This is an extremely personal, and difficult to write post for me. But it's one that I know has to be written.
For about a year or so, I've been on a journey of self-discovery. With the pandemic and me going off to university to live on my own, I've had the time, and the space, to evaluate who I am as a person, and who I want to be. It's a journey that's lead to me digging deep, venturing where I haven't gone before, and asking some pretty tough, and often uncomfortable questions about myself.
During this time, I've realized a part of me that I've been pushing down deep for years. I've hid it from everyone, including myself. I went as far as to lie to myself, to deny the existence of this part of me, to say that it's just a phase, that I just want attention, that I'm lying to myself, and that I'm not valid in how I feel, and who I am. I did all this, and went to these lengths, because I was afraid. Afraid of how others would react and would see me, afraid of rejection by my parents and/or family, afraid of how my life could be affected, afraid if I was even sure I knew what I was doing, if I really knew who I was.
But now I know. All the doubts in my mind about this side of me, about who I am, are gone. I know who I am, and I'm done lying to myself, pretending that I'm someone who I'm not. I'm done being afraid, of others knowing, of rejection, of repercussions, of anything good or bad that might come of this. If they don't like me, support me, and love me for who I am than so be it, I didn't need them in my life anyways. Maybe I'm being too dramatic, maybe I'm not. I don't know. But the point is that I'm done lying, and I'm done hiding. So here goes:
I am bisexual.
There it is. That's the post. That's the TL;DR if you wanted it. I've always had an attraction to women, but I've also always had this attraction to some guys. I can't explain it, but in some cases, a guy could seem to me just as attractive as any woman. I would always push this attraction down into the deepest, darkest parts of myself, telling myself that it's a lie, that it's actually jealousy or something else of the sort. I would even tell myself that I'm some sort of freak for feeling this way, that if people knew how I felt, than they would hate me and cast me away. These thoughts would always keep me down. But now? I'm done listening to these thoughts, these lies.
Since coming to terms with this side of me, and accepting myself for who I am, I've come to find a newfound appreciation for myself. I feel happier and more free. I know I'm not perfect, I know I still have issues, but at the very least, I know I can be honest with myself, who I'm attracted to, who I love, and who I am.
LGBTQ+ rights and acceptance has come a long way in recent years, especially in the United States. In 2003, 1 year after I was born, the Supreme Court struck down sodomy laws, which existed in states like my home state of Texas, a decision which gave LGBTQ+ people like myself the right to enjoy our partners in the privacy of our own homes. In 2015, just under 6 years ago, the Supreme Court gave LGBTQ+ people like myself the right to marry our partners. In 2020, just under a year ago, the Supreme Court gave LGBTQ+ people like myself workplace and hiring discrimination protections.
When I was born, LGBTQ+ people like me were very much hated and had virtually no rights. Now we have the right to enjoy our partners in the privacy of our own homes, the right to marry, the right to adopt, and workplace and hiring protections. I am able to exist as myself because of the struggles of many who have come before me, many of whom I will never know their names but am still infinitely grateful for. There is still much work to be done however. LGBTQ+ people still lack protections in housing, banking, transportation, education, healthcare and more. Conversion therapy, a practice tantamount to torture, and the "Gay Panic" and "Trans Panic" defenses in trials of murder are still legal in many states. Legions of individuals, politicians, and states governments are actively seeking, and actively working, to roll back the rights that have been fought so hard for.
Even as parts of me wish for this post, and for my existence as a bisexual man, to not be a political statement, it is one nonetheless. This is because to exist as an LGBTQ+ person is inherently political, as your existence and what rights you should have are constantly up for debate. Some want to give you more rights, some want nothing to change, and some want to actively take away the rights you've been given, and see your mere existence as an abomination or a threat of some sort to them. If this post can help in any way the fight for LBGTQ+ rights, or help someone who was in my position be more confident about themselves, even if it's in the tiniest possible way, than I will be extremely happy.
For those that have read this to the end, and who support me for who I am, even if it's just passing approval I am immensely grateful for you. Thank you so very much, and thank you to those that I confided my sexuality with while I was closeted, to the resources and communities that helped me figure myself out, and, as mentioned earlier to the many who have fought for the right for people like me to exist as I am.