This will be a bit personal of a post, which means I’ve spent a considerable amount of time opening the editor of my blog, closing it, writing a few lines, deleting it, circling the draft and smoking cigarettes (I should really quit) while trying to make up my mind if I should press the “Publish” button or not. If you are reading this now, it means that I didn’t chicken out and press the delete button to the draft.
Fair warning, this post is about my sexual orientation and what it means to me. If you’re not supportive of this, that’s okay, I respect that and you are entitled to your opinions. You’re free to stop reading at this point and unfollow my blog, at any time! I won’t have any ill feelings about it. I wish you all the luck in life! ^_^/
However, you are NOT entitled to comment or push your hurtful views on my blog. It will not change my mind or who I am, only make me feel like crap for being who I was born to be. You may do whatever you wish on your own blog. If you don’t own one, WordPress is free and you can have one of your own today! If I follow your blog and you post something that really disturbs me, I will have the respect to not comment or push my views on your blog. I will do the adult thing and simply stop reading and unfollow. It’s no big deal.
Furthermore, I want to leave a trigger warning for those who may be reading, that my story about my life does contain a few bigoted slurs. It’s not an easy story for me to share, nor is it an easy story to read.
You may be wondering why I am bothering to share it at all. The true reason is because I need to get a few things off my chest and I don’t have any close friendships at this point in my life. I do have a blog! And there’s always a possibility that my story could help someone else, who may have experienced or currently experiencing such things now.
I have always alluded to the fact that I’m not strictly 100% straight within my blogs. I’ve used the term “bisexual”, once or twice. Although, it’s a bit more complicated than that. I usually don’t share about my sexuality with others, as I honestly feel that it’s none of anyone’s business, this is something important between me and whomever I’m dating at the time. However, with today’s politics, unjust laws, and other media drama, it makes it pretty difficult to keep such things private.
Yes, I am bisexual, which means I honestly feel sexual attraction to both males and females. It doesn’t mean that I am a sex addict, as I’m very old fashioned and will not have sex with anyone that I haven’t dated for a very long time and is madly in love with. That means, I never do the one-night-stand or “hookup” deal. Not that I have a judgement against those who prefer to have casual lovers. It’s just not my deal personally, because I tend to get jealous very easily and I’m highly monogamous.
In simple terms, what I mean to explain is, genitals are not what causes me fall in love with someone and wish to commit my life to them. I could care less if a person has a penis, or a vagina, or breasts; I like them all. For me, personality means everything. I care if a person is kind, smart, funny, thoughtful, generous, and causes me feel to comfortable around them. It’s not that common for me to feel comfortable around others, you know.
I care if a person has something in common with me and vice versa, some great passion that we can share together. I care if a person makes me smile and I can make them smile, that my heart races whenever I see them or hear their voice, that I can become lost whenever I gaze into their eyes. That is what is important to me, personally.
I don’t care if a person is transgender, cisgender (those who identify with the gender that they were born with), or genderqueer. I only care about a person’s spirit and mind. I’ve been this way since age twelve and I’m currently age 35, so no… it’s not a “phase” and it’s not going to change. I am who I am. To deny this fact would be a total lie and deception.
I am bisexual, but I’m also “genderqueer”, which is a label that I stumbled across a few years ago. The term is an umbrella one, which includes some transgender (those who identify as the opposite gender they were born as) and genderfluid (those who identity varies as male, female, or non-binary).
I know, that’s so many different terms and can be confusing/overwhelming for first timers! LOL! I’ll try to simplify it further; if you were born with female (or male) genitals and identify as female (or male), you’re cisgender. If you were born with female (or male) genitals, but identify as a man (or woman), you are transgender. If you were born with female (or male) genitals, but feel that you’re both male and female regardless of that, then you’re probably genderqueer. And genderfluid is too difficult for me to explain more simply, I don’t understand it fully, but feel free to google it!
Or if anyone from the genderfluid community wish to share links or comments, please do! I would certainty update this post. I never dismiss new knowledge about things I have no clue about! ^_-
Under the genderqueer umbrella, I simply identify as both male and female. I’ve always stated on other forums, that I honestly feel that 65% of my brain is male and 35% is female. Of course, people often take this as if I’m making some kind of joke, but I’m not, really… I was always confused with the response of a chuckle. o_O
And yes, my biological sex is female and I have no wish to have male genitalia (or facial hair, eww!), as I’m not transgender. However, I can’t deny the fact that my spirit, mind, and ambitions are more masculine than it will ever be feminine. I don’t mind if you call me “ma’am” or “sir”, I don’t really think about it, the few times it has happened. I’m okay with this! However, there was a time that I wasn’t okay with who I was and hated myself…
The majority of my teen years and young adulthood was spent in depression and suicidal thoughts/attempts. It was because I was hiding my true self and lived in deep shame of who I am. I grew up in a VERY conservative and religious household. And my school peers, neighbors, and most of my community didn’t take kindly to “those faggots”. I grew up hearing my parents make fun of gay men, so when I realized that I was bisexual at age twelve, I was beyond frighten.
I refused to tell my sister or older brother about it, because I had feared that they would tell my parents, and I would get into serious trouble. And because I was bisexual, I believed that I could somehow repressed my attraction to other females, by diverting my attention to males. At some point, I believed that I could “pray the gay away”. It didn’t work. And at age twenty, I decided that becoming an Ordained Christian Minister would do the trick… Nope.
I tried so hard to make myself become “straight”, but it just wouldn’t work. In spite of myself, I would notice a good looking female walking by, along with any other teen or young man in the area. I felt such guilt and hatred against myself, every time it happened.
I had stumbled into the music of David Bowie and Prince, in my preteens, which their music and personalities did give me a lot of comfort. I didn’t feel so alone. And one of my most favorite songs of Prince is: I Would Die 4 U. The lyrics “I’m not a woman. I’m not a man. I am something that you’ll never understand.” resonated with me, as I screamed in my head “Me too! I am the same!”.
In subtle ways, I was trying to alert my parents of who I truly was, by mentioning to them that I loved these artists. I guess, I really wanted my parents to accept me and love me for who I am, in spite being so afraid to outright confess to them. My heart still hurts, because neither one of them ever did accept or love me for who I’m truly am. I don’t know, I sometimes wonder if my wish is childish at this point and if I should just “get over it” and move on with my life. I do try to do that, but it’s hard sometimes and makes me cry still.
Their response to my love of Bowie and Prince was… well… terrible at best. My father called them both “faggots” outright and laughed. On many occasions, my mother went on and on about how Bowie was confused, that he couldn’t make up his mind whether he wanted to be a girl or a boy. She just didn’t get it… Bowie was never confused, he knew who he was and didn’t care about anyone else’s confusion about him! That was their problem and not his.
As for Prince, it was another occasion when my mother made it known how she really felt about him. I was trying to convince my peers to check out a cassette tape of Prince, that I swore was awesome, and I kind of “borrowed” from my older brother’s room. My mother shouted at me, “Leave them alone! No one wants to hear that faggot!” I kind of emotionally shriveled up into myself, after she shouted that and my peers laughed. I took my cassette tape and retreated to my room to cry.
My parents had no idea how much they were hurting me and made me feel like a “mistake”, for ever being born.
By age fifteen, I thought about confessing to my mother the truth about me. However, at the same time a neighbor had kicked his nineteen year old daughter out of his house when she decided to come out of the closet as lesbian. The neighbors were in a buzz about it and sympathized with the father. I decided quickly that I would continue to hide my truth, as I was “passing” well as heterosexual, no one would figure it out otherwise.
In one confusing moment, my mother sat me and my sister down for a serious talk about the neighbor’s issue. She began to say, “Mr. [neighbor] kicked out his [daughter], because she is gay. I want you both to know that no matter what you two do, even if you commit a crime, I would never kick you out or turn my back on you.” My heart began to race and I asked her quickly, “Even if we commit a murder?” She shook her head, “No. I will be there to hire you a lawyer and come to every court hearing. You will still be my baby.”
I couldn’t have felt more happy in that moment! I took a breath and got ready to say the words to her, “Mom, I think I’m gay too.”, but in an instant her face harden and she growled, “But don’t ever be gay! It’s horrible what Mr. [neighbor] had to go through. And [his daughter] completely humiliated her family.” “Oh.” I said and stuffed my words back deep within myself. So, it was okay if I was a murderer, but not gay.
By age sixteen, I decided that I was worse than evil and should rid the world of myself, because I am gay. I tried many attempts to do so, they failed – obviously, but many resulted in trips to the local ER and then confinement to local mental wards. It would be many years, before I was able to see myself as human, let alone stop hating myself.
I wouldn’t confess about my sexual orientation, until age twenty-one. And when I did… my mother didn’t handle it so nicely, not at all. I’ll spare those details, because it’s a bit too painful to share still, at this point.
For most of my life, I’ve been trying to get approval from my parents (especially my mother), but never received it. And the prejudices against the LGBT community in my old neighborhood in Philadelphia still remains. Just two years ago, a young gay man that I once knew there, was beaten viciously and verbally attacked for being gay. At the end of many punches, one of his attackers strangled him until he passed out, while shouting homophobic slurs. Neighbors watched, but no one called the police.
My mother did try to break it up, as it was happening on her front porch, but she did so alone. And she convinced the attacker to not strangle the young man to death by saying, “You can’t undo it, once it’s done. You’ll go to prison if you kill him.” She still felt that the fault of the situation rested on the gay victim, because he had tried to speak up for himself when the gay slurs were first uttered towards him… and his comebacks were better than the idiots who tried to harass him first. So, his attackers responded with violence.
The young man did not press legal charges against his attackers and pretty much decided to deny the incident ever happened at all. It’s not uncommon for victims of hate crimes to not report it, to hide it away inside of themselves for fear of retaliation or a community backlash, and to just accept the abuse.
Fortunately, for me, I moved to the state of Minnesota that is very progressive and such hate crimes are not common at all. The people I’ve shared this story to in Minnesota was beyond stunned and disguested that such crimes occured in Philadelphia. I am able to live out my life in peace here, without fear of physical or verbal attack for being myself. I am happy within my town, I am free. No one in my community cares if I’m straight, gay, lesbian, transgender, bisexual, gender-queer, any more than they care if someone is heterosexual. And most of the people here are religious and attend church on Sundays. They’re only concerned if I’m a “rude” person or not. And I’m not rude… or try not to be! LOL! I have my rude moments, not with my neighbors, but I’m sure in general. =p
However, I sometimes hurt inside, when I notice how people interact with loving parents. Or when I read comments from wonderful parents on articles, in unconditional support of their children. I do not celebrate Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, because I don’t know what it’s like to have parents. I don’t find it practical to spend what little money I do have in buying gifts for people who don’t accept and love me for who I am, who are always judging me and people like me.
It’s a little sad… but I wonder if it’s time to drop this baggage and move onward with my new happy life in Minnesota. No, more accurately, I wonder how to drop this baggage. How do you stop needing and wanting the approval of a biological parent? Is it possible? I guess it’s something for me to work on with my therapist, but I wanted to share it on my blog, because it is on my mind right now. I just needed to vent a bit to someone.
For what it’s worth, I do know who I am. I am Danielle S. Williams. And I love and accept me, even if no one else does. And to the beautiful parents in the world, who truly love and accept their children, THANK YOU! Your children are very lucky to have you! ♥
Thanks for reading my rambles, as always. Please be kind to each other! ^_^