Here’s the catch. I don’t identify as a straight female. I would generally use the generic word “queer” to describe myself because I’m not a big fan of the word “bisexual,” but I guess that’s technically what I am. I like girls and guys. Well, technically I am attracted to girls and one guy. But after years of on and off deliberation, I know I want to be with my boyfriend forever. I am willing to give up dating/having sex with/marrying a female because I have already found the person I am going to marry.
It’s taken me a while to come to this conclusion, but I feel good about it. I’ve made up my mind and it no longer keeps me up at night. What I do still think about, however, is how being queer-identified but dating a man relates to my identity as a woman, a sexual being, a girlfriend, and, believe it or not, as a sister.
My sister is gay. She came out a year ago to our parents and let’s just say, a lot of healing has gone on in this last year. She’s come around now, but my mom definitely had a hard time with it. In addition, we grew up in a really conservative suburb, so my mom and sister have had to deal with more than their fair share of hateful reactions.
And I feel guilty. Guilty that, since I am dating and will marry a man, I will never really have to come out. I don’t have to tell my parents I’m dating a woman. I’ll never have to correct my colleagues about which gender pronouns they use to describe my fiancee. I won’t have to be disappointed when my extended family refuse to acknowledge my partner as my wife. And I won’t face the discrimination that my sister will inevitably face when she graduates from college and has to leave the accepting environment in which she has thrived. I know most people don’t have to deal with these things, but I could have had to. I just as easily could have ended up dating a woman, which would cause all of these scenarios to be part of my life.
I know I could tell my parents anyway. But, at this point, it would be a selfish act to make myself feel better and would just needlessly stress them out. And there still would be plenty of people who (understandably) assume I’m straight because I’m dating a man.
I don’t know where to go from here. I was kind of hoping I’d have some kind of epiphany while writing this – or at least an idea of how to end it. I think I’m just going to be content in my relationship and keep reminding myself that my sexual identity is part of who I am, even if everyone doesn’t know it. And I’m going to go call my sister and tell her that I will always be there to support her during all the challenges she will face as a result of being gay. I think this is the best I can do.
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