by an anonymous contributor
This is something that I have never said publicly, only to a select few friends, I am bisexual.
I knew that I was bi when I was 16, but at this time I struggled to come out. I grew up in a part of Scotland and around people who weren’t exactly known for open minded attitudes towards the LGBT community and I hate to think what the reaction of my devout Catholic family would be when I told them that I have a sexual attraction to men as well as women. Leviticus comes to mind.
There have been a lot of things that have stopped me from coming out, and to this day when I have lived away from home for almost 2 years now and have my own life here in Stirling, I still struggle to come out fully and have that anchor of what happens at home when I do.
I suppose the best place to start my story is at the usual place, the beginning.
I grew up in a place where the LGBT community and the issues facing LGBT people were not fully understood, homophobic comments were something I heard daily, not just from people around me but also those close to me.
I realise that these comments were not through bigotry, most of them anyway, but just through a lack of understanding.
I suppose that is why when I realised that I was bisexual, I felt like there was no one that I could trust to come out to. Spending my last few years of high school carrying around this secret like it was something I had to hide really impacted me, I went through depression, struggling with my own identity, hearing people unknowingly attack my identity daily led me down a dark path where I struggled to openly acknowledge and accepting my own sexual identity, spending all of my time in my room, alone, I even had the number of a helpline on my phone in case things got worse.
A new chapter of my life began when I had decided to move to Stirling, and probably the best personal experience of Fresher’s week happened in my now best friend’s living room. We were sitting having a chat, as people do, and as it came up in conversation, she said that she was bi, and my response;
“Yeah I’m bi too.”
This was the first time that I had acknowledged my sexual identity openly, and it felt so liberating, I spent the first semester of uni living a free life, being who I was and not caring who I was, it was probably one of the happiest times of my life, where I was living my life who I was without a care, and I loved it, I could finally be myself.
I wasn’t out fully, only to those when it came up in conversation, but that’s more open that I had ever been.
It was this feeling that I made me think I was ready to come out to my family, but I soon realised that I was wrong.
I told my dad on a Friday night that I was bisexual, his response was; “I was expecting this, that’s the thing with your generation. I hate to tell you, but you’re not bi, you know f*cking nothing and don’t tell anyone else.”
I’ve never been so hurt by anything anyone had ever said to me, and it only got worse. We went out for a drink with a woman that my dad was seeing the next day, and she made a horrible comment about bisexuals,
“There’s no such thing as bisexuals, they’re just indecisive gays.”
I was so annoyed with her (and my dad) that I decided to let her know that she had just made a horrible biphobic comment to a bi person, her response, she laughed.
“Shut up, you can’t be a bisexual, bisexuals don’t exist,” she said again, “bis are just greedy, make up your f*cking minds and pick one will you.”
As she sat there attacking me there was one thing I remember, my dad sitting across the table just drinking his pint and not defending his son, I’ve never felt more ashamed to be his son than that moment. So, I got up and left.
That night my dad confronted me and told me “not to embarrass him like that again.” I was so upset and angry that I packed my bags and got the last train back to Stirling without as much of a goodbye.
I remember sitting in my room that night in tears, feeling rejected my someone I had respected my whole life.
He continued for weeks to try and convince me against it, trying to convince me that I was straight, every time he made a comment like that it hurt, like someone had stuck a knife in my back and started twisting it.
I struggled because I love my dad, and didn’t want to resent him, I just wanted him to understand who I was and how what he was doing really hurt me. I know he wasn’t fully aware of the impact of his words, it was just a further lack of understanding.
I thought it would be better with my friends at home, it wasn’t. When they learned that I had pulled a guy in a Glasgow night club one’s response was;
“A guy, for f*ck sake, what is wrong with you?!”
Not that I’m surprised, he always was a bit of a pr*ck.
Every so often they made a snide comment or remark, only this time it was aimed at me.
One friend from home was accepting and said “good for you,” that was a good feeling, he was my best mate in school, and I respected him, I’m personally glad he wasn’t like the rest.
Still my experiences of my old life made me break a promise, I promised myself that when I moved away from home that I would start a new life and not let my old life impact that, and yet the reaction of my friends and family to my honestly led me to regress, I was no longer as open or happy as I had been previously, they had made me feel ashamed of who I was.
Immediately after the trips home from hell I found myself totally avoiding conversations about sexuality as a sort of unhealthy denial of what had happened. I went through another period of bad depression, not getting out of bed, missing classes and deadlines, I began drinking a lot more than I should and I let my grades slip as I dealt with everything the wrong way, as the ghosts of my past started to haunt me again.
I’m still not as open as I was, I am only open to a handful of people about being bi, but I feel like there are still things stopping me from coming out.
I know that there are lots of open and welcoming people I know who would accept me regardless, but I can’t shake the thought of the consequences of coming out, is it fear or anxiety? I don’t know, but there’s something stopping me.
That feeling of liberation and happiness I once felt may be the way I feel again, but I can’t see that day anytime soon. I still feel anchored to my old life and that is preventing me from being the person that I am.
I see people in my daily life who have come out and are open about their sexuality, and I am inspired by their confidence, yet still I feel trapped.
I still talk to my friend about these things, and she has been amazing in helping me through the hard times.
I will apologise as I am sh*t at writing personal stuff and this is the first time that I have been open about this publicly even if this article is anonymous, but I think this is a good place to end.
I’ve needed to share my story for some time, about my ongoing journey with coming out, maybe one day I will be confident enough to face my… I guess you could call them fears of my old life and live my life as I am. I have started to cut the people who didn’t accept me out of my life, and I am slowly building up confidence to face my family and tell them who I am.