“Straight people say, 'You know you're just gay,' and gay people say, 'You know you're just gay.' There is such a thing as bisexual!”
- Andy Dick
This is the last part of this series of essays. I’ve said a lot, I’ve received a little amount of derision, and I’ve received more support and affection than I could have ever dared dream. This has been an amazing experience and if I’ve ever questioned whether coming out was a mistake, the overwhelming positive responses I’ve received have forever silenced them.
I am in amazingly high spirits on the subject of the LGBTQ (sorry I can’t bring myself to add more letters) movement. The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) has heard arguments on the case best set to legalize gay marriage nationwide and things look positive. In my ancestral homeland of Ireland, the Irish people have spoken in a national referendum and marriage equality is now the law of the land.
These are amazing things but not what has me truly upbeat.
As I swim the width and breadth if the internet I am seeing shifts in opinion. I see more people speaking up for the rights of their LGBTQ neighbors. I see the full retreat of the hate filled fundamentalist minority, who’re desperately clinging to outdated and vile points of view. I see the imamate full-scale collapse of the anti LGBTQ movement… they’re becoming a joke. We are jumping the wall and it feels amazing.
But it’s not the last wall.
I’m not saying we shouldn’t celebrate and I’m not saying the coming SCOTUS decision isn’t amazing. Let me be clear, if you’d told me at eighteen that before I was forty that true marriage equality would most likely be the law of the land I would have laughed in your face. But here we are, in what will probably be a 5 – 4 decision, at the end of June we’ll be one step closer to real equality.
It’s glorious but it’s not the end.
Right about now, I know someone will be thinking they should message me to ask me some version of this question, which I’ve received a lot in the last few years.
“Josh, you’re married to a woman and have been for almost eighteen years, you have six kids, and you’re a white American male so none of this affects you directly. Why are you speaking up and being loud about all of this? Why are you making it an issue?”
Sigh… I am so tired of trying to explain this to people, but I’ll try one more time. Let me make this very clear for the very last time in this series of essays, I AM A BISEXUAL. It does not define who I am anymore than my weight, my baldness, or my eye color defines me, but it is a fundamental part of who I am.
Does it really need to be explained further than that?
I truly hope not.
So what’s next, what do I see as the next target in the crusade to force equality upon the world? In twenty-nine states it is perfectly legal to fire or discriminate against a person based solely on their sexual identity or orientation. If you don’t believe me look it up, it might not be something that’s regularly used in the open but on paper the legality of it isn’t in dispute.
Does that sound right to any of you?
If it does once more I’m going to ask you to return any book of mine you may have purchased and see your way out the door. You’re not wanted in my world and I have no use for your money.
LGBTQ individuals need to be added to the list of protected classes. We need to expand the civil rights acts to include the LGBTQ community. I will even go further and really piss off some of the people I consider friends - we need to revive the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). We need to put it in the gods damned constitution of the United States of America that all citizen no matter of race, religions beliefs (yeah I’m an atheist but support this), gender, or sexual orientation have the EXACT SAME RIGHTS because we are Americans and we are supposed to strive for better!
All of my children are straight, or so they say, and I choose to believe them, but what about my future grandchildren and great grand children? I don’t even want to consider them going through the same pain I did in my journey to reach a point where I’m not only comfortable with my sexuality, but consider it a source of strength in my life. I want a world where someone’s sexual orientation and intimate life are no more interesting than a hairstyle or a new pair of shoes.
Will we see that before my time on Earth is done?
I don’t have an answer for that. In my lifetime we’ve gone from Mr. Harvey Bernard Milk, the first openly LGBTQ American elected to public office, being murdered to Kate Brown, an openly bisexual woman, becoming the Governor of Oregon. We’ve gone from homosexuality being listed as a mental disorder to gay conversion therapy being outlawed in state after state. We’ve gone from Stonewall to the Supreme Court.
I was almost a statistic, so many LGBTQ teens are killing themselves that it should be listed as an epidemic by the CDC, and I was nearly one of them. I was afraid and alone in a world that hated what I knew I was. Is it so surprising so many of us consider or have considered suicide the only way out?
I remember when the “It Gets Better” campaign started. All of these regular everyday LGBTQ men and women standing up (admittedly alongside famous people as well) and telling the young men and women wrestling with their sexuality that it does get better. I’m glad we can say that now and I want to add my voice to the hundreds of thousands (maybe millions) who’ve come before me.
I’ve been where you are and I promise you It Does Get Better.