The truth is, I am bisexual.


Childhood is destiny

If you were a product of the 80's like me, you probably watched many cartooned love stories. My favorite was "Beauty and the Beast". I loved the music, I loved how the leading role was a rebel and stood out from all the rest of the town, and I especially loved the beautiful library that her love interest and raptor gave her as a gift. The 84 minute movie depicted majesty and greatness in most of the scenes, including inside the palace that was inhabited by singing and dancing household objects. These/they, like her, were trapped in the palace. 

Like so many movies, animated and live action, this was a love story between a woman and a man, in this case, the man being portrayed as a male beast. This story would repeat the popular "love is all you need" plot. Love conquers all, love between a man and a woman is the secret to achieve true happiness. Love is capable of turning any beast to a beautiful human being. Many years would pass for me to truly understand how toxic the relationship between the smart commoner and the noble brute really was. But once I did, I imagined that in reality, the heroine would actually plot the prince's death with the help of the furniture, way before she actually gave him a chance to show her what a great human being he could be and fall in love with him. 


My life has been filled with unexpected turns, due to the fact that I have a gypsy heart and I tend to be impulsive. I am a woman in her thirties, and I can honestly say I had no idea my life would turn out as it has. 

I went back to college at 27 years old. I was shocked to meet at least three openly gay 18 year old young women. When I was their age, I was just figuring out I was capable of finding my own gender attractive, even if I had boyfriends since I was thirteen. This might sound odd in the context of our current times, but trust me... the 2000's in Mexico were still very conservative. 

I was ashamed to even picture myself kissing another woman, but I needed to tell someone, and so I told the person I trusted the most: my boyfriend. He was super sweet, or so I decided, due to the fact that I felt he was being overly gracious, I thought no man would ever want to be with someone with an "undefined" sexual preference. But he did, and I was so thankful for it. 

He had been my best friend for a long time, I felt I could tell him everything and anything. After two years of marvelous complicity and laughter, he confessed he had feelings for me. I felt at a crossroads. I could either tell him I didn't share his feelings, therefore risk losing the only person who (I though) really loved me for who I was. Or I could play with the idea of actually being his girlfriend and therefore I could keep him in my life.

We dated for a few years, until the time to do what all nice Mexican girls must do finally arrived. I got married. I decided to put a pin on my attraction for women. I figured that if he knew, no one else had to. If he accepted this, I didn't have to, so I avoided actually dealing with it. 

Our marriage didn't work. I could blame our young age and our immaturity, but the real problem was that my self-esteem was directly linked to how he made me feel. I thought that if he loved me, took care of me, and accepted me, I didn't have do any of it for myself. I learned the hard way that we all come with baggage. The moment you put your self-worth in the hands of someone else, you are at the mercy of their own concepts of love, care and acceptance. We did our best, and it clearly was not good enough. I packed a couple of suitcases and I left our flat, with the intention of starting over.

That day I said goodbye to the good girl I had the world believe I was. Mind you, the Mexican version of a good girl: a straight A student who left her parent's house to wear a big white dress and recite her vows in front of almost everyone she knows, afterwards dancing to a ridiculous choreography. Now I welcomed a new title I though my mother would be ashamed of: divorced. 

My mother is the best mother in the universe. I know you might think yours is, but trust me, it's mine. This woman dreamt of having a family her whole life. She knew she would marry my father five minutes into their first date. She fell even harder once she saw him interact with my older sister and brother, and thought she would proudly raise a couple more under his roof. My mother has a super power: she can put any baby to sleep with a few minutes of a gentle whisper by rocking them in her arms (I promise I have seen a few dozen strangers ask for her help). this is just one of her many talents. She is also a professional chef, a doctor, a college teacher, a storyteller and a comedian. 

However, my mother had a conservative upbringing. Against her parent's wishes, she married a divorced man, renouncing the privilege of walking into church with a veil over her head just like Lady Di. When I told her I was getting married, she got overly excited I was getting that chance. It was very hard for me to break the illusion. My mother, as had I, was also a victim of the happily ever after lies that come after the wedding. My mother had also bought the sappy stories told by so many songs, books and movies. To be fair, she did get hers with my father. 

My terms

I decided that if I was going to make people talk, I would make it worth their while. Not only would I be divorced, but I would also be dating women. Let me make this clear if it hasn't been yet: I had always cared about what people thought of me. 

The first person I told to was my father. My eternal ally praised me for finally leaving my husband. When I shared my second piece of news, he replied he had also thought of dating men when he divorced his first wife and mother of my older siblings. I couldn't tell if he was being empathetic and was trying to explain what I felt as part of the confusion that comes after a divorce, or he was genuinely coming out to me as bisexual. Either way, I felt a subtle judgement towards him. Being queer is something radical, it's not something my sixty something year old father, who had always been an educated gentleman, a devoted father and husband, and a man's man, could share with me. I can now read how ridiculous my thoughts might sound. I shook my head. "Dad I am not confused, this is a fact, I am attracted to women". He let me know I would always be welcome in his home, with whomever I decided to be with. I had him on my side. This was all I needed to start feeling like myself, or at least to continue to discover who I was. 

It took me more than a year to start dating. I needed to first heal my wounds, but it took me a while to consider a serious relationship. One thing was to enjoy my sexuality with women, another whole other thing was to actually date them. This was a big step for me. I first started my new social life by getting to know some of my LGBTQ community. I was so proud to find a group of people that were strong, unapologetic, even when that meant being rejected by their own families and probably by some they thought were their friends. I was in awe. 

I realized there were plenty of straight people that happily coexisted with ours, most of my friends and family members included. 

Now I would introduce myself, feeling forced to wear my new titles as badges: divorced and lesbian. I am writing the word lesbian, because at that time, I thought it was the best way to describe my preference, not necessarily because it was true, but because it was the word that brought less judgement. My gay friends were happy with that term as well. They would tell my story as cautionary tale for everyone who was still closeted. Whenever I dared to speak about the possibility of dating a man, they would immediately let a stare slip, which I am sure they received at least once when they announced they liked men.

I heard comments such as "that doesn't exist", which is why I felt more comfortable with the term lesbian, as opposed to bisexual. Some of the people I knew from before also felt obligated to comment on the poor girl who was now confused due to a bad marriage or to her newfound gay friendships. 

A new love

After almost two years of working hard, studying even harder, partying on the weekends, choosing my friends wisely and lots of therapy, I finally met the woman that melted my heart. She was a beautiful actress who made me laugh. I liked her immediately and we fell in love, hard.

Our future together was clear. We would march together on every gay parade. We would have an even more ridiculous wedding than the one Sanford and Anthony had in Sex & The City 2. We would pick our sperm donor and have two kids, one of each womb, he would be an attractive environmentalist artist and son of scientists. We would retire at a small beach town and live together for many years. 

Suddenly reality struck me like lightning. I had been postponing my dream of working abroad, a goal I had let go more than once during relationships. At that moment in time, she wasn't ready to wait for me or join me. Suddenly, all that breathtaking love seemed not to be enough. Even though I was heartbroken, I didn't think I would date men again. 

It is generally accepted that after 45 days of repeating an action, it becomes a habit. Let's just say I was into three years of taking the habit of sleeping with women. 

When my mother was in the process of dealing with her own rejection towards my preference, way even before I had a girlfriend, she asked me a question. "Will you ever date a man again?". 

I took a deep breath. I knew I had to choose my words wisely. I have often had to bite my tongue when I've used the terms always and never. "It is highly unlikely. For me to date a guy, he would need to be handsome and I would need to find him attractive. He would need to make me feel at ease with my own sexuality. He would have to be emotionally independent, humble, funny, whole-hearted and a fabulous dancer. So, I will not say no, but I will say it is very unlikely. You better get used to the idea that I might end up with a girl". 

The simple life

I knew it was now easier for me to date women for many reasons, being that we are beautiful creatures the strongest one. In other words, I had a clear preference towards women. Yet I couldn't discredit the possibility of finding a man attractive, it had already happened before. 

When I least expected it, I met the man who would become my second husband. He was just like I had described him to my mother. The world seemed to be back to normal. The people who commented on my "deviance" were now sure they were right. I was just going through a phase and now it was over. I was fixed. 

Most of my friends were happy because I was happy. Some of my gay friends felt profoundly betrayed. I had made a U turn. My straight friends said I was "back from the dark side". I was treated like I was picking sides. I am certain many bisexuals have felt this way, like they needed to choose a gender in order to fit in or feel less judged.

I know that some of my oldest friends found a comfort they didn't know existed before, back when we were all straight or so they thought, when I introduced them to my new boyfriend. There was a clear line dividing the moments when I silenced anything related to my bisexuality, because I knew it might make the person I was talking to feel uncomfortable, or even judge my relationship.

In that moment I felt highly conflicted. I was conflicted by my gay friends rejecting me and my straight friends welcoming back to "normality", and yet I felt I was still me. I decided to write an early version of this text, but as I got it published, I left out my name. 

A new chapter

The truth is I am bisexual. Most of the people I know feel better ignoring this. I didn't date women because I had a bad marriage, and I didn't date a man again because I was heartbroken. I am capable, as many people are, to feel attraction for both genders. This doesn't mean I can or want to sleep with anyone, or that I will sleep with equal amount of men and women. When I came out to a lesbian friend, she warned me, "Be careful, people can be cruel. You might start getting random invitations for threesomes or people will assume you are easy." She was talking by experience of course. 

A cousin I love very much once told me that it is called sexual preference and not determination for a reason. He is dead-on right. I might date women exclusively and one day I fell in love with a man. 

With time and help from some amazing friends, I learned that the people that accept you is not because they are generous people. You have earned their love and trust, they are not doing you any favors. The person who doesn't judge you for your sexual preference is not someone you need to be grateful to, it is just common decency and basic manners. This allowed me to look at my allies with all of their qualities and sharp edges, and I would now let myself be loved for and in spite of mine. 

Let me get back to those amazing 18 year old lesbians. What they knew at their young age, as something that has taken me most of my life in understanding. Your preference, just like the color of your hair, doesn't make you a better or worse person. And while "what you do in the privacy of your own bedroom is your own business" worked for our grandparents, it is now clear how visibility changes lives for the better. Because if Bella had met Aurora in that pretty bookstore to have a different love story, I might have found a bit of normality on what I started feeling in my late teens. 

Life goes on

People change. Times change. It is never too late to evolve. My parents got that the fact that I dated women wouldn't mean I would be unhappy or I would be discriminated. My friends who had known me forever, got over it. My new gay friends broke a taboo regarding bisexuality. And I have now dated men and women that are fully aware that this is part of who I am, without treating it as a defect. 

Anyone who failed to accept it is no longer in my life. 

We live in a world where we can choose who to love. If you don't, you can work to change this, because we are not trees. 

I learned there is no worse judgement than the one we make from ourselves. The minute I stopped acting like I needed to be grateful for anyone's acceptance, I grew in confidence, strength and stature. Today, no one can walk over me, because I don't allow them to. I can now see this from miles away. 

I had a beautiful relationship with that kind dancer, until reality struck again. Our lives were heading in very different directions. Not good nor bad, just different, and each one our own. This time I can see this time as a beautiful cycle that came to an end, and I'm grateful for the love we shared.  

Although it's still soon to tell, I know new adventures are just around the corner. This time, I will never censor myself about my sexual preference if I don't want to. For example, when someone just assumes I am straight just because I am not evidently gay. Because there is nothing wrong with what is true when you are not hurting anyone. 

Read "The tears in flames."


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