“I'm Anna Paquin. I'm bisexual and I give a damn.”
- Anna Paquin
I officially and loudly came out in the summer of 2012. By officially I mean I wrote an essay about it, I was still calling them blogs back then, and posted it on my website. After that I began self identifying whenever it was appropriate. Maybe if I was younger and came out I might be the kind of person who has to tell everyone I meet, “I like boobies and wee-wee’s” but I was 35 when I came out and too damn old for that kind of bullshit. So when I say loudly I only mean I didn’t sugar coat it or cloak it all in euphemisms and the written equivalent of foot tapping. I said it and I owned it, end of the story.
That’s not to say I was one hundred percent in the close before that.
In 2009 I made my first attempt at coming out. Although my family and intimate friends knew my sexuality for years it was always something I kept to myself. If you’re wondering why that was the situation when I am so outspoken, some would so to the point of repetitive nausea, all I can say is that I was ashamed.
I’m not sure I can explain why I was ashamed of who and what I am but I was and I know a lot of LGBT men, and I assume women but I will never claim I can see things from their POV because you know I have a penis, feel the same shame. If you’ve ever felt crippling shame you know how powerful it is. It’s an all consuming feeling that saturates and pollutes every aspect of your life. I never wanted to die because I was a bisexual I wanted to die because I was ashamed.
So in late 2008 early 2009, I can’t be sure because as you’ll learn those essays no longer exist, I came out on MySpace (Don’t judge me I’m old!). And it went over like a lead balloon. Nobody responded, nobody cared, and it was a non issue. That made me happy and for a little while my shame was lessened.
In 2010 there was a… let’s call it a shit storm in the family.
I’m not going to go into the details of the situation. There are two reasons for this. First it’s a done issue and as far as I’m concerned it can and will stay buried unless the opposite party brings it back up. The second reason is that it was half my fault, actually the issues that precipitated the situation were all my fault and I willingly own that, what came next was inappropriate and enough to destroy and lifetime relationship.
In the fallout from the unnamed situation a certain person decided to throw these comments at me regarding my coming out. While I remember the exchange, via Facebook, clearly I didn’t save them hence there are no quotation marks.
- How dare you share this in public and embarrass your family.
- Nobody cares.
- Nobody wants to know this.
- You should be ashamed of yourself.
- Your grandfather is dying how dare you put this out there and embarrass him.
I know there were others but those are the ones that stuck in my craw. The Josh of early 2015 would have gone ripshit and to hell with any and all consequences. I would burn the city to the ground and sow the land with the salt of my righteous anger as my enemies cowered and ran before me, or some such other bullshit.
Josh of 2010 felt like he’d been punched in the gut.
I put up a small fight, give me credit for that. But in the end it was an ineffectual self defense that ended with me scouring my then fledgling social media sphere of all references to my beta coming out. Not only did I attempt to sanitize the internet I deleted the all of the essays I’d written from my hard drive.
When I panic I do some stupid shit.
For the next two years I was back in that shadowy side world of the people in my close sphere knowing and the rest of the people in my world either not caring or not being sure. I wasn’t happy after my capitulation and I obsessed on it for month. I’m sure it had an influence on the near implosion of my marriage in 2011. I was unable to effectively interact with people in the real world as my unmedicated depression grew hotter and burned through my world.
Medication and digital therapy saved my life and my family.
I’m not going to retell the story, for the millionth time, about finally telling my doctor what was going on. If you are really interested go check out the first rambling edition of my digital therapy A CAUTIOUS DESCENT INTO RESPECTABILITY available through Amazon. But long story short she medicated me and told me I needed to get all of the darkness out where it could be seen.
So I wrote, then I wrote, and then I wrote some more. When it was done my soul was unburdened, the truths were ALL laid bare, my heart was lighter, I was “Out loud and proud”, and more than half of my family apparently actively hated me or wanted nothing to do with me anymore. I’m a person and it bothers me that that was the outcome but I’m better off now than I was before.
Since then I’ve been adamant.
More than a few people have (straight and LGBT) have chastised me for being vocal considering I’m married to a woman and have children. They seem to think I have no business speaking out because I’m living a “Hetro Lifestyle”.
But that’s why I have to speak out.
I am a normal guy. I’m overweight, I’m nearsighted, I’m balding, I work, I play, I love my family, I eat pizza, I watch bad movies, I wrote schlock fiction, I am a huge geek, and I am a bisexual American man. There is nothing special, unique, or scandalous about me. I’m just a guy and being bisexual doesn’t define who I am but it is a part of me.