I’m a master of deception and a fantastic liar. I know this because I’ve been doing it for the past 22 years. I learned how to blend in with my surroundings, how to go unnoticed and how to cover my tracks. At times, my shield would crack and my greatest fear would slip through–the fear of my world crashing down around me. This is also when I learned that I was hiding behind a façade I knew was not me. I had a constant battle going on inside and I was getting tired of holding it all in.
Around the age of 18, I decided I was done trying to hide from the important people in my life and myself. The process was long. It took four years to cross the last name off my list of people to tell. I thought I would feel complete, yet something is still missing.
I make up the “B” in GLBT. Although B’s look different from L’s, G’s and T’s, they are all letters that make up one alphabet. That’s what I thought being a member of the gay community would be like. I have learned quickly that the fear and discrimination of being bisexual still continues. I continue to suppress who I am. I’m afraid everyone, including gay people, will judge me for my sexuality.
It’s a constant irritation when both your straight friends and gay friends ask you, “Are you still bi?” “You’re not gay yet, are you?” “Who do you see yourself marrying?” No, I’m not greedy or seeking any special attention, I’d rather go unnoticed. I would say my level of horniness is at a medium range. I think cheating is one of the worst things someone can do to another person. And don’t even try to tell me who or what I am. I’m not confused and I’m not gay. Funny, no one has ever asked me if I was just straight. Coming to terms with who I am has given me confidence. I know what I’m attracted to, and it just so happens to be men and women.
The only way I can answer those hurtful questions and assumptions is that I don’t know. I just know I’m Stephen Rose. I feel there is a negative connotation to bisexuality, more than a pride-parade-positive one. I’ve met many bisexual people who have felt the same way–that we are more unique–which makes it harder for people to accept. Some days I find myself shocked at how people still react to sexuality, especially if you swing both ways. Can someone please explain to me how a group of people who already struggle with being different are often quick to judge one another?
That is what’s missing: support.
Sometimes I feel shunned from both straight and gay worlds, especially when it comes to dating. It’s because of people who don’t understand a different sexuality from their own and these destructive stereotypes are the reason kids are committing suicide. I know how anyone who is different feels lost and alone. I was there. I thought I was so alone that I seriously questioned whether there was a place for me in this world and that it didn’t matter if I was in it anymore. I know how low and defeated people feel when they are continually battling against the world just to be a part of it. The bullying and judgement has to stop. We need to start understanding people as they are and not who they are or what makes them. It breaks my heart every time I hear that another teenager has killed themselves due to bullying because of their sexual orientation.
Unlike the kids who felt so alone, I came out I found my true support system in close friends and family. When you’re like me you think the worst of every situation. I regret that it took me 22 years to finally realize that it isn’t that bad, I’m not alone and there were more people like me and people out there who are accepting.
I wish those kids would have held on for a bit longer. It takes one person to realize someone else’s worth to give them a glimmer of hope.
The most difficult lesson I learned is that to be completely comfortable with yourself, you have to first accept yourself and admit that you are different and nothing will change that. When that happens, those earth-shattering situations get a lot better.