Before you read this, please be aware: I am TRUSTING you with this.  And I have every faith in you that you are worthy of that trust.  Please don’t break that trust without serious consideration.

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You know, I’ve been trying to find the right time to tell you this.  I’ve been waiting until life isn’t so crazy, when you’ll have time to work through the shock with all your brain instead of being distracted.  It’s not that I wanted your full attention, per say (in fact, this might have been a lot easier if I didn’t have your full attention), it’s that I didn’t want you to feel like I was rushing this moment for you.  You deserve the chance to process and ask questions when you’re ready and not a moment before.  But, in searching for the right time, I’ve realized there isn’t one. Not with news this big.

This sounds so serious, doesn’t it?  I guess it is.  It’s less of a big deal for me because, well, you’re not the first person I’ve told.  I’ve been talking with my friends for half a year and with my family for months, too.  I’ve talked to a select group of church friends and my clergyman.  And I’ve been living with this for years on my own, so it just feels like my every day life.  Except, admittedly, more terrifying now that I’m starting this dialogue.

I’m Bi-Sexual.

I know.  I’ll give you a moment to decide what you do next.  Breathe, process, PLEASE think before you respond.

Ready?  Are you okay?  Any questions yet?  Well, I hope you’ll let me finish first.  I might answer some of your questions.

First of all, I’m sorry you had to find out this way, whether it was because you follow this blog or because I posted the link on my Facebook and let it go from there.  I probably should have called.  I probably should have done a LOT of things.  I’ve spent months trying to figure out who I needed to tell face to face and the fact is, if this were a perfect world, I’d tell you ALL face to face.  Even the strangers who may be reading this.  (Please, share this with someone, if you think it will help.  I’m out.  It’s done.  I can’t and don’t want to take it back.)

But the world isn’t perfect.  It’s spread out all over.  It’s so spread out that the first half dozen times I came out were over the phone.  My best friend, who is one of the few people PERFECTLY equipped to understand what I am going through, had to find out via e-mail.  It was awful, to be so physically alone during that.  After all, when revealing something so intensely personal about one’s self, the best reassurance of love is touch.  At least it is for me.  I was terrified and horrifically lonely.  I’m so sorry if, by coming out this way, I’ve made you feel like I did those first few hours and days.

I’m really hoping you won’t be shocked.  I mean, you’ve known me for a while now.  And I never try to be anything other than honest.  I guess I just figured that this was my business and no one else’s.  After all, it’s my life and love.  But, at the same time, sometimes I feel like I’m surrounded by misconception.  Misconceptions that I have the power to change by being more open and honest than I ever have before.  I’ve been Bi and me for a long time – I’m no different because I’ve said it to you out loud, even though I completely understand if you see me differently . . . at least for a while.

Regardless of surprise or non-surprise, it’s the truth.  Please don’t feel like I’m asking you to accept this and just move on.  It’s taken me years to get the point where I was ready to share this part of me.  You’ll be fine, it’ll just take some time.  And I am willing to wait that time.

I can’t really tell you when I realized I was Bi completely because I was so medicated for so long.  I didn’t know what was me, what was medication, what was wild imagination, and what was latent tendency coming forward.  Suffice it to say, it’s been at least a few years since I realized I was attracted to women and men.  I’ve even fallen in and out of love with a woman, but it happened when I was so new and unsure of this part of me that I never did anything about it.  That was probably a good thing, as I wouldn’t have had any idea what I was doing and would have hurt us both a lot.

I guess it’s worth you asking why I’m coming out now.  First: I chose today because it’s a new year.  Best time to start a new phase in life.  But as to why I chose to start this process back in June, there were a lot of reasons.  I was tired of tiptoeing around the issue when related topics came up, the American presidential election was going to be filled with discussions about this and I felt like I had something to add, I was starting to feel like I was stifling myself, and the list goes on, full of trivial and not-so-trivial reasons.  Chief among them was because a lot of people don’t realize the immediacy of the LGBTQIA community.  For a lot of people, it’s something far away and not understood.  That’s where the misconceptions come from.  But I’m right here.

I’m here and willing to help you understand.  That’s why I’m coming out.  Because it hurts to see so many of my friends and neighbors in ignorance that I could be actively helping dissipate.  And yes, those comments some of you make?  Those hurt, too.  I’m hoping by being open I’ll inspire kinder behavior from my friends on ALL sides of the issue.

So what does this mean for me?  Not much.  Like I said, I’ve been living with this for years, quietly.  I think the biggest difference is that I am opening myself up for these frightening questions, as well as the few who will hate me on principle.  That’s going to be hard.  I won’t be running out to date women because the social groups that I am happy in don’t provide a whole lot of opportunities in that direction.  For right now, I feel like I’m where I’m supposed to be.  If things change, they change.  But I won’t be actively seeking a female partner just because I’m being open with you  about something I’ve known about myself for years now.

Yes, I know this is going to be hard for me.  I live in one of the most conservative cities in the US (Colorado Springs), I am a devoutly practicing member of one of the most conservative religions in the world (LDS (Mormon)), and I work in one of the most conservative cultures there is (rodeo).  I am no stranger to the fact that this is going to be difficult.  But that’s why I have to come out, you see?  If I – an active member of these communities – can’t tell people who and what I am, if I can’t help them understand that the woman I am is informed and made better by my alternative sexuality, who can?  Or teaching my friends on the other side of the issue that I’m not disrespecting my sexuality by choosing not to date women; I’m respecting me.  I’m respecting my needs.  And, in turn, I am sure that all of you–with your sure-to-be disparate responses–will inspire me to be better, too.  I only hope I do manage to inspire rather than harm.

To be clear: I’m not coming out because I feel like it’s any more your business than I did yesterday or the day I started this process.  I’m coming out because it’s MY business.

So.  How are you doing?  Okay?  I hope so.  I’ll leave you to yourself for now.  But, when you’re ready, I can’t wait to answer those questions.

Oh, and Happy New Year.  It’s going to be fantastic.

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