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Anything Other than Straight

I’ll never forget my moment.

Bracing myself against both sides of my bathroom sink as I scrutinized something significantly deeper than my own reflection, I finally whispered aloud my first truly honest thought about my own sexual orientation.

You see, I’ve never wanted to be anything other than straight.

Since I was eleven years old, I’ve been desperate to only be attracted to those of the opposite sex. I’ve masked and obscured any feeling I’ve ever felt that threatened my place within the realm of what I’ve been coached is both normal and acceptable.

Several months ago, I was finally forced to an edge where I couldn’t pretend any longer. The act of pretending had pushed me continually deeper into life-threatening depression, and it was time to figure out how to admit my own secrets to the world, and far more importantly, how to admit them to the one person who could never be at peace until I did.

To do so became my only option if I ever wanted to be authentically happy, if I ever wanted to be authentically intimate with another, or if I ever wanted to finally stop existing as a fake.

And so, I’ll just say it.

I’m not straight.

Those words are by far the most difficult words I’ve ever typed, and I know they’ll be far more difficult to share.

A very small handful of people whom I trust most know my secret now, and all of them only learned it in the last few months. Their love has been unconditional.

But love is not unconditional coming from every person. We all know that.

Guidelines for acceptable sexuality have been drilled into me my entire life, and the mandate has always been clear. Being anything other than straight will never be tolerable, at least not with the vast majority of the people in my family and in my community.

That damned mandate.

The one that tells us we are to claim love, but we are to never actually love those who we have been told are unacceptably different.

A few months ago, I used an admittedly effeminate hand gesture at family dinner. I naturally use it all the time, only this time it was shortly after the emotional shift toward coming out had started to happen within me.

My brother saw me do it. He laughed uncomfortably and then all too seriously said, “please tell me you’re still straight.”

There are many that have worried about my sexuality for a long time now. And the way he said it, I intrinsically knew that to be anything other than straight might do great damage to something between us. I just laughed it off. I wasn’t ready to tell him yet. I couldn’t tell him yet.

Dear God, please don’t let me be anything other than straight.

The thought pierced me then perhaps more than ever before, though I’ve struggled against the current of such thoughts thousands of times over the past 21 years.

Since that moment, I have been particularly sensitive and observational of such statements being made by others. My heart wants to tune them all out. My mind tries to absorb every one of them. It’s been a never-ending tug of war between the part of me that wants to maintain the love and admiration of those around me and the part of me that franticly seeks freedom to finally be who I have always dreaded that I am.

“I can’t stand fags,” a friend said so nonchalantly at game night one Friday evening. He then listed his reasons for his revulsion and the table got lost in jubilant conversation about how many gays there are where we live nowadays. Many thoughtless and vicious jokes were made within the group, all proceeded by raucous laughter. I laughed at some of them too so they wouldn’t suspect the truth that was melting me.

Dear God, please don’t let me be anything other than straight.

I brought a woman to a social event. I really liked this woman. I was very attracted to her. You see, I’m attracted to men, but I’m also very much attracted to women. Some friends we were with began joking about how we were all probably secretly bisexual. She turned to me and laughed, “there is no way I would ever date someone who was like that.” My heart bore its way into my stomach, and I did my best to maneuver the discussion elsewhere.

Dear God, please don’t let me be anything other than straight.

I was at dinner with some close friends. “I’m pretty sure those guys over there are gay,” one of them said, motioning to two men who were laughing together at another table. “It’s so weird and unnatural and I don’t think I’ll ever understand how people can be like that.” I assured them I didn’t understand it either.

Dear God, please don’t let me be anything other than straight.

Someone in my family told me that if any of the people in her family were ever gay, their partners or lovers would never be welcome in her home. “I will not support immorality,” she angrily said. I argued with her about how damaging and hurtful such statements could be.

Dear God, if there is a God, please, please, please don’t let me be anything other than straight.

For twenty-one years, I have said that prayer.

For twenty-one years, I have been paralyzed by the fear of what this society will do with me if they ever were to know of the thoughts that I continually push away. For more than two decades, I have made a choice to be straight. After all, it’s as easy as making a choice, isn’t it? This culture has made sure that I know that. Anyone who is anything other than straight was just someone deceived by the devil. He is unnatural. He is confused. He is mistaken. He is weak. He can control it if he desires to control it. Such a compelling and ongoing argument has been made that I have always trusted it.

I believed that if I hid it long enough, and ran from it long enough, and refused to acknowledge it for long enough, I could indeed succeed at living up to their decrees. I believed that I could force myself to never be anything else.

3822 comments
MorrisOxford
MorrisOxford

You are helping man, as much as you need the support you are giving. Thank you. 

MichelleDFW
MichelleDFW

I finally got the chance to read this. To me it doesn't matter whether one is gay, straight, bi, trans or questioning. It matters who the person is on the inside and how s/he treats others. It saddens me that families can make such declarations about their blood relatives when ideally families should love and support one another through good and bad. <3

deltaboy1
deltaboy1

I just saw this post. Your posts have lifted me up on so many down days. You have helped me live more openly as a gay man, and you have helped me love myself. By now, judging from the comments I have read, you know you are loved and appreciated. I just want to add my love, support, and thanks to everyone else's.

Thank you, Dan Pearce! I love you!

Don

SimonDeacon
SimonDeacon

I just saw the post today, read it, and I can say with the utmost faith you most definitely have my love.  


I'm so sorry you had to go through such an internal struggle.  I am a 43 year old bisexual man who at one time had similar thoughts.  As a teen and in my early 20's I wished to believe I was straight and struggled to be anything but.  I wasn't so much afraid of being ostracized by friends and family as I was overwhelmed with fear at the thought of embracing an identity I thought I could in no way handle.  The fear was so bad my body would shake uncontrollably when any man would come on to me sexually.  Fortuatly I had the courage to finally come out to myself at 24.  I did so because the  natural impulse of who I was as a spiritual person wished to grow and could in no way hide or deny my authentic self.  It was a scary transition but afterwards I was able to embrace and even celebrate my bisexuality in so many wonderful ways.  I pray you are doing that as well.  Your bisexuality is a gift from God my brother.  It's gift will grow through experience both in joy and in adversity.  Consider that adversity as another gift from the divine that sharpens your soul like a  sword.  It has most definitely sharpened mine.  Since I came out at 24 I have been very active both in the bi, queer and poly communities.  It's been such a rewarding experience especially when I can be there for young queer people who are confused and just coming out themselves.  


As I said - You have my love.


Love for your courage, sensitivity, warmth, compassion, and beautiful way with words.  Oh and you are also incredibly cute.  (sorry had to get that in there) ;-)


I wish you nothing but the deepest love and brightest blessings on your path.  I pray we will someday meet.  It would be a true honor and blessing.


Simon

savvysuburbanmama
savvysuburbanmama

This was a wonderful blog post.  In my heart I know that we love who we love - we don't have a choice.  We are attracted to who we are attracted to - we don't choose that.  No one 'chooses' to be gay.  They just are.  And if you are drawn to both men and women, I don't think that's a choice, either.  You love who you love. You can embrace it or deny it, but you are who you are.  I just found your blog, and I'll be coming back to read more and see more, but I wanted to say how much I loved this post.  You will always be Noah's father and acknowledging things about yourself doesn't make you less of a great father - perhaps it makes you more of one because you have allowed yourself to see truth in your life.   Your sexuality will not 'make' your son gay, (why oh why do people think that about gay parents???), will not make people you know gay or rub off in any way or change the way you look at your friends (male or female) or change what a great brother or son you are.  And I hope that everyone sees that.  I know it's not an easy road because sadly we live in a very opinionated world, but keep true to yourself.  There is no shame in embracing your truth.    I'm glad to have found your blog :-)

Jackie
Jackie

I love that you actually express your feelings this way. I personally believe that EVERY gay person goes through this process. I am not gay, it's just my belief. I appreciate the humbleness in your heart. God loves you and will help you through this time. Focus on being the best Dad for Noah and healing WILL happen. God bless!

ShannonRonan
ShannonRonan

It's a crying shame that people who said they loved you one day will say they hate you the next simply because of something as trivial as the gender of the person with whom you may find yourself in love. I'll continue to read your blog and laugh. And I hope you find that special someone, whomever she or he may be.

Siya Khumalo
Siya Khumalo

The unconditionality of God's love is surely the most difficult Christian doctrine there is. But you've got to relax and let Him love you just as you are, because He does and He yearns to continue doing so.

ElaineaMiddleton
ElaineaMiddleton

You are my hero. I so admire you for this and so many of your other posts (I haven't gotten to read them all yet, but believe me, I'm working on it!).  I sincerely hope that the people you fear will reject you instead surprise you.  I know it may be naïve, but I do hope that the love they have for YOU will overcome whatever their initial fears may be. Keep doing what you're doing - you help so many people everyday. I believe in you!

Doni
Doni

My feelings for you have not changed. I still admire you and respect your views. What do I care what your sexual orientation may be? I don't read your posts because of whom you are attracted to. It makes no difference to me.

What has changed since reading this heartfelt and brave disclosure (and I'm sorry that it has to take bravery)? I know you that much better. That's all. So if I feel a little closer to you, it isn't because of your preferences. I don't feel closer to you or more distant from you because you are anything other than straight. I feel closer to you because I know you a little better now. Because, in your actions to share this part of yourself with the public, you have shared it with ME.

Be true to yourself. If you aren't, who will be?

Doni

Cameron_Banks
Cameron_Banks

It makes me sad that people are in turmoil in these times over their sexual orientation. You are what you are. And that shouldn't change because of someone else's beliefs or thoughts. You shouldn't have to ask forgiveness for what you are. You're still a beautiful being that is deserving of love. Whether that love comes from a man or a woman is your choice and not the choice of others.

Being gay doesn't make you any less worthy of love, acceptance, and understanding. If anything, I think you're the braver one. You chose to speak up about who you are and what would make you happy. That decision may cost you family and friends. But you know what? You are not the one missing out. They are. By choosing to not accept you as you are than they really didn't love you in the first place. Loving someone means loving them wholly. And completely.

DrMommy82
DrMommy82

Growing up in a strict Christian home was an uphill battle.  You are supposed to be straight, marry, have children and raise them in the church (among the other numerous rules and regulations).  As a teen, I found myself desperate for affection and what I thought love was.  I was attracted to both males and females, but it wrong for me to be attracted to other women.  I married at 18 and was pregnant with my son shortly after.  During my pregnancy, my feelings toward other women became more than just an attraction.  After my son was born, I tried to talk to my husband about it...he became angered and I didn't bring it up again.  We eventually divorced.  In the almost 10 years since my divorce I have had relationships with both men and women.  I am happily involved with a wonderful man right now.  He accepts the fact that I am Bi-sexual, and we are very happy.

It is not about who you are attracted to, who you love, or who you spend your life with.  All that matters is what is on the inside.  Through your blog, you have conveyed to us all that you are a wonderful father and great human being.  I would very willing have and have had in the past a relationship with a bi-sexual man.  What counted was that he was a great person. 

Lali
Lali

 I, for one, believe that TRUE love can only be the love of one person for another, and not the love of any GENDER for a GENDER'S sake. You are braver and stronger than you know. Keep pushing your limits and you will be braver and stronger still.

Carrie
Carrie

Dan, thanks for your honesty. I appreciate the opportunity to read what led you to the closet door.

I was married to a marvelous, talented man for 28 years. He was also bisexual. He was a wonderful father and faithful friend. The fact that he kept "a secret" eventually played a role in his destruction/ death. The loss is no less painful 8 yrs later.

In case you don't hear it enough...Jesus does love you

Chris
Chris

The irony is that we think our struggles are ours alone, but reading this reinforces that people have more in common than differences.  I find this blog to be very strong and motivational.  These words reflect my own struggle when I first came out, at 18 y/o, in the early 90's.  I had the same fears.  Some people left, others surprised me by not leaving.  I expected everyone to leave.  My family did not miss a beat.  They may not have understood me or my sexuality, but I learned through the process that I can only be me, I'm not responsible for educating everyone, and bottom line is that it's this really small part of me.  My entirety is way more complicated than who I go to bed with.  You do rock!!

SandiM
SandiM

I just found your blog today and in going through some of your older posts, found this one.  Best thing I've read in years.  You rock.

Kristie
Kristie

<3. Simple. Just <3.

pointillis
pointillis

Just read this year-old-ish post. My opinion has veered wildly on this topic throughout my 32 years, until it finally settled on the following opinion. ALL PEOPLE ARE ATTRACTED TO BOTH SEXES to some degree. Period. That degree can be miniscule or massive. I'm just saying. .

JayBee_
JayBee_

Dan,

I love the way you express yourself and how you speak so beautifully through your blog. I do want you to know you are not alone. I want to share a little about me, so that you can see that this does not hinder or end with you acknowledging who you truly are. Like you, before I admitted to myself who I truly was, I was making it a point to fight to gay rights. Only I was doing it before I could understand between gay, straight, and had NO CLUE there could be anything in-between! So imagine my confusion when I found myself attracted to a boy one moment only to be attracted to a girl the next.

At a young age I decided that I would keep my private life private. I realize now that I was taking subconscious preventative measures in case I did “turn out” to be gay after all. I’m sure some in my family thought I would just die a virgin I was so good at keeping all that to myself.

When I was in my 20’s I was more honest with people outside of my family and so when my friend became more than just a friend he confided his confusion/insecurities about my attraction to women.  Would I be more likely to cheat? Would I just up and leave him for a woman one day?  Was he just a stand in until I finally acknowledged that I was just “100% gay”?

But I wasn’t “100% gay”.  I don’t know what the gay to straight ratio is in me but it’s not “100%” one way or another. And I assured him that that didn’t affect my fidelity. I believed in honesty to the point of being blunt at times and if things weren’t working out I was more than happy to let someone know.

That was 10 years ago.

We’re married, have an AMAZING little girl, and I have NO plans of ever leaving him or even for a second consider this “temporary”.

Have I ever “officially” come out? …. I don’t know how to answer that. Some know. Some don’t. I’m sure some suspect. My mother doesn’t know, then again I never made it a point to discuss whom I found attractive with her either.

Point of this is. Some people are a-holes and will walk away, I’ve seen it. Let them walk. They don’t deserve to share one bit of your awesome life.

Some won’t.

Brian Roberge
Brian Roberge

Dear Dan,  I have you on my favorites bar, but haven't read your blog lately.  Tonight, for some reason i decided to and came across this post. I'm not sure when you originally posted it, but it moved me to comment.  I am  an almost 69 years old divorced man who didn't come out until he was 36.  All the fears you mentioned were a part of my life too.  I was one of those who grew up during the time that being gay was considered an illness to be treated and no one in my Northern New England area thought about it in a positive way.  As I say now, I grew up when the only thing being gay meant was that you were happy. 

Even after coming out it took me a long time to be comfortable with who I am.  Along the way I did some pretty major damage to myself and others who love me.  Fortunately, I was able to turn that around and today I have two children (misnomer, they are 41 & 38 now, so they are real adults) who I am so very proud of and who I know love me as much as I love them.  How they turned out is really a testament to the wonderful person my ex-wife is and not me.  I also have 3 grandchildren whom I love beyond bounds.  These are a few of the very precious gifts I have today because I was able to finally face who I was and eventually accept me for who I am.  

Today, if you don't accept me for who I am, it's quite simple.  Go your way & I'll go mine.  I don't judge you so don't judge me.  I have built a strong network of friends both gay and straight who have supported me through some very troubling times.  I am at peace and comfortable with me and that perhaps is the most precious gift I have.  

Don't ever regret being honest about who you are.  After all that only who we can be and God would not have made us this way if there was something wrong with it.  

ChristinePelletier
ChristinePelletier

So, I'm a bit late to the party.  I have been following your posts for months. Well, when I can. I have 4 little boys that keep me super busy.  Anyway, I just stumbled across this post tonight and it prompted me to look at a few others that I had missed and even re-read a few. I don't think any differently of you at all. You are a wonderful human being and you have to do what is right for you and only you'll know what that is as life happens. One of the best things you could ever do for yourself is to get to know who you are. Until then, you can never be someones everything or they be yours. None of us is perfect and all we can do is to strive to be the best human beings possible. We aren't here for ourselves, we are here for each other. I will not walk away just because of this new information about you. I don't understand it either why someone would be attracted to the same sex, and doubt I ever will. But I can tell you that I am understanding of your inner turmoil and getting it out so it can no longer haunt you was what needed to be done. I really hope that your close friends and family were also understanding and compassionate. I'm sure you've made it a little easier for others to look in the mirror as well. 

ahill
ahill

You are amazing.  I came across your blog on fbook, and I read the blog with the boy whose mother was judgmental, then I started to read I'm Christian, Unless your gay, and then onto this one.  It inspired me to post a huge comment when I shared your blog on my fbook, I'm from Oklahoma and I didn't pay attention to where you were from but if your blog is on fbook now I'm sure your reaching tons of people. Which is awesome!  I felt compelled to comment on my friends wall who is also not straight and tell him how much I loved him, how much I didn't care how different he was from me, that I loved him because of who he is.  Because he is a damn good friend to me and because he is remarkable.  As are you.  A strong free thinker, and brave beyond belief.  Personally I don't give a flyin flip what your sexual orientation is, and no one else should either.  The only thing they should think when they read your stuff is the message which is love.  We are who we are, and whoever you believe in or don't believe in religiously doesn't matter. No one made you or anyone who doesn't fit the cookie cutter mode different.  All that happened was you were born who you are.  And who better to be than yourself, whether it's pagan, not straight, mohawk, or walking around covered in tattoos.  The fact is what does that have to do with someone else's life, it doesn't.  It only matters in your life.  And how does being gay, or having piercings  affect those people who choose to live with hate it doesn't affect them other than the hate clouding them. I am straight, I am pagan, I have tattoos and piercings, I  read fantasy books most christians believe is witchcraft, I don't fit the cookie cutter mold, nor would I want to, and I choose to love not hate.  Because there is no room in anyones heart for hate.  I don't know you, don't know nothing bout you, never did except for reading a few blogs an hour ago.  I have no problem telling you I love you.  I support what your writing and it made me happy to read it.

Just a country girl, from a tiny town in Oklahoma. ;) Where sexual orientation is only straight, where Afrian Americans aren't welcomed, where anyone slightly different is judged, and where I was told that reading Harry Potter was was evil, I'd go to hell, and it was witchcraft.  You know what I told them?  Well hell, guess I'll meet the devil one day and live in fire cause I'm me and if you don't like it, don't let the door hit ya, where the good lord split ya.  Hit the road Jack and don't ya come back.  And every day I wake up and thank God and Goddess for another day, for being who I am, and not afraid to be me.  You should never be anyone other than who you are and awesome job for declaring it.  You are positively inspiring and amazing, beautiful, and wonderful for it.  Don't let haters bring you down.  Love will set you free. ;)  

bsteele
bsteele

Thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I stumbled across your site today. And just knowing from the comments of others, how wonderful the world is becoming is amazing. I am truly blessed to have a sister who accepts me for my sexuality; she also has found the love of her life, a woman. Both of us are anything but straight. And that is okay. I read with great comfort, (and a box of tissues) that there are others just like me or supporting someone like me. Not only is it comforting, I read with tears and a smile because, thankfully we are not alone. We are not alone in the fight for what is right and just. We are not alone in a world that continuously is telling anyone who is not straight, christian, or,of preferred race that we are lesser human. Please continue to blog. You are doing more good for all of us who read than you think. With love, thank you.

ajwills
ajwills

You will always be Dan The single dad laughing to me :)

AngelDR
AngelDR

Thank you for your blog and finally being true to yourself. I struggled with the same issue for most of my life. As a matter of fact I just came out to my Mother 2 years ago. I am about to turn 37. I wish some of the other people I had known growing up who were bi, gay, or lesbian would have told me. I felt completely alone in the small southern town I grew up in. Hugs and much love!!

KateTea
KateTea

From a guy who shows so much love to others in your writing, I am glad to hear that you are on the receiving end of love and support. 

  Be comfortable in who you are, and give others time to get comfortable with who you are also, it takes time and is worth it. Be patient with your straight family and friends; sometimes it is fear, FOR you, that makes their adjustment take a while. Who someone is drawn to is not a choice, it simply is. No pride or shame is called for, just acceptance of what is. Be kind to yourself, you are kind to others, right?

I just found your blog and I am enjoying your thoughts, thanks for sharing.

AprilCoble
AprilCoble

Would you believe that in everything I read, I already knew?

Would you believe that I was in your shoes, only at 17?

My own mother asked, "So when did you DECIDE this?" As if I could just decide to magically have it go away.

But you know what? I was honest about it, and in my second marriage (I suspect my first husband has no been as honest about his sexuality, and is in the same struggle you are in right now)... I have been married 11 years. I can't imagine life with anyone else.

And I have precious few female friends who I kept around. I decided they're not my friends if they're going to act like a stupid man toward females, adamant that I absolutely must be trying to get in bed with them. I sure never needed it from guys, and I REALLY don't need it from other women.

Yes. You can hear another person's pain. Their struggles. You know the words too well after a while.

I read your blog because you're Dan. You're funny, insightful, loving, and you stand your ground.

Please keep standing your ground. We need you. The world needs you. You are not a mistake. I am not a mistake. My daughter is not a mistake.

I hope you understand that last sentence.

wordofawoman
wordofawoman

I recently came across your blog and have read several posts now. Kudos. Love it. Love you. 
Would appreciate it just a shit ton if you gave my page a look and weighed in with your thoughts. The address is:
wordofawoman.com

Rachel
Rachel

Hey Dan, 

I recently found your blog and I wanted to let you know how uplifting and inspiring reading your posts has been. I wanted to tell you a little of my own experience with bisexuality and hopefully give you a little hope as well. A few months ago, one of my best guy friends told me he is bisexual. I was so happy he felt comfortable telling me something so personal and I completely accept him. One of the best things about him coming out was how supportive his girlfriend was. Yes that's right, his girlfriend of almost a year at the time supported him the whole way and they are still together. It hasn't completely changed their relationship and I feel more comfortable talking to him about things than ever. 

I wanted to let you know that hope really is out there. Hope for a changing world, a better one where people are accepted. A world that understands sexuality is not a gay or straight thing but that is has each extreme and everything in between. Also, that there is someone out there, a girl or guy, who loves and accepts you for exactly who you are. I wish you all the best on your journey and that you trust that the best person you can be is exactly who you are and who you feel comfortable being.

hlrobb
hlrobb

I do not know you personally, just through reading your blog, but I love you for your honesty, and for standing up for those who are not shown the love everyone deserves in their life. I am a Christian, I am straight, but I cannot understand fellow Christians who cannot love and accept people for who they are--this is the example we have from Christ himself, after all. We are not our sexuality, though sexuality is important in our own lives. Sexuality does not define if a person is good. Thank you for your courage, as I am sure you have helped, and will help, many people. You are an excellent example of Christ's love.

Shanon
Shanon

I wish you nothing but love and happiness and pray that one day you find your special someone to share your life with.

Merissa Helen
Merissa Helen

I've attempted to come out as bisexual to family members twice. The first time, I accumulated years of being called an attention-seeking little whore. The second time, I got an awkward week-long silent treatment. Despite that, I'd rather go on the local news at 6 proclaiming my bisexuality than deal with the consequences of anyone in my personal life knowing I'm an atheist.

I've found that many people who tolerate homosexuality with an eye-roll and a sigh take a much dimmer view of bisexuality, or see it as a joking euphemism for "slut." That said, I know it's much more problematic for a male to come out as bisexual than it is a female - you'll be in my thoughts.

Kahluabrain
Kahluabrain

As you said, Dan........."It is what it is."  Loved you and your blogs when I first started reading.....still love ya! 

Just me13
Just me13

Great post! Be proud of who you are! You are helping some many others by being so open and honest. I wish you the best!

MirandaReoch
MirandaReoch

Wonderful post. It's not something I've had an issue with myself but my current life decisions have in a way, turned my family against me. They still have me over and love me, but I know they are disappointed and it hurts that they can't just accept my decisions. This article was beautiful and and inspiration for me and even though I'm just a newcomer to your blog, I have loved every article you post. Thank you! And keep being you. 

Kelfarq
Kelfarq

This was an amazing read.  I'm proud of you, who I've never met, for YOU but also for HUMANITY.  We need more of you in this universe.  Cheers!

ShadowKaiserin
ShadowKaiserin

I too am something other than straight. I am lucky to have a family and good friends who find this fact to be of little consequence, but I have been met with plenty of hesitation outside my circle. Thank you for sharing this. Being anything other than what's generally accepted as 'normal' can be a hard thing to deal with in this world of ours, but there's always someone somewhere who will accept you as you are or knows just how you feel. No one is ever truly alone.


redmagiq
redmagiq

there is no situation that has ever  been made worse  by throwing love at it ~ just saying.

Magenta
Magenta

A very well-spoken explanation of all those intelligent folks that acknowledge that sexuality is a spectrum rather than a switch with only two positions.  Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for sharing.  While I may have already been on a similar journey myself, hearing about your journey positively affected my own.  I recognize your aversion to labels, and I share it, but I feel that adding my own (self-identifying) label to my situation may help explain why I am commenting.  

I am a female; happily, monogamously married to a male.  There is not a single friend or family member I have who knows me as anything but straight - except the ONLY person to whom my sexuality ought to matter: my husband!!  This is the only person to whom my sexuality should matter.  The only one for whom my sexuality is to be any kind of thought in their day.  I, like yourself, am able to avoid the judgment because I am (here comes the evil label) mostly straight/75%/somewhere-between-purple-and-magenta... I could go on.  The fact is I have always been attracted to men, only ever imagined I would partner with a man, but I always enjoy the thought of "mild" encounters with women.  Wild flings of passion, rather than lasting relationships.  

The thing that I did when I started to realize that this put me in a magenta zone rather than strictly purple or strictly pink was allow people that I was dating to be aware that I had this "other than straight" part of me.  This is the reason why I'm posting.  To encourage you to share this information with your romantic partners.  It made my dating life infinitely better on both my mental health and my sex life.  Even if the issue was not brought up in the heat of the moment, I felt accepted by my partner and able to think and feel whatever I chose to in that moment.  Maybe my thoughts would be on my partner, on a potential other male partner, or on a potential female partner.  I knew that my partner accepted all of me.  If they didn't, they could hit the curb.  Don't put yourself in a place where you aren't 100% accepted because it is a toxic place to be.

I know it can be scary to think about who might judge you or who will no longer trust you when they learn this information.  Would I be able to hug my heterosexual girlfriends as tightly if they knew?  Would they let me give them back rubs when they've had an awful day?  When I'm partner dancing with a female would my parents think I'm going to leave my husband for my dance partner?  Yes these questions are big.  Yes, I recognize the advantage I have being "female 75% straight" rather than "male anything but straight" (as there are unfortunately biases that favour female gayness to male gayness particularly femme/femme gayness).  But if you begin outing yourself slowly, with your romantic partners at first--the people that actually have a reason to be interested in your sexual preferences--I think you will find a greater peace within yourself.  I also think that you will find yourself able to fall more deeply in love than you had in your previous marriages because the person that you fall in love with, will have been given the chance to truly fall in love with *you*.  The whole you, not just the socially acceptable part.

I apologize that my comment was long, but again, I just have to say thank you for saying what you did.  It helped me get a boost on my personal journey, and I hope my boosted self was able to give you a boost in return.  Much much much love!!

Ari D
Ari D

I know itslast year, Dan .. but here goes :


Dear Dan,


You can't be serious !   Sex is a problem?

Do you realize that it is so such a non-issue? (No belittlement of your pain and suffering intended) 

Sex is a means of expression .. some do not get to use it wisely or properly, some do. So what. Those with a problem just need to learn more about it to face and try overcome the problem.

Love is a totally different matter. And there are many different kinds.
So you fall in love whether straight or gay, .. that's it. You have sex as an expression of spousal love (the best aphrodisiac in my experience). That's it. However, .... is your love 'Great" or not? THAT matters greatly. To you, to the other, to others who would like to have it, too .. who want and seek it in their lives as well. It is joyful to behold, and it is joyous when enjoyed. We all want MORE of it, the BEST of it. And we believe that it is connected to the divine. Amen to that.

Animal lust is another matter. Are you horny ... or not. Is it periodic ... or not.  Does it run AND ruin your life, .. or not. Do you bother with it .. or not . No real biggie, there.

Love is BEYOND all that. Take a close HARD look at all the love you have felt for everything and anything you've ever come across in life. FEEL the differences of different kinds of love and DISSOCIATE it with the urge to hump !  
Be it humping the same sex, the opposite sex, or the sexy looking doorknob on the patio door !  Who really cares !?!!  

I know its been painful, but be true to yourself and dare seek the ultimate truth about your self as a person. A WHOLE person. See ALL that, ... and that matter of the smaller part of you that is all sexual orientation and sexual hi-jinks .... so non-issue!  After you've found out ALL that you are .. peace comes and remains. You KNOW who you are. No doubts.    

If you project yourself as having a problem with your own sexual orientation, others pick up on that. So why bother?
Why even have a problem, for that matter. Explore and be confident that God already loves you and that thru your recognition of your own sexual likes and dislikes, ... you JUST ARE FINDING OUT MORE ABOUT YOURSELF as a human being.  Truth be told, no one is purely one kind of a person and orientation don't matter much. Love matters most. That's it.

So, ... Go and be ALL Dan Pearce can be, God bless.you! 

hlrobb
hlrobb

P.S. I just wanted to mention that it really doesn't matter at all that I am a straight Christian; I only declared that to show that it is possible for those who are both straight and Christian in this world to accept all others (no matter their faith, their sexuality, etc.). You do not have to be gay, bisexual, transgendered, Buddhist, etc. to truly love others. You just have to be willing to open up to love in all its names and forms, and to show that love to others.


Sleehah
Sleehah

@Merissa Helen  .... I have a pretty big problem with the whole issue of "tolerating" anybody's inherent personhood.  I mean, I "tolerate" narcotics, though they really disagree with me.  People deserve so much more than mere tolerance - tolerating someone's sexual identity suggests that I'm doing them some kind of favour.  It's like tolerating someone's blue eyes!

I am so sorry you're having a miserable time with your family and hope that you have good friends around you who simply accept you because they love you, and for whom neither your sexuality nor religious beliefs are even relevant to their having a good relationship with you. 

ahill
ahill

@hlrobb Very well said!  I too did the same, it didn't matter that I put my religion or sexuality, except for to show that I am different as well, and only have room in my heart for love. :)

Merissa Helen
Merissa Helen

@Sleehah @Merissa Helen Thank you, Sleehah. Like you, I don't buy into "tolerance" as the apex of the social contract. I understand where I can and accept where I can't, and I really don't care what anyone else does to make themselves happy as long as no one is hurt without their consent. I'll never understand why anyone else does, either.

The Internet is really a gift. It sounds pretty sad, but this is where I get 99% of my love and acceptance. I trust that eventually I'll find someplace IRL where I don't have to act, but in the mean time I'm incredibly grateful for people like you. The irony is that even though I act sexually and religiously "conventional" for my geographic area, I'm still viewed as the office weirdo/black sheep of the family/etc. Ah well, what can you do?

redmagiq
redmagiq

@Sleehah @redmagiq `thank you ~ i realize every day just how true that is... and for the record, i'm straight, but not narrow :-*

Sleehah
Sleehah

@Merissa Helen @Sleehah I hope those numbers turn around for you, Merissa.  I'm glad that you do find simple acceptance and love but hope that you begin to find more of it IRL as well.  If you ever need a virtual ear - I'm at gmail.  :)