I have been in a loving, supportive, heterosexual relationship for over 14 years. I have spent the majority of my sexually active life watching/being turned on by heterosexual porn. I have spent most of my life being attracted to females. But, around a year ago, I started to talk openly and candidly about sex with Allison. Coming from the Evangelical world, this was a big wall to break down. Being truly open about fantasies, crushes, porn, turn ons and kinks that we may want to explore was a difficult journey, because for most of my sexually active existence, much of this was surrounded by shame. Over the last year I have learned to shed most of that shame, embracing sex-positivity and my own sexuality.
And in that space, I learned that I was bisexual/pansexual.
But being open about it is something I have debated a lot about. I have had some hang ups about my own sexual discovery and my openness about it.
First off, this didn’t feel like something that was always there. For most of my teens and 20’s I really only experienced arousal and attraction to females. But, once I stopped associating sex with guilt (almost entirely hetero-normative sexual stuff, that is) I felt like I allowed myself to be open to love and attraction in all forms.
I am also still mostly into women. I would say I am probably a 75/25 hetero-leaning pansexual, if I had to give a really detailed expression of my sexuality. I find that the more I connect emotionally to a person, the more I find that persons physical characteristics desirable. This can make that percentage lean one way or the other. Crushes and emotionally intimate friendships have a huge effect on what I find physically attractive and I find that this makes my sexuality super fluid and flexible. Because of this, I dealt with the question: “Am I really Bi/Pan enough for it to matter?”
I also don’t think my personal sexuality really affects me in any real negative ways. I don’t feel ashamed of it, and its something that really only affects me and those who I may engage with sexually in the future. So, the question of whether or not I should write this was one I have sat with for most of this last month. I don’t want to take away a spotlight from those who coming out is a terrifying experience that takes courage and can have devastating effects. I could stay quiet about this or be open and my life will stay largely the same. The people for who this matters (at least pragmatically) know and are accepting of it, so this lead to: Why make it a thing?
And I think the reason why I ended up writing this is simple: visibility and normalization. I write in detail about my depression and anxiety because I want people to know that you are not alone in your struggles. I want musicians especially to know that the struggle is real and that I am there too. I want people to know that depression is real, and it’s not something to be ashamed of. It didn’t negatively affect me to be honest about that, and I have no shame about it. But, I believe strongly that gaining more visibility helps, and normalizing depression helps others to seek out help. But, this isn’t about illness or depression. This is about celebration and pride. And if me being vocal about who I am, without shame can help someone else to love themselves, exactly how they are, than I want to do that. If I can add even a little to the fabulous spotlight that is the LGBTQIA+ community that will help normalize all sexualities and gender identities, than I will. This is about being honest and loving yourself, exactly how you are. And so, I want to be honest about that too. I want to be a small part of this amazing month and show that bi/pan people exist, and that it’s totally normal to feel that way, in what little way I can. Cool? Cool.