I have never struggled with a piece of writing more than this one. I have opened and closed this word document what feels like 100 times in the last few weeks, trying to find the right words. The document is saved as “pride month”, and I think the reason that I am struggling to write it is that I have not been feeling, or behaving, with pride recently.
I definitely had a point in time where I had just come out as bisexual to most of my close friends and some of my family members and I couldn’t have felt freer. I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders and that I could finally fully be myself. This feeling lasted all the while that I was single or in same-sex relationships. It dwindled however after I met my current boyfriend. To be clear, this is not his doing. He’s wonderful, which means he does not expect me to hide any part of myself, he knows who I am and encourages me to be myself. Unfortunately, bisexual people are often defined by whoever their partner is at any given time. This, combined with social pressures, stereotypes and my own inner saboteur resulted in me stepping quietly back into the closet.
The stereotypes are a killer. Even as I write this, I worry that people who know me will think one of two things.
She is actually straight and is just confused.
She is a lesbian and does not realise it yet.
Of course, I know neither of these is true. I have lived with myself for the past 25 years and have always known who I am. I know that I have always been attracted to people regardless of their sex or gender identity. I know that from a young age when I would picture getting married, I would never have a specific image of what that would look like. Although it would probably have centred around either Dylan Sprouse or Aly Michalka (of Aly & AJ) depending on who I was infatuated by at the time. I know that I am loyal, trustworthy, decisive, and sure of myself. And yet I worry I will be perceived as promiscuous, untrustworthy, indecisive, and confused. This comes down to me knowing how heavily engrained these stereotypes can be in people, but I think it is time for me to let go of things out of my control. I simply can’t control what these people will think of me, but I can control how I see myself and how I live my truth.
Being bisexual has felt a little bit like living on the outskirts of two communities and belonging to neither. I live right in between the LGBTQ+ community and the heterosexual community. I know I am not a part of the hetero side, and yet they assume I am. They claim me as one of their own and would never even think twice to question that. The same is the case for the LGBTQ+ side. They also perceive me as belonging to the hetero side. However, this is because I have not claimed my place. I clearly belong there, there is a “B” in the name for a reason, but I have not let myself be known there yet. I have hidden in the middle. Allowing myself to feel just about involved with the LGBTQ+ community, but still keeping up my hetero appearances in order to shield myself from the constant coming out and justifying of my own sexuality. I have had enough of this hiding in plain sight. I am officially moving into the LGBTQ+ side. I am hanging the bisexual flag out of the window for all to see. I am claiming my place because I belong here. My current relationship does not make my bisexuality less valid. I am who I am. And more importantly, I am proud of who I am.
I will finish on this wonderful quote Stephanie Beatriz (Rosa from Brooklyn 99) said in an article she wrote for GQ that filled me with so much joy and made me so much more comfortable to speak my truth.
Speaking from personal experience, it feels so fucking good to be out. It’s still scary sometimes—I feel like an outsider so often. But those moments of discomfort are worth it because living authentically gives me so much joy and feels so honest and good. In October, I will marry a heterosexual man. We’ll make vows that I will take very seriously—till death do us part. But I’ll be bi till the day I die, baby, and I vow to myself to always sing that truth.
If you would like more info on the amazing LGTBQ+ community, please visit Dublinpride.ie
alternatively, if you are looking for some support, please visit BELONGTO: Support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals in Ireland.
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