left in my own heart and head than
revealed to the general public. I grew up for the better part of my first twenty years
dating men, never discounting this theory that gender shouldn’t be a factor, and yet
never considering women as part of the available dating market for myself.

My first year of high school, I discovered a group of friends who would later be the
founding members of my school’s extremely unpopular and highly controversial
gay-straight alliance. An assembly of the school’s freaks and geeks and overseen by
the out of favor liberal school chaplain, I fit right in as a lanky freshman with
oversize purple glasses, rainbow colored braces. And greasy blonde bangs that my mother
curled every morning. They were loud, funny, liberal, and opened the door to the
school’s underground counter-culture, and I loved it. I was the antithesis of a high
school glamour girl, and subsequently entered the ninth grade shying away from the boys I
liked, preferring to keep myself a distance away and journal compulsively later on about
their whereabouts. On the occasions where I did get close enough to talk to one, I found
myself learning to be the picture perfect best friend. In my longing, I would give them
all of my time, love, and devotion, pouring out advice and insight in exchange for the
occasional smile, or in a case where my advice helped them get the perfect girl, a rare
hug and thank you. At less than 100 pounds and a true nerd, I was non-threatening. And
yet, my time as a helpful best friend would eventually pass, when they found a new
audience for their tricks, and they would move on. I, in turn, would pour my heart out
to my loving journal. My first boyfriend ended up being engaged and dropping me quickly
(as a side note, they have since split up, and he is dating her sorority sister). Though
it didn’t take too long to get over him, I’m not sure I ever have recovered from that
kind of rejection. It was around this time that I had my first sex dream. It took place
in a palace of some kind, a Tuscan villa perhaps. I made love to a princess with jet
black hair down to her waist. I awoke unsure if I had been a man or woman in the dream.
The perfection of the lingering image and the confusion I felt in the aftermath would
plague and intrigue me for years to come—a part of me wanting it to return, another
part in sheer terror that it might.

The summer before my senior year, I started finding friends outside of my small Episcopal
school, and it was during this time that I discovered my ideal crowd—gay boys. They
appreciated my nurturing, didn’t let me go out of the house looking disheveled, and
never pretended to be anything they weren’t—a virtual guarantee that they wouldn’t
hurt me. They appreciated all the love I had to share, and could look past the greasy,
insecure exterior. It was the beginning of my understanding that sexuality is much more
multifaceted than who we love; it is a culture. And I loved GLBTQ culture. I didn’t
understand why there was a GLBTQ culture at the time, but I loved it none the less.
Little did I know, this was just the beginning. Upon returning to school in the fall, I
was named president of the GSA, much to the dismay of my mother. Though I preached the
merits of the club and my involvement, she continued to worry that I would be mocked or
ostracized, clearly not comprehending that every day of high school WAS filled with
mocking, and club meetings were my one-hour escape. I learned quickly not to mention my
involvement in the club. During my year as president, we not only did a lot of
programming (some new, some passed on to me from the previous president), I had a handful
of people come to talk to me about their own struggles, and a few students even come out
to me. But I also had the daunting task of facing the real world. After a member of the
club spoke on a “Welcome to high school” panel put on for eighth graders and
mentioned that she had a girlfriend, all hell broke loose. The next week the club advisor
and I faced the dean, headmaster, a number of angry trustees, and a barrage of angry
parents. I was blessed to have the school chaplain who was serving as the club faculty
advisor support me the entire way, but the adult world certainly did not like the work
the club was trying to do, and had no reservations making villains of teenagers to serve
their needs. None the less, the club stayed in tact, and if anything, was strengthened by
the experience. While a lot of people wanted to fight fire with fire, I urged them to be
the mature party, to put the parents to shame with our adult reasoning and calmness of
presence. Much to my surprise, it really put them off, and they eventually lost interest
as long as we didn’t push the limits too much. While I wasn’t thrilled by that
outcome, I reminded myself that this is a journey, and it’s just one little battle at a
time—I’m not going to change the world overnight. I’ve since tried to always use a
calm tone and quiet approach to be heard in situations where people want to close their
ears and minds.

Coming to college in the fall of 2006, I found myself for the first time in my life
fitting into a vocal majority on a lot of social justice issues, and it was
overwhelmingly refreshing. My high school activities—literary magazine, GSA, and
theater prevalent among them—fell to the wayside as I focused on making new friends and
trying new things, like football and tour guiding. While I knew something was missing in
my life, it didn’t occur to me that this missing part was advocacy and the fulfillment
I got out of working with my peers to cultivate tolerance. Fast-forward to sophomore
year, second semester. I can’t tell you how I finally came to the realization, but by
this point in time, it was fairly clear that I was bisexual. One day, I just said it to
myself, and it was right. After years of what were clearly not-hetero thoughts, I finally
stopped justifying and considered the possibility that I wasn’t straight, and it made
sense.

Of course, this revelation brings about a lot of questions. If I’m dating a man, does
that make me less a part of the GLBTQ community? Will dating women now make men in the
future uncomfortable? If I get into a relationship, what if the first person I love or
have sex with is a woman? Will I be okay with losing my virginity to another woman? And
another predicament: coming out. To this day, I’ve come out to only a handful of
people. At school, I’ve chosen people who I knew would take it well and be supportive
to tell, and this has worked well enough. It’s a new enough revelation that I don’t
feel like I’m hiding by not throwing a one-woman pride parade. After coming out to a
few friends at school, I found myself testing the Private College** waters of women, and I felt
more secure in my own definition of my sexuality. With a developing crush, I guess only
time will tell how the dating-in-college story will play out.

At home, I’m careful not to let it out. As for my family, I don’t think they’ll be
finding out anytime soon. Or ever. My relationship with my family is strained enough as
is, and I can’t help but believe that since they are so critical of the things I do,
they would be even moreso about the things I am. Every time my mother hears about
someone we know coming out, she exclaims “Thank GOD my children aren’t gay. Can you
imagine?” I know that in the age of technology, what with everyone being
interconnected, news could quickly get from school to home. I do everything in my power
to keep people who have any sort of connection to my family or home life out of the loop.
While it might seem extreme, I’m financially dependent on my parents, and I feel that
them finding out I’m bisexual could compromise my tuition, as crazy as it might seem.
Mainly, I just hope that my not being out to my family never has an effect on any
relationship I might have.

Conclusion

This person has been very honest and trusting in sharing this story. While you have read it, I hope you could find a place where you could relate because I definitely could. I feel as if everyone, at some point in their lives, questions their sexuality (not necessarily their desire). Questioning, discovering, wondering, and talking about sexuality should not be taboo and hopefully this story will be the first step in uncovering many stories.

**college name changed for confidentiality

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