How Marriage Stole My Sexual Orientation
Everything Is Not Always How It ooks
It was a typical school day in 1986; we were all assembled on the tennis court while the burly physical education teacher lectured us about exercise's importance. We were trying to pay as much attention as we could for a group of eight-year-olds, but we wanted to get to the game we knew was coming.
The school secretary walked towards us, interrupting the coach's monologue, a waif of a human following behind her. He had the most transparent blue eyes I had ever seen. The bangs of his short brown hair only worked to draw attention to his soft, handsome face. I immediately fell in love, the way only an eight-year-old can.
What came next would begin a whirlwind of confusion that it would take until my adult years to comprehend fully. The secretary introduced the new dreamboat as "Amy." I was stunned.
That was the moment, the moment that my sexual orientation began to edge out of the realm of society's acceptable standards. The fact this angelic human being and I were both females did not change my feelings. It would be years before I realized the significance of this moment.
I would spend the next seven years exploring these feelings, searching for answers. Homosexuality was not a world I knew anything about. We did not discuss it in my house or small town. There were no gay couples I could talk to you, no Raul Paul Drag Race for me to find idols, and no Youtube filled with like-minded people. Times were different, and I did not have a support system.
By the time I made it to 13. I had escaped the small town and was now living in a big city. I had gotten to experiment with other girls who had the same curiosities that I did. I knew that I was bisexual. Once again, times were different, and I was only aware of the binary gender system. But more on that later.
I came out to my parents fall of my 15th year. I did not worry about their love for me changing. My parents would love me no matter what I did. However, they reacted a way I did not see coming. They completely ignored it.
I was outed at school by a trusted friend. Before long, I found myself wholly ostracized. Girls who had been my friend for years no longer talked to me. Even those who had engaged in romantic relations with me would not speak to me for fear that they would be outed. There was a bathroom stall dedicated to harassing me and calling me names. I was the only kid in the whole school that openly claimed a different sexual orientation.
But I never backed down. I knew who I was. I was not ashamed, embarrassed, or afraid. I could not help who I was attracted to, so there was no reason to pretend I could.
Marriage Changed Everything
I dated a lot of people, both men and women, over the next eight years. I am not going to lie; I enjoyed exploring my sexuality. It was empowering, soul-nourishing, and just plan out fun.
At the young age of 23, I met my lifemate, and we married in 2002. It just happened that the person I connected to was a man. He, of course, knew of my sexuality. We met online, and I always made sure to include that information in my dating profile.
To me, nothing had changed. I was happy in the relationship I had chosen. It was not until I was having dinner with my parents that I learned that I had been stripped of my sexual orientation.
We were talking about an aunt who had moved in with a woman when my stepmother looked over at me and said, "I remember when you told us that you were into that nonsense."
I was speechless; what she had said took a moment to register in my brain. We had not talked about my confession for eleven years. I assumed that they had accepted the information and that it was no big deal. It was a shock that they thought it was a phase. I was furious that something I grappled with was persecuted for would be referred to as nonsense.
I could feel my spouse freeze beside me. He knew what was coming; my parents should have known what was coming, but yet they tell this story as if they were the injured party.
I cleared my throat, tilted my head, and looked at my father's wife deep in her swampy brown eyes. In what I can only describe as voice so icy that all those involved came out with frostbite, I replied, " Are you talking about my sexual orientation. Because if you are, let me clarify a couple of points. First, I am now and have always been bisexual, which does not change based on who is in my bed. Secondly, my sexual orientation is part of who I am. It is at the core of me as yours is at the core of you, and I will not have it diminished to nonsense."
This incident is only the first of many conversations where people thought I was now straight. Understandably, most of the time, it occurred when a new friend hears a story about a girl I dated. Though no matter how it comes up, the conversation is always the same.
"Yes," I reply.
"But you're married to a man."
I usually sigh at this point and begin explaining how being bisexual means I am attracted to both sexes. Then I finish by how being in a monogamous relationship with one sex does not change who I am attracted to.
Times Are A-Changing
I am proud of the way the societal viewpoints on sexual orientation are evolving. We no longer live in a binary gender system. People are allowed to be freer with their sexual preference.
Those who prefer people of the same sex or different sex can claim it without fear of persecution. The internet has created a world of information and support. To an old-timer like me, it is a beautiful thing.
I do not want to play down others' struggles or claim that it is all roses. But from what I have seen, it is easier for the young people of today than it was thirty years ago.
As for my sexuality, it is still fluid. I have learned that I am not bisexual as I once believed. No, I am pansexual. A revelation I had after my youngest daughter flew from the closest and explained to me the different sexualities as they are defined today.
However, I have not corrected my newfound orientation with my family or friends; they have enough to deal with since I stole my old sexual orientation back.