Happy Pride Month!
First and foremost, Happy Pride Month to all of the wonderful members of the LGBTQ+ community who practice tolerance and love! I hope that everyone enjoys Pride Month, that it is filled with happiness, and that if you attend any Pride events, you feel welcomed and supported no matter what letter(s) you represent or what colors you fly!
I love the Pride Month meme’s and the grade A positivity I have seen in regards to Pride events and those who are going. Please remember that if you’re an ally, you are so welcome at Pride! If you’re bi or Trans in a hetero relationship, get your butt to pride (if you want!) and enjoy it. You are valid! And, as this is my first Pride Month out, I’ll be trying to involve myself in Pride events too so if you’re in my area, I hope to see you out there!
To those of you who follow me on Twitter or Snapchat, you know. This is no surprise, but thank you for being so loving and supportive. And, a special thank you to my cousins and my brother for keeping my secrets and not going to our parents to tell them. I appreciate you letting this be my story to tell.
So here’s my story,
I’ve known that I liked girls and boys since I was about 9 years old. I remember where I was and what I was doing when I realized it, but I remember not understanding it, sweeping it under the rug, and not thinking about it again until I was in middle school.
In middle school I learned what gay, lesbian, and bisexual meant. (Fun Fact: I’d grown up spending at least half of my time with my gay Grandmother and her Partner, but I didn’t realize they were gay until I was 11.) I had a ton of friends who were bisexual at the time. I’d heard a lot of stories and met a few of people, all who were experiencing similar feelings and I felt like I was getting to know who I was through them and their experiences. I came out, very awkwardly and unofficially, to 4 people in the eighth grade. One of them being my big brother.
I kept it pretty well hidden and only really talked about it with my two best friends and boyfriend at the time. I was also grossly boy-crazed in middle school and so it wasn’t too hard to hide that I liked girls because it wasn’t in the forefront of my life.
When I got to high school it became a little harder. I thought about it more constantly, and worried more about if I should tell anyone else. At the time however, I was in an on and off hetero relationship. I just kept telling myself that I didn’t really to come out because (I felt like) no one was going to really think anything of it. I wasn’t dating a girl and I never had and my experiences with girls were all locked away in depths of my mind, and were never to be discussed.
But mostly I never came out because I was scared to.
Like most members of the LGBTQ+ community, coming out is daunting. My fear was that I would be invalidated because of my lack of female partners and because I’d always heard adults say that my bi and gay friends were going through a phase and that they’d grow out of it and I didn’t want to be one of those kids just going through a phase. I also didn’t want to label myself something because I knew how powerful labels were. I’d seen them at work in the halls of my high school, and I was already being labeled “idiot” for being in the relationship I was in.
There was also a part of me that was still wasn’t sure of myself; I couldn’t say for sure that I was bi, but that was because I’d been spending so much time analyzing it. I knew I liked girls, there was no question of it. I just was too scared to commit to it.
When I got to college I started to talk about my sexuality more freely. I would say, out loud, in groups of new friends, that I was bisexual when conversations came up about sexuality. Honestly though, it wasn’t until I transferred to UNT and met a bunch of new people that I began to feel valid and sure of myself. People related and were accepting and I couldn’t have asked for a better place to settle into myself completely. It’s been wonderful too, to be able to sit around in groups of people and have them know who I am with no fear of being outcast because of who I choose to love. I had waited 11 years to be this comfortable, and I was basking in it.
In April of this year I had a big sit down with my Dad to talk to him about things that I had been struggling with. Initially the conversation was about mental health and what would benefit me, but I had been wanting to tell my Dad about my sexuality for months. I had become so confident in it and happy about being out to my peers. I was ready to show him this piece of me.
The conversation was long and the whole time my Dad was supportive and loving. I explained that I’d known for years, and why I kept it so secret. My Dad expressed that he wished I’d told him sooner, and that he loved me no matter what. He said that he knew it was hard to be bi because of his own friendships, he’d seen that bi’s had been invalidated for a long time. But, there was no judgement, no scolding, no “you disappoint me.” Just love! And I was elated! Even though I’d never been worried about my Dad judging me, I was still not sure how he’d react. There is a difference (I think) in having gay friends or a gay mother-in-law versus having a gay child so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The overwhelming love didn’t surprise me however, it just solidified how amazing my Dad is and reminded me how important it is to be yourself.
The overwhelming love and acceptance from my Dad was amazing and has ultimately brought me here, to my blog, during Pride month, to come out to the rest of my family and friends. I hope with my whole heart that you all can be just as loving and proud as my Dad has been.
Thank you for reading, and Happy Pride!
p.s. I wanted to include a little literary quote (or two) at the end of each of my blog posts as part of its ending after I initially sign off, so here are todays!
“End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien
“P.S. We are not written for one instrument alone; I am not, neither are you.”