For a long time it felt like an answer was missing, and the answer was to a question I didn't even know. So you can understand the general feeling of unrest I had throughout my young adult hood. I had feelings that I presumed were normal, but somehow I always felt out of place. I did things that I would later look back on and am looking back on now that are clear indicators.
And...the timing of everything seemed so random in the grand scheme of my life yet at the same time it isn't My family is probably shocked and doesn't understand why I'm deciding to quote-on-quote come out now and why it took my so long to do it now that I'm an adult, isn't this something that you discover when you're young?
The difference between me and maybe someone else coming out to their family is that I was raised to believe that this thing was disgusting, that homosexuals were people that were sick. Homosexuals needed to be helped. They needed to be pitied and prayed for. So it was something that I always had in the back of my head and I pushed down deep inside me.
As I grew older and went to college, I always had this open-mindedness towards the LGBT community that my family never understood. My mom told me later on, after I told her I was bisexual, or queer, that she had wondered if I was “that” because of my support for the LGBT community, as well as just having gay friends and for example, designing wedding outfits for two grooms. That's something that maybe, another Muslim or middle eastern girl might not do. So, she said she had her suspicions but nothing with any large evidence.
People ask me, people who don't really understand sexuality will ask me: “Well, how do you know you're bisexual?” And I say, “Well, how do you know you're straight before you ever slept with someone?” I ask them that. They really don;t have an answer, but they just say they're attracted to that gender. I ask them about when they were kids and had crushes on little boys or girls. They just knew they were straight...or rather it was something they didn't really have to think about.
For me, I came to the realization that we are raised your whole life to be straight and everyone assumes you're straight, so you kinda just assume it also till you step back and look at yourself in the mirror. Now I'm like, well shit! Now everything makes sense now! It makes sense how I have this masculine side to me that I just don't understand.
Growing up I was always a tomboy, but at the same time I always loved art and clothes and all the things that were stereo-typically feminine. And, I would wanna play the prince in our games, and I would cut off the barbie doll's hair and have her play “prince” in the game. All these little things when I was a kid, I remember thinking in middle school- looking back on it- it was probably my first girl crush.
This girl, she had like auburn hair, freckles, hazel eyes, and this was in middle school. So she was just a kid, we were all kids. She was just the cutest thing. I don't even remember recognizing that it was a girl crush, because I was taught by society to know what it felt like to have a crush on a boy, but I never knew what it felt like to have a crush on a girl, which is different in a way. But, the only thing I remember is just really wanting to be her friend. It sounds so silly and cute but I remember when I moved away, I wrote her a letter saying I wish we could be friends forever, or something like that, and I gave her a little present. And, looking back on that, I'm like dang! I was really crushing on her.
And, its like, that's not something that's talked about. Not that boy crushed were talked about in my house either. You know, so especially that! In my house, you didn't have a crush on a woman, if you did that meant you were sick. Oh, you need to have a talking-to.
But now, I recognize that that's just the way my brain is wired. That's just the way that I'm wired. It doesn't mean that I'm a deviant, it doesn't mean that I'm being rebellious or trying to be a “snowflake” or any other of that bullshit. You know, people make it seem like its a choice, and it may seem like I am “choosing” to be bisexual or to identify as that right now, when in fact the choice is all in choosing to admit it to yourself or not, and that's the choice that I made..probably a year ago now.
I had told one person, one close friend, and then that turned into telling almost all of my close friends. It feels public when all your close friends know and you can just be yourself around them, but its not public until your family knows, and social media knows. Because (sarcasm) every one knows if it didn't happen on social media it never happened.
Back when I first was identifying privately as bisexual, I thought to myself like damn, this whole time I was involved in activism for the LGBT community, being a supporter and an ally, and I couldn't even admit to myself my feelings about women. How dis-ingenuine of me. And I had that guilt. But now I realize, its not about guilt, its about using my voice in a way that helps other people.
When my mom asked me why I think its important for people to know, its simply the fact that my voice is so random and unique. My mix of identities is so eclectic, that someone out there might identify with me and my story. This mix of identities that I have is so odd, and its been a struggle for me my whole life to try to balance these identities, and every year it gets easier. This is just- being bisexual- is just a small part of a larger whole of all the identities that go into making me. And that's how it is for every person.
A person isn't just gay, they're also Indian, and raised in Canada, studying to be an architect, and etc etc... Every person is multi-dimensional, and that's why I need to use my voice to bring awareness to how real people are, and to bring more compassion into the world.