“My sexuality is something I'm completely comfortable with and open about. There's a lot of prejudice toward us but the more people talk about it, the less of a big deal it will be. And that will be better for everyone.”
- Anna Paquin
Unless you are brand new in my life or have been living in a bubble under the sea for the last three years you all know I’m Bi. If you don’t then stop reading this essay immediately and go back to reread some of my other nonfiction writing… I’ll wait.
All caught up now?
Do you need a definition?
Bisexuality is romantic attraction, sexual attraction or sexual behavior toward both males and females, and may also encompass romantic or sexual attraction to people of any gender identity or to a person irrespective of that person's biological sex or gender, which is sometimes termed pansexuality.
The term bisexuality is mainly used in the context of human attraction to denote romantic or sexual feelings toward both men and women, and the concept is one of the three main classifications of sexual orientation along with heterosexuality and homosexuality, which are each parts of the heterosexual–homosexual continuum. A bisexual identity does not necessarily equate to equal sexual attraction to both sexes; commonly, people who have a distinct but not exclusive sexual preference for one sex over the other also identify themselves as bisexual.
Bisexuality has been observed in various human societies and elsewhere in the animal kingdom throughout recorded history. The term bisexuality, however, like the terms hetero- and homosexuality, was coined in the 19th century.
Did you read enough to get the gist?
Good, then I don’t need to do more than ascertain that I am a bisexual American male who is happily married to a woman. For that matter I am happy with my sexuality, I can equally lust after Christmas Abbot and John Barrowman without batting an eye. It’s a good life and I have no regrets in coming out of the closet… I hate that fucking term by the way. But the journey to my acceptance was hard and while I was never in fear for my life or soul it was still a weight I was almost not strong enough to bear.
Let me put this right at the top of the deck. I am not a strong man. I know people who have shouldered difficulties that would have left me broken and ready for that mercy bullet. They do it without complaint and with a quiet dignity that leaves me in awe and a little ashamed.
But I’m me and I can’t be them, I don’t know how to be them.
So why am I doing this?
That’s a fair question. I have written on the subject of my sexuality and how I’ve been shaped by it quite a few times. But it’s always been in isolated pieces or as part of a larger more complex narrative. I have never, to my recollection, tackled the subject head on and with no other topics (such as my depression) to obfuscate the issue.
Lately I’ve felt the need to speak up.
That’s complicated. There was no need for me to come out. If you ever meet me and spend time with me I doubt you’d be able to tell I am not “Straight as an Arrow”. There’s nothing special about me, other than my beard that thing is hardcore. I’m just a guy, I work a crap job, I have a great partner, my kids are my reason for getting up, and I write whenever I have a free moment.
I’m boring but happy.
But in the end I am still me and I am a bisexual man. If regular people who are gay, straight, and bi don’t speak up and say that there is nothing wrong or unnatural with being the way you were born then the bigots and fanatics win. But I have to keep it honest, there was something that ignited this series of essays.
I keep seeing posts on the vile cesspools of social media that boil down to one thing. I’m not going to find a direct quote to call out but instead I’m going to give you a paraphrased amalgamation.
All of you queers are winning and we are letting you have your rights. Now won’t you just shut the fuck up and leave all of us normal folks alone… but you’re all still going to hell.
I would like to say that is hyperbole but sadly not so much.
I usually hold my tongue, or at least my keyboard, when I see people spouting nonsense like that. But they do bother me a lot. I know there are people in my family who have taken the reality of my sexuality, no matter how little effect it has on them, very badly.
This is NOT a poor me thing. Like I said the people who know me and love me don’t care that I’m a little bent (see what I did there) and have always accepted me for who and what I am. They’ve always been the ones in my corner telling that I could do it and they’ve always believed in me.
Even when I didn’t.
In this series we’ll talk about the key points in my life and how they related to my sexuality. We will also talk about the high and low points in my coming to terms with myself and my place in the world. I have no idea how many installments there will be but when I am done maybe I will feel like I’ve done my bit for the cause.
Fuck me that was preachy and arrogant.
Truth is maybe I just like writing about my life and I would keep doing it whether people read it or not. It makes me feel better about myself and my life the more I put out there. When I first started writing about my life two and a half years ago I was scared and tentative. The words were hard to mine and I deleted more essays than I published. But as time went on it became easier and the good feeling when I was done was almost like a minor high.
But it’s still scary as fuck.
That being in the forefront of my mind I’ve resolved to push forward. This needs to be done. Not because I’m stupid enough to believe anyone will read it or that there is some underlying poignancy to it either. I’m doing this because I need to.
I hope you forgive this digression into hubris and indulge me for a little while. I promise in the end we’ll return to my bitching about morons and talking about zombies.