I received an email the other day from a follower inquiring as to why I have never come out as bisexual or someone with a gender identity disorder. This is a complex question to answer, as you might imagine. The reality is that there are a multitude of issues I deal with and my sexuality and gender are certainly some of the more complex matters I handle on an ongoing basis. I discussed in my last post for my Sexual and Relationship Development, the times I have come out to someone – and they are pretty rare; but, there are many reasons I have not come out on any grand scale and I don’t plan on it.
One of the main reasons I don’t share my sexuality or gender identity issues is because of safety. Any Google search of hate crimes against LGBT will give you an article like this one, that states about 20% of the hate crimes reported in the U.S. are directed towards those in the LGBT community. Even in my home state of Colorado, hate against the LGBT community exists (Granted, this article is a little dated, so the statistics might be different now). The intention of my post isn’t to divulge all of the horrible crimes that hit the LGBT community, because there have been oodles and oodles of articles, news stories, outcries, policies made and so many other things to address the matter. No my main point is to stress that it is not something people like me can face without worry. And I truly admire those that stand up, regardless.
And, although there are laws that protect LGBT people in the workforce, there are still repercussions that occur when people come out. We live in an imperfect world and there are always imperfect consequences to these matters. I’ve mentioned before, that I work in an industry that is stereotypically masculine and if I were to out myself, I worry about how it would impact my career in the long run. Especially after returning from a two year lay-off, I now have a sense of needing to protect my job and my career. I realize there are always legal avenues I could pursue, if I were to come out and there was any kind of backlash in that action, but I don’t want the headache of it all right now in my life. The reality is that I am trying to recover my financial state and protect myself from another slide. At this point in my life, I feel old and I feel like there is not much time left for me to achieve the success I desire (Of course, this is an entirely different topic…).
Another thing I don’t discuss too often online is the fact that I do have children. My role as a parent is to protect them and protect any sense of a stable life for them. Granted, the mere fact that I’m currently preparing for divorce is going to unsettle them a bit (a couple of my kids are already adults, so maybe a little easier for them), but to have to deal with one of their parents struggling with their own sense of self, is not something I want to burden them. Granted, I have had this discussion with others – even therapists – that express that my demonstration of courage would be a strong trait to instill in my children; I would not want them to have to deal with the negative consequences that could come along with it. I understand this is a sensitive topic on its own, but I believe my goal is to love them the best I know how.
My family is traditionally very conservative in their beliefs and traditions, so my coming out would come as a complete surprise, I believe. My dad’s side of the family is probably a little more conservative than my mom’s side of the family. Although, I have a couple of aunts on my mom’s side of the family that are very pro-LGBT, I think they are also very judgmental and tend to have the attitudes that if you don’t live life the way the see fit, then you are wrong (I don’t get along so well, with these aunts…lol). I’ve always wondered how people in my family would react, if they were to know and sometimes I’ve toyed with the idea that maybe a few might actually realize I am bisexual and/or trans (I’m still working through this issue). I also have grandparents that are still alive, but they are getting older and one of them is truly struggling with health right now; but I wouldn’t want them to deal with the latter days of their lives thinking something horrible about themselves that I’m not what they had envisioned for life. I know there are a multitude of different “what ifs” that can’t be defined, simply because they are “what ifs”, but I have decided that this is easier for me to handle this way.
Religion and God? Obviously, for those of you that have followed my blog for a while, religion is tight issue with me. I struggle with being raised Catholic and coming to the understanding that I am bisexual. I understand the catholic theological point of view on the matter and it ultimately boils down to the fact that sexual relationships within Catholicism are completely okay, when they are kept to the confines of a marriage between one man and one woman. The historical and theological references that can be made do not need to be discussed, other than to point out that they will lead to the same conclusion: regardless of your sexuality, a human being is called to be sexually chaste; or in the case of marriage, sexual fidelity within the marriage. This is a topic that has been debated for centuries, but not the purpose of my post, so I’m not going to make an argument other than to point out it’s relevance to me not coming out: I have not decided how I want to live my life, with this particular aspect of my life. I can’t give up my concept of God, I can’t give up that idea that God wants me to live a certain way. And because of that, I do have a bit of fear about how I should live my life. Intellectually, I understand a lot of the arguments for and against; but spiritually, I just haven’t figured it out yet. And I’m not ready to completely reject it, although, I am totally and utterly apprehensive about embracing it.
Although, there are many other reasons I have not come out, the ones I listed above are the most critical ones. They are the ones that are on my mind when I consider the impacts or purpose of doing just that. However, the one reason I have felt the most comfortable is the one reason I am able to function on a day to day basis without it overbearing me with the worries:
My sexuality is on a need to know basis. It’s truly my business.