"Love is love... Gender is merely spare parts."

--Wendy Wasserstein

Mind Caviar, Vol. 2 Anniversary Issue, 2001

Cheers! To Our Diversity
by Jamie Joy Gatto 

It damn near breaks my heart when I get letters from readers who are questioning their sexuality, and who are so afraid they may be doing something wrong or bad by being themselves and exploring their own sexuality, they are frightened to the core of their soul. Why can't we all just accept that love means love, no matter what gender is present? Sex is good, and healthy and the reason we all exist today! Sex is natural and sexual diversity is the norm, not the exception. Let's try to give up basing our sexual desires on what society dictates is correct and moral and right. Only we know for ourselves what is right for us. 

The following is correspondence I received from A Bi-Friendly Place newsgroup member. I am posting it in hopes that it might help others who may be facing a similar dilemma, and that applies to anyone who is afraid of coming out as gay, bisexual, lesbian, transgendered, a cross-dresser, a panty-sniffer, (fill in the fetish) kinky, or any other "unusual" sexual practice outside of plain vanilla heterosexual orientation. 

Reader's Question:

I don't know why I feel this way but I do. I can't help but feel like I'm doing something bad, by even writing to a bisexual oriented newsgroup. I am shaking as I type this now. You see, my family is very Catholic, and I am still unsure of how I feel about all of this. I don't even know for sure if I am bi or not. I have only come out to one friend of mine, but she says that I'm just a freak, but she loves me anyway. I don't think that just because I have the same feelings for both men and women that it  makes me a freak. I thought the saying "love knows no bounds" was suppose to be just that. 

I can remember feeling this way when I was in the 2nd grade. I never said anything to anyone, but I can remember the first crush I ever had on a girl like it was yesterday. I didn't know why it was wrong, I just knew that it was wrong, so I always kind of stayed away from everyone. I never had too many friends because I was always afraid someone would find out. Then in high school I seemed to be a magnet for bisexual and gay friends. They were some of my best friends, and I never knew they felt like I did. I am sure I am not alone going through these feelings and any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.

Jamie Joy Says:

Thank you for having the courage to share your story with A Bi-Friendly Place newsgroup. We are here to support you. We do not think you are a freak, as a matter of fact, many of us would argue with those who oppose your beliefs and sexual practices that bisexuality is the NORM, not the exception. 

The only reason you have felt that you were "bad" or "wrong" is because of the blatant homophobia that runs rampant due to Judeo-Christian beliefs and laws set in our society based on these archaic belief systems. Please try not to let other's hatred bully you into believing you are somehow a bad person because you have natural feelings of sexuality, sexual attraction and love.

Bisexuality is not a lifestyle, but a state of mind, a place in the heart. You do not have to run out and have sex with both (or all) sexes in order to be "initiated" somehow. Simply having a sexual attraction to both sexes, whether or not equally, is what being bisexual means. You are not alone. Try not to feel afraid. We are here for you.

I urge to to read through all the articles at A Bi-Friendly Place in order to explore various issues of bisexuality. It will help you to learn about other's experiences, so hopefully you will feel less ostracized. Even if you do not agree with each article's point of view, it will help you to see the breadth and scope of the bisexual experience, a learn how others are trying to change the view of bisexuality in today's world. 

Again, thank you for having the courage to speak out, and to join our support group. I cherish every member, even if they are only here for dating, swinging, curiosity, or exploration of sexuality. We are all in this together. We are all a part of a very important movement in our history: the bi-visibility movement. Together we can learn to love ourselves, and we can show the world we are here, we are valid, don't count us out! 

Reader's Reply:

Thank you for the reassurance, and thank you for the link. I actually have that one bookmarked. It was the link that led me here. I have been reading a lot on this, and it's hard for me to make the decision as to whether or not to tell my family. I am more afraid of what would happen if they found out on their own. Trust is a very important value to my parents. I think it would hurt them more if they felt I couldn't trust that they would still love me, no matter what. Here is the problem: I have a cousin who is gay, and my parents always seem to make rude comments concerning her. They will often say things like, "It's her choice, she has to live with herself." It's very frustrating, but I'm sure in the end I'll make the right decision. Thank you, again.

Jamie Joy Says:

Deciding to come out is a very personal choice. I am out to some family members, but not to others. My reasons are personal, but I'd like to share them with you. I choose not to come out to certain family members because I feel it will not help or further our relationship in any way. I don't think it's necessary for everyone to know everything about me. I don't discuss sexuality in any form with my grandmothers and older relatives. Sex is a taboo subject to them, so why should I bring up this issue to them? I feel it would be inappropriate, and it may possibly embarrass them. We don't share that sort of closeness, so I think it best to leave it that way. However, if I were asked by them to discuss my sexuality, I would gladly agree to do so. I am not ashamed, but I feel by not disclosing this information, I am being genteel, discreet and polite.

If you are looking for acceptance from your family, you may not get it. Are you willing to tell them and not be accepted? You need to explore your reasons for wanting to tell them. If you think it might further your relationship with them, then that is a good reason. If you are trying to test their love for you, that is an unhealthy reason. If you are scared they might find out somehow, and this idea frightens you, ask yourself why you feel you may be bullied by your parents, especially as a grown woman.

It seems to me, from what you've written, your parents are not accepting or even tolerant of homosexuality. Apparently they have been taught and believe it is wrong, and still cling to those beliefs. This may never change. Likely you will get at best, the same treatment as your lesbian cousin, and at worst total ostracization. Please consider all options carefully, and most importantly, consider your reasons for wanting to come out.

There is a great article on coming out at Bi-Friendly written by a man who was once a practicing psychotherapist. It has a lot of answers and many ideas to explore. I hope it offers you some relief.

Copyright © 2001 Jamie Joy Gatto. All rights reserved. Do not copy or post.

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Sex Noir by Jamie Joy Gatto AVN praises Jamie Joy's latest collection: "Sex Noir... delivers a sexy, yet moody slice of erotic fiction that should please fans of the genre. Gatto's tales range from sexy to harrowing, from tragic to optimistic, and from hardcore to sugary sweet-- sometimes all within the same story."

Click on the book to learn more about Jamie Joy Gatto's collection of dark erotica, Sex Noir published by Circlet Press.

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