NOTE: I was so hesitant to post this, because this was so emotional and so…self-absorbed? (Can’t fight the proper term, dammit.) But my mom hurt me big time when she shunned my community. And I just had to let this all out. For myself, mostly. But for you guys as well. I’ll e-mail it to my mom, soon. I just need to find a little courage first. I’ll start here.
Oh, and if I sound stupid, I apologize in advance.
But like my friend said, “It’s you. It’s your thing. What’s stupid about that?”
So consider this my coming out party. Enjoy.
Remember when I was a kid, I didn’t like playing with Barbies and dolls? I had hazy visions of it, but it was confirmed when I saw my file in the guidance counselor’s office. She was my friend, and I managed to peek into my folder. There it was, in my scrawly handwriting: ‘Favorite Toys: Cars and Batman’. I was starting to feel differently then—somehow I knew I wasn’t like my girly classmates, and this was another addition to my hunch.
I attributed it to just being boyish. I had two childhood friends who were both boys, and we always played together while you hanged out with their parents. So maybe it was because of that; who knows?
Remember you enrolled me in all-girls’ school in first grade? I think it was the start that you as parents became stricter. Maybe you wanted to limit my interactions with boys. Maybe it was because we were having problems at home, and you saw boys as a nuisance. I didn’t really care; I was young. But things changed. You may have not noticed, but of course I did. It was me doing the changing.
It all started in the fourth grade, Mom. I found one of my classmates pretty—when she walked inside the room it was like she radiated a kind of blinding glow. Of course, it being an all-girls school I was exposed to lesbian relationships. I saw upper classmen holding hands all the time, some even sharing a peck or two on the lips. I was in fourth grade, though—I knew it was happening all around me, but I didn’t really process it. But ever since I paid special attention to that classmate, I started feeling something that I couldn’t shake off. So once the opportunity presented itself, I figured, what the heck. I’ll join the bandwagon.
I didn’t know what happened, Mom. But girls gravitated toward me. They thought I was cute. And I was young, looking for a thrill, and I found it. It was fun; flirting with the girls, making them smile, making googly eyes, holding hands. I had a string of girlfriends—remember, you even saw one of the Valentine’s Day cards? You laughed, then. You said it was okay; girls couldn’t get me pregnant. You probably thought it was just a phase. Honestly, I did, too.
You see, I fell in love with a boy. He was tall, dark, and handsome. He had this piercing almond brown eyes and he was so quiet, and so refined. He was also nice to talk to. (Remember, he called and you were the one who answered? You grilled me after our conversation on the phone, and I almost thought you were going to ban me from using it. You didn’t.) I was twelve. I had no idea why I was attracted and why I was growing up to be such a big flirt but it was so natural for me. And I knew he liked me too; knew from the way he would always call at night. Play the guitar for me, and sing for me, even though he insisted to others that he had no talent. I was so attracted, and harboring such intense feelings. I was twelve, but what was this?
It was then I started to wonder why I was attracted to girls and yet attracted to boys at the same time. Was liking girls a phase or was it turning into something else? Anyway, things got complicated and he and I just became friends.
I had another girlfriend after, when I was thirteen. I liked her; she was very pretty, but we didn’t last—she was too forward but jealous all the time. Then said boy and I got our chance again. And even though the relationship only lasted for a few months it was a few years before I got over him. I didn’t show it, but I was pining for him at the back of my head. Sure, I dabbled with a few girl crushes, but I never got over him.
Then this girl came along. I fell hard. Again. There was something about her that pulled me—maybe it was because I was learning so much. And I know that you know that for me, the brain is the sexiest part of the body. She had a diverse taste in music, and we both liked the same things, so it was kind of a give and take. I took in her musical influences and we shared a mutual love for anything Japanese. Plus, she wasn’t afraid to speak her mind—she’d honestly tell me when she thought I was great (especially when it came to my writing) and would critique me if she thought there was something lacking. I knew I was falling in love with her, and I was always brave, I never backed down from something like this. I was honest and told her how I felt and she accepted me.
There’s that word, acceptance. She embraced me wholeheartedly. Whatever I am, whatever I could give. And it was then that I knew that this wasn’t just a phase, mom. This was for real. It took me a few years to know, really know who I am. It wasn’t something I saw on TV and copied. I discovered it. I went through it.
When we broke up, it was the worst. I had grand visions of us—me and her against the world, and then changing it, making it accept us. I was so dead inside, and for a time I swore off women. I had a couple of boyfriends afterward. Both relationships were life-changing, but you know, I never really turned away from who I was. No matter what I did I always had an attraction for girls. I don’t know how to describe it—I found them irresistible, fascinating; sometimes I even imagine being together with them. I knew, you know (I wasn’t just open to the idea, there’s a difference), that if one girl stood out, if a girl managed to make me fall, I wouldn’t give her up.
Unfortunately, it didn’t happen. As you know, I’m with a boy whom I love very much. I can see my life with him; you know that too. If there’s one thing that separates him from the others it’s that he knew from the start who I was. Did he understand it at first? No, but as we got to know each other eventually, he did. Of course he’s a guy, he thought it was interesting, but unreal. But you know me, mom. I never back down. If he wanted me, he would have to take all of me. Liking girls and all. Does it piss him off that I’m attracted to the same girls he likes? At first, yes. But did it scare him, did it do anything to make him change his mind? No. And that’s why he’s different.
So, now do you see, mom? I’m bisexual. I always have been. It means I’m attracted to boys mom. And girls.
Do you understand why I’m supporting the LGBT community? Why their happiness is my happiness? It’s because I’m one of them, mom. I’m fighting for them because I know it’s my fight, too. And I’ll die fighting, mom. Until I see that we have equal rights, and that people don’t condemn us for being who we are, especially those religious sects who see us as an abomination, I’ll continue fighting.
Do you see why I was so hurt when you posted that bit about having to need a scientific explanation for being a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender? That you believed it was a choice and not something we were born with?
Take this as proof: my hormones are imbalanced. I grew up having an excess of testosterone in my system. That’s boy hormones, mom. I’m your proof. I know it might seem far-fetched, but to me it makes a lot of sense. And even though I’m fixing it so I can have children in the future, it doesn’t change that I am bisexual.
And if you still need a “scientific” background: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=saO_RFWWVVA
And it isn’t a choice, really. It isn’t a switch—we can’t turn it off when we want to. It’s who we are. We may sometimes conform to what the people want us to be, but it will pain us. It will break us. And in the end, it will just show through.
Don’t you think, that if it were a choice, there will be no LGBT community at all? If we can just shut it off, and function like what society asks us to be, maybe we would’ve done it a long time ago? Maybe there won’t be people who take their lives because of the discrimination other people give to us. Maybe there won’t be people who face the battlefield just to get people to accept us. It isn’t a choice. We’re wired this way.
Like my good friend said, why do we need to justify who we are, anyway? Why do we need to justify if what we’re feeling is love or otherwise? Aren’t we just like you? Does it matter which gender we love? Does it make us sinners? Do you think God judges us for this? I don’t think He does, so why should you?
This conversation can go on and on but I’ll end with this. It was a long and hard path to accepting myself for who I am, mom. I’m not going back. Like I said, I’m going to fight. I’m going to fight until you understand, mom.
Besides, I’m still me, mom. I haven’t changed.