Sunday, June 29, 2008

Bi The Way - Assume Nothing

The other night at the Bi Women's Group we all told our coming out stories to each other. Everyone's story is different and yet components are the same. The resonance each of us feels when we hear someone else say, "I just thought she was so cool! I didn't know that I liked girls 'that way,' but I knew... It was in the back of my head, but I ignored it..."

My coming out as bi was initially because of politics. At the time I said to not claim being bi would be the same as denying that the love I'd felt for either Denver D or for Shobi-wan wasn't real, and that wasn't right. But because I'd gotten involved with Odyssey's diversity training and questioned that we presented homosexuality but not bisexuality, I was selected to present that view [this was part of the name it, claim it volunteerism at Odyssey]. So the first time I really came out as bi, I came out to thirty or forty staff members, and the second time to another 75 teenagers.

After all these years, I'm still primarily politically bi. I identify as bisexual because it is who I am. I know that I appear to be straight, living the life I do married to a man, so I'm always on guard that people are going to question my marriage because of the stereotypes they hold about bisexual people. That makes me afraid to come out sometimes. Say what you like about me, but don't lecture me on my marriage and don't say word ONE about my husband. I should add though that in all the years I've been coming out as bi, I've never had to say that to anyone.

That makes me glad. And it's always nice to hear parts of my story in other people's lives, and parts of theirs in mine.

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