National Coming Out Day
I was reminded that today is National Coming Out day.
I find it sad that we must have a day where people are actually encouraged to celebrate their SELF - and that it usually takes the other 364 days (and then some) to get up the courage to declare that self.
For those unfamiliar with this term, National Coming Out day is in recognition of lesbian, gay, transsexual, transgender, bisexual, pansexual, heterosexual supporters of the afore-mentioned and anyone else who has in some way mooshed their sexuality into the darkness. It is a day to show support and encouragement for people to be, simply, who they are. (Yes, every day should be like this.)
In honor of this, I'll share a little something with you.
I identify as bisexual.
To keep things simple, allow me to address some of the more frequently asked questions. (all definitions offered are my own.)
What is bisexual?
Bisexual means that I am attracted to both genders / sexes. I find characteristics of various people attractive / arousing, regardless of their gender / sex.
What is the difference between gender / sex? Isn't a woman a woman?
Your biological sex is the body composition - your DNA, your genes. Gender is the social construct of that body composition. Most times they match ( a person born with female chromosomes will go through life identifying as a woman ); many times, they don't.
This gets quite detailed, particularly because gender and sex (through more complicated methods) are fluid constructs. That means they can change throughout life. Feel free to check out this link for more information, or simply google "difference between sex and gender". Trust me - if you haven't thought about this before, it is worth exploring.
Um...You are married with two children. Are you just faking it?
Eleven years of marriage would be a long time to fake it and honestly, I just don't have the energy. So, no. I was attracted to and fell in love with someone - this person happened to be a man. We got married; had children.
Like most other married people, my sex drive didn't die when I got married. While we are in a monogamous relationship, I am still attracted to other people. Those people are both male and female. (And, given the way my hubby turns his head as we drive through our local college campus, he is still attracted to other women as well. I'm glad we are both still alive.)
So why announce this now?
Because sexuality is something that far too often lives in the dark. We are all sexual beings. The shame surrounding that is often so great that not only do we not discuss it in public, we forget to discuss it with ourselves. In so doing, a vital part of our human experience is shunned.
National Coming Out day provides a great opportunity to open the conversation. If the thought of homosexuality or bisexuality confuses you; if you disagree with it; if you celebrate it...if my identifying as such angers you; stirs nothing; excites you....explore those feelings! As with every concept, try to release judgment and simply examine what arises.
But what's the point? Your coming out with this identification doesn't change your life any.
No, but it might change some perspectives for others. Perhaps even yours.
I used to be very active in promotion of sexuality as a normal and natural part of life. I got a minor in Human Sexuality after studying with the Kinsey Institute at IU, a certification in Erotology from the Insititue for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality, an active member of a GLBT group in Tennessee, a coordinator for BiVersity in Indianapolis, and created a GLBT speaker's panel at IUPUI.
As the years went on, my interests and demands for my time fluctuated - I've followed those waves. I am no less interested in sexuality nor no less a "bisexual" than I was 10 or 20 years ago...it just integrates with who I am and is no longer a leading force.
Here we are.
I've never hidden this part of who I am, so this doesn't feel like that big of an announcement for me. I have not really discussed it on this site, however, so I understand if it comes as an oddity or as a shock to some.
It is part of who I am but changes nothing about the "me" you've come to know (and love, of course) on this site.
As part of National Coming Out Day (and hopefully, tomorrow and the day after), I encourage you to celebrate YOURSELF and the larger "SELF" that encompasses every being. To celebrate the vitality of others who are struggling, just like you, to find that self. To connect to others and to feel loved.
Let the conversation begin....