September 20-26 is Bisexuality Awareness Week. I have contemplated coming out as bisexual on the 26th, the last day of B.A.W, and my birthday, (because there’s no greater gift than acceptance) but have ultimately decided not to. I don’t know when I will, but I’m just not ready.
It took me long enough to come to grips with my own sexuality as it is. A part of me has always known, but I feel like I was in denial for so long, and I’m still bracing myself for the wave of prejudice sure to come my way. Don’t get me wrong, there would be no problem coming out to my very closest friends. In fact, I have already told, in confidence, three of my best friends.
It helped that all three were a part of the LGBT society in some way or another themselves. But I know that there will always be people who see my sexuality as a choice, or as a sin, or whatever other hateful rhetoric it is that they spew.
But in the past few months I’ve been asking myself some questions. The biggest question: Why did I deny who I was for so long?
The answer is tricky. I’d always thought about boys in “that way,” but I also liked girls, and in the 3rd grade, if you’re not gay, you’re straight, right?
But I guess my classmates picked up on something before I did. As early as I can remember, I was picked on by kids that were supposed to be my best friends. The most common phrase uttered: “You’re gay.”
Obviously, in the 3rd grade, you vehemently deny such accusations. My most common response: “No I’m not, I’m straight.”
By middle school, the insults were more advanced: “Bet you suck dick every day,” or “Fuck off, you dumb faggot.” Or, when they were lacking creativity: “You’re gay.”
Always, the answer was “Stop it, I’m straight, OK?”
I suppose, the more lies you tell yourself, the more you begin to believe them.
Now I’m not sure if they actually thought I was gay, or if they were just making fun of the easiest target. But the feeling of not being accepted always lingered. I never asked them about it; how they rally felt about LGBT people. But I’m afraid I already know what their answer would be. One of my friends from that time still throws around homophobic slurs like “faggot” all the time as if it’s no big deal. And when I asked him about it, his response was “Well, why would a straight guy be so offended by it? You are straight, right?”
And I lied.
See, I’ve been friends with him since 2nd grade. And I know, I shouldn’t care what people think of me, but it would really hurt for him to torment me because of my sexuality, even more than he has already, albeit inadvertently. And there’s a million people that I can think of just like him.
One, in particular, is a person that I knew originally in middle school. He’s a devout Catholic, and doesn’t nothing but plaster his Facebook page full of homophobic messages from priests and politicians. And for the first time in maybe six or seven years. I cried myself to sleep. It finally hit me: This is how they think of me, and people like me.
And that’s why it’s so hard for me to come out. I have a (possibly irrational, but it’s there nonetheless) fear of not being accepted, I’m not ready to put myself in a position to be judged by some self-righteous people who hate others in the name of their God.