An Open Life
Updated: Jul 6, 2020
| This is the 14th story of Our Life Logs |
Sometimes being yourself is not easy, not at all. It took quite a while for me to be open with myself, to admit that I was attracted to women. When I first realized that, I was terrified, and confused at the same time, because I was taught that those kinds of feelings were wrong. We were a religious family attending services twice a week, so it weighed on me that those attractions would somehow be discovered. I was worried that a simple face expression would give it all away and I would be exposed. I was so scared at first that it didn’t even occur to me that I was more than that. I am bisexual. The fear around my attraction to women obliterated the fact that I was attracted to men as well. The idea of bisexual didn’t cross my mind until later in high school.
The first girl I dated happened at the end of high school. We had been friends for a while, and I knew that we were attracted to each other. As my fondness of her grew, I started looking for excuses to spend less time with her, afraid of where it might lead. There was a guy friend at the time who was also interested in me, so I would purposefully choose to spend more time with him. But every time I was with her, it became more and more obvious where I wanted to be. I was living on my own by then which made me feel a little safer taking the leap.
There were times that I wished I were straight. But I know it’s not a choice that I make. This is how I am, and there is nothing wrong with that. I have always been open with my friends that I am bisexual. They are all cool and supportive of who I am. For people whom I date, I would tell him or her about my sexuality at an early stage too. In general, guys tend to be a little more accepting than girls. There is resistance at times when you tell a girl that you are bisexual; they seem to think you are less serious about the relationship.
Overall, I feel I have had a pretty easy time as a member of the LGBT community. The only time I faced outright hostility was when I was marching for marriage equality a couple of years ago and some of the counter-protesters were getting really offensive and nasty. There are also small things like some people tend to think that being bisexual means being promiscuous. The truth is opposite; I only date one person at a time. But I try not to be irritated by those misconceptions. Everybody can hold their own opinion.
For me, the hardest part about being bisexual is when it comes to my parents. There hasn’t been any fighting, or disowning, or anything crazy; it’s just something we don’t openly talk about. I know from how they talk, especially my father, that they would have a hard time accepting it, so I have never officially come out to them. But I’m pretty sure they know. My first ever girlfriend had been a regular friend for years before we started dating. Once we started dating, she began to spend a lot more time at our house. When she had been just a regular friend, she had been my father’s favorite of all my friends and he would always ask me how she was doing. But after we started dating, he stopped asking about her or even mentioning her name.
Maybe one of the reasons I can’t be open with my parents is that I have never been as close to them as most kids are to their parents. I was born in the Philippines in the 1990s. When I was one year old, both my parents moved to work in Australia in an attempt to make a better living for the family. I have four older siblings, and they all moved with them to Australia. Being the youngest and only just a one-year-old baby then, I was left behind in the Philippines to be raised by my grandparents. I didn’t meet my mother again until I was six and my father until I was eleven. Before that, it was just phone calls and video calls. When I was twelve, I moved to Australia and reunited with the rest of the family. It was then that I really started to get to know them.
My parents are the only ones in my life that I haven’t been open with about my sexuality. At the moment I’m still waiting to find the love of my life, and when I do, I believe I will be strong enough to share it with my parents, regardless of what gender that love may be. I know it won’t be easy, but I do hope that they would be open-minded and understanding, as we all should be.
The best advice I can give to anyone going through something similar is to find a person they trust. It doesn’t matter if it’s a friend, a mentor or even a support group. Find someone who will let you know it is OK to be you. I was lucky I had the friends that accepted me no matter what. While my parents and I don’t talk about my sexuality and that is hard, I’m fortunate enough to live an open life outside of that relationship, and I believe I will get their blessing one day too. I wouldn’t be able to face that without my friends’ support. So find someone you trust and open up to them. You’ll be amazed at the results.
This story was told anonymously by an Australian girl. She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in both Psychology and Business via remote learning and meanwhile, working as a receptionist at a medical clinic. She also runs a blog where she shares her thoughts at www.writingrealitiessite.wordpress.com.
This story first touched our hearts on October 22, 2017.
| Writer: Adam Savage | Editor: MJ |
#LGBTQ #bisexual #comingout #Philippines #Australia #acceptance #parents