Coming Out

It is Pride week in the City where I live. This means so many different things to so many different people. I only came out as Bisexual in the past few years and thus do not have the history with Pride weeks many do. I’ll be 44 this week so have lived most of my life ignoring my own feelings about certain things. While I could search for excuses for why it took this long to come-out it really serves no purpose to do so. I know I always noticed people in certain ways yet followed hetronormativty. What’s done is done.
In June of 2013 I decided to join the Pride Parade here after moving back to the city after living away for several years. I’d been back only a week. Never done that before, never been to a Pride Parade even. Something was different in my life at that point and I had the courage to be me. The real me, true to myself. I knew no one there, I was not on a float or part of a group marching. I just joined in and walked along. It was raining and I did not care.
In the months that followed I sought out the local LGBT Centre. I knew I was not Gay but I was not Straight either. At the time I was very ignorant of most lingo and issues. I knew the term Bi but was still not sure of myself. I found someone there on the staff who I could talk too. I got help finding the words for the feelings I had. I also learned a lot about so much more. I began to volunteer at the centre and just hang out there at times. However, I made a promise to myself to not date for a time while I adjusted to my own internal acceptance of things that I used too repress. I already deal everyday with bipolar and anxiety so I knew that giving myself a bit of time to sort thoughts out would be fairer to me and any potential partner.
I took a journey of discovery of my inner self once I freed myself of the old imposed oppression. There was a time in my past I was very involved in a homophobic church. At first I embraced the term Polysexual and later BiRomantic. Still later other terms but in the end I have just settled on Bisexual. I like who I like regardless of gender, and most people understand Bi. I also seem to have become content being single, at the time of this writing. Not sure where that falls.
In all this though I feel like an outsider being so new to this. So many I know within the community seem to have been out most their lives and know all the LGBT history and issues. I feel judged at times but do realize that is likely my anxiety making me feel that. I’ve never experienced homophobia directed at me. I have experienced Biphobia though. Seems important to a lot of people that I’ve had sex with both men and women. They also want to know if I have a preference of gender. I am attracted to some (not all) people regardless of gender, my past or current sex life is not relevant. Bisexual in my opinion.
Society is really good at teaching people what should be the norm. Dictates what our default settings ought to be, even if that goes against our inner wishes and desires. If we were free to be ourselves we would not have coming out stories from people. We would not need Pride Parades reminding and asking the World to be accepting of people not on society’s default setting. We need to adjust those defaults.