Two significant things happened last week:
1.) I publicly came out on Facebook (to whom is at the discretion of its feed algorithm, but the number of Likes tells me it was at least 100 people). The timing of it all wasn’t intentional – I wrote up a blog post for a friend’s website two months ago and it was essentially a love letter to Toronto praising its diversity, the importance of diversity, and how that diversity helped me come out. It was coincidentally scheduled for publishing on Monday – the day after the Orlando Massacre – so the timing worked well.
Over 100 people liked it (probably the most likes I’ve ever gotten – I tend to overshare social justice articles that people don’t click, getting me bumped down by Facebook’s algorithm) including a few cousins whom I’d forgotten would see this – which is a point of consideration since I haven’t come out to my dad yet. WELP.
Of course, the blog was published on the first of three straight days of exams. Oooooof course. Because this summer was supposed to be absolutely uneventful and I was supposed to drop everything to focus on school. But life happens when you least want it to, or so the saying goes. The saying that I just made up. (Thankfully, I’m going in with As and A+s, and I’m confident I got at least a 90 on one of them, so my big data career is not jeopardized and I’m still on track to be a Successful Lesbian™).
On that note, if coming out on Facebook had any effect on me at all, it would be that a subtle weight’s been added on my shoulders – the weight of representation. In addition to representing women and Asians (which can’t be invisible markers), I feel that I have to hold myself to another standard – to represent lesbians well.
But I wouldn’t call this responsibility a burden. I think it’s a point of discipline – it’s a challenge that’s been placed in front of me. If I approach it well, it’s motivation to be a better person. Besides, I’m a competitive person who can’t turn down a good challenge.
2.) I realized I am slightly biphobic. It’s a devastating feeling when you’re forced to confront the fact that you’re a shitty person on the inside and have been in denial all this time. Just last week, in a post where I argued I wasn’t biphobic, I listed three times that hinted at my biphobia that have plagued me since they happened and attempted to articulate a defence for myself.
It was a Medium article that grabbed my biphobia by collar and shoved it in my face. The author – a femme-presenting bisexual who is married to a man – wrote about how her bisexual identity fell in between “not gay enough to be straight, but not straight enough to be gay”, and the internalized biphobia that brewed from subtle comments made by homos and heteros.
The weird thing is, none of this is new to me, but something clicked in me this time.
“No, I know bisexuality is valid, therefore I’m not biphobic”. But underneath my words, a part of me would visciously compare the oppression bisexuals and homosexuals face. I would bitterly hang on to “I’ve had it worse than you. You were able to find happiness”. No good comes from comparing yourself to others, but this is the shitty kind of person I am deep inside. I’m trying to unlearn and now that I’ve brought it to my consciousness and openly admitted it, I’m hoping I’m on my way to ridding myself of this habit </attempt at redemption>. Nobody would or could correct me because my biphobia didn’t manifest itself explicitly – only subconsciously (SO MUCH SO THAT IT BARELY SCRATCHED THE SURFACE OF MY OWN CONSCIOUSNESS)
So when bisexual women would tell me about their attractions to other women, I would take their word for it, but not acknowledge the fact that they might’ve faced any oppression. I was deeply convinced that “well, it’s so much easier to be with a man, why would anybody choose the harder path and be with a woman”. What I didn’t get was that with each partner, gender doesn’t matter and isn’t considered. Gaby Dunn put it best with something along the lines of “Me saying I dated Jen, Richard, then Laura is perceived differently and challenged, whereas if I said I dated Jen, Rachel, then Laura, people wouldn’t think twice about it”. People are people, why does their gender make you insecure.
Anyway, I’m trying. I don’t want to make this about me (oh wait, THIS IS MY PRIVATE BLOG), but I was so disappointed in myself when I realized I was biphobic (talk about imposter syndrome manifesting – like are you actually even open-minded, Fab?) but I think it’s nested in something deeper, namely some kinda insecurity and bitterness stemming from who the fuck knows where.
Ugh. That’s a psychological mess I’ll go through and clean up another day.