I was going to start this by writing that I have been much more vocal about my sexuality lately, but if I’m being completely straightforward, it’s not just being more vocal, it’s being vocal at all. I’ve never actually lied. I never went out of my way to hide it. But I have filtered myself.
There were a few real life friends who knew I was bisexual, but it wasn’t something I wanted many people knowing. Over the past several years, it started to bother me more and more. It wasn’t inhibiting my day-to-day life, but I felt like I was holding back. I felt like I couldn’t speak up about an aspect of who I am. And, well, if you know me at all, you know it’s not like me to keep my mouth shut about anything.
It was a letter writing project over at Lick the Fridge that helped push me to write the words, post them (or have them posted), and share them. I don’t know how many people read that letter, but there was very little reaction, which honestly, was fucking awesome. So the next time I wrote about it, it was easier. And each time after that, it was easier. And now, it’s just natural.
I write about it in the same vein that I write about any other part of my life, and that’s all I really wanted. But there was a less desirable side effect of becoming vocal about my bisexuality. It made me think about it more and that made me more aware of things that were always just under the surface.
I’ve been an advocate for LGBT rights for a long time. I can’t tell you exactly how long because it’s always just been what it was, what made sense to me . . . that all people should have the same rights. Discrimination is discrimination and there’s nothing else to it. But something’s happened over the past several months – it’s become much more personal.
Since putting that word out there in print, since stating, “I am bisexual,” I understand with much more clarity that when you take apart the letters in LGBT, I’m in there.
Now I won’t even begin to claim that I’ve gone through even a fraction of the discrimination as those whose sexual orientation is worn like a neon sign. Since my serious relationships have always been with men, I have never had to worry about walking down the street holding my girlfriend’s hand. At this moment, my boyfriend and I have been together for 5 years. The issue of marriage equality does not affect me directly and it’s likely it never will. I have never been bullied because of my sexual orientation. Hell, I still don’t think most of my family even knows because they’re generally not internet people.
But just because I can pass for straight doesn’t make the fight for equality any less personal to me. If you don’t think LGBTs are deserving of equal rights, guess what – I’m in that group. You don’t think I should be treated equally and yes, that stings.
In that first letter, I wrote about how the women I worked with at a day care center found out I was bisexual and how it “skeeved them out.” I didn’t even realize until a few months ago that I could have legally been fired from that job just because I’m bisexual. It’s a terrifying thought.
I read an article on HuffPost Gay Voices the other day – Please De-Friend Me. It was written by a gay man who quite bluntly said, “If you vote for Romney, de-friend me.” While I am not making that same stand (I suppose you could say I hate the sin and not the sinner), I understand his position completely.
This election is personal to me on multiple levels. It’s personal as a woman, as someone who has struggled economically, as a single mother, as someone who cannot afford health insurance, and yes, as a bisexual. And it is very difficult for me to even try to understand how people who say they love me can stand so strongly against my rights.