I don’t have a good title for this

If you don’t actually know me, or if you weren’t Facebook friends with me in 2008/9ish (seriously, I’m lucky I remember my own birthday, time is just wibbly-wobbly stuff), you may not know I came out as bisexual around that time. And yes, I used Facebook, cause screw face-to-face conversations, this is the 21st century and I can do that.
It only occurred to me a very long while afterward (translation: 10 minutes ago) that I was the only person to whom this was an entirely logical progression of events. In other words, this came out of the clear blue heterosexual sky for almost everyone else. (Although I can think of at least 2 people who shouldn’t have been so surprised.)
It also occurred to me that I never explained to anyone how logical this conclusion really was. No, I didn’t need justification, but I think it was silly to assume that just because it made so much sense to me, it wouldn’t be a shock to anyone else.
As far as I know, my family was never rabidly anti-gay, but had the air of pitying disapproval that surrounds more enlightened Christians. At about 6 or 7 I was told I was perfectly okay to love my friends, but “what those people are doing is something else.” I knew there was something called a Gay Agenda, which was a lot like the Liberal Agenda, but had more to do with schools, or something. Honestly, beyond a couple confused moments trying to figure out how that would WORK (with no solid conclusion reached), I saw no reason to care very much. (I barely had my head around straight sex at the time, and certainly didn’t get the appeal.) The Agenda sounded like a lot of theory and what if, but it didn’t sound like any of that was actually happening. So it didn’t concern me.
I think the first time something really stuck in my head (well, besides an obsession with Natalie Portman, but I wasn’t really old enough to notice anything then) was when I was about 9, and all I knew about that was I was a much bigger fan of Alexa Vega in Spy Kids than anyone else, and for some reason I wasn’t comfortable talking about it.
This was right around the time I started developing an interest in boys beyond fictional characters (10-year-old Hannah was a big Draco Malfoy fan). This was nice and simple and my family made jokes about it and generally encouraged it. I made a big deal out of the boys at book club and never mentioned how much I wanted to talk to the quiet girl in chess club. I was also much more intimidated by girls (still very much am), so I just ignored it.
Right around 12 (for me anyway) Tom Felton started getting greasy in the 3rd Harry Potter (the hair, man, WHY?), but Emma Watson started wearing quite a bit more jeans and hoodies, and I was suddenly a whole lot less concerned with what Slytherins did and didn’t look good.
At this time the back of my mind started getting a little confused. I don’t think I ever once had a conscious thought about any of it, but I knew I was suddenly feeling guilty when I thought about certain people and I didn’t know why. The most I might have had was a vague notion that this had something to do with the bad people Glenn Beck talked about so much. (This was seriously the extent of my concept of homosexuality.)
I started hearing a bit more about it, mostly through the Internet, and somehow the word “bisexual” entered my head (also a whole heap of gay fanfiction, but that’s a story for never).
I went to camp when I was 13, and that week was precisely when I gave up any pretense of not liking girls. There was nothing intentional about it, but all I knew was all the other girls in my cabin were so concerned with the boys’ side of camp, every other sentence was focused on this guy or that guy or how DARE she flirt with him, she KNOWS I like him, and I hadn’t glanced at any of them the whole week because I was too busy being captivated by one of my cabinmates, and wondering if kissing her would be as awesome as I suspected. (Never found out, fyi.)
When, a year or so later, I told my mother I was really worried because I had a crush on my (female) friend, she misunderstood me and assured me I was likely just mistaking admiration for a crush. I had to quickly stop her and explain it wasn’t that she was female, but that I knew she was very straight and didn’t want to screw up a good friendship (I did, pretty epically, but that’s also a story for never). I tried to skirt around the fact that I’d been attracted to women for a good long while and was used to it by then.
After all this, I assumed it was fairly obvious to everyone around me – I was certainly always terrible at hiding attraction to guys, so I assumed it was not unknown.
So when my Facebook status was “I’m bisexual! If anyone is actually surprised by this, I will eat my phone. (Not really. I like my phone. But still.)”, it was an accurate description as far as I was concerned.
My family was as gracious as I could expect, and after several emails about the confusion of adolescence, they pretty much just ignored it. My mother reiterated that she’d love me no matter what, and after sitting in the room with me grimly for a few minutes, she went the same way they did. (Well, there may have been some condemnation more recently, but she also could have been chastising her Slushie, so I’m going to offer the benefit of the doubt on that one.)
And the conversation with my dad went like this: “‘Just came out on Facebook as bisexual.’ ‘Are you bisexual?’ ‘Yes.'” So… That was that.
There are like 1000 parenthetical remarks on this post, but I don’t even care, because I LOVE PARENTHESES SO THERE. (Bye.)


2 thoughts on “I don’t have a good title for this

  1. L August 24, 2012 / 6:25 AM

    I guess I ignore it because you’re not really seeing anyone specifically at the mo, so it doesn’t seem to be a daily topic-type thing. 😀

  2. Vern at GoUpIt August 27, 2012 / 12:55 AM

    Awesome post – thanks for writing it niece!

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