While I was at Comic Con last weekend, I attended a lot of LGBTQ panels. They were actually pretty good and I enjoyed being in each one. I also started thinking a lot more about my journey. Like the why and how of my sexuality and gender expression, I feel like I need to write this out in trying to understand myself better… especially since this is how I process best.
I was raised in a somewhat religious household. While that wasnt really true for my early childhood and my later teenage years, it was certainly true in my pre-teen years. That might be why I tend to be so resistant to religion. Of course, this isn’t really about religion, is it?
It also might be one of the reasons that I’ve always treated sexuality with kid gloves. I lived in a very heteronormative household. It felt like the unspoken expectation was to always be normal… even though I didn’t understand what that met (and still don’t to this day). There was always this expectation that I would always have a boyfriend (as I am, kind of cis female, but more on that later). There was never any discussion of what if I want to date a girl or girls in general. It was always assumed that I would only want to date men.
Which is interesting. Whenever I had someone come out to myself as being something other than heterosexual, it never bothered me. My stepdad who abused me was bisexual. My best friend in high school was bisexual and came out to me first. It didn’t faze me when I heard it from either of them. I’ve always wondered why that was. If it was me being in denial, then I would have had a negative reaction. So, I’m pretty sure I wasn’t denying my sexuality. I think I just hadn’t really thought about it at the time… or even ever.
It seemed natural to me to find both men and women sexually attractive. When I fantasize, I see both as being equally hot. I still would like to date or do anything with women. Unfortunately the time vs. relationships thing is now a thing with 3 concurrent relationships.
So, maybe it’s that I’ve always kind of known that I was bisexual. I don’t know because I don’t remember there ever being any great revelation. It always kind of was. I didn’t have that lightbulb go off in my head the way it did with when I was poly.
It’s interesting because coming out as bisexual and poly happened pretty much at the same time… more or less. For poly, I had tried it before. It blew up horribly in my face because I had no idea what I was doing. It quickly became me being cheated on by an en boyfriend. He didn’t want to leave me, but wanted this other woman. Instead of being honest about what was going on, he would just do things. Now, even now after having done this for 11 years, I know that he cheated on me… though I’m pretty sure he would never admit that.
My first attempt was horrible. I decided that it wasn’t really for me. So, I tried to work at monogamous relationships… which I would repeatedly fail at, in all definitions of the word fail. Then my first “real” poly boyfriend introduced me to the Ethical Slut. I read it and actually had a lightbulb moment. It was one of those, “Yes, this makes total sense! This is exactly how I feel moments!” That is probably the only good thing to come out of that relationship, discovering that I was really poly.
Of course, after coming to terms with that, the boyfriend that I was dating monogamously had to try to wrap his head around not being mono. This is a hard transition. It really is. It probably would have been easier if he wasn’t so controlling and abusive. So he would always keep the brakes on when I would want to go on a date. It was at this time that he also told me, “You better not be bi too.”
At the time it seemed kind of innocuous.
As time passed after breaking up with him I realized that it seems more sinister. Like he knew he was losing control of me. That I wasn’t going to be there anymore to make him look better. He wasn’t going to be able to manipulate and put me down anymore… that time was running out. But there’s nothing more fun then being told that you can’t explore your own sexuality and that you can’t be who you are. As more time has passed, I resent him more and more for that statement than any other.
There’s always something that I’ve always felt awkward about. I’ve always felt awkward about my gender. Not in the way transgender people do. I’ve always shared a certain amount of both masculine and feminine features. It became more obvious once I was in middle school. My “friends” used to call me she male. Of course, this upset and hurt me because I was a girl. I was acting like I thought I should. I didn’t understand the concept of being overly feminine or overly girly. It hasn’t been until a couple of events more recently. One of them is because I am often around a greater variety of the LGBTQ community. I’m no longer stuck in a small echo chamber, but I now see a greater variety of people. It’s also because of my newest relationship that I feel more emboldened to explore my genderqueerness. I love that I’m getting support from all of my relationships to explore who I am.
I think I truly appreciate all of this because I’ve gone through so much bad crap in my life. It took me time to accept who I am. I wish I could have done so at a younger age (like many who learn these things when they were younger). I am so grateful that I am where I am in my life, that I have the people I do in my life. Sometimes I’m utterly blown away by what I have. I feel incredibly lucky or blessed or what have you. All I know is that I’m glad that they’re there.