David Brider (davidbrider) wrote,
David Brider

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Coming out to play.

So, Saturday was National Coming Out Day, which just to confuse matters is observed internationally. That's "coming out" as in "coming out of the closet" as belonging to part of the vast group of people known as LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender). Or LGBTQ (where the Q stands for Queer, or possibly Questioning). Or LGBTQI (I = Intersex. Or Interested). Or possibly LGBTQIA (A = Ally, or Accepting). So many initials keep being added to the basic "LGBT" that it gets a bit hard keeping up, and personally I far prefer FABGLITTER (Fetish, Allies, Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Intersexed, Transgender, Transsexual Engendering Revolution). I can never remember exactly what it stands for - I had to look that up on Wiki - but man alive, it's a brilliant acronym. See also "QUILTBAG".

Anyway, I digress.

For most of my life, I sort of blithely assumed that I was heterosexual. After all, most of the time when I experienced attraction to other people, it was to - to nick a line from Gus Hedges out of Drop the Dead Donkey - women of the opposite way of buttoning up their shirts. I did, very occasionally, find other guys attractive (mainly celebrities - I remember having an early mancrush on Michael J. Fox when the first Back to the Future film came out - although occasionally people I knew in real life), but I tended to think of myself as someone who was "heterosexual, but sometimes attracted to other guys".

And then, in 2007, three guys I found rather attractive all appeared together in Doctor Who over a period of three weeks (John Barrowman, David Tennant, and John Simm, for the record), and I realised that, quite frankly, "heterosexual but sometimes attracted to other guys" is a bit of a silly thing to describe oneself as, when there's a perfectly sensible word for people who are attracted to both guys and gals, and that word is "bisexual". So for a few days, I did a bit of thinking about this, trying this word on for size and seeing if it fitted me, and eventually came to the conclusion that yes, it would probably be reasonable to describe myself as bisexual instead of "heterosexual but sometimes attracted to other guys."

I haven't, since then, explicitly come out to many people at all - it's there in my basic information on Livejournal and Facebook, so I'm not shockingly secretive about it, but neither do I trumpet it from the rooftops either. It's just one of those little facts about me, like having blue eyes, adoring Doctor Who, and loathing garlic. And it hasn't, I guess, had a particularly big impact on my day to day life - by the time I realised that my sexual orientation wasn't strictly heteronormative, I'd been dating huntingospray for about three years and engaged to her for one of those years, we've been married for five years now, and I imagine most people who don't me any better would probably make the default assumption that I'm heterosexual, which would probably be understandable. I still support, advocate, and argue passionately for LGBT/FABGLITTER rights, but that was the case before I realised I was bisexual. I also support same-sex marriage, although it was really my own marriage to Sarah, rather than my sexual orientation, that was the catalyst for that. I guess one of the ways in which my sexual orientation has affected me is that I'm acutely aware of bisexual invisibility in our discourse about marriage equality, and so will always prefer the terms "same-sex marriage" or "marriage equality" over "gay marriage", because, well...people are gay, or straight (or bi-, or pan-, or asexual). Marriages aren't. Just as my own opposite-sex marriage is between a straight woman and a bisexual man, I realise that it's wrong to assume that a same-sex marriage is necessarily between two gay people - one or both of them could be bisexual. (Which makes the Userpic accompanying this post not strictly accurate, but it's the best I've got right now...)

One way in which my life has been enriched quite considerably as a result of my bisexuality over the past couple of years or so has been joining an LGBT Christian Fellowship that meets at Berry Lane Methodist Church near Rickmansworth. Sadly, the group only meets once a month, on the second Sunday of the month, and quite often that one Sunday a month will be taken up with other things meaning I can't meet up with the group anywhere near as often as I'd like, but when I can go along, it's lovely to do so - a more open, genuine, welcoming group of people it would be hard to find. They're a lovely bunch. One of the couples regularly bring their young son along to the meetings. He was first introduced to us when he was a couple of weeks old. Cue (from me, anyway) much broody cooing and the "aren't you a little short to be a stormtrooper?" joke, which I think is obligatory under such circumstances. But anyway, yeah - great people. <end of plug>

Anyway, there we go. My coming out story. Only two days late for actual National Coming Out Day. As Sarah will testify, I'm not terribly good at punctuality, and two days late is quite good by my standards...

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    Thu, 18:36: @ hannahwitton hi, I realise it’s a few years old now, but I just found this video that a complete jerk calling hims……

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    Fri, 22:08: @ RevRichardColes congratulations to you and the rest of your team on a well deserved University Challenge win.

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    Wed, 17:31: 3 of 5 stars to Doctor Who by Terrance Dicks https://t.co/ONkH3T0ic5

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