Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Not Straight, Not Gay; On Coming Out as Bisexual.

Picture reproduced under Creative Commons. From salanki on Flickr

So, I suspect everyone here already knows I am bisexual. It wasn't always that way of course.

I remember being a lot younger and having some difficulty with my sexuality. It never bothered me that I seemed to like girls in the same way I liked boys, but I was very aware that it would bother my classmates, so it generally wasn't discussed. Sexuality as a whole in teenage years tends not to be celebrated but instead dealt with in a very childish way, and often (I have found) in a very male-serving sense. As if the only way it was okay to be doing 'stuff' was really for a boy. That spilled over into the common logic at school that "of course boys wank" but if a girl were to admit that she also engaged in self pleasure, she'd have been the subject of ridicule for a very long time indeed. Female sexuality = not cool at school. Not, at least, in the schools I attended.

Of course, then at 16 I left high school, and moved up to a sixth form college in a city nearby. By 17 I had been introduced to the rock scene and remember meeting Kim* quite early in my fledgeling rock chick era. My friend introduced us, and as she had been introduced to me as gay from the outset I had no doubt. Not that I suspect I would have, if my friend had been more discrete.

Kim had long hair, a rich brown colour. She dressed fairly butch, and having been to an interview that day, was wearing black trousers, a white shirt and a tie. I remember noticing how the masculinity of the outfit and particularly the tie contrasted with her exquisitely feminine curves, the tie jutting out over her voluptuous breasts. 

I remember her laughing and whilst playing around, jumping ontop of my knees, straddling me as I sat, proclaiming "You're mine now!". I remember even more vividly, thinking "Oh God, yes please."

En route to my friend's house for a night out the following week, mid arguement with my Mum, I blurted out that the "bisexuals" she was judging included her daughter. We agreed nothing need be said to my Dad unless I got a girlfriend. While I felt, in many ways, this diminished the significance of my sexuality, and left me feeling half-in and half-out of the closet, I also knew telling my Dad would be a lot different than admitting the truth to my Mum.

Eventually, I did get my way with Kim. I remember the look of shock on my friends' faces as our first kiss ended, on the dance floor. In hindsight I don't think I'd ever mentioned how into Kim I was. Sure, my mates were aware I was bi, but actually acting on it...? I think that surprised them. 

(I have realised I may have to blog seperately about that kiss. Mmm. Yes, I think I do need to.)

I was a total chicken in telling my Dad too. He'd helped me make some jewellery for Kim's birthday and I started out by saying how much I'd appreciated his help, as she'd loved the piece. He was so pleased it had been a success... So I struck... "Kim's not my friend... She's my girlfriend."

He took a couple of repeats before it sunk in. And then he let out a small giggle, and said "Dear me". 

I don't know what I was expecting, but I know that wasn't it. 

Years on of course, and I'm in a straight, long term relationship. Somehow, I think I've finally convinced my Mum that being bisexual wasn't a "phase", nor am I now "straight". My Dad and I however, don't discuss it. We never have since then. Sometimes that gets to me, but then I remember that there are just a lot of things that my Dad and I aren't open about in the way that my Mum and I are. And that's okay. 

The upshot of all of this is, that even though it might have been nerve-wracking, involved some awkward conversations, and still be a slight bone of contention years later, it was worth it. For my parents to know that no matter how turbulent our relationship may have been, that Kim did exist, and I did feel for her exactly what I may otherwise feel for a man, or a different woman. 

If you are bisexual, gay, or otherwise somewhere on the queer spectrum, I wish you the very best of luck in your coming out ventures, whether they be soon or far off. If you need someone to talk to, I'm here. (nymphetaminekiss AT googlemail DOT com)

NK x

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