How did you come out/realize?
Coming out and realizing it might not have been simultaneous but I'd love to hear everyone's stories.
I was 15 when my friend asked me, "Did you ever make out with girls?" And I said "Yes, hasn't every one?"
It kind of woke me up from the sort of subconscious thing that was happening... I liked girls.. I had never fully realized it before. I looked back and realized that ALL my major makeouts growing up were with my girlfriends. We pretended that one of us was a boy (so that we weren't gay...
, but it was just two of us feeling each other up.
That was when I realized that I actually had a pretty major crush on this particular friend (that has lasted throughout the 16 years I've known her) and I started to really think about what my attractions were. What did I fantasize about during my parties-for-one? Girls. Who did I watch walk down the street with the most intensity? Girls. Did boys get me hot? Absolutely, but I don't know if it was the 'thing that you don't have' syndrome or what... I never fantasized about boys/men until the last few years of my marriage (and I am so incredibly attracted to my husband there is only room for anyone else in my fantasies...).
I was the first person in my group of friends in high school to admit I masturbated. Being frank about my sexuality actually got me a lot of positive attention; it was rewarding for me to admit that I was bisexual because it loosened the tongues of the girls around me who were curious and it of course got the guys' attention for obvious reasons. Add to that that I was really hot, and I knew I was hot, and well... what was the risk? There really wasn't one.
I did worry for years about my family finding out but they have and no one really cares. They 'don't approve' but seeing as I'm in a hetero relationship it's not like it ever comes up, and if it did, their opinion of my life choices has historically been of no value to me, it wouldn't suddenly change now.
Ironically my husband is very disapproving and feels extremely uncomfortable any time I talk about it, which is rare. We went through this really rough time a couple of years ago where I had written on my blog about being bisexual (I hadn't written about it previously, it's like writing about having brown hair or fingernails...) and it really freaked him out. We had this really wide discussion that exposed a lot of his fears and insecurities. It made me understand him a little more but we reached an impasse... he felt that my sexuality was 'private', and I felt that 'private' meant that he was ashamed and would rather never talk about it. I still think I'm right, especially based on things he said, but I can't change his heart, and I won't stop being who I am. He loves me insanely and I love him insanely, we have a great, great marriage... During that series of conversations I did point my finger and say, "YOUR insecurities, NOT MINE, Your problem, not mine!" But now I keep my conversations away from him, only inserting a comment now and then. I have found with my husband that it takes time to desensitize him.
I've got all the time in the world, and it's worth it to be patient with him. He has some shit to sort through and I can understand that, and his issues aren't about ME at all. They're about him finding his identity as the partner of a queer person and anything (if anything) that means, especially in combination with his previous perceptions and judgments.
We do struggle with agreeing on gender identity for our sons and tend to emphasize "girls" and "when you get married" which for now, I am not loving but can tolerate. As they get older I definitely will talk with them more about the many colors of love and how it might manifest in their lives, and how to make room for anything beautiful that comes their way, even if they didn't expect it. I don't want my kids to ever experience a moment of fear if they find love in a non-traditional way and want to share that with us. I have this fantasy that if one of my boys ever came to me with that serious "I have to tell you something" look on his face, and said, "Mom, I'm gay." I'd look at him and say... "Yeah? So?"
Again, I do have a few queer friends but none of them are parenting kids my kids' age, and many didn't come out until their kids were grown. So I'm not sure how to handle a lot of this 'raising boys' thing. We're finding our way, I figure there are more concerning things to instill in them than worrying about this all the time.