Coming out is not often an easy thing. We each have to overcome our own obstacles, in order to be true to who we are. This could be an environmental hurdle, where those around us may not be ready to accept who we are. Maybe it's a small group, our friends and family that we're worried about, or maybe it's our community or church, or maybe it's a large scale like your city, state or country. We can also face our own personal hurdles, be it the emotional, psychological, or physical.
For those coming out as bi there are specific hurdles that should also be considered; such as the stigma surrounding being bi. We often face opposition from both homosexual and heterosexual parties because there is a lack of understand around what being bi means. Of course, the definition is pretty clear to most of us, but somehow other folks seem to get confused quite frequently. Most of the confusion seems to stem from the bi prefix.
Let's clear that up real quick: the bi in this instance does, like it suggests, mean two, but it's referring to homo (same) and hetero (opposite) attractions. It is not referring to male and female or man and woman.
Okay, now, back to the article and my opinions.
These obstacles that people face are never to be taken lightly or ignored, and safety is always paramount. We all are facing our own personal hurdles and struggles and will have to overcome them in our own ways and time.
BUT -- I have compiled a list of reasons why, if you are struggling with your sexual identity, you should consider stepping out of the closet as your own magical bi self:
1. Excuse my language, but fuck anyone who is keeping you from being true to yourself.
I might be a little abrasive with my wording here, but those people who you're afraid to lose if they find out who you are? You don't need to be loved conditionally from anyone, and if they revoke their love of you because you aren't an exact fit to the idea they have of you, it's not love. The only person you have to be anything for, is yourself.
2. If you think you're too old to come out--you aren't! You never are!
That's the thing about being you: it's never too late, and it ages like a fine wine. You exist, and that's reason enough to tell the world that you're proud of it. Worried that your current partner is not going to feel the same about you when they learn that something new about you? Your partner should always be accepting of who you are (within healthy parameters), and they're supposed to be your ally, your best friend, the person you can tell anything. This should be no different.
A more sensitive coming out subject: children. A parent never wants to feel rejected by their children, and that is completely acceptable. Let me level with you;¦your children love you. You should get the opportunity to love yourself, your whole self, and give them that opportunity, also.
14; 22; 35; 55; 80; etc... It's never too late to be you.
3. Your coming out can serve as a beacon of hope for others in your life, and even help them accept themselves.
Odds are you know other bi people, odds are also pretty good they're not out and they are facing a lot of the same issues you are. I'm not suggesting that you should come out solely for the sake of someone else, but if you're wanting to come out and feel there's no reason to, I can promise you there are plenty of reasons.
For me it's important to know that my coming out, my exposing myself, can help others. I might be leading the way for those around me to feel more comfortable with themselves and maybe giving them the inspiration to go on this journey someday.
There are so many people out there, struggling to accept themselves, and in situations where it may not be safe to come out. It isn't just celebrities coming out that can give us courage; you, too, can have a huge impact by letting someone know that they are not alone.
4. The stigma that surrounds the bi community does not dictate who you are when you come out.
You're still you after coming out. It doesn't change you because that's who you always were and the only change is that you get to share your bi magic with the world exactly how you want to.
5. There's a whole community of people like you waiting to accept you into the family.
The Queer (used in place of the LGBTQ+ acronym for my own personal preference) community may be a messy shit show at times, but we're still a family.
There's a niche for everyone, and that's the beautiful thing about it. Within the bi community there are all different people (just like in any group because we're actually just regular people who happen to be bi also); from fire dancers to musicians to retail workers and even full time students. We're extroverts, introverts, ambiverts, and even complete hermits with a bunch of cats (or dogs or birds or maybe even snakes) there's a place for you with us.
You are not alone.
You are never alone.
Now there are folks saying, "But what if I've already come out as gay or lesbian, am I betraying my community?" I want to say this directly to you:
You are valid. Sexuality is fluid by nature. No one has any right to tell you how to be queer, or strip you of the identity you feel you belong to. You are allowed to continue to question, and you are allowed to update your sexual identity if you feel the need. It's your life, and you should be living the best one you can as the best you possible.
There are plenty of other reasons to come out, but these are some of the things that inspired me to share a more honest version of myself with the world.
That being said, this list is meant to be encouraging and in no way do I intend to make anyone feel shame or guilt based on their decision to come out. I just want you, reader, if you are questioning and unsure, to feel supported in your decision.
Yes, there are tons of great reasons to come out and it can be incredibly empowering, but it's also okay to wait. You're the one who decides to come out, who to come out to, and when to do it. You're the one who decides who you are.