This past weekend I traveled back to my home town in Colorado to enjoy a little relaxation in the mountains. I needed a little get away to think about all of the changes going on in my life and prepare for some things that have me feeling a little anxious. It just so happened that downtown Denver had the Pride celebration happening. For those of you who don’t realize, it’s an annual celebration for those in the LGBTQ+ community to exhibit the pride they have in being who they are.
I didn’t go.
In fact, I never go and most likely will not ever go. It might be shocking hearing that from someone who is bisexual, but the truth of the matter is that I don’t feel a sense of pride, I don’t feel a sense of being openly excited about my sexuality. I’m sure there are those who might feel my I have been repressed do to my religious beliefs growing up and that being who I am was not an encouraged part of my life. It might be the case, but I have never felt the urge to wave my pride flag on top of mountain tops or tall buildings. The truth of the matter is that I have never felt a sense of pride in being bisexual. I have never felt the need to impose who I am upon others. I tend to me more humble about my sexuality.
In fairness, however, there have been times when I felt ashamed. There were times when the idea of people knowing I have enjoyed male-male affections to be a frightful experience. I remember, for example, a “friend” of mine that I had been with had expressed that we was going to tell everyone at school that I was a “fag”. Granted, I’m thankful that I have a sharp wit and informed him that he would have to out himself, in order to give his accusation any credibility. But, I can’t help but recognize the fact that I was terrified to have anyone know that…um…for lack of a better explanation or expression…I had my friend inside of me. The idea of having everyone at school think of me as a “fag” was a humiliating thought – especially, if I ever wanted to ask that blonde girl out. I also watched that there seemed to me slightly more acceptance of homosexuals, than there were for bisexuals. All guys seemed to despise any other guy that would have sex with another guy (that is, unless they were on the “down-low”); and the girls seemed to be okay with homosexuals, but distrusted bisexuals. Granted, these were only my observations, but it led to me not feeling much pride about who/what I am.
I know there is this common sentiment that one should always be proud and happy about themselves, but during my formative years there was so much confusion and so much internal thoughts about my own self-development that it became an interesting dynamic in my mind (okay, okay, what I find interesting is probably vastly different from what others find interesting…but this entire blog is all about me, so there! 😛 ). Truthfully, now that these thoughts came up, I’m now disappointed that I did not keep my last blog; I had an entire category on my sexual development that I was detailing everything – relationship based – that led me to where I am now. I had so many conflicting ideas about relationships and sexuality. For example, I felt early on that love was something no one could control; and if it were controlled, then it was not conducive of love. I felt like that until I mentioned it to my parents, and I got the “Adam & Eve not Adam & Steve” discussion (In all fairness, my parents are uttely unaware of my same-sex proclivities and always answered any question I had with compassion and understanding.), so I felt my same-sex attractions were wrong. I trusted my parents, for sure. Another confusing aspect is being sexually victimized when I was a young boy; it left me questioning my own ability to understand sex. And then, the fact that I loved women, and by love I mean I couldn’t stop thinking about women. But there was always an inclination towards some men that would pop up (I haven’t decided if that is an intended pun or not).
But pride? No, I never felt pride. At least, I never felt pride until I saw another blogger’s post about the Denver Pride Festival. I felt oddly, left out. It’s no ones’ fault, I suppose. IF I wanted to attend, I could have; it’s a free country afterall. I saw this blogger’s pictures and description and who it was focused on the shooting in Orlando. It was obvious that a strong community has been built around this very issue. And I felt saddened that I missed out on something wonderful and beautiful. I felt a sense of knowing that I could have done it and for a moment wish I would have shed the self-imposed stigmas and been a brave soul. But I didn’t, and I know, in the future, I will still remain a quiet supporter of that cause.
But I do enjoy knowing that I am part of a community, even if I choose not to be active.