That moment when my university offers ‘Ally’ training for people to speak out against LGBTTQ* discrimination, and I want to do it, but am terrified of possibly coming out publicly as a bisexual as a result of participating. I don’t feel like I could hide it if I did participate.
I read that…
I started crying because I’ve felt that fear before too and I can relate to your situation a lot. I’m also a bisexual cis-woman and I’ve been in a committed relationship with my cis-gender boyfriend for almost six years. Because of this, almost no one realized I was bi until I got the courage to come out.
Even though it’s geared towards allies, it’s still a great learning experience for anybody. You’re completely right about some LGBTQ* people also needing to be educated. The whole point of the training is to learn how to be more open and debunk myths and stereotypes, so I feel like the people there would be open to you coming out. If not, they’re completely missing the point of it. But the choice is yours, and you shouldn’t force yourself if you don’t feel comfortable or safe.
At my college, staff members who have gone through Safe Zone training have a rainbow upside-down triangle sticker on their door to show that anyone can come talk to them about LGBTQ* issues. If your university has something like that, maybe you can talk to one of the staff who is Safe Zone certified or an equivalent of that. I don’t know anything about your community or work, but if your university is providing LGBTQ* training, then that means there are plenty of people who will be accepting of you, even if you have not met them yet.
And of course your sexuality matters even after getting married. It is still a part of who you are. Hetero/homosexuals who are committed don’t suddenly lose attraction to anybody besides their partner, so why would it be different for someone who is bisexual? This is something I always have to explain to people who ask how I can be bisexual and only with one person. It can be disheartening, but it just gives you a chance to educate those people since they clearly don’t know what they’re talking about.
Maybe first try to build yourself a support system by coming out to a few people close to you who you think you can trust. I really admire you for what you have been going through and I hope that you can overcome your fears. You’re not alone.
thank you so much for this.
I admit, I didn’t sign up for the training - I don’t think I’m ready for that public involvement yet. I don’t think I’ve got that strength yet.
I told a gay colleague I work (and have trusted, we’ve done a lot of research together) with a few weeks ago with that I was bi (because I didn’t want her to feel alone in the department, I even went so far as to say, if you ever want to talk about gender issues and equality, please know I’ve got your back, I’ll stand there with you), and she made a ‘but you’re married to a man’ comment… and it left me feeling very defeated. She went on and on about the troubles and fears she had coming out, and about how people don’t think about what they say… and then said that to me.
I don’t know if she was joking or not, but it still makes my gut knot when I think back on it. She was one of the first people I came out to outside of the internet. If she’s like that, what will everyone else be like? And now I live in fear that she will tell other people, that they will know without me knowing, and I just feel… bleh.
I wish I were stronger.