In a bid to let people in to my life, blog posting about who I am has been really important over the last few weeks. I’ve written and re-written this blog post multiple times and in several different guises, mostly debating whether I actually needed to come out on this blog. This is not the last post I’ll probably end up doing relating to sexual or romatic orientation, it’s more of an account of my own personal story.
I blogged about this on many other occasions and each time it feels a little better rehearsed and like, who am I telling, who’s bothered about my sexual preference and what’s in a label anyway?
The more you research a label, the more you come to realise that you’re not in fact alone. It starts to explain the things you think are ‘weird’ about yourself and there’s a lot of comfort in coming to terms with who you are. This for me is the first stage of coming out, coming out to yourself. You may have many preconceived ideas of what being ‘gay’, or ‘bisexual’, ‘transgender’ and the list goes on. This coming out gives you a few answers, which are ashamedly mostly skin deep and full of challenges. For me it was like invoicing myself, only to put myself back into a smaller, more constructive box. From the outset I was homosexual but my own journey was far from over at this point. I probably started to wonder much before, but I finally came to my own realisation when I was sixteen. I told my friends, I think the buck stopped there and I’m not really sure if anyone else knew. I’m not sure that I had fully understood what I had said because it took a couple of years for this to sink in further.
I moved shortly after and I remember people at school teasing each other about their own sexuality but in year 11, when you have exams and college to focus on my sexuality was the last thing on anyone else’s mind.
At this point I was chasing my then best friend, even though I didn’t really know what it was I saw in him but it was heartbreaking. At the end of my time up in the midlands I felt so confused, there was so much I didn’t get to understand or talk about with him because he wasn’t prepared for that discussion. Looking back now the most painful feeling was being used. Except for the fact, that as much as I play the victim I guess I had used him in much the same way. We were both ‘experimenting’, ultimately what we were doing was trying new things, things that didn’t quite work and sure may have left me a little heartbroken and confused but there was no guarantee that he was ever going to like and recipricate my love for me. Then again, he said nothing and don’t we all deserve to know first hand that the feeling isn’t requited. Maybe he was too scared. Maybe I was too eager to let this happen. In the end though we were never meant to be.
Flash forward to my first girlfriend, at this point I’d moved away to Devon and shed my sexual orientation in a way that was totally new to me. No longer did I care about labels, and neither would anyone else I figured. It wasn’t lying as much as hiding myself. I’ve since learnt that in ways this in no better, it was unintentionally sweeping something under the rug, a part of me that I was hiding. It still wasn’t and remains to be though disputed. This relationship spanned on and off throughout the course of college (pardon the pun) and some of my first year of University. I think ultimately it was unhealthy for both of us. But I loved her and I still do just not in the same way. I can only imagine how it must’ve felt finding out after the first time that I hadn’t considered myself straight previously, from my point of view though it was something I had never intended to do but I was glad that I wasn’t pretending that I had it all figured out back in school when I didn’t even know myself half as well as I probably thought I did.
After this, dating got messy. I had fully dedicated myself to the fact that I did in actual fact want to date more guys, but the vital difference was that I had dated women and it had meant something to the both of us. This didn’t shake the fact that I felt I would never be able to be give myself to them sexually, which makes me what? Biromantic, perhaps? I think this is when you realise that we’re inventing labels purely to make sense of the world around us as if everything can be broken down into boxes so that we can keep ourselves hidden from some and unload the facets of our personality into others.
Eventually after countless conversations within the realm of online dating and wondering whether I’d ever find something that I could connect with on the same level as I had done previously with another man. I was scared and nervous, I remember feeling self-concious to the degree that I didn’t feel comfortable holding my then boyfriend’s hand in case people were watching, what if they were jeering? Was I being judged by those around me — those people that I didn’t even know. The relationship became so long distance and, again, unhealthy that we didn’t work out. Again, another relationship that didn’t work out. In my naivity, I felt as if I’d never find the love that I thought was out there. What if it didn’t feel the way I thought it would? Which of course it wouldn’t if I hadn’t known the higher love I’d been searching for. What if I hadn’t figured out who I was romantically? What I wanted wasn’t solely sex, something which dating websites seemed to be opening all kinds of windows and doors to. All the messages I received were from people who were either ‘full steam ahead, I love you. I want nothing to be with you because of the way you look in your profile picture’ to ‘I have a bed and I’m horny, do you live near me?’ I did but that’s not what I wanted.
Throughout the course of university I learned so much about what it meant to play a part in the perception of reality, there are multiple realities depicted deliberately in film, couldn’t the same be said about life? What’s natural about packaging the intricate elements of someone’s personality, or sexual experiences. Why did the gender of the person you sleep with have to define what you liked to listen to, or how you spent your days aside from that? If there’s anything I’ve learned on this journey, it’s that sexuality is no longer something I would consider fixed. Does this mean that I’ll be writing this post from a different perspective in years to come, quite possibly.
I’m currently extremely happy with the man I love, we met on January 27th 2014 and were engaged the year after. I’ve changed since my last significant relationship with a man and I can’t exactly tell you what’s transpired in the time that’s past but I’m no longer afraid to show my feelings to the rest of the world. Maybe it’s the person I now spend my life with or how it feels to be truly in love with someone but I no longer feel afraid to wholly be the person I’ve wanted to be, that person who loves, who cares for other people and can be completely honest and open no matter the gender of the person I stand with in this life.