Pride

It’s June and LGBT Pride Month, and I have a confession to make.

I am 32 years old, and I only finally told my mother a few weeks ago that I am bisexual. I always thought it would be a planned conversation. I’ve scheduled it in my head over and over, always chickening out at the last minute as it felt like asking her to “talk” would feel like informing someone of an execution coming. Or waiting for an execution of my own. Instead, it slipped into a conversation in the car on a random afternoon. I always thought it would be a painful thing, telling my mom, but instead it just happened. I was calm and didn’t stutter or burst into tears (at least not until later after she headed home), and she didn’t blink or even pause. It was just accepted, and the conversation moved on.

It felt like dodging a bullet.

I’ve known it for years, since college honestly. I’ve even openly implied it to people online, but only in the safe spaces, in the places like Twitter or LiveJournal where I know my family will likely never see it. Posting it here on my public page where anyone who knows me might stumble across a link is a step that has terrified me. You see, I’ve been told point-blank by family members that bisexuality doesn’t exist, that bi people should just get over the bullshit and admit they’re gay or just stop experimenting already. After hearing that, I never dared to admit to them that I’ve dated women in the past, as honestly I didn’t want to deal with the fall out of “but I thought you were a lesbian?” if the next person I brought home was a guy again. And, of course, now that I am in a monogamous relationship with a guy and will likely marry him, it often felt like most of my family members would scoff assume I’m in the latter “experimental” group.

But I’m not.

And for a long time, I couldn’t handle dealing with the knowledge that would be the response I got from most of them. I mean, they’re family. You want to know that you’ll be supported, no matter what you tell them. But sadly, it doesn’t always happen that way. Add in that I grew up in the country on a ranch in a very Red state, and the likelihood that any conversation about my sexuality will go well goes way, way down.

But I think I’m finally OK with whatever reaction comes. My boyfriend knows, my closet friends know, even some of my acquaintances know. It’s time to stop being afraid of my family knowing. I still may never bring it up in person with anyone but my mom and my half-sister (the only family member who I’ve admitted it to prior to now, and mostly the courage to talk to her was due to her living several states away and being able to feel like I could hide if she didn’t take it well), but if I’m asked, I’m not going to hide it any more.

It’s a part of my identity. It’s mine, and no one else’s. And I want to embrace that. I like men. I like women. I am monogamous. I love a man who is so, so good to me. None of these things are contradictory for me. And fuck it, I don’t care anymore if those facts seem to contradict each other to anyone else.

I’m writing books with bi and lesbian ladies. I will continue to write them. I do not, nor will I ever have to “explain” why I think those ladies have a place on the page, but fuck, if I’m writing from my lane, as it were, I’m going to own it.

Honestly, it’s thanks to fandom and Twitter and all the other safe spaces I’ve found, some very recently, that I finally have the courage to do so.

So thanks to all of you – to those who recced me fanfic, never knowing I was looking for parts of my story in each fic. To the fearless bi ladies I’ve met on Twitter who’ve openly admitted who they were and were brave enough to talk about it online, and who I might never have told explicitly that I was bi, but who welcomed me to the discussion no matter what my public preferences were. Bisexuals exist, by all that’s holy, but without having someone else say it out loud, I might never have been brave enough to do so.

Just thank you, all of you.

And if you’re reading this, wondering if you have someone to talk to about your sexuality or if anyone would listen if you did, or worse, if you know there’s no one in real life that wants to hear it, I want you to know you can come talk to me. I’m on Twitter, Tumblr, LiveJournal, Facebook… there’s even a contact submission page here on my website. It can be anonymous if you need it to, but know I sure as hell won’t judge and will definitely support the hell out of you.

Bisexuals exist. We do. We really do.

All content © 2015 by C.L. McCollum unless otherwise noted.

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