Why tell anyone?

Paula S responds to the topics of being out as bisexual.

I loved the question “why do I need of tell anyone I am bisexual?” It was a relief to read “Identifying as bisexual when in a monogamous relationship” and “Coming out to my family” since I had very similar experiences of my own.

I am not religious. I am not full of insecurities anymore (although when I found myself attracted to my best friend I wanted to kill myself). But I still struggle with the question of why I need to tell the people around me what is my sexual “label”.

I always remember the rejection I had from my father, who went into deep depression because of it. Or my mother sadly asking what had she done wrong. And how they told me life for gay people is so much harder and an unnecessary suffering for me since I could choose to “avoid” being with the “wrong” person. I am sure if I found myself in a serious relationship with a woman my dad wouldn’t come to visit me again. We pretend it is not there. I am 28 years old now. I came out to them when I was 16 and just had my first girlfriend.

I’ve married a man because I fell in love with him (the “right” sex of partner for almost 10 years and loved him to bits, still love him but as a friend now) and still I felt the need to, since the beginning, let him know. I did tell him. It was not easy, he always felt a bit insecure with the fact. You see, most of us have the simplistic view that all men would love a threesome, but that was not the case; some men don’t like the idea and he was one of those. But he took me as I was and that was comforting and made me love him even more. Our relationship ended for other reasons.

So my “other side” was kept quiet for some time. Still to most of my friends at some point I would tell I am bisexual. Now I am separated and these questions come strong again. I had to agree with Reuben when he said “I am attracted to people based on factors like kindness, intelligence, sense of humour, warmth, confidence, courage, loyalty, grace, swagger, smell, determination, creativity, honesty and many others. These attractive qualities are equally found between men and women, and I could fall in love with a person based on them regardless of the person’s style of sexual apparatus.” For me it works the same way.

I got to the conclusion that I want to live in a world where I can be who I really am. I think that is why us humans feel the need to share about themselves: to feel accepted, to feel included and above all to receive love from those around us for what we really are, our whole selves.

I know what hurts the most my relationship with my father after more then 10 years from his rejection is the fact that there is some part of me, a part of me that I love and cherish and that brings me much happiness that he can’t accept and love. I forgave him for his weakness, we all have some weakness, but I can’t feel close anymore, because I cannot share and be myself around him. And I know some people are going to avoid me, some are going to look at me sideways, but I am old enough to know I wouldn’t want those people friendships anyway.

I also feel the need to tell now that I am single again so that people who also are gay will tell me about it. I wouldn’t want to make a move on a hetero friend and feel her rejection and risk making her feel uncomfortable. I guess I am rather inexperienced in the tell tale signs and think the world would be so much easier if I knew where I can and cannot put my romantic affections. It is a bit silly, I know, but it is so hard to know when a girl is flirting back and when she is just being a girl, very confusing for me.

Received 17 September 2013