This is taken from an introduction I made on a bisexual mailing list circa 1995, there are later additions from 1998 and 2000 at the bottom.
I'm 35. I've known since junior high school that I have both same- and opposite- sex attractions, but same-sex attractions were problematic for me for a long time.
I think that some of this had to do with my parents being somewhat homophobic. I think that more of it had to do with children being homophobic when I was small, and them having identified me as gay (after all, I had a noticable lisp during school, so I must be gay, right?). The results were familiar: violence and ostracization through grade school and junior high school. Fortunately my parents conviently relocated when I started high school, by this time I'd successfully hidden my lisp, and I was able to have a relatively uneventful high school career.
During college I had the good fortune to be able to live in a very open, tolerant community of people which included several gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals. One aftereffect of this was that I did experiement some with same-sex sex during college. Unfortunately, I had not at the time coped with the emotional side-effects of grade school, and I became rather embarrassed about the whole thing, and put it aside, save talking to my girlfriend C about it.
This was 1983. C was very accepting of my feelings, and clearly less bothered about them than I was.
C and I were married in 1984, my same-sex attractions mostly locked in a closet. It was a relatively comfortable closet, I will say.
In late 1994, I started becoming close to a bisexual woman J I'd met, and by early 1995 that relationship was becoming real... and C and I transitioned carefully and relatively smoothly during 1995 from a monogamous to a primary/secondary polyamorous model.
The beginning of that relationship in 1995 coincided (within 24 hours) with getting a letter from one of the two men I'd slept with in college. Seems he'd come out as gay a few years before, and wanted to let me know. I was a little surprised, and talked to J about how to convey my happiness for him that he'd come out, and his fond memories of our time together, while explaining my current situation, which I felt was sort of 'chickening out'.
That led to J and I spending a lot of time talking about my same-sex desires. While her and my relationship eventually failed, she was the first person I'd opened up to about same-sex desires in a decade. I talked to C soon thereafter, and found that she was no less sympathetic... but it was harder with her, I didn't want her to feel threatened. As it turned out, I worried too much, but that's the way I am I guess.
In early 1996, I discovered I was becoming emotionally involved with a heterosexual, bi-cuddly, male friend Z, and in March or so, I told him that I loved him. I do. Fortunately, he was someone who could accept that at face value, and he and I are still close friends, and I still love him dearly. (Of course, it doesn't hurt my feelings for him one bit that he set me up with my other current partner T... I am blessed with many wonderful people in my life.)
Today, I'm not out to my parents, but I am to most of my friends and co-workers. To some extent that is limited by my wifes desire not to be out about non-monogamy, but that's a separate issue.
I would describe myself as having had autohomophobia. I had a few gay, lesbian and bisexual friends, many of them close friends, but I had a deep internalized fear of being percieved gay, or being associated with any same-sex desires myself.
Having dredged up that fear and realized that it was not something I wanted to live with, I worked on my own emotional state as directly as I could. For example, In late 1995, before J and I started drifting apart, we went to a BDSM play party where one scene was structured merely to provide me with the opportunity to fellate a strap-on. Not any big deal, you might say, I can only tell you that my fear of having people watch me do that was quite real before the event. Not rational fear, of course, but deep icky fear none the less. Aside from perhaps my parents, most of my old fears are gone... and with the acceptance that comes along with their loss came a feeling trapped a little too much in a world of mostly heterosexuals.
As a result, I went out and looked for a bisexual community in my area, and
I've recently found a social and support group here locally, as well as a
really goregous pair of eyes to stare into... I'm hopeful that something
will come out of that, there is definitely interest on both of our parts,
and he kisses very well indeed...
September 11, 1997:
I've left that section intact, but it was written in very early 1997. Quite a bit has changed in the interim. I'm a lot more out, and a lot more active in the local bi community. I'm faciliating a bi support group, have done some work on the SoBOA web page, and marched in both the San Jose and San Francisco pride parades of 1997.
More importantly, I feel like a lot of the damage I've taken from internalized homophobia is gone. It feels good this way.
I'm leaving what I've written before--hopefully as a waypost for those who might follow me out in the future. If I may presume to give one bit of advice it would be stolen from Dr. Suess, who never steers me wrong:
These things are fun, and fun is good.
September 11, 1998:
By chance, I'm writing this section one year to the day after I wrote the last section.
It's been a pretty amazing year. While T and C remain my most primary partners, I've also starting dating a man I'll call R. We've had some dates, and yes, some of them have been sexual. He's cute, funny, charming, and a complete pleasure to be with. I have to say I'm not immensely infatuated yet, don't know if that will change or not. Chemistry is like that, y'know. But it's been a long time around the ol' bi group since anyone has felt the need to check that my bi card was up to date.
I continue to facilitate (some weeks) a bi discussion group at the Billy de Frank Center in San Jose, California, and find that group to be an important part of my life.
October 22, 2000:
Another two years have passed.
Lots has changed, I've had a few male partners but haven't had the long-term male partner that I'd like to have some day, although there are a few folks I'm optimistic about.
I'm also about to start a bi men's mailing list. Outside of personal ads and mailing lists that sometimes seem devoted to the discussion of divorce proceedings, there are really few on-line resources directed at bisexual men. I'm hoping that this new list, which will be called BiGi, will help fill that need, and eventually become a community in its own right. BiGi isn't quite launched yet, for more information about it, drop me an email or drop by the BiGi mailing list site, by the time you read this that list should be up and running.