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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Identity » Not being completely out is bugging me

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Author Topic: Not being completely out is bugging me
moonlight bouncing off water
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I id as bisexual. I'm out in every way possible to my friends (and more broadly my social circle, if anyone in it doesn't know it's not intentional). In class I am about as out as one can be in a context that doesn't involve sexuality (ie, I was comfortable putting "I'm bisexual" in a poem about myself, but it doesn't often come up in class). Although I have told my sister that I'm bi I'm pretty sure she has forgotten. I've mentioned my orientation to my parents (quite a long time ago), but as quickly as I came out I went back into the closet. My extended family has no idea at all that I'm anything but straight.

I detest the idea of coming out or rather the fact that it is necessary (or existent). I don't feel that it is just that I should have to come out, but were I straight that I would not. I hate that it is assumed that I am straight by default. In my perfect world it wouldn't matter and people would not be assumed anything by default. But I am dealing with this world, where a lot of the time (such as in my family) it is assumed that I am straight. I don't want to come out on the principle that it is unfair that I should have to. I also don't want to have that conversation with my parents, I'm not entirely sure why, I'm just worried about the idea (but I know it will come up sooner or later, I don't plan to be in the closet forever).

At the same time as I don't want to come out, I want to be out. I feel like I can't always express myself to the fullest without coming out. I feel like I'm masquerading as heterosexual. I feel trapped in a box that I didn't want to into but I'm scared to come out of. I hate it when it assumed that I will date only guys. (And as my only partner I've ever had was male, it doesn't help the heterosexual assumptions). I feel hypocritical because I advocate the philosophy best iterated by Dr.Seuss: "those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." But I'm afraid of what my family would think and how they would act if I came out. I'm most scared of how they would act.

I've faced prospective coming out before and I have a much more solid hold on my orientation, my values, and myself now, but I'm still insecure about this. I feel like if I talk about my orientation at all that I'm focusing on it too much. I know that my parents would be accepting. But they treat homosexuality as something abstract, as something that is fine BUT that doesn't exist here (or something like that) and I've only ever heard them talk about bisexuality twice, I'm not even certain they have really thought about it as a valid orientation.

I always tell myself that if I date a girl that I'll come out then, but that isn't going to fix the pressure that being in the closet is putting on me now. On one end, I don't feel like I should HAVE to come out, but at the other end, I don't like being in the closet.

I'm really not sure what to do. I'm not sure whether I even want to do anything. I'll probably just do nothing, but I don't know whether that is the best thing for me.

Edited to add: on top of all that, I hate the idea of labels. I mostly ID in any way shape or form for the benefit of others (because if I explained that I am potentially attracted to men and women, they'd probably just say, 'oh, so you're bisexual' anyway.)

[ 11-30-2011, 06:29 PM: Message edited by: moonlight bouncing off water ]

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Heather
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I hear you: the idea that one kind of sexual attraction is the "default" is maddening, infuriating, isolating and a whole bunch of other big yuck. It certainly often screws those of us who aren't that orientation over, but it doesn't serve many people who ARE that orientation well, either.

I also hear you that there's something that isn't equitable about needing to come out for people to stop assigning you that identity. You're right, absolutely.

At the same time, you know that you don't actually have to come out to anyone you don't want to. And, of course, even coming out won't change those assumptions sometimes. For instance, women, as a class, are still often assumed to be "for" men, including women who are very out as lesbians and very clear they have no interest in being romantic or sexual with men.

I also think it's important to note that the masquerade here isn't yours, just like say, someone who is black but very light and "passes" as white isn't masquerading if they don't spend every waking minute of their lives telling everyone within earshot they're not white. Know what I mean?

It also sounds like your parents are in some denial, and maybe your sibling as well. Family members don't tend to just forget their family members told them they weren't straight: bisexuality or homosexuality isn't that normalized anywhere I know of yet. It also sounds like you're expressing a feeling they will not be accepting if you remind them of your orientation: do I have that right?

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moonlight bouncing off water
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I guess I'm afraid that they won't be accepting. I feel that my bisexuality won't be regarded in the same way as my assumed heterosexuality is. My parents are fantastic people and I know that they *think* that they are accepting of gay people, but their heteronormative attitudes aren't accepting, and certainly not welcoming, at all. If I come out I won't be in danger of losing help with University tuition when I'm done High School, I won't be kicked out, I won't be ostracized or made fun of. But I don't think that things will remain the very same either (although, as expressed above, there are certain things that I would like changed).

"I also think it's important to note that the masquerade here isn't yours, just like say, someone who is black but very light and "passes" as white isn't masquerading if they don't spend every waking minute of their lives telling everyone within earshot they're not white. Know what I mean?"

I get what you're saying with that. And I suppose it's true.

I just don't really know where I want to go with this.

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Heather
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They sound like they might be people you could actually have that conversation -- not just coming out, but everything you just said up there -- with. Does that seem like a possibility to you?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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moonlight bouncing off water
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Yes, it's definitely possible that I could talk to them about all of that. I'm scared to though, and I'm not entirely sure why. I have always had trouble talking to my parents. For some reason I feel like the more they say that I can tell them anything, the less I can actually tell them. I feel like I'm being stupid about this. I know I could talk to them, but I don't know if I can. I feel like there's a wall between my talking to them and me, but I can't see it and I don't know what it's made of.

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Heather
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Have you ever talked to them about THAT?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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moonlight bouncing off water
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No I haven't. That wall is causing me to be unable to talk to them about that wall. It feels unreasonable that that wall even exists and sometimes it feels like I'm imagining it, but it must be there or else I'd be able to talk to them.

EDIT: And I know that it is helpful when I do talk to them. For instance when I was dealing with my break up I talked with them about it a lot (although perhaps not as much as I might have wanted to) and it was immensely helpful. This is probably ridiculous, but perhaps this is rooted the fact that once, when I was little my mom told me not to watch a TV show (I think it was too mature for me or something). I didn't want to stop watching it so I would watch it, but always had my hand on the remote to change it incase she came up. I stopped telling people about new TV shows I liked, or new anything for that matter out of fear that I would be forbidden that thing. Or perhaps that's just ridiculous and I'm only thinking about it as a result of the psychiatric stereotype starting with "so, tell me about your childhood".

[ 11-30-2011, 08:32 PM: Message edited by: moonlight bouncing off water ]

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Heather
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Oh, I agree: if you feel a barrier to talking, you do. It's just trying to sort out what that barrier is.

But if you have a generally good relationship with your folks, and it sounds like you do, that IS probably something you can talk about, and might make all the rest of this a lot easier. Even if you all don't figure out what that barrier is right away, sounds like one of the big elephants in the room, and just talking about how to talk better seems like it'd be a good thing for all of you.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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moonlight bouncing off water
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Yeah, it's just getting past the barrier to be able to talk about it that is difficult. It's something I'd rather do on my own, but well, that's the whole problem there now isn't it.
(And note, while I was editing my prior response, you commented, so you may not have seen my edit above).

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Stephanie_1
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How is talking about things that aren't as important? Like, talking about something you heard on the radio, or something that happened in a class at school you thought was pretty cool?

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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moonlight bouncing off water
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quote:
Originally posted by Stephanie_1:
How is talking about things that aren't as important? Like, talking about something you heard on the radio, or something that happened in a class at school you thought was pretty cool?

It's great. I can very easily talk to my parents about those things. In most ways we have an amazing relationship. I think that my issue with talking to them starts when it is about serious things that have to do with me. My parents and I and my sister talk together all the time. We sit and have coffee most mornings and we always have supper together, at the table.

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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eryn_smiles
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Sometimes it can also be helpful to consider, what's the worst possible way they could react, or the worst possible thing they could say if you talked to them about your sexuality? And then think about how you might deal with that situation?

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moonlight bouncing off water
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Another part of what is bugging me about this, I have just realized, is that I have known that I'm not heterosexual for so long. If I come out to my parents they may assume that I have only just figured this out now. I know I could tell them that I didn't just figure this out now, but I really don't want to have the conversation about why I waited so long to tell them. I won't tell them, I know I won't. I just don't want to deal with dating being difficult (as per telling them then, because then I'd need them to know) if I date a female. I just don't know what is best for right now.

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

Posts: 864 | From: Ontario, Canada | Registered: Oct 2009  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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