View Full Version : I did it!
09-25-2006, 04:34 PM
Okay, its a small step. And it doesn't mean anything in the larger scale of the world...but I identified myself as bisexual for the first time today.
For whatever reason exists, I have never, in nearly twenty years, been called for jury duty. But send out a random mailing of diversity questionairres on campus or in the workplace, and it seems my number comes up every time. It was supposedly random when my university polled the students, and I was one of the chosen. Now, they're polling the staff, and (lo and behold) there's my large white envelope.
As I said earlier, it doesn't really matter in the grand scheme of life, because its (supposedly, at least!) anonymous. But it was nerve-wracking! I actually called my husband for a pep talk before I colored in the little bubble! :o
I have to wonder at the anonymity, also, because I am one of the few students and the only staff who is in the system as a Jew. This questionnaire also asked about racial/ethnic identification as well as religion. I have no idea how people would react at work, and, truth to tell, it is something that makes me feel very, very nervous.
Someday, perhaps, I can actually work myself up to coming out to an actual human. For those of you who had the guts to come out, I admire your courage. G-d bless.
09-25-2006, 11:39 PM
Oh yeah - saying something like that for the first time is a big deal. Totally with ya. I always perceived it as crossing a gigantic Rubicon. :lol:
I think that your "small step" was just the right size. We should never overstep the bounds of what we feel able to deal with. Ya done good, Zimnah. :love: And anyway - remember that sexuality - and our self perceptions of it - is often fluid and variable with time. Nothing is engraved in stone, certainly not an oval you colored in on an anonymous form - so it was a really safe way to 'come out' with regard to self-definition.
Whether or not you come out to others 3D is going to remain totally your option. If you feel unprepared/unsafe, then don't do it.
09-25-2006, 11:46 PM
Baby steps Dawn, baby steps. Congrats, I'm proud of ya! Way to go girl.
I love and appreciate the uniqueness of every person on these forums. It's what makes SF such an awesome place. Kudos to you! :D
09-26-2006, 11:03 AM
09-26-2006, 11:59 AM
Congratulations! This is obviously a very big step, in your life. But you say that you work at a university, in a fairly large city, and that the survey should be anonymous to all but those who are analyzing the data. Somehow, I predict that the world will not come to an end tomorrow.
Can you locate a P-FLAG or two nearby? I'm sure that you can meet many people there who are in a far more "out" place in society than you will probably ever be. It could certainly be a very safe, but rewarding experience for you to come out to them. And you don't have to do it right away. If asked, you could just say that you have a "friend". In Minneapolis, at PFLAG, the program is always followed by smaller support groups. Perhaps you can get to a place where sexuality, any sexuality is not only private, and special, but that it can also come to be seen as very ordinary.
And of course, since you are married, this status just doesn't carry as much weight with most people as if you were single. Ask Zerbie about that one?
I wish that you could meet many of the people of my church, who are very special, because they are very wonderful. But their sexuality, whatever it may be, is simply just part of who they are.
Peace and Love, Bruce Chris
09-26-2006, 07:36 PM
Thank you so much, all of you.
The city I live in seems small to me, but I have to admit I'm a lousy judge of these things. The university I work for is a Catholic University. The survey is supposed to be anonymous, but it was to be turned in to our own research department. It was not made clear whether a neutral third party would tally the results on campus, or university employees.
Bruce Chris, thank you so much for the suggestion. I will definitely look into finding a PFLAG group nearby. And Zerbie, it WAS like crossing a giant Rubicon. It's like I made it official, in a way. It's difficult to explain.
I belong to an ALLY group on campus (as does my husband), and everything the other members said about their fears of being outed on campus were swirling around in my brain.
This is why I am sensitive to the connection some people make between a bisexual identity and actual sexual relations. I suppose I know too many people who, if I were to suggest to them that I am bisexual, they would believe that I am violating my wedding vows. I'm just at an age where I need to define exactly who I am.
I'm incredibly grateful to Vanessa, who told me about SF, and to my husband, who is amazingly calm and supportive while I flounder about finding myself. And I thank G-d for all of you.
Well, the Right To Serve interview is just beginning, so I will get back to you all later.
Thank you again. G-d bless.
09-26-2006, 11:46 PM
Hi there Zim - what you say about people assuming if you're bi then you're violating your wedding vows is the one stumbling block I run into. I managed somehow to forget or ignore that stereotypic assumption when single, so I was surprised once I came out to folks after being married and started getting this reaction:
"Zerbie! :eek: You're Bi!?? :eek: And your husband - is OKAY with that?!?! :eek: :eek: :eek: " Sadly, I didn't understand the implication of the question, so I just looked puzzled and said, "Well, of course he's okay with that!" So, uh-oh, a couple peeps probably think we have an open marriage, which we do not.
So now, whenever I contemplate coming out to someone new, I feel like I should also include a disclaimer that it doesn't mean I'm carrying on with other people on the side. But at the same time I feel that giving such a disclaimer, in a way it reinforces that stereotype, just by bringing it up. That's one I haven't figured out a simple graceful way of handling yet.
Which, adding to the fact that me being of a bisexual orientation almost never becomes relevant in any conversations with acquaintances, is just another reason why I simply do not live as vocally "out" as I did when a single person. It places me in the position of the married, therefore invisible, queer chick - but that's okay as long as I satisfy the activist in me and still keep involved with the gay community. I know who I am. And what matters to me is keeping alive that sense of emotional investment in the gay community, reading the local GLBT publications, volunteering. . .that's enough to satisfy me, and if people want to assume I'm straight, well then, that's fine, let them. There are still occasions (though they become fewer and fewer) when, by virtue of the type of meeting I'm at it's assumed that I'm lesbian, so it balances out, in a way. Everybody assumes something about my orientation, and practically everybody's wrong! :p :lol:
09-28-2006, 09:04 PM
One small bubble for self-discovery. I congratulate you Dawn on your new step. I've recently taken similar steps in my own life and would like to echo your sentiments in saying you are all my heroes.
09-29-2006, 04:15 PM
Amen to that!
Zerbie: Exactly. I got a similar reaction when my first husband and I were separated, except it was a knowing look, like my orientation was the reason we were divorcing, not the fact that he was drunk and abusive. Go figure.
I guess you're right, in that it evens out. I just feel a little guilty, because it's easier when people think you're straight. Perhaps its the Jew in me, but I wonder why I should have it so easy when so many men and women face such incredible obstacles for what most heteros take for granted. And you're right; there is no graceful way to just come out and say it without somehow, in some backwards way, coming off as justifying the stereotype. My husband and I really like the quote about being a lesbian from the neck up. That one seems to be a good fit.
Well, all, I wish you a Happy and Healthy New Year. I will keep you all in my prayers this Yom Kippur.
G-d's peace to you all.
--Dawn :love: :love: :love:
09-29-2006, 05:32 PM
woo-hoo! I'm really proud of you! The first step, I think, is the hardest because it gets easier with practice. Let me (and the other locals) know if you get in touch with a PFLAG nearby.
Sometime in the near future, Vanessa and I are planning to start a local chapter of Soulforce.
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