A Multi-Staged Closet
This post is going to be a little different than my usual ones. It’s more of a story. Well, yes, actually – it’s the story of how I got to this point in my life. I’ve accepted who I am and I’m happy with who I am. My hope is that if there is any way my story might help just one person, who just needs to be told that being you is okay and wonderful and perfect, then my job here is done.
2018 was a year of change and growth and it has really put things into perspective for me. Prior to this point, I liked to describe my life with the word floating. I had a tendency to just flow through life, unaware of most of the events happening around me or the opinions of others. This caused a few different occurrences to happen, often.
Mainly, I never really noticed fakers. Those are people who I like to describe as someone who holds conditional love for you. Their acceptance and care for you is conditional upon the fact that you match up with their expectations of you. Originally, when I came out for the first time as bisexual in grade 10, my biggest worry was my friends’ acceptance. I cried a lot leading up to that day, only to be met with completely open arms. None of them cared, and in fact some of them already knew. I was overwhelmed with shock and love. After that, I kind of assumed I would get the same response from everyone. So when I told my parents, I opted for the nonchalant version. They were a little more shocked, but eventually it was just a part of life. That was all the people I told, and felt the need to tell, up until this past year. Now, that may seem weird, but to me I feel like, realistically, we should get to a point in society where you shouldn’t need to “come out of the closet” – it should be completely normal, whatever you do. So I kinda took that approach for the rest of my life, just living it.
Thought never went into why I decided I was bisexual. It was more of an afterthought of I like girls, but not whether or not I actually liked guys. It might’ve been a halfway point for me. That way, I was half “normal” according to societal standards. I had dated a few guys, and not necessarily enjoyed it, but I just assumed that was normal. Then I met my current girlfriend, and I’ve never been happier. Then, for me, it was honestly out of sight out of mind with respect to my sexual orientation. If someone asked I responded with “bisexual”. Someone asked me this summer if I would ever go back to seeing guys (if I were single). I had never thought about this before! I was in a committed relationship, and very happy, so I just never had to think about that. It was around this time that I realized I would never go back, I didn’t want to. That’s when I realized I was never actually bi.
I didn’t realize how the way I portrayed myself spoke volumes about me. The way I would brag or always find a reason to bring up a sexual encounter I had with a male. Or just the way I would exaggerate how attractive someone was and so on. It helped me form this bubble for me to live in, where I was okay being bi because I had these experiences with men. Even though I had come out to other people and they accepted me, I never truly accepted myself.
So, after a series of unfortunate events, I was “forced” to come out this summer to a set of relatives that have been like a second set of parents to me since I was born. Now, a common phrase that I hear when people discuss how someone of an older age might react to the LGBTQ+ community is “They are old and stuck in their ways, just let them be”. I get it, I really do. But it hit me hard. Like, really hard. I really do get it. Something that has been exiled for your whole life is suddenly so widely accepted. I would have a hard time wrapping my head around it as well. But I always try and understand. My main concern whenever anyone tells me something is whether or not they are truly happy. So to not be accepted when everyone else in my life was happy for me was a shock. I was happy, so why were they not happy for me? For a brief couple days afterwards, I spent a lot of time wondering if being myself was even actually okay…
Since this summer, I still visit them. They still tell me they love me, although that took a little bit to get to. Everyone was telling me, just wait, give it time, they’ll come around. So I did, I have been, and I still kind of am. But this Christmas, I found out that this conditional love really was conditional. Only if I played the part, pretended that who I was at home didn’t exist when I was with them, would everything be okay. They didn’t want to hear about it or see it, and I just had to accept that and love them back.
Honestly, this is still really fresh. And I do still love them because part of me still wishes that they will come around. And honestly, maybe they will. But whether or not they do has nothing to do with me and is most certainly not my fault. I will be okay. I am who I am and I love who I do, and nothing can make me change. No one should ever make you feel like who you are is wrong. And I believe this for a simple reason. No one else in this entire world knows exactly how you feel. When you explain things to other people, they may say they relate, and that sometimes makes us feel better. That someone else out there shares the same experiences or feelings as you. But really, they aren’t in your shoes. Similar situations may be shared, but not exact. We are just like our fingerprints; some parts might be similar to others but each is completely unique. So my advice to you is never feel bad for who you are or what you feel because not a single other person in this entire world is the same as you. And honestly, I owe everything to my beautiful woman, because she made me understand that to be happy, you need to be yourself and I am myself when I am with her.
Love is Love my dudes.
Post by: Maja Menegotto