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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

Why “coming out” isn’t always a big deal

When someone is about to speak in an AA meeting, they introduce themselves and say, “I’m So-and-so and I’m an alcoholic.” They probably don’t introduce themselves like that in other situations, and they shouldn’t have to because that one label doesn’t define who they are. I myself have never been a fan of labels, especially when it comes to sexuality. When I introduce myself, I don’t say, “I’m Amber and I’m bisexual.” This doesn’t mean I’m ashamed of my sexual preference; I simply don’t feel the need to make a big deal about all the possible labels that make up my identity.
There are many other labels I could use to describe myself, but no one really seems to care about the normal ones, like a feminist, a writer, etc. However, people seem to make a big deal about something that isn’t necessarily natural to them. A few weeks ago, one of my friends was “creeping” on my Facebook profile and saw that my profile said I was interested in both men and women. “Why didn’t you tell me?” she asked, making a big deal about it. This made me think about some of the other “unnatural facts” people put on their profile. For example, it says that one of my college friends was born way before they were, implying that they are now around 65 years old. Of course I wondered why they lied about their age, but I didn’t go up to them and ask, “Are you really a 65-year-old college student that looks that good?”
After being asked about my profile information, I told her that I was, in fact, bisexual, but it wasn’t something I just told to anyone. “But we’re super close, and we tell each other all of our secrets,” she said. Yes, I’m very comfortable around her, but my sexuality is not a secret. It’s just not something I feel like I have to continue to mention in conversations. “Why didn’t you tell me you were straight?” I asked her, which changed the topic.
It was she who encouraged me to do some “research” on bisexuality. Looking at the website, “I Think I Might Be Bisexual. Now What Do I Do?” I answered the question before I read more. So what should I do? I should date anyone I damn well please and I should really not do much about it. The website said, “You might be surprised at the relief you will feel when you know others understand you.”
So how exactly do I get all of my friends to understand me? Maybe I should throw a Coming Out Party where I stand up in front of everyone and say, “I’m bisexual and proud.” Though, it’s not really important to “come out.” Should other people throw a party for being straight or for having blue eyes? I don’t find it necessary to “come out” about something that is natural to me. Such natural things are easy to understand.
In order to make bisexuality seem more natural to people, I use my actions and not words. For example, I willingly held my ex-girlfriend’s hand on the beach at Ocean City. Yes, I will admit, people looked at us strangely at times. But I didn’t care because, the more people see gay people together, the more natural it will seem. This doesn’t mean I have to dress like I like girls. “Oh, Amber, I would have never guessed you like girls because you’re too pretty and dress girly.” My appearance has nothing to do with my sexual preference. What did this person want me to do? Cut my hair, wear less makeup, and possibly wear a shirt that says, “I’m bisexual.”
Though I apparently don’t dress like I’m bisexual, a lot of people view my persona accordingly. They think it’s hot that I’m bisexual and they say something like, “Yeah, it’s totally hot when girls get super drunk and hook up.” This is ridiculous to me because I will hook up with a girl even if I’m sober. This kind of person will also say something like, “I’m only bisexual when I’m drunk.” To me, they make it seem like my overall thoughts—at all times—aren’t sober, as if I’m going through what people would call a “phase.” They think I will eventually choose to like men or women—that I will eventually be completely straight or completely lesbian. “Do you think you will marry a man or woman?” they ask. I’m not a fortuneteller; I don’t know. I could just as easily fall in love with a woman as I could a man.
Now I know I say this as if being bisexual is easy. For others, it is extremely hard to admit that they like people of the same gender. Society is to blame. As the website suggests, it may be easier to talk about your sexuality with a “friend, sibling, parent, guidance counselor or other trusted adult.” Taking baby steps is key. When people talk about something with another person who supports them, they will see that the people who care about them the most won’t judge their preference because these people have unconditional love. People should also have unconditional love for themselves. The website further said, “The hardest person you may ever have to tell is yourself!” After I admitted to myself that I was bisexual, it didn’t seem like a problem to me.
I’ve briefly mentioned my sexual preference to my friends and family. The other day, my mother and I were sitting at a diner, extremely exhausted—we hadn’t gotten our coffee yet. I said, “Mom, I really, really like girls.” She simply said, “Good for you, Amber,” but not in a sarcastic way; she said it as if it didn’t bother her in the slightest. Now, she has met my past girlfriends before, but I just wanted to bring light to the fact that some people make it seem like being bisexual will end the world.

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Why “coming out” isn’t always a big deal