What’s something that’s interesting in life? How about self-acceptance? If we think about it, it’s much easier to accept the way things are with other people and our environment than it is with ourselves. I am not referring to those that acknowledge certain aspects of themselves that everyone else can pick up on easily; no, I’m referring to the deep, convoluted (and possible dark) part of ourselves that we have a natural tendency to flee from.
With all the things in the world, it’s so much easier to focus on other things rather than dealing with our demons. With all the happenings in life, it is so much easier to pretend they don’t exist. With all of the existence of humanity, it is so much easier to ignore that we have these dark “flaws” entwined into our souls. But guess what? These things do exist and they need to be focused on and they should not be ignored.
I myself struggle with this topic. There are many parts of myself that I have acknowledged to myself to be true. I have accepted the what-have-yous to be my reality but there still reside some parts that I don’t want to recognize. Now I am in a special position because I recognize these “flaws” and I know that they are true for I cannot deny them; however, I still do not have courage to face them. It is one thing to see the leap ahead of you, and another to actually leap forward. For me, I am trying to leap but every time I’m about to jump, my feet stop and my heart quivers.
There is one particular “flaw” that I am referring to and I’ll go ahead and blatantly say it now: I am struggling to face the “flaw” of sexuality. Now, I know this is not a new story in human history or a particularly ear-perking one but it is my story. So I’m going to tell it.
For years I have been struggling with accepting myself for where I lie on the sexuality spectrum. Upfront, if anyone asked me I’d just say that I’m “straight.” It’s much easier to deal with social contexts if you fit in with the crowd. Still, some might say that my mannerisms tell another story but that’s also my personality. I have been a little flamboyant for my entire life so it never seemed unnatural if I acted as if nothing was wrong. To be honest, nothing is wrong. Anyone who questioned my gender identity has always had the right to inquire.
It wasn’t until middle school that I began to become unsure of where I was on the sexuality spectrum. So I pretended that everything was alright. Well, everything was not alright. I mean, it wasn’t horrible or bad by any means but it wasn’t the best either. I was so confused about where I lied, what my place was, and my social status. I just floated along aimlessly avoiding the “flaw” and it was only recently that I decided to confront this “flaw” of mine. However, I’d like to make this a bit easier to understand so let’s backtrack to primitive history. I’ll start from my days of childhood and move slowly to adulthood.
Starting with childhood, I had always been a kid who fit the normal bill: liked girls, and wanted to be around them but didn’t know how to act around them (and avoided their cooties.) For years this was the case although, there was this very tiny, almost negligible part of me that eyed boys. However, my attraction to girls was so far superior that I barely even noticed it. It wasn’t worth bringing up.
Once I got into middle school, things began to change. Roughly around 7th grade, I began to take real first notice that I was being attracted to boys. My initials thoughts were, “What are you doing?? Look at the girls! You’re not supposed to look at guys…” But my curiosity never quelled. I made it unclear that I was even thinking about boys. “Nobody must ever know” is what I always told myself. And I suppose that the mental self-beating worked. I eventually stopped paying attention to boys out of habit. However, I always hated gym class since it was all boys and I was forced to take notice of them.
I always attributed my uncertainty about my attraction to other genders/sexes, to my bad habit of indecisiveness. As a child, I could never really make up my mind about anything and many times others would simply choose for me; this resulted in me quickly choosing instinctively what I wanted and correcting their choices on my behalf. That’s not what I wanted but that’s how I lived for quite some time. Same goes for my attraction. Mom and Dad always said that “boys are for girls and girls are for boys” or (if you want to be religious) “God made Adam and Eve and not Adam and Steve.” That’s what I followed because that’s what I was supposed to believe.
I think once I hit age 13, I really began to try and decide things for myself. I even broke away from religious thought for a while to come to understand what it is that I believed and not what others should have me believe. This allowed me to think about my “flaws” in their specific contexts and not in the context of other restrictions and criteria. So I got to thinking. I thought a lot. And eventually I got so tired of being caught up in the middle that I just gave up. I just stopped thinking and only started to feel. I listened to what I felt.
It was about this time that I entered high school as well. Now in high school, many metamorphoses and realizations come to pass. For me, I was pretty assured with others things in my life: who my friends are, how my personality was, where I wanted to go in life, etc. Still one question remained: who was I attracted to, guys or girls? The feelings of being attracted to guys only got stronger as I got older and eventually, after years, I just couldn’t deny it to myself any longer. I liked guys.
This brings us to the present time, where I am a young adult who fully recognizes that he is attracted to other men and women. Yes, I like both sides. Maybe one more than the other but I do like both. I cannot deny this to myself as I would be lying. To keep it simple, I sit near the middle of the sexual spectrum, being attracted to both sexes but leaning towards the side of men. Some would call that, for simple terms, bisexual.
That is my “flaw” but it’s not really a flaw, it’s just who I am. I recognize this and no one can tell me otherwise. I even tried to convince myself that I was delusional but even children can see through lies; why couldn’t a grown man? It’s one part of myself that I still must fully accept.
As I said, it is not nearly enough to see the leap ahead as it is to actually leap forward. Well, this acts as my first leap forward. Sure, it’s possible that it may be slightly cowardice to admit something that I’ve never admitted before online where my identity can remain anonymous if I so chose, and where others cannot connect with me like those who know me in person. I can admit that. But it’s my first step.
There are two parts of self-acceptance: accepting and admitting. Anyone can accept that they might be a certain way but it’s even harder to admit, not just to other people, but to yourself that you are the way that you are and that that is perfectly acceptable. Well, I think I just completed that other part of it. I finally, publicly, admitted that I am bisexual and that there is nothing wrong with that.
Now where does this leave me? Only back where I originally started in life, the middle. I’ve always walked the middle line in life. If I don’t have to pick sides, I won’t. If I can be the middleman, I will. I suppose that my sexual nature is no exception to the pattern of my life. But you know what? I enjoy being in the middle, because there’s a lot more freedom in the middle than there is on either side of the fence.
Well, that’s what that turned into it. That kind of went somewhat wayward but I’ll just go along with it. I think I’ve said all I wanted to say. It’s already hard enough to post this but I’m doing it anyway. I guess the next steps would be to tell the people I know. That, however, is another battle for another day.
Many topics were discussed but I am willing to talk about any of them. What were your thoughts? Do you yourself float in the middle like I do? Leave all of your comments below. You already know that even when it gets personal, I am all ears and without judgment.