Coming Out

National Coming Out Day is 12th October

Dear Diary

Today it’s National Coming Out Day. I’m 33 and 3/4 years old and I’m out as bisexual.

I’ve come out about my bisexuality time and time again in my life. The first time was the hardest. The first time was coming out to myself.

I’d been interested in men and women for as long as I can remember, but didn’t ever connect with the word bisexual. I was just different, odd. My thoughts and emotions would oscillate between thinking I was a lesbian or I was straight and just going through a phase. I blamed it on puberty and my hormones.

My teenage years weren’t easy generally and so my sexuality was something I simply kept quiet about. It wasn’t as if I had the opportunity to try anything anyway. My younger self thought that if I kissed and had sex with some men and some women, I’d finally realise which I was – gay or straight. I believed all I needed to do was to find out which felt right. My older self just laughs at that now.

So, what happened to make me realise I was bisexual? Well, it’s hard to define. One of the biggest changes was going to the university LGBT society halfway through my first year. I’d been too scared to go before then because I was going through a phase of being certain I was straight. Besides, the whole LGBT thing seemed rather scary. I liked my hair long, I liked to wear skirts, I didn’t want to have to have short hair. Yes, I know. I was a little naive, but bear in mind Diary, that this was my first time experiencing any opportunities to have sexual freedom, to have space to find out who I was.

This was when I came out to my mum. I told her I was a lesbian. She told me I wasn’t, she’d know if I was. I told her I was. She went quiet. I then left for work because I knew she’d need time alone to think about it. When I came back after an evening’s waitressing, she followed me into the kitchen as I made toast and asked me if I was sure. I said yes. She cried and hugged me and told me she still loved me and just wanted me to be happy. I cried alone in my room when she couldn’t see. We didn’t talk about it again.

Within a year, I’d realised that I wasn’t a lesbian. I just wasn’t. I did find some men attractive. However, I also realised that I wasn’t straight. I did find some women attractive. Despite being intelligent enough to be at university, it took me till I was about 20 years old to finally realise and admit that I was bisexual. It was a relief.

Coming out to myself was hard but when I did it, it gave me confidence. I didn’t have to hide part of who I was from my friends.

This was when I came out to my mum – again. This time she just smiled and said that as long as I was happy, she was okay with it. It became an issue that we didn’t talk about because it was a non-issue. I felt very proud to have such a wonderful mum.

After that, I had to come out to my friends in the LGBT society. Not everyone was happy for me. Some felt I shouldn’t have been there. One person also came out to me as bisexual. I wasn’t alone!!!

My house mates, my friends and eventually my work colleagues found out as I told them in very gentle ways – slipping it into conversations, mentioning people I was attracted to, talking about a date I went on or who I pulled. Impressively, I found out that I worked with 3 other bisexuals in one restaurant!

Since then, I come out where I think it’s appropriate. I don’t walk around shouting out that “I’m bisexual!” because well, in a finance meeting, it’s just not going to add anything to the discussion of next year’s budget.

I’m not ashamed of being bisexual. I’m proud to be bisexual. It’s a part of who I am.

Thanks for listening Diary. When I read you back in years to come, I hope I’m still able to be proud and out about my bisexuality.

 

Bisexual Index say:

Every year on October 12th (or 11th in the USA) we celebrate the bravery of coming out – living in the open as LGBT people.

Coming out of the closet can be scary to do, but most people agree it’s better to be honest about sexuality, especially to ourselves.

A lot of people seem to overlook the bisexual contribution to LGBT culture, and we here at the Bisexual Index think that Coming Out Day is a great opportunity to remind people that bisexuals are a part of the community and also have to overcome the ‘coming out’ hurdle.

Outside the LGBT community, many people don’t realise just how many bisexuals there are in our society. If you’re thinking of coming out as bisexual, check out our links to good advice, read our FAQ to see how to counter the most likely myths you’ll face and good luck!

We’d like to see the invisibility of bisexuality dented this Coming Out Day – especially online! So we’ve created some graphics to help – just copy and paste the code from our website’s “Coming Out” page into your blog, journal, facebook page or twitter on Coming Out Day!  You don’t have to be in to come out either – reaffirm your sexuality and come out again!

Spread the word! Let’s show everyone that bisexuality isn’t rare, unusual or imaginary!  Please repost this on your own blogs, journals, email lists, facebook groups and we can make this a Coming Out Day to remember!

www.bisexualindex.org.uk/out