Monday, April 29, 2013


"OK, so a new study proving that bisexual men are aroused by both men and women didn’t come as “news” to bi men, but most are nonetheless relieved by the results, because it will help to legitimize their identity in others’ eyes. (This is especially true since prior research controversially reported that there was no evidence of male bisexuality.) Still, the more than dozen bisexual men that I interviewed about the study say it serves as a reminder of just how far they still have to go toward acceptance and understanding. Despite enormous strides made in the past decade for LGBT rights, male bisexuality remains a challenging idea and a unique taboo, even within sexually progressive circles." ----  Tracy Clark-Flory, The Invisible Bisexual Man

"If you're asking yourself "Am I Bisexual?" then here's a handy checklist:
  1. Thinking about the people you've been attracted to, so far in your life, were they all of the same gender?
If you answered "No", to any or all of the questions in our list above then we feel it's okay for you to call yourself bisexual. We don't care how attracted you are to the genders around you - you're bisexual as soon as you stop being exclusively attracted to only one sex." - The Bisexual Index

There's something that many people don't realize within the fight for LGBT rights. And that's that the "B" and "T" are particularly more ostracized than Lesbians and Gays. I can't speak for the transgender experience, as I do not currently have any trans friends nor do I fall in that category, but bisexuals - people who are in some way or another, to some degree or another, attracted to both men and women (to describe it simply) are often ostracized by both heterosexuals and homosexuals, being seen as fence-sitters or too afraid to fully come out of the closet. Particularly Bi men, more than likely because of gender stereotypes and the prevalent fear of STDs, particularly HIV/AIDS.

There have been a series of instances within the last few years where people I've either become friends or acquaintances with during my time in undergrad, have come out as gay or bi. In each instance, I wondered about myself. In truth, I had really had questions about my sexuality since at least high school. I found myself attracted to guys. Most of my friends have always been females. As a child, I liked "girly" toys and cartoons just as much as the more "boy" ones (although granted, I know none of those are 100% indicators  of anyone's sexuality as they get older). Was I gay? No, that wasn't it. I was genuinely attracted to the females I had dated over the years. I was very much in love with Natalie during the time we were together. I was attracted to her physically and emotionally. But I still knew something was different. After we broke up, I decided that, as I'm in the process of "finding myself" in every other way, this would include my sexual identity. I won't go into sordid details here of course, but suffice it to say I basically did what probably anyone who questions their sexuality does. And it was probably about a week ago that I consciously tried out the term "bisexual" on myself, and it just seemed to fit. And I wonder now if that's contributed to the troubles I've had in all of my heterosexual relationships. None of my past girlfriends knew about my coinciding attraction to men. Natalie, even though she had a gay brother, had said in passing once, that she would never feel comfortable in dating a bi guy. So here I was, hiding a big part of myself not only from my friends and family, but from my extremely liberal girlfriend, even. Maybe now that I can acknowledge ALL of who I am, then I'll finally find a relationship that will actually last.

As I said, I only started seriously considering the possibility that I've moved on from the "bicurious" phase to accepting that I am indeed bisexual within about the past week. I feel this is a culmination of things. In addition to the friends of mine that have come out, over the course of the last ten years I've resolved a lot of internal turmoil. I've been able to become comfortable with my spiritual and religious beliefs (even if they do change over time as I change), and generally broken free of the dogma I was brainwashed with in my fundamentalist family. I've been able to make great strides in my career goals in ways I didn't think I was actually capable of doing. I've begun getting a handle on my depression through therapy and medication. I've made friends who are as open-minded and progressive as I am, which helps me feel less alone. I've finally been able to resolve my issues revolving around the question of my father, what he's like now, and what really happened in my infancy. Let's face it, the last thirty years of my life have pretty much played out like a Lifetime Original Movie. I've had a lot that I've had to work through. Sometimes it amazes me what I've been through and how I survived. So now I guess finally officially acknowledging my sexuality is the natural progression. One issue at a time. All starting with breaking free of my childhood dogmas.

My first outward verbalization of being bisexual is when I located a bi-oriented facebook group, called BiNet USA. I posted a general introduction and seeking guidance from those farther along the path than I. It had some unintended consequences. I had forgotten that things posted in Open Groups can be seen by everyone in the newsfeed. I was alerted to this fact by an acquaintance of mine who congratulated me and told me he was proud of me for being true to myself. He then proceeded to confess that he was gay, had been with his boyfriend for 16 years, but he did not tell many people because he had been severely shunned for it - even though he's a few years older than me, he had never even had the official "coming out" conversation with his own family because of their religious beliefs. The second friend told me she supported me as well, and that her sister is bisexual. At first I considered deleting the post, in case someone in my family saw it and having some awkward questions/accusations, but I decided against it. To me, doing so would have reinforced the idea that there was something wrong, something shameful, in it all. And I didn't feel right doing that, especially after a mostly closeted gay friend had just spilled his guts to me about the things he had struggled with because of his own sexuality. Besides, my family isn't exactly observant - they were in the same room as me when Natalie told me through instant messenger that she was pregnant and having an abortion, and they still don't know. So, I'll cross that bridge when it happens. Maybe I'll have a "big talk" with them at some point, maybe not. Who knows.

My second outward verbalization was when I officially updated my OKCupid profile, the primary dating site that I'm actually still a member of. Haven't had much luck on the site the last few years, so I don't anticipate much, but who knows.

My third outward admission of being bisexual is this blog entry. I'm still adjusting to the whole idea of being honest about it all, so I'm taking small steps. Those of my friends who know about this blog are among the most trusted, so I consider this a progression - writing it out for my friends to know who keep up with this blog, and then maybe I'll have the actual, verbal face to face conversation with them at some point as well, if need be. It's not a matter of fear of being rejected by them, more a matter of "would I be having the same conversation twice?" essentially.

Up to this point, I have not verbally opened up to anyone about it yet. On the one hand, the whole concept of being bisexual scares the hell out of me. I'm already such an outsider as it is. With the way bi men are marginalized by both the gay and the straight communities, it's just one more way I'm an outsider. One more way I don't fit in with my family. One more way to feel I don't belong. One whole new type of people to not really understand when I'm trying to date. On the other hand, it does help that there are online communities that I can turn to for support, and I know that my closest friends will support me. And I know my church will accept me, even if I don't feel the need to make some "big announcement" regarding my orientation. And it really does feel liberating to finally be fully honest with myself.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Flip Side

 If January was a month of elation and excitement, then February was mediocre, and March and April have been its flat-out evil twins.

I still have been talking to my father somewhat regularly. Primarily through email. He sent me a lovely angel figurine as a housewarming gift. My biggest problem at this point is my general conversation skills, which gives me trouble with just about any relationship I have.

About a month after the young woman and I started our casual dating, we stopped. There was no closure or warning. She just kind of, stopped responding to my texts or following through when making plans.

My roommate became a victim of debit/credit card theft, which has been a strain on both of our finances because it led to her rent check bouncing..... after my bank had already used it to pay rent. I had to take out a small loan to make sure I had enough finances to keep up the bills.

I'm now on 20mg of Celexa - or rather, the generic equivalent, citalopram - for depression. It was originally 10mg, as they were a little concerned about possible side effects, seeing as how when I have side effects to meds, it's usually really bad. This last Thursday is when the dosage was increased to a more typical dosage.

And finally, I do have a new dog. I love him. He's a Maltese/Poodle mix. I got him off of Craigslist. He's approximately four years old. His previous owner, an elderly man, had a stroke. That man's daughter tried to take him in, but he didn't get along with her cats, so she sold him. I love him, but he has crazy separation anxiety that I'm working with him on. Plus, I finally got him to a groomer yesterday. The road to get that to actually happen was an ordeal, as I had to reschedule twice because of miscommunication between myself, the groomers, and the vet, even though they were both at Petsmart. When I finally did get the appointment, he ended up at the emergency vet because they accidentally cut off one of his dew claws, that little claw in the back. His fur was so matted up, that they're basically having to shave it all off and start from scratch, and didn't see it under all the fur. Fortunately, they paid the vet bill, did the grooming free of charge, and when I take them to finish the job (they hadn't finished yet when the injury happened), that will be free of charge as well.

And so has my 2013 been so far. I'm making it my goal to write at least once a week, as a lot of things have been going through my head lately that I need to write more consistently about.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


I had just finished a home visit with a family on my caseload on a cold, late-January evening. After leaving, I noticed I had a voicemail on my phone. The number was a restricted number. I listened to the message, assuming it was my aunt, the only person I knew who had a restricted number.

The voice on the other end was not my aunt. It was my father.

I had finally gotten the nerve to mail him the letter just the week before. I had updated it to include my phone number and email address, and providing a new mailing address. He had emailed me and called me on the very day he received the letter.

We talked for about thirty minutes. He asked me about pictures he had seen online - it turns out he had been keeping tabs on me all these years, just waiting for me to contact him. He told me several times how proud he is of me. We spent the next several days emailing each other. I finally got the questions I had wanted answered for twenty years, answered. I heard his side of how things went down between he and my mother. His only remaining family is a sister and some nephews and nieces, and I am his only child. He married soon after things ended with my mother, but they divorced and he has not married since. He is very nomadic, having moved from state to state simply for the hell of it, because he gets tired of living somewhere. He emailed me a picture of himself so I would know what he looked like. Turns out we are almost carbon copies of each other. After hearing his side of events, and seeing how much we looked alike, so many of my childhood issues finally seemed to be making sense. No wonder my mom treated me the way she did when I was a child - we look so much alike, I was a constant reminder of decisions and days that she would rather have forgotten.  When he asked, I was honest (well, to a point) about what my mother had told me about him. What really amazed me, is that after years of being told by her that he was practically the devil incarnate, and never having a nice thing to say about him, he has not once said anything negative about her. In fact, his advice was to never stop loving my family, and not let myself be consumed by hatred, because he's been down that road and it ruined him. He still views my mother as "the one that got away", and says that the day that she walked out on him, with me in her arms, is the hardest thing he's ever been through.

January had already been a whirlwind month. By this point in the month, I had already gone on several dates with a beautiful girl whom I was very attracted to. We initially met up at Barnes and Noble. We talked for four hours straight. Throughout the course of the month, she stated that she was very interested in me, but was wanting to take it slow because I'm her first post-divorce dating experience. I, of course, was perfectly okay with taking things slowly, as I haven't been in a relationship since 2007, and didn't want to jump into anything myself. I had also just passed my licensing exam, making me an official LMSW. And my roommate and I had just obtained approval on a house for rent, and would be moving at the first of March. I would no longer be sleeping on a couch. I would have my own space. Be able to get my own furniture. Be able to get all of my stuff back out of storage. For the first time in a long time, I felt good about my life. I was excited that so many things seemed to finally be coming together at once. I was relieved that my father was receptive to connecting with me, and that I had found a girl I thought I could potentially be happy with. But yet, so much was changing in my life, in just one month, that I was apprehensive. Waiting for the other shoe to drop. After all, it would seem that nothing positive ever lasts for long when it concerns me. The other shoe always finds a way to drop. And so, I waited. And hoped I was wrong.