Little Girl On The Go

Monday, October 11, 2010

A post for National Coming Out Day.

I am bisexual. 
Unless you are a close friend, or knew me in high school, you probably don't know that about me.  If you stumbled upon this blog, or my facebook page, or you saw me at church, or in the store, or on the street, or at a Prop 8 protest,  you would probably assume that I'm straight.  I have a husband and 3 kids, I think that pretty much qualifies you for the straight category... 
I don't think that's really fair though.  All of my significant relationships before my husband were with women or people who identified as transgendered.  In fact, I have just about zero experience in dating men aside from the last wonderful 5 years with my husband.  Why does the fact that my life partner is a man get to negate my entire past?  Yes, we are monogamous, and yes, I hope my marriage lasts my lifetime (or else why would I be married?).  But that does NOT make me "ex-gay" or "used to be gay".  There is no such thing as "used to be".  I was born gay and will continue to be until the day I die (not even counting whatever afterlife looks like ;) ).  I am proud of that.  I am the same person who wore a button on my backpack 10 years ago that read "LOVE KNOWS NO GENDER".  I still feel exactly the same way about love.  I love my husband with all of my heart, and gender is not a qualifying factor in that.  If ever anything happened that caused our relationship to end, I would have just as much chance of finding a relationship with another woman as I would a man.  Actually, more of a chance, my husband is sort of my life-long exception to the rule ;)
If you're friends with me on facebook you probably think I'm an awesome "straight ally".  I'm always posting things about gay marriage or other gay rights.  And in a lot of ways, I AM just an ally.  I fully acknowledge that I now have "straight privilege".  In fact, a lot of times it's really weird for me to not be discriminated against because I spent so long dealing with it in my teen years, I still expect it.  It is a constant reminder to me of what my gay brothers and sisters go through on a daily basis.  It hurts my heart that JUST because my partner is male I am able to be legally married, that he has rights to our children, that we can walk into just about anywhere and be accepted as a family, and that if my partner were female, that if any one of my past relationships had lasted, that none of that would be true.  Parts of my family had pretty much disowned me when I came out and then had a significant relationship with another girl.  It definitely hurts my heart that they are suddenly buddy-buddy with me now that I'm "acceptably" married to a man.  FYI, I don't forget people who treat me like dirt.
But, forgive me if you disagree, I don't think it's fair that I'm, effectively, kicked out of the queer community.  I get it, that a lot of what the community has in common is the struggle, and that I'm no longer really a part of that.  That I now live life as a straight girl and can't relate.  But I HAVE lived through the struggle too.  I started my high school GSA, and got chased down the hallway by boys who followed behind me as I put up fliers; they crumpled them up, and threw them at me as they yelled slurs and threats of violence.  I was told by the school staff that maybe it was a sign that we shouldn't have the club.  I put up the fliers again the next day, and the next, and each time they got torn down.  I was harassed in the school bathrooms to the point where I no longer used them, and then I took that fear, joined the GSANetwork Youth Advisory Board, and helped create resources for training schools and teachers on creating safe schools for kids who don't fit in the gender binary, among other things.  I was one of the only people in my school to take a same sex partner to a dance (as my romantic date, not just friends going together, that is.), and, if I'm correct, the ONLY girl who ever wore a black robe for graduation (boys wear black, girls wear yellow), which I had to fight tooth and nail for, to the point that I had a legal team behind me.  I'm not telling you this to "toot my own horn" so to speak; I'm telling you because I don't want my past to be erased.  I am proud of my life, of my accomplishments, of my relationships, of overcoming hardships, and of the joy I have experienced.  I am proud to be a part of a beautiful and wonderful community, even if they aren't always thrilled to have me.  And I want my kids to know that I will be proud of whoever they grow up to be.  That when they find love, as long as that person loves them back and treats them right that I will be happy for them and accept that person into my family with open arms.  That if they ever "come out" to me, they can be 100% certain I will stand behind them in support because I have been there.
And that's why, today, on National Coming Out Day, I'm coming out.  Again.  And always, even if I'm sometimes invisible.  There's not just one color in a rainbow <3

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