Something not many people know about me is that I’m queer—totally bi, dude. It’s been a long journey of self-discovery and I’m still learning a lot, but I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m completely comfortable with who I am, and I don’t care who knows. It’s not about them, after all.
Being bi doesn’t mean that you’re into swinging or threesomes (though some people are and that’s totally cool). I’m happily monogamous in my marriage to a bearded dude who will kick your ass if you make ignorant comments toward me. Kidding. Maybe.
Bisexual means that you’re physically attracted to both male and female genders. It doesn’t mean that you’re confused or promiscuous. It just means that you’re wired to appreciate women and men. Bisexuality is not a choice, phase, or excuse.
It’s an important part of who I am, but it also doesn’t define me as a person.
Growing up watching soap operas and not knowing any other queer people, it was my understanding that women married men. Still, I had crushes on both Devon Sawa and Aaliyah. I would sit on my school bus admiring other girls’ asses and had no clue that something was different about me.
Until high school.
Every morning we stood in the old Municipal Stadium parking lot, smoking cigarettes (and maybe other things, heh). Two of my friends from our morning crew, Lisa* and Lacie*, announced that they were together and that they were bi.
This piqued my attention. I knew I wasn’t gay because I still liked guys, but I was also very much attracted to other women. Finally there was a word to describe how I felt. I had to know everything about this completely new-to-me sexuality. Between my friends and the internet, I realized I was bi, too.
And it wasn’t just me.
Lisa and Lacie’s brave coming out sparked an entire LGBT+ movement throughout our high school. Suddenly dozens of students were also proudly declaring their sexuality and gender IDs. “I’m gay,” a usually quiet and shy boy I knew proclaimed. “I’m trans!” my friend Helena* announced. The school gave us a weekly support group and, for the first time, I met lots of people like me.
People who didn’t fit the mold, who were different and vibrant. We were artists and writers, daydreamers and metalheads. Ordinarily we might have never spoken while passing in the halls, but in “gay group,” as we dubbed it, we found kindred spirits in each other.
Gay group ended up collapsing after our facilitator Karen* suddenly stopped coming. Looking back, she was an adult that we all looked to for guidance, but she was only human, and dealing with her own issues. A lot of us were hurt and angry. We tried to carry on without her, but things just fell apart from there.
One thing that didn’t change, though, was the wave of tolerance and acceptance that flowed through our school. Kids in new freshman classes openly came out long after gay group ended and Lisa and Lacie graduated. I like to think that the legacy we built continues.
Though I’ve dated many women and men, I met my match in a tall, blue-eyed artist who keeps me on my toes. Actually, for the first year or so that we were dating, he drove me bonkers. It took me a while to snag him, but once I did, I knew I’d found the real deal.
Marrying a man doesn’t make me any less bisexual, though. I’m still queer as fuck, just like married people still feel attracted to other people but don’t act on their attractions. Nor does it mean that I have feelings for every woman I come across. I have a type, thank you very much. If you’re related to me or we’re friends, you don’t have to worry about me coming on to you. And never, under any circumstances, would I cheat on my husband.
These days, I use my sexuality to write #ownvoices novels for readers just entering adulthood. Krista—the main character in the fourth and final South of Forever book—is bisexual, and I’m exploring some tough themes with her in my WIP.
So that’s my Bisexual Visibility Week story. I’m here, I’m queer, and I’m still the same person I’ve always been. Just a little bit more colorful.
*Names changed for privacy.