I wrote a great blog post for “National Coming Out day”, and then I left it on my work computer and couldn’t post it on the actual day – so I felt it had lost some luster and I wasn’t going to post it at all.
And then my old friend Jenn Adams posted a truly brave blog post – read it, it’s wonderful – and it inspired me to grab this 3 days old post and put it up.
It’s National Coming Out Day, and I have a secret.
You see, I’m not gay.
That’s right. Not gay. Never have been, and most likely never will be.
You see, I have always always ALWAYS identified as Bisexual. It took me so long to come to terms with how I felt inside. As I was growing up, I knew what “straight” meant, and I knew what “gay” meant. I had never met anyone who was out, but I had certainly seen “gay” represented on TV and movies – heck, I was in theatre – it was always around, even if it wasn’t acknowledged.
But I had never heard of the term “bisexual” – I didn’t know that it was out there, that it was an “option”. Frankly, I just thought that I was weird.
I had boyfriends – long term boyfriends. And I had sex, plenty of it. (sorry Mom & Sara). But I always felt that women were attractive too. I just couldn’t shake it. I was in relationships, and was perfectly happy with what I had, but I would notice attractive men AND attractive women. And I just didn’t know what it meant. I would step back and say, “Maybe I’m gay?”. And I’d think it through – yes, I found women attractive and intriguing…..but I also felt the same way about men.
I came to the conclusion that I must just be sexually perverted. That there was something terribly wrong with me. So I just bit my lip, and tried to stash those thoughts away. I took those feelings and bottled them up, and tried to forget about them. I would avert my eyes and look at the floor whenever I was in the dressing room for a show, or in the locker room before a practice. I didn’t want anyone else to know what I was thinking.
Then, I went to college – and there’s wasn’t a big “A-ha” moment or anything, but I was in a more relaxed mode, as well as surrounded by people who were very different from the rest of the college and were terribly proud of it. My synapses relaxed a bit, and it all just became apparent. And on 10/11/94, National Coming Out Day, I approached my theatre pal Danny Swain, who was the gayest man at Salem State Theatre (Sorry, Brent & Jay, Danny wins…), and I told Danny “I just wanted to let you know today on Coming Out Day, that I’m Bisexual”. And Danny just hugged me and said “That’s GREAT!” And he meant it.
All those years of feeling like a deviant just melted away. I was finally able recognize who I really was, and that THERE WAS NOTHING TO BE ASHAMED OF.
So I went forth – and dated men, and dated women, fooled around with men, fooled around with women, flirted like crazy, made some great connections, had some fun times, made some mistakes (as 22 year olds are bound to…), but no matter the mistakes I never EVER felt ashamed of my feelings. Whether it was 6 months of dating or 5 minutes in a bathroom (I’m looking right at you, Amy McHugh), it all made me comfortable with who I am. And as trite as it may sound, it made me a better person.
And I guess I’d like to add that to the “It Gets Better” movement. I’m in a happier place now than I’ve ever been in my entire life. I am proud of who I am and who I love. Sara is a kick ass chick. We’ve been together 9 years now, and we’ve both really grown into the adults we’re going to be while we were with each other. I am living the cliché – everyone always says that the physical attraction and the looks will fade and your partner you choose better be someone you like spending time with. I don’t just like spending time with Sara – I love it. She makes me laugh more than anyone else ever has, and I genuinely enjoy her company, her conversation and her companionship.
I’m able to receive love from Sara, because I first had to love myself and be true to who I am in my heart and in my head.
The Collapsing Empire
2 days ago