Judith from the Kaleidoscope committee has kindly shared her story to celebrate Bi Visibility Day. Read her blog below.
I am bisexual. But don’t tell anybody.
I have found that the most difficult person to tell was myself. My closest friends know, and of course you now, but my family does not. I guess it is much more difficult telling people that you care about, whether they will think of you differently. It is also a case of will people view my relationship with others differently and how would it affect my husband and children. It would feel like I was making a unilateral decision by telling other people about me, and by implication, them. I even checked whether my husband was happy with me writing this blog. He said what probably most of you are thinking - it is your life - and that in itself was a kind of personal liberation and acceptance of who I am.
Unlike many of you ‘young things’ I grew up with parents who grew up with homosexuality being illegal with severe consequences, so it was no wonder that it was never even discussed or acknowledged in our household. I have heard the term ‘confused’ bandied around, and I must admit I was confused for quite a few years, my brain just wouldn’t think in the way I was told it should. Added to this the issue of do I prefer boys or girls, am I gay or straight, and always coming up with the answer ‘no’ rather than making a definite decision. But now I know that is a decision in its own right. I have had many frank discussions with myself and finally allowed myself to be just who I am, who I am meant to be rather than fulfilling anyone else’s categories. On a sliding scale with preference for male on one end and female on the other I am free to be anywhere I want on any given day.
I think the other preconception is that being bi not only makes me indecisive, but also promiscuous. Quite the opposite. One of the major struggles was coming to terms with the fact that I know with every fibre of my being that I am bi but being happily married to a man who I met at 17. Finally, once I knew myself and accepted it, the tumult inside me calmed. I now proudly define myself as bi (somewhat privately admittedly). Which brought me to the next question - whose business was it what I do and who I do it with? Why was there any requirement to be active to be ‘allowed’ to be bi? I can know that jumping off Clifton suspension bridge is a bad idea without trying it out to see.
My final point of this rambling blog is that times have changed. We are now expected to openly disclose what was always taught to me to be a personal thing. I cannot speak for the level of discrimination that still exists, but it does seem that it is taken a whole lot more seriously and is not generally condoned within society as it once was. There are still some rude and offensive people but there always will be. So, please remember how far we have come, and how much has changed, at least since I was a teenager over 30 years ago. I certainly would not have been writing this blog back then.
My hope is for true equality, where everyone is free to get on with what they need to do as long as they are not openly seeking to offend, hurt or belittle anyone else in doing so.