The Ol’ Berate and Switch

TW: sexuality, bisexual erasure

Happy Pride!

I have dreamt of having an outdoor shower since the age of 12, when I took my first while on a family camping trip to Death Valley.

Now that I have your attention (boobies!!) I would like to share why I believe celebrating and fighting for diversity and inclusion are so very important. 

I am today in an amazing, monogamous partnership with the husband of my wildest dreams (he built me an outdoor shower, and took that photo!). I have only ever had relationships with cisgender men. And yet, after decades of varying levels of confusion, manipulation, exploitation, and homophobia, both external and internal, I have come to accept a) I’m about as straight as a paper clip and b) I’ll never be able to totally detangle my true feelings and attractions from the ingrained rubbish that taught me to fear my sexuality. 

My household supplied the standard 1980s Southern California progressive suburban dose of “we’ll love you no matter what” to my younger brother and I. It wasn’t okay to say it wasn’t okay to be gay, but no one had to. It was my best friend (who ironically went on to date women)’s mom telling us you could tell a girl was gay by the way she looked at her nails, or the high school drama teacher who warned me to not cut my hair so short people thought me a lesbian. It was the varyingly and often harshly negative experiences of my openly gay or bisexual friends, and those presumed to be. It was the men who “helped” me explore my attraction to women by coercing me into unsafe and counterproductive situations. 

I take responsibility for my decisions and am at peace with myself and my life. I don’t want to be with anyone besides my husband; I have no regrets. I’m okay, and I’m fortunate to have always had support and a bounty of privileges to ease my journey. But we can do better. We must do better, for ourselves and future generations. 

How boring, to limit ourselves to stale notions of what the world, and we as individuals, can be! I celebrate the disruptive change that makes (in part) this a Pride unlike any other. The old, dialectical ways of thinking no longer serve us, if they ever did. Life is too fabulously complicated to limit ourselves to simply Black or All, straight or gay, male or female, Democrat or Republican. How droll! I fight for a better future for everyone. Representation and normalization matters. Talking about it matters. We are ALL stronger and safer when we work to understand and support each other, openly and unapologetically. Never forget the first Pride was started by a Black Trans woman who threw a brick at a cop (I don’t care whether it’s literally true, it’s damn poetic). 

Happy Pride. I’m gonna go on a motorcycle ride with my husband to celebrate. He surprised me with a Honda Nighthawk yesterday, just like my first-ever moto, to help me get comfortable riding again after the last time we rode together (I tore my knee on a dirtbike). I won’t get too mushy on the internet because that’s not his style. But he changed my life. He lets me be myself in a way I’ve never known, and my capacity for dreaming and scheming has grown exponentially since meeting him. He’s my person.

I’m happy.

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