Archive for the ‘outness’ Category

Coming out & dating

June 26, 2008

Usually, when I start dating someone I am already out to them or come out within the first few interactions.  Its important to me to know that the person respects my identity before getting involved and attached.  Generally, coming out tends to be a rewarding experience.  Many people express a new level of knowledge about human sexuality after I explain to them what bisexuality means to me.  Sometimes, well fairly often actually, people express their own bisexual feelings to me either at the time, or later.

Very recently, I began “casually dating” someone that I have been acquantances with for several years.  I was not sure if this person knew how I identify or not, and was a little nervous to come out not knowing how they would react.  When I expressed my nervousness to my straight-yet very affirming roommate she said “well, maybe this person has bisexual feelings, too, you never know right?”  and my internalized biphobia came out and said ” No, no, I am pretty sure they aren’t bi, sometimes you just know”.

I was happily proven wrong, when after stumbly upon my myspace profile (which outs me as bi), the person I am dating expressed sexual feelings for men, and wanting to pursue that more.  I felt, happy, relieved and excited that this person felt comfortable to share this with me, and is acting on feelings they have had for a long time.  Happy bi moment!

Outness with Family- is it different to be out as bi, than gay or lesbian?

March 18, 2008

When I came out to my mother 3 1/2 years ago, I told her I identified as bi or queer, I never used the word ‘gay’ and corrected her use of the word in reference to me.  I knew things could become more difficult later on if I didn’t start out with the truth.  I wasn’t sure she got it, but decided not to push it too much right away.  Several months later, I was in a relationship, my first relationship-relationship with a woman.  I told my mother.  This is how the conversation went:

me: Mom, I have some exciting news for you!

mom: okay.

me: E and I are dating!

mom: [silence]

me: isn’t that exciting?

mom: [pause] well, I guess so. [long silence]

me: did you have a question, mom?

mom: well, I guess I just don’t believe the whole gay thing with you.

me: well, I’m not gay, I’m bi.

mom: I guess I don’t know what that means

me: it means I can fall in love with someone of any gender.

mom: [long pause] okay, well, the other day when you sent me that email, I was really upset. .. (this email had nothing to do with my sexual orientation, and the conversation just went on from there)

 That was a hard conversation for me, and the last one we really had about my sexual orientation and her questioning it.  I dated E for a year and a half, and we lived together.  My relationship with my parents was tenuous during this time, and when I told them we had broken up and I was moving out, they were practically ecstatic.  Our relationship has been easier since this time.

This leaves me in somewhat of a bind.  If I am dating a man, do I tell them?  Let their imaginations go to that place of marriage, etc?  Do I only tell them if I am dating a woman, and preserve the slight amount of queer identity I have with my family?  I feel like I have already failed myself and my personal beliefs and politics by not telling them about the man I was dating last summer, and now, as I think about seeking out dating women, I feel as though it would be really horrible to tell my parents about it.

And, there is the question of my younger brother’s wedding.  Who should I take? How can I go about not feeling invisible as a queer person, and also not feel like I am lying about who I really like?  It seems like the only way around this is to wear a button, or come out to everyone.  Might be inappropriate and silly to do at a wedding.

Sometimes, I think it would be easier to be a lesbian.  But I am not a lesbian.

outness

March 11, 2008

Coming out and being out during college was fairly simple, I told everyone I was bi, and if they didn’t believe it, they only had to watch who I dated for a few years to get the picture.  But I was also in a pretty liberal environment, and mostly hanging out with other queer folks. Most everyone had heard of bisexuality, and if they hadn’t, were willing to learn and got it pretty quickly.  It was a space where it was incredibly uncool to be intolerant of anyone.

Now, I am in the situation where I need to come out at work, and do a little more education/ explaining of my identity to many people.  I think most people at work either assume I am a lesbian or assume I am straight.  There’s a small few who have actually talked to me enough to know how I identify.  It feels harder to come out as bi in this situation, I feel like fewer people know what bisexuality is (espcially without all of the stereotypes that go into that) and everyone is more set in their ways.  I feel like if I were gay, it would be pretty easy to tell people that, and have them get it and be ok with it.  Also furstrating in a sillier way- there is no way for me to make myself “look bi”.  Suprisingly, there are not really any stereotypes about what a bisexual person looks like.  Short of wearing an obnoxious button everyday, its going to take considerable effort to actually feel out at work.