The first time I knew something was different about me was when I got a funny feeling while watching Burt Ward as Robin on the old Batman show. There was just something about those little green shorts and his boyish face that made me root for him more than Batman. But I didn’t think anything of it at the time, since I was only four years old.
It wasn’t until I met Anthony in high school that those old feelings came back. He was one of cool kids who dressed in all black, wore eyeliner, listened to Marilyn Manson, and smoked cigarettes in the bathroom. At first we were just friends, but the more I got to know him, the more I looked at him differently than any other guy friend. And that’s when I finally found a name for my feelings: bisexuality.
But even after I found a name for it, I was hesitant to identify myself as that. Even though I knew I liked boys, my attraction to girls was much stronger. And in order to be bi you have to like both equally, right? Or so I thought.
For years I brushed my attraction to men aside and just focused on my attraction to women, even though my relationships with women always felt awkward. I just chalked it all up to being painfully shy. But then a few months ago during silent meditation, a loud voice rang inside my head: “You like men, admit it!”
So I did what I normally do when I have questions, which is do some research on the web. I found out that bisexuals don’t have to be equally attracted to both men and women. Some have stronger feelings for the same sex, and others for the opposite. I also talked to a friend of mine who is a transgender male. Over the years he has really challenged my beliefs about homosexuality and the Bible. My friend said I don’t need to come out of the closet immediately if I’m not ready yet, but I also couldn’t pretend to be someone I’m not for much longer.
Finally, about four months ago, I came out on my blog. Now I feel like I can finally stop lying to myself.
Shortly after coming out, I met Sean. He’s my first boyfriend. We’ve only been dating for a few months, so it’s way too early to say what exactly our future hold. But I will say this: I’ve never felt this way about any one else ever in my life. Sean is—how should I say this?—totally rocking my world.
Of course, our relationship doesn’t come without some obstacles. Sean lives about an hour and half away from me, and he works on the weekends, so we don’t always see each other as much as we like. Plus, being that he is my first boyfriend, there are a lot of … physical issues I need to work out. But fortunately Sean is very patient with me, even if he has to give me that “It happens to a lot of guys, it doesn’t mean you’re not a man” speech.
Most of my friends are LGBT-affirming, so I haven’t had a lot of haters yet. In fact, shortly after I came out I found an ELCA church that affirmed LGBT people. However, some of my more conservative friends have said they are worried about me, and that I’m going down a dark path. And that’s when that old question pops back into my head: Does God really love me? How can God possibly love a faggot like me?
I wish my conservative friends would realize that my bisexuality isn’t just a habit I can easily break by just saying the right prayers. It’s who I am. Yes, I am more than just who I’m attracted to. I’m a writer, a Christian, a big brother, a son, a boyfriend, etc. But my bisexuality isn’t just some perverted fetish I can force myself to ignore. Believe me, I tried that, and it didn’t work.
A few weeks ago I woke up one morning to an encouraging email from a friend who is a recovering fundamentalist. He said that he appreciates how open and vulnerable I am on my blog about coming out. As I read it, I realized that I have to be myself. I can’t pretend to be someone I’m not. If God tells me I need to change, then so be it. But for now, in this moment, I’m proud to say that I am both queer and beloved. You don’t have to agree with me, of course. But if you can’t love me and accept me for that, then don’t let the door hit you on the way out.
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