It’s a loaded question. My first instinct, my first voice would scream “no! Be proud, be happy, be unapologetic!”. Because I’m Queertastic, right? My name is literally a statement of how gay I am. So, so, gay. Actually, more so bisexual, but you guys get it. The truth is, as much as I hate to admit it, there will always be this tiny whisper in my head that says “well, it would be pretty damn convenient if you were straight”. Not as a matter of being ashamed, necessarily, just more so logistically- because honestly, coming out is a nightmare, as is dating. In fact, the last thing you need is for self-discovery to be more complicated. I know, some of you are staring at your screens in horror- is this Queertastic telling her (admittedly limited) readership that she’d rather be straight? Well, yes and no. Just hear me out, and hopefully I’ll sound less hypocritical towards the end of this post.
You see, my identity in itself is full of complications. Being bisexual has caused me to think in halves- there’s a fifty percent chance my soulmate will just happen to be of the same gender as me, which means there’s a fifty percent chance that I’ll have to uninvite the homophobic half of my family by default, so half of the people who have watched me grow up might not even want to show up to my wedding. Also, whenever I have a crush, there’s only a fifty percent chance that I can actually date them openly. The halves go on and on and on (and on.. it exhausts me) but you can’t cut yourself in half. Believe me, I’ve tried, but my identity is not two halves. You can’t split up your experiences, because that’s not how the spectrum of humanity works. Experiences are a flawlessly blended rainbow of loss and love and regret, not some abstract cold ghost of an idea that can be split down the middle. You can’t reduce your love life to just one risky and flighty probability. It’s almost like a coin toss, but falling in love is so much more important than a coin toss. I sometimes forget that not everyone thinks in halves like this- but it’s so normal for me, and when I think of having the plague of halves being lifted off my shoulders, I feel relief. The thought of not ever having to come out, of having an annoyingly large number of relatives that I have to invite to my wedding, having to not look any further than my own streets for someone who will date me, not needing acceptance. I think a lot of people talk about what they need, but after a while of pondering this question I started to realize that there is so much more relief in not needing. Not needing to validate your emotions. Yes, not needing is wonderful. At least it sounds wonderful, I wouldn’t know what it feels like.
Perhaps one of the more metaphysical, spiritual aspects of my bisexuality came linked to the many lessons it has taught me about religion. I have had to learn to adjust and manage, juggling the beliefs and values I have grown up with and my own identity. It is undeniably painful to have a family that believes in this wonderful place called heaven, only to realize that you, by default, are uninvited to this wonderful respite of after life. (notice how I talk about being uninvited a lot? Yeah, when you aren’t straight in a hetero-normative country you feel left out a lot more.) I don’t even get to look at this concept of heaven and decide for myself whether or not I want it, no, I’m just not invited. I can’t even take a peek, because god forbid I ruin the pristine atmosphere of morals and values. I can’t enter until I’m cured, but cured from what? Cured from loving someone? I sometimes want heaven. Growing up Christian, you’re taught to want heaven, and honestly who wouldn’t like the idea of it? It’s a cool, semi-exclusive place where all your loved ones are, where the weight of being human is suddenly worth it. It’s where you feel like you’re a good person, and according to my Mother (she’s wonderful, by the way, it’s not her fault I feel this way and it would be spectacularly unfair of me to blame her for this) it’s where you go when you’ve lived a life worth living. One that has had the net effect of good. To be automatically excluded from this club that everyone else is scrambling to go to sucks. It made me cynical for a long while, made me feel as though I had no choice but to stop believing, just so that I don’t hurt myself.
But I’m being unfair- perhaps too negative. There is something to be said for the benefits of having pride. Being in denial about your identity is like trying to change the unchangeable. It will hurt you and cause you distress and eventually you will have to stop putting a knife in your wounds and twisting it around. Eventually, you will have to stop leeching the hatred out of your veins, and heal before you bleed to death. Accepting yourself is necessary, and in my opinion you will drown if you spend years hiding who you are. It was enough to drive me insane. Acceptance is a survival mechanism, and it’s one that puts us on our feet eventually. Not being straight is looked upon as something abnormal. But is it really? That would almost be like categorizing people based on their favorite colors- like, if your favorite color is yellow, you’re an abomination. I blamed myself. I tried to change something that I couldn’t, and it fucked me up for a while. Don’t try to change who you love. Not because love is the purest shrine in the world and shit (you will not hear me feed you that washed out cliche) but for the sole reason of maintaining your sanity- don’t try to change something that you simply can’t. Maybe it would be easier to be straight, but to change something that you simply can’t is unreasonable and damaging. After learning it the hard way, I think the one avoidable obstacle on the path towards acceptance is denial. Don’t. Be. In. Denial. Stop bargaining with yourself, stop looking for a way to change. It doesn’t work that way, you are who you are. It’s beautiful and colorful and you’re wonderful for being you. I hope y’all always remember that <3 To answer the question, if I could be straight, would I? Nah. I’ve grown to love my rainbow unicorns way too much. I actually went on to a wonderful site called 7cups.com where I had the privilege of being part of an LGBTQ+ support team, and I met so many wonderful people who were just like me. They inspired me to embrace my colors and be happy. This community is a wonderful thing to be a part of, and I wouldn’t trade the people I’ve met and the friends I’ve made for anything. If you ever need a friend, you know where to find me 🙂