Guest Post: “I Will Never Really Have to Come Out”

Today I get to introduce you Sarah B. She wrote me the most amazing note after my GMP piece “Do You Hope Your Child Will Be Straight?” and ever since I’ve been fantasizing about a guest post. Today’s the day! Here’s her post about feeling guilt while planning what, to outside observers, looks like a straight future, despite identifying as very queer on the inside.
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I’m a woman in my mid-twenties and I’ve already been dating my boyfriend for almost a decade.  I never meant to date anyone that long, but it was was just one of those things – there was never any reason to break up.  I fell in love and that was that.  This was the guy I was going to marry. And I still feel like that.  We’ll get married in a couple years when jobs and grad school and such allow us to live in the same state again.  We’ll both work in academia and have kids and grow old together.

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.

The B. Sisters

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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Related Post: More sibling gay love from the super foxy Adam Levine.

Related Post: My brother didn’t believe us when we told him gay people couldn’t get married.

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6 Comments

Filed under Gender, Guest Posts, Really Good Writing by Other People

6 responses to “Guest Post: “I Will Never Really Have to Come Out”

  1. Wow, this is a longer, much more articulate version of the FaceBook status I posted this morning in honour of National Coming Out Day. I also Identify as queer, but my dating history would lead many people to assume I was straight. So I’m trying to do what I can to be as visible as possible now, and to challenge people’s ideas about how many flavours of sexuality there are out there. I firmly believe that our numbers are a lot higher than many people would ever guess.

  2. Sexual identities can be so complicated. It’s unfortunate that there isn’t a greater understanding that people aren’t all the same, and that they don’t all fall nice and neatly into a few roles. I hope Sarah B. finds some peace.

  3. Turning thirty was when all the lights turned on for me about my sexuality and almost everything else. It was then that I wanted to explore being with a woman sexually. I had never even kissed a woman and I judged all my friends that had hooked up with girls to please boys harshly. So, after turning thirty and becoming curious I decided why not try being with a woman since the thoughts were persistent. There was a catch though – I was already married to man and had been for almost nine years. We did talk about it and decided to give it a chance.

    I explored my bisexuality with him there but mostly without him. After exploring my attraction to women I realized I wasn’t just curious *this* was a part of who I am; I am bisexual woman. I can be attracted and enjoy sex with women as much as men but I am not willing to give up my marriage to be with a woman. Like Sarah I had already found my life partner. I had built a life around my heterosexual relationship before coming out to myself.

    Although, I do now identify as bisexual AND non-monogamous, I have yet to figure out how this all fits “neatly” into my marriage and into raising my sons; my husband and I are figuring this out. It isn’t easy throwing away years of “us” to explore your sexuality no matter how well defined it is. Sexuality comes in many forms and can be fluid. More people need to see and hear about the stories that don’t fit labels neatly and that’s why Sarah’s story is important!

    Thanks for this post!

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