As promised, today I’m going to share the rest of the story about my journey that began standing in my bathroom admitting my sexual truth to the man in the mirror, and ended in me coming out to the world as bisexual in last week’s post Anything Other than Straight.
The day that I stood looking at my own reflection, you’ll remember that I had three thoughts.
You’re not gay.
But you’re also not straight.
And, that’s okay.
Ever since that summer day, many things have become far more clear to me, and just as many things have become far more confusing.
When I was five or six years old, a grown man made me put his penis in my mouth.
The memory is filtered at best.
I don’t know who it was. No face presents itself in the occasional shameful flashes I have experienced since the abuse occurred.
I don’t know if it happened once or multiple times.
I don’t know if anyone else was present.
I don’t know if the man touched or molested me.
I don’t know if I secretly liked it or secretly hated it.
All I remember is his impossibly giant member being pushed inside of my mouth.
Even then, the memory is so damaged that I don’t know how real it actually is. For that reason, I have told exactly two people about it before today. Well, three if you count the therapist I’ve been seeing since I went all crazy town at the beginning of this journey.
Still, this fact, which could have everything to do with everything or nothing to do with anything has been the source of so much perplexity for me.
I mean, I have had to ask myself. What if I only experience attraction to men because of that? What if that is the reason intimacy has always been difficult for me? What if that one moment in time messed me up for freaking ever? What if… what if… what if…
There are so many what ifs surrounding the sexual abuse from my past. I’ve tortured myself trying to pinpoint the cause and effect of my abnormal sexuality. Even this far into it, the concept that same sex attraction is a symptom of something else is still so engrained into me that I search eternally for a cause so that I can maybe cure myself of it and once again be “normal.”
The abuse is just one dynamic I’ve had to look at.
My therapist has helped me be able to see many ways in which I’ve dealt with this attraction over the past 22 years. While I like to believe that I’ve done a successful job covering it up and hiding from it, the truths are all less opaque than that.
Truth: I have always had a tender place in my heart for gays. I remember sitting through Sunday School classes as a teenager and feeling only unease, injustice, and sympathy as I heard the hateful things that were relentlessly said about them in a church that claimed to love them.
Truth: too many people have asked me straight-up if I’m gay. Including both of my ex-wives, both of my parents, and one woman that I have dated since my last divorce.
Truth: ever since I was a young teenager, I found some sort of joy in pretending I was gay to the people who love me. It’s almost as if I have always wanted to test people’s acceptance of it.
Truth: I have many, many gay friends. And I jump at the chance to spend time with them. In a lot of ways, I’m more comfortable with them than I am with my straight friends.
Truth: while married, I once told my therapist that I thought I was asexual because I didn’t feel like I was attracted to women or men. She helped me see that such wasn’t the case.
Truth: I have questioned my sexuality. Many times. Just never with the courage or ability to think an honest thought about it.
Truth: I always have been overly studious about making sure other people know that I’m not actually attracted to men, even though I would often point people’s thoughts in that direction.
Truth: I’m homophobic. Still.
Did I just say that?
Because it’s a very important truth. In fact, of all the truths, it’s probably the one that is most significant.
Don't even know if you will read this as it's been almost a year since you wrote that post...
I came out to myself 1 year 1/2 ago, but I couldn't say I was coming out as what as I couldn't be sure whether I was straight, bi or lesbian! I couldn't trust myself anymore: "I'm attracted to men... But I'me attracted to women... I'm bi? No wait, I'm not really attracted to men: the society and the pressure made me attracted to them! I'm really a lesbian. I have to feel great about that. No wait! I can not deny I'm attracted to men: I am. I'd be lying to myself as much as I was lying to myself about my attraction to women. But am I really attracted to woman or is it just my fear to be attracted to them that plays with my mind?! I can not be something else than hetero... I feel hetero. No wait! I thought I had finaly accepted I was bi. But what if it was just an other way for me not to see I'm totaly homosexual? No I can't be homosexual, I'll never be. But I want to be in love with a woman sooo bad. Yes, ok, but It was so good in bed with Frank. Aaaahhhhh! Why do I feel this urge to fit a definition?!?"
And that was just me. I guess you know how bisexuality is tabou in the LG community. Not a real hetero but not a real lesbian. Yeah!
Ang then, after a week or so of total ambivalence, changing my mind litteraly every second and a half, I read a document writen by province goverment (and I'll never thank them enough) called "feeling confortable with your sexual orientation - women and homosexuality" (link at the end) where there was a section about "internalized homophobia" and I unterstood I was so homophobic toward myself my mind couldn't let me see who I really was. Battleling with my inner homophobia has been hard. Really hard. I'm still dealing with it.
Now I know I can be attracted to women and men and that it doen't define me in any ways. I'm gay and hetero or not totaly gay but not totaly hetero. I'm bisexual or bi-emotional or any bi you want. Sometimes I feel lesbian, sometimes I feel straight sometimes I just don't feel at all... Hey a girl has her "no libido at all" moments ;-)
I agree with you Dan, bisexuality is misunderstood... Even by the ones who lives it!
Link to the mentionned document : http://www.colloquehomophobie.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/4-woman_homosexuality_feeling_09-302-01A.pdf
So I stumbled upon your blog and found this post after reading many others.
I commend you for your courage to break the silence. I, too, suffered sexual abuse as a child. A woman molested me and, later, a man exposed himself and masturbated in front of me. I developed PTSD from these incidents and struggled with my sexuality. After years of coping terribly (three suicide attempts and extensive self-mutilation), then coping healthily (running, eating healthy, caring for myself positively), and therapy, I realized I am attracted to whoever I find appealing. I do not see my abusers in my potential sexual partners. I find attraction in my partners because of their beauty, personality, charm, etc. When I was younger and hurting, I thought I was a "fucked up" and attracted to women because a woman abused me. After treatment and much self-reflection, I realized my abusers never shaped who I was attracted to at all.
I sympathize with your depression and issues regarding sexual trauma. It hurts, it's confusing, it's never-ending. Coping healthily from sexual trauma is a life-long struggle, but it does become easier. Best wishes for your healing journey :)
I am 28 years old and and have struggled with my sexual identity throughout my life up until coming out as Bisexual as well this year. I spent the early part of my life HATING Homosexual people while having many conflicting fantasies. I was extremely confused, how can i hate Gay people like I do and feel the way I do at the thought of sex between men (being aroused by it). I have spent the past year trying to be as open as possible to others and myself about my feelings so as to overcome the fear I have lived with up until now. The most surprising thing to me has been the acceptance I have gotten as a result of my openess with my sexuality towards those in my life. I applaud your courage and love your story. -Eugene Tracz-
Just amazing. Such courage and strength, you have. I'm really proud of you, and I don't even know you! Big hugs!
Like you I was molested as a boy by a man and have learned since that many of the same damages done by rape are also done by molestation.No, I'm not gay or bi.I do wander every time I mess around with my fiancee if my sexual likes were affected by the experience.She's bi and I'm still working out how a christian should feel about her orientation.I love her and I don't care.Sometimes when we talk we get into subjects that are difficult or painful and I want to shut down but as you finally realized about your son she loves me unconditionally.I made myself a promise that I would tell her everything whenever I could and she certainly know more about me than anyone.She knows I turned to suicide 3 different times.She knows I still don't know what happened or if I went crazy.I heard a voice of someone that died 31 years ago,a very dear friend.The first 2 times were 20+ years ago and all I did was hear her voice.The last time was just shy of 10 years ago when my girlfriend broke up with me just after my daughter was raped and the state took her away from me.I really didn't feel there was anything more to live for.This 6 year old girl from my past grabbed my hands holding the knife and held me there for 12 hours.I remember thinking I had lost my mind along with all the other thoughts but didn't struggle.She stood there holding my hands until the next day when my then ex-girlfriend put her key in the lock.I remember thinking I had lost my mind as I looked at her pink fingerprints where she gripped me and the fading footprints in the carpet.So which one proved I was crazy questioning my proclivities or imagining ghosts.I don't know although I do accept all of them as bumps in the path to today.I don't know the fear or persecution that you felt although I have had a share of personal confusion and I certainly realize that like you I also am a homophobe.At some point maybe even I will get past that.
Thank you very much for this post, and thank you especially for coming out as homophobic. I am queer/gay and I am also still homophobic in many ways. Even though I am not closeted, I censor myself around most people in order to minimize those parts of my nature (mannerisms, interests) that might lead people to see my difference at the expense of my personhood. Dan, what you've written about labels (fat/gay/addict) coming to dominate our perception of others really hits home with me. Disgusting as it is, I have an instinctive fear that my friendships with gay people will "contaminate" me by association; I am uncomfortable telling my boyfriend that I love him when we are in public, usually not out of fear that we might get bashed, but more often because the shame of any behavior that violates gender norms -- a shame that has been ingrained in most of us since childhood -- is too difficult to overcome. Whenever I remember, I challenge myself not to let shame or fear dictate the way I live my life; for this courage, I am inevitably rewarded with a sense of exhilarating freedom.
Congratulations on your new freedom! And thank you for sharing your experiences as you work towards claiming ownership to all of yourself.
You should read one of my favourite comic authours ever--Erica Moen. She writes honestly about the realization of her attraction to women, and then her attraction to a particular man, in her webcomic dairy. I love it because she's so open about her confusion, and herself. :)
"...bisexuality is one of the most misunderstood sexual dynamics that exists."
This made me smile, because it's true. I am bisexual. I've been told that I'm a lesbian, and I just didn't want to admit it. I've also been called a whore, because I'll sleep with anything. There have been supposed studies that say it's impossible to actually be bisexual. We have a camouflage that gay men and lesbian women do not. But we also have this void that can take you over if you deny that other half. It's not easy to be what yourself, but it's harder to be someone else.
When I was seven, an older member of my family made me lie down on the bed next to him and told me to touch his penis. I didn't want to. I did anyway.
I always wonder if I am a lesbian because of that. If maybe that is why I have such an aversion to male nudity. But though I wonder, I don't think I am gay because if that. There are many many factors in sexuality. Abuse is one thing that MAY factor. But it doesn't factor in the majority of gay people. Or bisexual people.
Or any others.
I have said before on your other posts and I say again now: you are extremely brave for sharing this with us. You are an inspiration. Indeed, your admission of homophobia honestly makes sense, and it must have been terrifying to say it.
Keep on writing. Keep on living.
I went through a similar thing when I was 30.and needed to boil it down to two truths: "I am not gay, nor am I simply straight." My friends and I coined the term Not Simply Straight or NSS to describe what most of us apparently experience in degrees. I also learned, in retrospect, that self-truths are a moving target. While it was true at the time I was or needed to be NSS at that point in my coming out process, today I'm simply gay and that's that.
But maybe it's not so simple after all. Last night, my huzband and I were talking about how expensive surrogacy is (well, not really all that expensive when you think about what you're asking a woman to do!) and I repeated a lament I find myself repeating more often--why can't we just have sex with a woman and make a baby for free likestraight people do all the time? I know that it's more complicated than that, and there's nothing free about carrying a baby to term, but I've been told by gay friends that that thought in and of itself is rather unusual for a gay man to have in his head. I'm not so sure.
I don't think that procreation and homosexuality are mutually exclusive. Or procreation among "other" sexualities, forthat matter. You're a case in point, Dan. While the parenting and alternative lifestyle familial structure needed to support the child has its challenges, the coitus and inception should be the easy part. Unfortunately, the desire to distance ourselves from biology (and intimacy) complicates the process further by introducing the expense and uncertainties of artificial insemination when both biological parents, gay or straight, may be perfectly fertile!You're lucky you had your kid when you still believed you were simply straight.
Rich, Austin, Texas
Wow Dan! I find your admission to being a victim of sexual abuse as courageous as your coming out. I mean, really, the next big unspoken truth that people fear to reveal about themselves after being gay, is having been sexually abused. And the reality is that sexual abuse of children, or adults for that matter, is even more prevalent than being gay. I doubt your abuse has anything to do with you being bi. But I'm sure it has a lot to do with how you feel about yourself and mixes in with how you feel about being bi. You have now struck a path for many people to follow, both for coming out and also for those to admit to being sexually abused. I really think this is the next big conversation that needs to happen in our society. I know so many people who have suffered from sexual abuse as a child, some only once and some over and over for a period of years. It's incredibly common but no one talks about it except to their most trusted confidants. And it sends a lot of people to therapy. Most of it does not occur with a stranger but with a friend or family member. I find your recent posts to be truly remarkable, ground-breaking, and show a great self-awareness and inner strength. I truly admire you for your honesty and your courage. It is really hard to talk about these things in private let alone blog about them. But by doing so, I suspect you are touching hundreds, perhaps thousands of people who have been struggling with the same issues and giving them a reason to stop doubting themselves and start healing. You are a good man. I am so impressed.
Thank you, Dan, for sharing so much of yourself with us. Imagine a world where everyone was as accepting of others, genuinely cared for mankind, and willing to improve one's self (rather than waste energy casting stones at others). You sow the seeds for each of these wonderful attributes, and they are bound to sprout, bloom, and spread.
All of these posts have been extremely rewarding for me to read. My little brother came out to me as bisexual about a year ago, and while he has only been in relationships with women, he does have an attraction to men. Our parents would not be understanding of this if they knew, so I have had to keep his secret for him within our family.
It has been enlightening to read about your journey to self discovery, along with the pain and questioning that has gone along with it. We were raised Christian and were always told the same things that you were about homosexuality. It was only after I was able to separate myself from the church that I was able to see clearly about this issue, and I now feel that I am in a place where I am able to accept my brother for who is he, no questions asked. And now, after reading your posts, I feel more of a sense of what he has gone through to get to this point in his life.
"But perhaps the most interesting thing is that since I started this journey, I have not been seriously depressed." Clapping.So thrilled for you, Dan. Keep on being real.
Dan, you make such excellent points about internalized homophobia. I'm gay and have been out (mostly) for nearly 20 years. There are still pockets of homophobia within me that emerge from time to time which I must deal with and purge. From my experience, we who are *anything other than straight* are constantly exposed to a thousand slights and pinpricks of hatred and we can only be seriously affected by that. Be patient with yourself and, most of all, honor yourself in all things. We love you and appreciate you sharing your truth with us.
This is interesting to read this since I have just finished a Unit on Human Sexuality. As my professor says, "sexuality is a spectrum". Mutual attraction and commitment matter more than the gender of those involved. But what would I know, I'm just a crazy Californian liberal trying to get along in a conservative family.
Your post - and even more a post by one of your readers, alerted me to the inherent difficulty in being bisexual, so I guess just nothing is going to be black and white for you Mr. Dan. Except for Love - fortunately we all seem to understand that, and if not always live up to it - at least see it as an ultimate truth. But- you have this fabulous son which suggests that with proper attention paid to him, you have scored big time in this life! Let the discovery continue! Life is - after all - an adventure. Keep climbing.
Again, thanks for your unfettered honesty, Dan! When I came out, I was 34 or 35, married with two sons, and terrified of losing them. It was the best thing I've ever done and it allowed me to be the BEST I could be - to everyone in my life, especially me and my boys. Believe me when I say that my Mother tried to find out "how this happened to me" and, because of it, we had some surreal conversations that bordered on patient and doctor. We had an agreement, she could ask anything she wanted - as long as she honestly wanted the answer and I would answer honestly. At times I'd have to make sure she was ready for the answer and there were a couple questions she took back but in the end, it restored most, if not all, of the perceived deception of being in the closet so long and it helped her let go of the parental guilt.
(I've offered this opportunity to friends and occasionally, I'll declare a day on Facebook as "Ask a Gay a Question Day" - which garners a couple good questions and keeps the invitation open.)
All that said, there has been study after study done to find a correlation between a cause and same-sex attraction and they still don't have an answer - which why it is no longer categorized as a disease or a disorder - it simply occurs naturally. I was raised by straight parents and didn't know anyone who was gay until I graduated high school.I have 52 adult first cousins – all of them straight, as far as we know – and I was never abused, and yet, I’m gay – thankfully Gay!There has to be a reason why God gave us an inordinate amount of passion, creative spark and appreciation for beauty. I nearly killed myself in a different-sex marriage and it wasn't until I Came Out that I found God in my relationships. I've never felt God so present in my life than I have since I started being thankful for being created as uniquely me - no apologies, no explanations needed!
Yes, yes, yes. Bisexuality is hard. From the time I was also 11 I had tiny crushes or attractions to people, both male and female. I did not know what it meant. I just knew in the society that I was living in, I could not let people know or I would be lynched.
To me, gender did not matter. It was always some tiny thing that attracted me besides the eyes, smile, laugh. It was the way the wrist looked or a stance that showed a nice line. Gender was meaningless to me.
When I got old enough and out of my small town, I studies what I could and learned the term bisexuality. I felt better as I was defined, if only to myself. But over the years, I have come to the wisdom that sexuality is just plain fluid. There were times in my life I was not interested in men at all and times where I was not interested in women at all.
At my core, I loved deeply and profoundly, but feared it, because whomever I loved was not both male and female. Was I betraying myself?
At one point I experimented with dating couples. Sexually this often worked for me, but from a relationship stand point it did not. Too often I was used as a "marital aid".
I became disgusted when I discovered that young women as young as junior high school age and up through their 20's were sometimes professing bisexuality because it made them more desirable to boys as a kinky girl. How tragic.
Though I have been celibate for many years now, I consider myself a sapiosexual.
This post was wonderful!
I will second the recommendation of The Wounded Heart by Dr. Dan Allender. I am currently studying under him and his approach to the healing of trauma and abuse has been life-changing for me. You can find out more about him at http://theallendercenter.org/conferences-workshops/
we are our own best puzzles..many people dont ever really get to know themselves at all.
that penis that was in your mouth means what you choose to let it mean. as a society we victimize people both socially and institutionally, that victimization is the problem (im not saying its ok to molest kids or animals mind you but its not the fault of the one being made less as a 'victim') . due to the inherent victimization in our society people who are identified as victims are made less and not allowed to be 'normal' as they already are. we are more than the experiences we live through.
as a gay man, i have come to a point that if the chemistry were right, id have no qualms about a sexual relationship with a woman. does that make me bisexual, i dont think so because im not going to seek out that woman, not like i have sought men. if we happen across one another kool but i have also kind of developed that attitude in regards to men so take it as you will.
much love annd many blessings to you and yours dan. sometimes as one not straight it is your job to bring your family to a place of understanding but they have to meet you half way too so may they continue with you on your journey but it sometimes takes a while for them to come around.
If we decided to throw away all the labels, what it would come down to is this:
You are a sexual being. You were created to be a sexual being. End of story.
Who you choose to exercise your sexuality with shouldn't even factor into anyone's opinion of you.
Sadly, we don't live in a perfect world...
I totally get your personal homophobia. Mostly because I've often felt it myself. I'm also not the type one would think to have any homophobic feelings, and until you just said it, I hadn't identified it very much as that. I have a gay brother I love deeply, I have countless gay friends, I am VERY active in the LGBT community; and yet.. I have always been very specific that I am not gay. I like women, I love boobs, I have a girlfriend, not gay.
As a teenager and even earlier in my 20's I had serious issues with anyone who said they were bisexual. I was one of many who figured bisexual = have not made up my mind. It also didn't help that most of the people I knew who claimed to be bisexual were slutty. (Ironically I would get pissed if people used the stereotype that gays were promiscuous, but somehow it was ok to label bisexuals the same way.) It took me years and many people challenging my beliefs to get to a point where bisexual meant what it said, someone attracted to both males and females; it has nothing to do with promiscuity, there is no confusion, you don't actually have to choose one gender to be attracted to.
It's only been recently that I have been secure enough in my masculinity to kind of start admitting that I do find some males attractive. Last month I outted myself, in front of my equally self-homophobic brother-like-friend, that I was kinda.. pansexual. (Pansexual is basically a more broad sexual identification and is similar to bisexuality in that many often say they fall in love with the person not the gender, pansexual just covers more than just the binary two genders our society is obsessed with.) A little bit before that I confessed to my ex that I was kind of tempted by the cute gay man who talked to me like I've only ever talked to women. For me I have a "safety zone" in the form of my girlfriend. I can admit that I do find some men attractive because it's a non-issue. I haven't really covered the issue with my girlfriend. I know she wouldn't leave me, but where it's a non-issue, I'm still avoiding it. My family is another group I will never come out to; because I've just spent half my life convincing my mother that I liked women, not undoing all my hard work for an attraction that will most likely never see the light of day.
I respect you for talking about your abuse. Not a lot of people can. It's also a can of worms since you just came out. I can already hear the people deciding for you that your abuse is the only reason you're bisexual. My gay brother was also molested (and raped) as a child, but I never put the two together because here in Utah people are quite literally always looking for an excuse (my mother especially), so molested always comes with "Ohh that's why you're messed up. Well you can fix that." It's extremely difficult to get to a point where you can not only say but believe "I don't need to be fixed, I'm not broken". It's extremely difficult to deal with people disregarding and disrespecting your feelings and who you are based on their own ignorance, fears, and prejudice; so putting yourself out there by coming out and then expanding on that... You have guts. I don't know if I could do the same.
As a victim and survivor of childhood sexual abuse, incest included, I can definitely tell you that it affects your feelings about sex. After a several year process of finding healing over my abuse, and over 20 years of athiesm due to the 'stone throwing' you describe so aptly in your previous post and the hypocrites I saw at church on a weekly basis as a child/teen, I can heartily recommend The Wounded Heart by Dan Allender. Changed my life. More accurately, gave me a real life as a real person. It's not about changing yourself, your sexual orientation or anything like that, it's about discovering how you've been affected by the very real damage that sexual abuse causes, how you've been playing it out in your relationships, and how to finally, truly, love yourself and find freedom from the deep, deep shame that accompanies abuse. It sounds like you've been working on a lot of this already, this book just puts a framework around it that makes so much sense and leads to healing. You are wonderful. You have a huge, non-discriminating heart and a voice that rings with authenticity which is why I've been following you so long, and so many others. Keep keeping it real.
Facebook blocked this post from hitting my Newsfeed, but the one prior to it did, which led me to confusedly think that you were gay and had recently come out of the closet. I posted my Christian love to you, and I meant it, and I mean it now. God calls us to love our God, who first loved us, to love our selves, as He loves us, and to love one another as He loves us. Pretty tall order, if you ask me (yes, I realize you did not.)Anyway, I am glad that you are working on that truth, and that you are dealing with things. People always tell me that they don't believe me about the bad things that happened to me because I was open about it and "everyone knows they dont talk about it" but the way I have shared has helped me move past it from severe depression, and sometimes self-loathing over the years. I am a person who has faults, but I am also a person who strives for better. Dan, it's no one's business what your sexuality is except for you, God, and the one(s) you love. You are still God's child, He still loves you, and any one who is true to Christianity (and/or true to you) will love you, too. Keep on keeping on. I know this - Facebook only lets me see your posts occasionally, but when I do, they really help me see things in a new perspective, and help me to more positively live through that day. And that's what life is, isn't it? One day? And then the next.. and so on. A multitude of days. :)So, for that, I want to thank you. As far as what happened, I am sure people have said they are sorry, and I don't know how you feel about that, I never really took it in at all, either. The important and grateful thing is that you were able to heal and move past it. Take care. HT
"while nearly everyone experiences dynamics that are similar to eachother, every person also has their own very unique experience."
I think that probably most people are bi-sexual, or even pan-sexual.
There is nothing wrong with you - you're really quite normal.
Just accept yourself and stop agonizing over it.
The "what ifs" can drive one crazy. What if the reason you've had a hard time accepting this in yourself is LDS raising, society AND the abuse? If kids were raised with acceptance and no abuse, it would sure help them know who they are!
Your post makes me wish I could go back in time and protect the little boy you were from the horrible actions of that man. I am so sorry that happened. It saddens me that someone with that kind of access to you (privacy) is potentially someone you continued to have in your life after that incident without even knowing, and possibly still in your life today. I wish you could identify him so that he could face justice even after all this time. I know that this abuse is only incidental to the rest of your post that followed, but I am still chilled by what you wrote, and heartbroken for you. I have a 6 year old son and I would have a hard time not murdering someone if they ever did that to him. (((((HUGS)))))
Whether or not it has anything to do with your sexual identity? That question may never have an answer. I agree that bisexuality is much harder for most people to get their heads around than being overtly straight or gay. There are bi people who can be attracted to someone of either gender because to them gender is not the issue, it is an attraction to a specific person, and they could be happy with either gender because they want a committed, loving, monogamous relationship with that particular person. There are also bi people who are attracted to both genders and would feel limited by having to choose just one, who prefer to have open relationships so that they can explore both genders without giving up one or the other. Both of those are equally valid (as long as everyone is honest about their needs). I know a man who is married to a woman but sneaks out to clubs to meet men and his wife has no idea, and I also know a couple where the husband is perfectly okay with his wife having same sex relationships outside the marriage. But these same dynamics can happen with both gay and straight couples too, depending on the level on honesty in the relationship. Cheaters will cheat, and honest people will be honest. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with it. I think it is the ones sneaking around who make things harder for everyone else who would not do that, and that's why some people feel insecure. I also know that there of plenty of people out there in happy, faithful, trusting relationships too.
I am happy that you have been in therapy over the years to deal with all of your struggles and try to make sense of them. I am happy that you are finally living a life that feels authentic and true to YOU. I am happy that those you love have gathered around you in love and support. I am happy that you can envision a happier future for yourself. Also, I am sure the rest of us are curious as well - is there a man in your life that you are currently interested in? Wishing you all the best Dan!
Someone told me once that "Some people just love PEOPLE. They are not attracted to one sex or another, but specific people." This sounds like it might apply to you... and it doesn't sound like anything terrible either. Smiles, Chellie
Welcome to Team Bi! We have cookies.
Many hugs from Mickey, out bisexual since about age 17 or so
Dan, please check out 1in6.org if you haven't already. Such a great resource for men who have been sexually abused as a child - and that is what happened to you. Hugs and Love <3
If you get a chance, rent "Kinsey" with Liam Neeson; not only is it a great true story, but you'll probably find the whole development of Kinsey's spectrum interesting and relevant.
As a gay person, your homophobia is pretty evident. You've started down the journey to address it with yourself. Hopefully, it will help you change your view of others, too. Good luck. You have taken a big step (I remember it, myself) to start with yourself. I'm sure your gay friends will love and appreciate you more as you become less homophobic, too.
I was sexually abused as a child by a teenager who lived near by and possibly by a great uncle ... in fact I'm pretty sure about that. Just don't remember it at all, but I hid from him under a table when I was 6 when I didn't hide from anyone else and when I was older he tried to. But the reason I'm writing, is because I told myself for years that it didn't happen, that I must have made it up in my head. I was 3 at the time. I finally came to realize that the things I made up and weren't real were very real ... and I already knew about it. I had to admit to myself that it did happen, definitely. I didn't know about the things to make them up. Life sure comes at you sometimes. I'm glad you are still around!
I care for you as much as one can care for someone they only know through these forums. I think you're brave, and wise, and gentle, and kind, and an amazing PERSON. No other label is really needed for me. Take care, Dan. And thank you for sharing this very personal journey with the masses.
Dan, when it comes to sex there's no such thing as "normal"! We are all somewhere in a range between totally straight and totally gay. Or totally bland and totally kinky. And in the grand scheme of things it doesn't really matter! I'm not saying that the struggle doesn't matter. It's so important to be who you really are. Thank you so much for sharing your journey to be yourself!
Dan, I can relate to your journey. I experienced sexual abuse at a very young age from various older boys at different times in my childhood. Growing up, I discovered I was equally attracted to women and men and considered myself bi-sexual; then decided that I shouldn't put a label on it since I believed it was very natural. After a couple of relationships with women and men, I chose to be single for a while and work on self discovery/growth. All these years later, I now know (and feel) that I am completely happy being in a relationship with a man. I still feel attraction towards some women from time to time, but the desire to be in a relationship is just not there anymore. My closest friends (of 20+ yrs) are gay. Out of all my friends, I feel the most comfortable around them, mostly because there is no judgment. I'm happy that you have such an amazing support group, and I think that telling your story will help others feel better about themselves. Enjoy!!
@livelaughlove I'm so glad to see a response like this. So many relatives and friends of LGBT people never quite understand the pain, frustration and questioning that we have gone through to get to the point where we can come out. I was raised fundamentalist Christian and my family still does not accept that I'm gay, and probably never will. A lifetime of rejection by those closest to you takes a toll on a person. Kudos to you for being a kind and loving sister.
@gchellie Yes, this exactly! Portia De Rossi talks about that in her book Unbearable Lightness. In that book she discusses her struggle with coming out and anorexia and how meeting Ellen Degeneress changed her life. Such an inspirational story just like Dan's! :)
@JohnDixon I totally echo this! Kinsey is fantastic movie for so many reasons.