“Secrets, secrets are no fun. Secrets, secrets hurt someone.”
And usually they hurt the person keeping them.
I have a few secrets.
But I have one secret that is hurting me a lot right now.
When I first cut my hair people used to make jokes about how I “swing both ways now.” I laughed.
One time in a class someone made a joke about me liking women. Paranoid, I wanted to know what would lead this person to make that joke.
Speaking of my haircut, someone told me after the election that my hair would make me “an easy target for Trump.” I don’t know what that is supposed to mean, but I’m guessing it’s homophobic.
I didn’t know that my hair could speak for me. I suppose I should have suspected it. People have a habit of “reading” women’s bodies more than listening to their voices.
I hate that I cut my hair because my haircut forced me to have conversations I was not ready to have.
I never knew that my hair would make me want to out myself. But here we are.
Here I am, writing this entry on a Sunday night, trying to get all the words in the right order. And here you are, awaiting my confession.
Here we are.
The thing is, I don’t actually owe you a confession. I don’t owe you an explanation. I don’t owe anyone anything in terms of defending or explaining my gender or sexuality. I am learning this lesson. It is hard to learn this lesson.
Women are generally not taught that they own themselves. I wasn’t taught that I own my body or my identity or my expression. And now I feel like I am lying to people all of the time. I feel like I owe people myself. I don’t.
But I am tired of keeping this secret. This is too heavy for me right now. I’m tired of sitting in rooms with people debating the personhood of my friends and myself.
I don’t think I ever really identified as straight. I was always questioning. Always trying to determine what was normal and what wasn’t – am I really straight if I feel this way? Maybe something is wrong with me? Maybe everyone feels this way?
I questioned myself alone. I questioned myself in high school. I questioned myself at my conservative Christian university with my partner at the time. I questioned myself with him after we ended our romantic relationship.
“What if I’m bisexual? Would you have dated me if I had used that label?”
“Yes. All love is beautiful. You’re not wrong.”
So here I am, coming out to you. Because I don’t want this secret. I can’t hold it anymore. And I shouldn’t have to.
I don’t know what word to use right now. Bisexual. Queer. I don’t know.
I’m afraid to say anything. Because it doesn’t seem as “scary” or “real” as coming out as gay or lesbian or something that isn’t, “attracted to genders my own and not my own.”
I’m afraid to say something because I work in the College of Christian Studies. I was a Biblical studies major all the way until my senior year. I don’t want to frighten people. I don’t understand why this would frighten people. But I hear it. I hear the homophobic and biphobic talk almost every day – definitely every week. I also hear the, “one day it will be better” and “we can’t say anything because of contracts.”
And I understand the tension here, but these things also sound a lot like, “you’re not worth it.”
But I am worth it. And others are worth it. So add my name and my voice to the list of people who won’t silence themselves for some false sense of security.
But here I am. I’m trying. A friend reminded me that my identity isn’t something I owe to people. It’s something I own and I choose to give. But right now it feels like it’s crushing me.
I’m trying to do this because I know that I deserve love and affirmation. But it doesn’t really feel like love if I’m forced to hide parts of myself. I’m trying to do this because I don’t want this to be a big deal. I don’t think it should have to matter this much. I’m confused because it feels like it does.
So here I am. Asking you to believe me. Asking you to hold me in the light. Asking you to listen. Just listen.
“She would say to him, “But you are no priest.” And he would say, “I am today.” And she would say, “Today you believe in God?” And he would say, “Today I believe in love.” – Everything Is Illuminated