There comes a moment in every lesbigay person's life when they actually realise that they are not as straight as they first thought they were. How and when this happens varies from person to person - it can happen very early on or much later in life (even after marriage and having kids in some cases!), be a sudden epiphany or something that is realised gradually over a long time.
One of the regulars here in M2M2 decided in 2000 to tell of his experiences of realisation under the pseudonym of Berilla (due to complications regarding his then boyfriend and an on-going process of coming out). While not everything may happen to every lesbigay person as it did for Berilla, a lot of it seems to happen to a lot of people - hopefully his story may help or inspire you.
What is it like to realise you are gay? Here I hope to discuss a few of the things I went through on the road of discovery as to who I am today. It's been a hard trip for me, mainly because of my background and upbringing so hopefully it will be of help to someone else. Certainly finding the M2M2 section of h2g2 sure helped me.
Did I always know?
No. I didn't. In fact I thought I was straight - I had girlfriends. Sure, at school the other kids labelled me gay. But I always had a sensitive side, I'd been bullied since I started primary school. All through adolescence I had the chants of 'poofter', 'gay boy' etc. but by the time I'd reached the sixth form1 that had all died down. But I thought deep down that I wasn't. The sensitive side was still there, but I was just the most read poet by the sixth form2. I went to college and suspected, but still wasn't sure. I've had four serious relationships with girls, yet all of them were really unobtainable for various reasons.
First Real Life Encounter with Gay Culture
Growing up in Northern Ireland, it wasn't until I went to Polytechnic in England when I was actually propositioned by a guy during Freshers Week. I wasn't ready at that time to take him up on it. I was scared and insecure. I'd actually fantasised about getting my freedom yet somehow couldn't act on it for a while.
When did I accept it?
When a guy I know really well3 came on to me one night I suppose. That night I didn't really accept it but because of what happened I realised that I was turned on as none of the relationships with girls had ever done for me. In fact I'd only reached the third girlfriend by this stage. There was a rebound effect to another unobtainable girl after my first homosexual experience. However that night even though we didn't actually finish what we started got me to thinking. Two hours later I was sure but the rebound still happened.
Was it worth it?
Well my initial reaction after this first encounter was to try and contact him again, but he refused to return my calls. So I rebounded to a girl. When that was over though I was ready and so was he. So after an initial uncertainty, yes it's been worth it4.
Has it been easy?
No, not really. Neither of us are really out fully. We have a large number of friends in common who don't realise that either of us are gay. This is the hardest group to interact with, however it is also the group we spend most time together with. Strange how little we can be ourselves around them.
So why am I telling you this?
Well I suppose everyone is different and has a different tale to tell. This has been mine to get me to the point I am now. The past is not important, but the lessons you learn from your past make you into the person that you are now. Hopefully that person is a well rounded individual, but still has room to grow. But the past makes us who we are now, the good and the bad, the lessons we learn, the experiences we live through, the emotions we feel.
However, not many of us record them. I do. So this is a record of who I am. It'll explain some of my poetry, which records my emotions. It'll explain some of the stuff I do around here. But it won't give you a full picture to get that you need to know me, look at the whole - this is just about a part of me that isn't known to everyone but which all of you can share.