I have this thing about being out. I’m just not, in any grand fashion, out of the closet with my sexuality. However, this is the third year in a row that I’ve written about coming out (Read 2018 here and 2017 here). I tend to fluctuate on whether I should or shouldn’t come out. I think for many people with a non-straight sexuality, it is a daunting reality to face. Of course,I have my own individual reasons for not coming out. And, I still debate they hows and whys of coming out. Sometimes I look at the pros and cons of different decisions, but in this it’s more like the idea of whether or not one decision benefits me more than another. This is especially relevant as I work towards a more peaceful and joyful existence. So, let me look at the two options a little – To Come Out or Not to Come Out, isn’t that the real question?
The argument against coming out is quite comfortable for me. I have embraced the so-called “bi-privilege” of being bisexual and only being romantically involved with women my whole life. I’ve mentioned before that I have never had a real relationship with a guy. Although, I do believe there have been different points in my life where I think I loved a male friend or two – without realizing it since same-sex relationships were frowned upon – but, I have engaged in sexual activities with guys before (and enjoyed it). But, I also knew, early on in life that I wanted to be with women. I never assumed I would end-up in a relationship with a guy and I have enjoyed my role as a father and parenting with my wife. So, there is a certain element of comfort in the life I have chosen.
I have also considered what it would look like for other people – like my kids, my parents, my grandparents, etc. – if I were to come out. Would my coming out – i.e. the ONLY person in my family to not be straight. Would there be some sort of impact to the people I care about? I don’t know if there would be, but I have an element of protective sense over my life’s decisions impact on others. And, on that level, I can’t help but think it could have a negative outcome for those I care about. My wife is aware I’m bisexual and I can’t help but wonder the social impact of other’s opinions would have on her too. Would it be fair for her to have to face the questions and scrutiny others may have for her? This could be something that impacts the marriage and relationship.
Certainly, there are some self-serving reasons I have never come out too. Would it impact my career, my jobs, my social connections? Would it hinder me from being successful? I can’t help but wonder if there would be consequences to face. Granted, I realize there are protections in place on some level and many employers are now very progressive with respect to sexual orientation, but I tend to lean towards not wanting the nuisance of dealing with it. I guess, on some level, I don’t really think it’s anyone’s business who was on the receiving end of a blow-job in my relationships and it’s not like anyone is going to ask, so it kind of feels like it’s a moot issue. Almost kind of a don’t ask and don’t tell acceptance on my part. Again, there is that comfort level I have with staying in the closet.
Then there are the arguments or position that I come out. Sometimes, in my own day-dreaming I have this fantasy of telling anyone and everyone that I’m bisexual (Obviously, I don’t hide it at all online) and everyone loves and embraces me. That’s not reality anyways, because even the “normal” people aren’t always loved and embraced. People are people and they like and dislike for whatever reason. But sometimes, I want to do it. I feel like I have to do it, so that I can finally accept myself. I kind of think that there would be a community of acceptance of me as I am. I know I’ve experienced that from people online. Most people don’t really care who I’ve loved or whom has made love with me. It’s kind of irrelevant for a lot of people. And I think there is some peace in that idea.
But, there have been times I’ve considered opening up and telling people. Honestly, the biggest fears I have are in telling my kids or in telling my dad. I have fantasized about telling my mom. I think she would accept it – maybe she’ll be a little confused, because I remember times when she has said “being gay is wrong” – but my mom also has a big mouth. So, I think if I did tell her, it would be a small amount of time and then the whole family would know. I have two aunts that are pretty accepting of gay people and so I think I could tell them. It might shock them to learn this about me, but I think they would ultimately accept it.
With my children, I’m unsure. My biggest fear, like any parent, is something I do has a huge negative impact on them. My oldest would probably be okay with it, because that kid has a best friend that just had a gay-wedding. My second child might be surprised, but that kid’s attitude towards non-straight people has been pretty accepting. My youngest is probably the least accepting, but who knows? My dad would be tough to tell. I think he would approach it from the stand point of questioning and asking me to consider everything it means. I don’t think my dad would stop loving me, but I do think he would be worried that I was engaging in something dangerous (although I am in a monogamous rel;relationship and haven’t been with a guy in a long time).
Anyways, I am always just unsure if I should or why I should come out. On the one hand, I feel like it would feel like a release from my my own mind. Yet, I also believe that coming out could be the worst thing I ever did. What I have come to accept, however, is that my sexuality is really on a need to know basis and often times I don’t think anyone needs to know (unless you’re on Twitter, then I’ll say it a lot…LOL)