Published August of 2015 for Vivid&Brave.
I found it easier to “come out” to my family and friends as polyamorous than I did to come out as bisexual. I’m still not fully open and honest about it, I will admit (though I guess publishing a public article about such things *would* help that process along, wouldn’t it?), but I do try to be an ally and an advocate for *every* good human on this planet, no matter what.
A lot of people hear “bisexual” and immediately think that someone is a slut or that they just haven’t found the right guy (or girl) to make them “settle down”. Other people think it’s about playing the field and leaving your options entirely too open. Still there are other people who claim to be bi and are really doing it for attention – a party trick. Google “bisexual” and you will stumble across tons of those “celebs you never knew were bi!!!” articles.
Does this help us as a society to be accepting of other lifestyles? Or does it simply turn it into a circus side show? A free for all sexuality grab where nothing really matters as long as you are getting attention for it?
Just like there isn’t just one way to be polyamorous, there isn’t just one way to be bisexual. In this day and age, a lot of these things have become more acceptable. With that acceptance sometimes comes more “rules” and general “bossiness” from others in regards to how we should live our lives. If you’re currently dating a man you can’t possibly be “currently” bisexual, whatever that means. If you’re living with just one person instead of dating many people you can’t possibly be polyamorous. But we all know that logically that isn’t the case.
Why do we find it difficult in this era to admit to a different sexual orientation or lifestyle? We are still worried about judgement. Maybe this sticks with us from high school. I felt shy, unsure, insecure, and generally unloved for a greater part of school. There isn’t a single person among my circle of friends who hasn’t expressed something similar. We fear judgement in our society. We fear standing up for ourselves and being called out on it.
For some this fear comes from parents or family influence. For others we may have been raised in a more strict religion and we fear upsetting that “norm” to “come out” as ourselves. Maybe we have friends we have known forever who we feel wouldn’t be accepting of us if we were gay, bi, poly, basically fill in the blank with whatever you’re uncomfortable with about yourself.
The thing is, living your life as someone else isn’t how anyone is meant to live. Whether you believe in God, a higher power, science, both, or nothing at all… I for one refuse to believe that life is meant to be anything but lived to its fullest extent. Part of that “fullness” is being you. It’s owning what makes up the person that you are, including all your interests, lifestyle choices, and even things that you don’t like about yourself.
When we live the life we are supposed to and we own who we are, we lead happier and healthier lives.
I’ve always appreciated the quote from The Breakfast Club that says, “We’re all pretty bizarre. Some of us are just better at hiding it, that’s all.” And isn’t that the truth? I’m thirty-three years old. If I don’t embrace my own “bizarre” at this point, when will I ever? Being unapologetic about who you are is the only way to be, no matter who or what you feel may be standing in your way. Each day is an opportunity to go out and confront those obstacles, face them head on, and say, “I’m not going to hide how bizarre I am anymore!”