I said to myself: “Now I know what I am. I am not sick or evil, I am bisexual.”
Until recently, Daemon (who uses a pseudonym) remained a closeted bisexual.
On reading his article, ‘Coming Out’, I was curious to know how it felt for him to reveal his sexuality online, the experiences leading him to that point, and his thoughts surrounding sexuality and the LGBT community.
This interview is conducted as part of a series of articles aiming to enlighten LGBT stories.
When did you first realise you were bisexual? How did it feel?
I was twelve or thirteen years old when I realized that I was sexually attracted to men, or to some boys I should say. Before that time, I was only sexually attracted to women or girls. Initially it felt OK. It was exciting and new. I was going through puberty which was also exciting and new. I didn’t think there was anything wrong with it or with me.
In those days (1970’s) I didn’t even know there was such a thing as bisexuality. I knew practically nothing of sexual orientation. No one talked about it. It wasn’t taught in school or in church, there weren’t any books on the subject in our local library, and of course there was no Internet. So I didn’t even know that sexual orientation was a “thing.” All I knew was that a boy should not act like a girl and a girl should not act like a boy.
In the late-1970’s homosexuality started being shown (and laughed at) on TV, in sitcoms such as Three’s Company. I remember one day after we watched an episode, my father caught me laughing and he grabbed me by the collar and said: ”If you ever turn into a homosexual, I’ll kill you.” That day I learned that homosexuality was no laughing matter and that it was probably dangerous and even evil.
As the years went by my attraction to males continued to evolve. I thought I was slowly turning into a homosexual and I was horrified. Thank goodness I was also attracted to girls, otherwise I probably would have killed myself. I focused all of my attention on girls and repressed my homosexual side as much as I could. I had many girlfriends and finally I married at the age of 25.
It was not until I was 26 years old that I finally read the definition of the word “bisexual.” It was very enlightening to learn that there was a word that described exactly how I felt. I remember how happy and relieved I was after I read the definition of that word. I said to myself: “Now I know what I am. I am not sick or evil, I am bisexual.” I adopted this identity and I have stuck with it ever since.
What is it like being bisexual in your community?
I spent most of my adult life married with children, hiding the fact that I was bisexual. I knew that there was a LGBT community but I was never part of it publicly. My sexual ambivalence was kept secret. I only revealed the fact that I was bisexual to a few people who I knew were gay or very open-minded, or online where I could remain anonymous. I never openly joined the LGBT community. I was afraid that my family would judge and reject me. I’ve always remained a closeted bisexual, up until recently.
You mentioned in one of your articles that the fluidity of your own sexuality “used to scare the hell out of [you]”. What happened in order for that level of fear to subside?
First I left my hometown when I was 19. I moved to the city where I practically knew nobody. I started writing a diary and this helped me keep in touch with my deeper thoughts and feelings. I questioned my religion and eventually rejected it. This took many years, it wasn’t easy. I made an effort to make friends with people who were non-straight, mainly to ask questions and learn as much as I could from their experience. I joined discussion forums online where I could express myself and ask more questions.
After my divorce at age 33 I met a bisexual man who was older than me, trustworthy and patient enough, and finally I had my first homosexual experience with him. After that I gained more confidence and was able to express myself more and more easily, but always in secret.
All of this helped my level of fear to decrease. The death of my father also contributed, as sad as this may sound.
Thanks also to the LGBT community and the Internet. Sexual orientation and sexual fluidity is now being discussed openly and it has become acceptable and even popular with the younger generation.
“A celebration of sexuality is similar to a celebration of life and creativity.”
What was it like to come out on your blog?
The coming out on my blog is very recent and it came as a surprise. It wasn’t planned. One day I just felt a strong desire to do it and I did it because it was in line with what I had been blogging about (personal transformation). Within a few weeks my coming out post became my top post, the one that was the most liked. I didn’t expect this either. It helped me realize how important it was. I gained more followers. Some bloggers sent me personal messages. Two became good friends and I even met one in person. Coming out on my blog has really helped me to take my bisexuality seriously and make it an important part of my identity and an active part my life.
How do you imagine your life might be different if you were not bisexual?
I think it would have been easier for me to conform if I was not bisexual. Maybe my two marriages would not have ended in divorce. Maybe I would have been more satisfied with one partner. Maybe I would not have abandoned my religion. Maybe I would be closer to my family. Maybe I would not have been severely depressed for 8 years. Maybe I would not have lost my job. Maybe my relationship with my father would have been different. It’s hard to say because I have never known anything else.
What advice would you give to those in a similar position to yourself?
I know that there are many men who are in a similar position. Maybe some of them are happily married with children, others not so happily married and in the process of separation or already divorced. My advice is simple: Just be yourself. Be true to yourself. Do not repress your desire to be in the company of men if this is what you feel would be good for you. Intimacy is a good thing and I also believe that it’s necessary in order to remain mentally sane.
I’ve always wondered what was the purpose of being sexually attracted to a man. Logically a male should be sexually attracted to a female in order to reproduce and keep the human species from extinction. But what is the purpose of a man being sexually attracted to another man? Some would say for sex, for fun, for relief. But I realized recently that there is something more to it. Intimacy happens on many levels, not just the physical. An exchange of hugs is often accompanied or followed by an exchange of words, of information, of emotions, of knowledge, even on a spiritual level. Intimacy creates a bond and has the potential of creating satisfying and helpful friendships.
Just in the last month, my sexual attraction to men has caused me to meet or come into contact with beautiful, intelligent, admirable men: a pharmacist, a programmer, a film producer, a zoologist, a fashion designer, an artist, a painter, a retired choir conductor. It does not mean that I had sex with all of these people, in fact sex rarely happens. These guys are my friends now and I never would have met them if I had kept on fearing my attraction to them.
To what extent does sexuality define an individual?
To me this is the most important question. Why should I be defined by a sexual orientation?
It reminds me of when I was a child, whenever I would dare to ask a question on sexuality to my mother, she would give me a very short answer and then add: ”But you know, it’s not important.” Sexuality was never talked about in my family and when it was, I was always reminded that it was not important. So I grew up thinking that to seek answers on this subject was a waste of time.
My mother was wrong. Sexuality is an important part of my person. It may not be the most important thing in my life, but it is important enough to be carefully looked after. A person is made up of many parts, and if one part is not working properly, then the whole system could become flawed or dysfunctional.
Sexuality is what physically draws us to one another. I think that bisexuality is a great gift because it will physically draw me to not only women (for intimacy and reproduction) but also to men who are “like me” for friendship and opportunities to learn about myself and the world. I have learned not to fear my sexuality. Letting it do it’s job has not turned me into a sexual pervert. And this is often what we fear. It’s what I feared.
When you desire to go to the beach, you go to the beach. If you desire to eat an ice cream cone, you eat one. If you desire to be intimate with a particular person, why repress it? Desires are not bad (usually). To honour your human desires is ultimately what will make you happy, in my opinion. That being said, denying your desires is also part of the human experience. I think it’s important to do both. I learned important life lessons while repressing my desires. But ultimately I had to learn to stop repressing them in order to work my way out of depression.
“Intimacy happens on many levels, not just the physical”
How does it feel to see the LGBT community openly celebrating their sexuality?
I don’t usually watch the LGBT community openly celebrating their sexuality. I know they do, I’ve seen it on the news, but never took part. Maybe one day I will. It makes me happy to see the sheer number of people who accept concepts that are not “straight.” Straight to me is boring. Non-straight to me represents open-mindedness, expansion and evolution. There is too much conformity in our societies. I think there should always be more and more emancipation of the human body, mind and spirit. A celebration of sexuality is similar to a celebration of life and creativity. It’s better than Christmas!
What do you see on the horizon for the LGBT community?
Unfortunately, sometimes I get the impression that the LGBT community is turning into some kind of religion. I hope sexuality never becomes institutionalized and forced down the throat of children like it’s being done in many schools today. I see children being asked to choose their sexual identity at a very young age when they have not even started asking questions or experimenting. It makes me frown and wonder, have we gone from one extreme to the other? But nonetheless, I remain hopeful that the human spirit will overcome all obstacles and that it will always continue to thrive, to infinity and beyond!
To what extent do you believe sexuality defines an individual? Leave a comment below or send me a message.