I consider myself a pretty fearless person. I have always been a go getter, going after what I want and voicing my opinions. Everything about me is laid out on the table. Well, all but one thing for the past decade.
My identity is a combination of all the things I love, my passions, my interests, my friends, and more. I am someone who loves to write, read, and talk. I am an INFJ personality type and a Ravenclaw. I liked lavender lattes, good friends, and sativa. I am also a bisexual woman.
That last part has only been open to the public for four months now, which seems like a fever dream considering my upbringing. I came out on the first day of pride month, which was a total coincidence, to my brother and my partner. It was the scariest and most liberating thing I have ever done. On June 1st I revealed a part of myself that has been hidden for the past ten years.
I was brought up in a conservative Christian home where we went to church twice a week and prayed before dinner. I went to bible camps and youth groups. The church was the first place where I was ever told being homosexual is a sin. That what I felt was wrong and would likely send me to the fiery pits of hell. It was that Sunday that I walked out of church with tears running down my face and vowed to un-gay myself asap. I fibbed and told my parents the tears were from an emotional sermon… not really a lie I guess.
I am now 20 years old and I look around in awe of the life I have created for myself where I can fully and completely live free. I never let myself forget how grateful I am to live this life. When I came out to my brother and partner, I half expected them to judge or rebuke me even though they are the two coolest people on this planet. In reality, all they did was celebrate me and let out a sigh of relief that I finally said it out loud (shocker! They knew!) As this new reality began to set in, I wondered to myself if I should begin telling other friends and family members. I felt like I owed it to them to be honest. I really had no guide to this whole coming out thing because it’s not like I have done this before.
My partner’s words still ring in my head today: “you don’t owe anything to anyone. You don’t have to tell anyone else ever if you don’t want to.” Of course, those words almost knocked me over as I am a certified people pleaser.
Sometimes I want the world to be black and white. In or out. Yes or no. The notion that I didn’t have to be out to everyone in my life was shocking. Four months into this new journey, I have realized that I am not “out” every day. Sometimes it takes too much effort to explain to strangers or homophobic family members why I love both genders. Sometimes I don’t have the energy for it. Some days I wake up feeling all the pride in the world and other days my sexuality doesn’t feel so important. It’s a flux of being out or in, depending on my environment and the people I’m around. And that’s OK.
What matters to me is that I am out to myself. I have accepted myself. I am at peace with myself. Life is a whole lot more enjoyable when you’re not living in fear of the unknown.
My good friend Fadia recently told me about a podcast episode she did with fellow SOGIE members: https://open.spotify.com/episode/4wYDQ1rYRMBxmQA5IapuuD?si=6j6kRi6XTtuouirtwUyq3Q. They dive deeper into the lifelong process that is coming out and discuss harmful myths surrounding the topic.