Growing up in a sexually repressive home can screw you up. My mother was selectively Catholic. She chose the parts she wanted to believe in and behaved as though that made her queen of the church. Though she rarely attended services, on the occasions she did go, she acted as if they put on the Mass just for her.
Since she was twice divorced, she was not exactly the poster child for living the Catholic life. I won’t even get into her infidelities while she was married.
Sex was a dirty little secret in our home. Nobody talked about it openly. When I took sex ed in school we would have assignments where we were supposed to go home and talk about different issues with our parents. HAH!! Not going to happen. I just made shit up.
I knew early on that I was bisexual. When I was about 7 or 8 my older teenage brother would rent early 80s movies like Fast Times at Ridgemont High (thank god for Phoebe Cates!!), Private School, and Porky’s. I was home alone a lot, so I’d watch them when nobody was around. Yeah, they were sexist and exploitive, but I was a kid and all I cared about was seeing the naked girls.
Then they finally laid cable in my neighborhood and holy crap!! I was never the same.
I knew that I also liked boys, so being attracted to girls became my little secret.
My mother was homophobic. When I was very young she never said anything blatant about gay people that I remember. But when I was a teenager we got into an argument once because she thought gay people should not be allowed to teach school. When I challenged her on it, she told me I was too young to understand, but would when I had children of my own.
She did not appreciate it when I told her that me popping out a couple of puppies was not going to suddenly make me a bigot. I had a bit of a smart mouth as a teenager. Oh, who the hell am I kidding? I still do.
My relationship history would be best defined as serial monogamy. In my entire adult life, I’ve been in 3 long term relationships and only had a few single dates between them. They were not always the healthiest of relationships:
The 3 men I was in relationships with were aware that I am bisexual. I didn’t tell anyone else. My last relationship was just shy of 20 years long and ended with his death last November.
All my dates and relationships have been with males. In the early days that was a conscious choice. I’m not sure that younger generations appreciate how difficult it was to be gay even just a generation ago.
I was screwed up enough from having an emotionally abusive mother. I was not going to be able to handle being a societal outcast, too.
I’ve written about the scars I carry from my childhood before:
Who Will I Be If I Heal from My Abusive Childhood
The last thing lucid thing my mother said to me before she died was to call me an asshole for not doing what she…
Society has changed a lot since those days. There are areas of the country where being gay is still a problem. That is not the case in my area. I could date a woman, and nobody here would bat an eye.
Along Came My Son
A couple of years ago when my son first came out to me as being transgender, he also told me that he was gay. As I’ve written about before I love and accept him unconditionally:
How to Parent Your Transgender Teenager in 3 Easy Steps
Why does this seem so difficult for so many people?
Over time his feelings evolved and last year when he came home from Pride, he had a bisexual flag. He jokingly waved it and said, “Mom, I like both boys and girls.”
I grabbed the flag, waved it, and said, “Me, too.”
Maybe not the most dignified way to come out, but it worked. It changed nothing. In a good way. I was still his Mom and he was not bothered about me being bisexual at all. Not that I expected him to be, given his own situation and involvement with the LGBTQ community.
I’m still a long way from being healed enough from the death of my boyfriend to be ready to date again, but who knows. Maybe when I’m ready, the time has come to explore the other side of my own sexuality.