Coming out 

Many people will tell me that I’m not bisexual because I only date men. Others tell me that I’m just confused, and that I can’t be attracted to girls because again, I’ve only dated men. 

I came out when I was in high school. There was a small group of people I would sit at lunch with and I figured it would be okay to come out to them. I wore my black I love Lucy shirt and now that I think about it, it must have been best to keep everything to myself. Only one of the four girls were accepting. The others called me names, and even told me they didn’t feel comfortable around me. Feeling wounded and scared, I told them not to worry, none of them were my type. 

As the day dragged on, the word got out that I liked both guys and girls. I counted how many times I was called a dyke – fifteen. I figured it was best to just keep it from my parents for as long as I could. My friends didn’t accept me, so my parents certainly wouldn’t. I would have fake Christian values shoved down my throat, of which I decided to pass. 

The secret of myself held me down as if I were in a lake. My sexual preference was the mucky bottom that had gripped at my ankles and refused to release me. Each passing day of this secret being buried deep within me was another moment that I was losing air. I became depressed, and turned to the internet. Maybe I was confused? No, that couldn’t be it. I remember dating a girl at fourteen and remembered I felt more alive than when I dated a guy. I felt nor.al during those four short months. I smiled more, laughed often, I was truly happy. But she wasn’t. She left me for her ex girlfriend and I wondered if I would find a girl who did that to me again, or even a guy. I decided to lay low, take the awful names as they came, and just live with my secret. 

I don’t know what prompted me to tell my parents that I preferred both men and women, but I remember when it came out it wasn’t pleasant. I remember trying to tell them I wasn’t confused, and they still didn’t understand. 

Fast forwarding to 2014, I found myself in a gas station, paying for a pack of cigarettes and four gallons of gas when suddenly the cashier saw a pin I wore on my jacket. It was the gay pride rainbow, and the bi pride pink, blue, and purple. As I shuffled for the $15 in my wallet, I heard it. “It’s because of people like you that gays get no respect.” No respect? People like me? I asked him to repeat himself and when he did, my heart dropped to my stomach. “You people date both genders…You can’t be happy with just one. My partner and I get no respect because of people like you.People who are bisexual ruin things for gays? I threw the money at his face and stormed off. Doesn’t the B in LGBT mean anything, or was I told wrong? I sat in my car, hot angry tears soaking my face. No support from my family, my friends, and now even fellow members of the LGBT community were metaphorically shitting on me. Why was being bisexual such a bad thing? 

In 2017, I don’t care what people think of me. I had been written off as confused for far too long, to the point I was afraid to date who I wanted. I am now in a relationship with a man that I love very much. I still find women attractive, but I am loyal to my boyfriend, and I am in love with him. I don’t use my sexual orientation as an excuse to date many people, though I will not cut down someone who does. You see, we are responsible for our own happiness, and I failed to see that. I allowed other opinions to make me think that I was broken. I’m not broken, I’m unique. I will stand my ground and making sure that nobody feels like they are not normal, that they are broken. You are beautiful, no matter who you are attracted to. 

Learning the lessons

I quit school when I was 17 and spent two years trying to get the GED. I failed the math and writing multiple times, and after a while I quit again. I went back to try a final time, at which point my teacher told me I could do a high school completion course. After a year and a half, I graduated as a member of the Nation Adult Education Honor Society.
Lesson one: Believe in yourself.

My son attends a magnificent school with wonderful teachers. I just found out today that he is being bullied, and he is afraid to tell the bus driver. The boys who are picking on him used to be his friends, and now that my son turned over a new leaf, they don’t like him. I asked him what he plans to do, almost afraid that he would say that he would go back to his less than desirable ways. He told me that if they can’t accept that he wants to be good, then they don’t need to be his friends.
Lesson two: Be true to yourself.

I had a rough relationship, the guy got into my head and made me think things about myself that I didn’t like. He made me feel crazy, used, and that nobody would love me but him. I didn’t want to wake up in the morning, I didn’t want to eat. I went from looking healthy to being harped on by doctors because I looked anorexic. I still struggle with the thoughts of being fat. There were times he made me feel that the people in my life would be better off without me. He paid me for sex, telling me that this is what people do when they are in love. He lied.
Lesson three: If someone truly loves you, they will not hurt you on a daily basis. 

I separated myself from dating and sex and spent time getting to know myself. I now know that I like my coffee with a lot of creamer, I look best with nude color eye shadows, I like hearing people talk (even if I don’t catch what they said), I can be a good friend to someone, I can make my son smile with just one hug or high five, and that it really feels good to laugh.
Lesson four: It’s okay to be alone.

A man came into my life when I was 19. I was fresh out of a relationship, but not ready for the emotions he made me feel. After a few months of trying to be normal with him, I walked away. I couldn’t settle down. I was in and out of relationships more than I’d like to admit. Each and every time, my mind went back to him. When things got rough, I’d leave. I knew deep down the others weren’t who I was meant for, but I could never admit that he was what I longed for. It took me four years, a few unpleasant conversations, and one apology before we finally got it right. If I would have listened to myself the first time, I could have avoided a lot of unnecessary heartache on both parts.
Lesson five: You deserve forgiveness, and you deserve to forgive. 

Life is full of lessons, and I’m ready to learn them all.