Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Accepting My Bi-ness: Part I

I've mentioned a little bit in other places about the process of figuring out that I'm bisexual. I haven't been comfortable talking about it before, but now that it's Bi Pride Day (though this post won't go up for another two days) I do want to write about it.

I think I always knew that people could be homosexual or heterosexual. And since I'm more often attracted to guys than girls, I figured I must be straight. But then I heard that some people are bisexual, and thought "No really? No. That's a joke." I'll take a guess that I was 14 or 15 then. But soon enough I found out that two people I knew were bi, and was amazed. It was really real. Some people could be attracted to both genders. Wow.

But even though I easily accepted that in other people, I didn't (or couldn't) apply that info to myself. I had already decided I was straight, and it didn't occur to myself to question that. Even when I got my first really major crush on a woman when I was 19 (it was on The Belly Dancer, a friend who I've mentioned before) I didn't accept it.

My resistance to accepting that I'm bisexual can be seen in a post I wrote on the topic in 2011. Reading it now makes me want to laugh, especially what I ended with: "Although for simplicity's sake I call myself straight, I'm not sure what I really should be called. I'm just a person who has always been attracted to men, with two exceptions." In retrospect, there weren't just two exceptions.

Outside of the two exceptions I know I had in mind when writing that post: there was possibly that one girl in elementary school (I haven't been able to decide if that was a crush, but I sure was nuts about her) and I may have had mild girl crushes before that major one at when I was nineteen. And then in my teens (and yeah, even now) I sometimes had a hard time keeping my eyes off women. I would want to stare, just like I would at hot guys. And I was often awkward around attractive women the same way I was around good looking guys, even though I was less likely to actually develop a crush.

More evidence that I should have known my sexual orientation sooner is the reaction I always had to female models modeling underwear and bras in catalogues. My whole life I had been uncomfortable seeing them, and would skip over those photos as quickly as possible or avert my eyes. (Note: I never had trouble with the male models.) But that discomfort disappeared once I accepted that I'm also attracted to women. Seeing those models doesn't make me uncomfortable anymore, now that I've accepted that part of myself.

Yeah, I really should have figured out that I'm not straight before this year. Which I guess I did figure it out, sort of, as evidenced by my 2011 blog post. But I insisted on fighting it, and reverted to calling myself straight. I have given serious thought to why I fought it, and I can point to possibly one or two reasons why, but I don't want to get into that here.

Next up: accepting what I am. Yep, you'll have to wait for another post to learn how I got things straightened (or not) out. Otherwise this one will be much longer than I like, and I'm finding that I prefer to avoid that if I can break up a topic into parts.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

Recognizing who we are is definitely a process that takes time. It took me years and small incremental flashes of self-recognition. It's hard to realize you're not who you always assumed you were. And who you were taught you must be.

Yes, I remember your previous post from 2011. And I deliberately left an ambiguous comment then, LOL!

Sarita Rucker said...

I know it can take time, and am still trying to understand that fully. I see teens who know what they are and am jealous! lol But I also know that I've accepted it at a younger age than some.