I never struggled with my sexuality.
It took me a whole decade before I “got around” to asking myself if I was really gay and without immediately realizing that I’d been proving to myself that I wasn’t all along, but I would come to think that this question comes up almost as a matter of course when one gets to questioning themselves in these things.
I had more things to be worried about, like being 4′ 11″ when other guys were growing tall like weeds; I was soft-spoken and “too smart” for a lot of my peers who’d tease me about being “all proper and shit.” My mom had kicked my dad out because she couldn’t take any more of his shit and that shook me and my siblings up in ways that made my sexuality look like a non-issue. I had the “usual” bully problems, but they were temporary since bullies didn’t like victims who fought back.
Of course, I literally grew up hearing all the fucked-up shit people were saying about “those damned homos” and, well, that was fucked up because my sexuality was teaching me that there wasn’t really anything wrong with being homosexual but everyone thought otherwise and one always had to be on guard because, well, human children can be some of the most vicious critters and especially those whose parents were teaching them how and who to hate. Indeed, I had more problems being Black than anything else and those problems, again, made my burgeoning sexuality a non-issue.
If there was something I thought a lot about, it was whether or not I was doing the right things for myself when it came to having sex. That I was learning some hard lessons was… part of the growing process and while some of them were like swallowing bitter medicine, I was seriously learning how to learn from my mistakes and innately understanding that it’s not that I’m not going to make mistakes but putting forth the effort to not make a lot of them and definitely not to make the mistakes I’d seen and heard others making.
Otherwise, I was quite fine growing up as a male bisexual. My sexual behavior quickly became second nature to me and not something I really had to think about other than doing my best not to have sex with the “wrong” person and regardless to them being male or female… but that, too, was part of the growing process. I could see how a lot of kids/teens struggled with sexuality and, of course, especially those who were homosexual; it’s a bitch living in a world and being something that is hated and despised and, worse, not really understood. My heart would go out to those gay kids because their struggle was very damned real but I’d gone about being bisexual with “relative ease” because I knew I wasn’t homosexual so, in a way, I didn’t have anything to worry about and, yeah, I’d learned how to defend myself with both my hands and my words and those who might want to question my sexuality and make a big deal out of it quickly learned that, yeah, I was one of those quiet motherfuckers you did not ever want to mess with.
That didn’t mean that I’d come into contact with other guys who were struggling with their sexuality. The overall fear of being really gay and being surrounded by people who they were sure wouldn’t accept the fact that when it came to having sex – and even being really close enough to a guy for sex to happen – it wasn’t really that big of a deal.
The question I had to answer for myself was… why wasn’t I struggling with this like so many others were? Like everyone else was, I was also surrounded by a lot of people who wouldn’t understand this and as I had come to understand it. I was understanding that having sex with someone was a social skill that we were all expected to learn and a skill that wasn’t relegated to girls only… since boys having sex with each other seemed to be more normal than it was being said to be. What made all of this hard for me and my peers was that this aspect of growing up wasn’t talked about in positive terms; we’d be told more about what not to do and who not to do it with than we were anything else.
I’d grow up into adulthood and liken this to someone telling me to take a car’s engine apart… with only a flat-head screwdriver. In this analogy, if you were to try this, you’ve failed before you try getting the first part off and you can get well into trying to do this before realizing that it cannot be done because you need more tools in your toolbox to get the job done… while also learning a whole lot more about car engines and, indeed, the tools themselves.
So I – and so many of my peers – learned how to “take the engine apart” together. On the job training and a lot of trial and error involved. Toss in the hatred toward homosexuality and, yeah, that made learning even harder and while all of this tended to bother a lot of my peers, it didn’t bother me all that much… and I didn’t know why. If I really struggled with anything, it was trying to find the answer to this particular thing but it was more of an… intellectual exercise than it was something that well and truly bothered me.
I very much hated not knowing something. I’d ask those who were more experienced in these things, and I’d get a lot of answers that, one day, I would boil down to the “fact” that some people are just… naturals at this. It was… easier to have sex with a guy than it was with a girl, and I was beginning to see how similar it all was but, yeah, having that Sword of Damocles that was homosexuality hanging precariously over everyone’s head was giving a lot of people – guys and gals – a complex trying to resolve what was going on with them in this.
I just had to accept that I just didn’t have a reason to keep kicking my own ass about it. Hah – maybe I was too smart for my own good. I’d grow up even more and see this one: If you can keep your head while everyone else is losing theirs, you don’t understand the problem. I had to ask myself if my lack of the struggle I’d seen in so many was because I didn’t understand the problem. After thinking about this for a few days, I realized that I did know what the problem was – and I wasn’t all that affected by it and, of course, the problem was what everyone else thought about homosexuality.
More “concerns” about whether being this way was still a good thing for me than anything else. I did go through that crisis of faith that I’d see a lot of people going through. Religion said one thing; it was forbidden and evil and a sin that would see you going to hell because if you did this, God would strike you down with a thunderbolt from heaven. And “resolved” it early on because I’d been well into having sex with guys… and no thunderbolts. I’d grow up to understand how this fear was used to control our more… baser instincts like that need to have sex and, later on, the whole baby-making thing and that if you weren’t having sex for the purpose of making babies, you were just wrong and a different kind of sinner.
People would ask me why I seemed to not be bothered with being bisexual and the only answer I could give was, “I’m just not bothered by it.” Much later, I would kinda understand why I didn’t struggle with this and like a lot of people were: I knew and accepted the truth so whatever anyone else was saying about it was… bullshit. Incorrect. Not really a lie unless you consider that lie of omission thing. I had seen that it wasn’t what everyone was saying about this – it was what they weren’t saying; it was what was being hidden from us all but so many of us had uncovered what wasn’t being said.
Guys having sex with each other is just human nature. I was a “child of science” more than a believer in religion and probably intuitively understood that if you know a thing, you can’t fear it all that much… and religion was very much into scaring people into complying with its edicts. Do as I say… or die horribly and burn in hell for all of eternity. And I wasn’t buying it and “reasoned” that it must be okay for me to be this way because there were a whole lot of guys and gals who were just like me so one of these things has to be wrong and, well, for me, it was “easy” to see which thing was wrong.
The Question I found myself asking not minutes after being introduced to sex with a guy: How can something everyone says is so bad feel so good? And learning that it feels good because it’s supposed to feel good and making that connection when overhearing adults talking about how good it was to have sex. My young mind would grasp that if getting laid was a good thing, well, I get laid being a guy and with a girl so it must be a good thing, right?
Yeah, not always but, again, that was some shit you just wound up learning along the way but for the most part? Yeah – sex is not only good but damned good… so why all this crap about having it with other guys? Learning the difference between “not supposed to” and “can’t.” It obviously wasn’t because it couldn’t be done because me and my horny friends sure did know that it could very much be done… so “not supposed to,” eh, okay, I got it or, really, I’d get it a few years later and the hypocrisy was exposed and… I just didn’t buy into it.
But others were and did. It made them struggle with their sexual identity and that was understandable because being bisexual was different from hetero- and homosexuality. That weird sense of being the only one who was like this but, for me, having that “duh” moment and seeing that I couldn’t’ be the only one who liked having sex with boys and girls… because so did the others I grew up with. I would, in school, learn that famous line that said the only thing to fear was fear itself. I would learn that, in this, a lot of people were afraid and the “simplest” answer to this was to not be afraid… which might have been “easy” for me but not for the many guys and gals who were struggling mightily with being bi or gay.
I didn’t “dodge a bullet” in this because in order to have sex with someone, you have to content with their own views, thoughts, feelings, and even experiences… and there was “no escaping” having to contend with how others were struggling with, bluntly, not being straight or gay and then because of whatever fears were haunting them and, yeah, what others would say or do if they were to find out that they weren’t straight and like they were supposed to be.
It was a concern – make no mistake about that; but as something to struggle over? I guess I just didn’t see the sense in it. A guy had told me how guilty he felt after having sex with a guy and had asked me if I had felt guilty. I had had to really think about that to see that, yep – I did feel guilty but would eventually tell myself that it didn’t make any sense for me to feel guilty over something I wanted to do. I would, one day, kinda/sorta understand that the reason why I didn’t struggle with my sexuality – and as others still tend to do – was that I had the ability to… resolve things in my head. A lot of people flat out hated gay people and I’m not gay. I knew that they did (and still do) but was it something that I had to let fuck with me?
Nope. Ohmygod – what if someone else found out? Eh, I’d worry about that when I had to and, yes, I did have to worry about it but did it change anything about me? It didn’t and I really did stop giving a fuck about what someone else had to say about it when I was 15 or 16. I just knew that the thing they said was very wrong wasn’t really all that wrong.
I would say that if you know the truth about yourself, it’s nothing to struggle over. I would continue to grow up and be told that being true to oneself was the thing that always had to be done. Don’t be a fake-ass motherfucker to yourself. My truth was… I loved sex and that meant getting dick and pussy and there was no denying it so… no struggling. Not like I was seeing in others. Pretty much fearless because there was nothing about getting some dick that scared me, well, once I learned not to be, say, scared of guys with really big dicks. Yes, I would feel bad because people were saying whatever the fuck they felt like saying about not being straight – but I wasn’t feeling bad for myself: I felt bad for them because I knew that they didn’t know the truth and were believing the lies they’d been told and made to believe.
I just didn’t struggle with being bisexual. There are inherent problems that come with having sex – period. It’s not all “nice, neat, and pretty” as we’d like it to be and, yeah, there really was a reason why I’d hear adults telling us not to have sex because it was dirty and nasty… because it really is and I had learned this even when “dirty and nasty” was literally getting dirty and nastily sweaty having sex… with anyone and in any way. I… believed the science more than I believed anything else. I still do.
Sigh. I get to sit and read about how others are struggling with being bisexual and all of the stuff we’re being told to be fearful of. I’m more afraid of catching a stray bullet than I am of being bisexual. Having a stroke was scarier. But, yeah, I read about others struggling and I know why they are but what I don’t know is why they haven’t figured it all out yet and, uh-huh, my bias is getting involved because if I’ve learned nothing else, just because I didn’t have a lot of problems figuring this out never means that everyone will have smooth sailing in this. Some very real ones… and a lot of imagined ones that are borne out of the fear that has been instilled in all of us.
Someone told me one day, “You make this shit sound easy…” and I had to admit that I did and because, for me, it was easy. It’s not that big of a deal and if you’re smart enough to do things carefully, it becomes even less of a big deal. I think that it’s “not that hard” to understand… because it isn’t. But everyone isn’t me and that was a very hard lesson my mother taught me a very long time ago and it was humbling – and that’s being nice about it.
If you pay attention to what the “haters” are saying and, yeah, that religion is really telling the whole truth of things, chances are that you’re going to struggle with this and it’s really not that easy to get your head into a place where the truth you know about yourself is the thing you always have to believe in. Indeed, it’s one of the reasons why I still keep writing about this and doing my best to be as for-real about things as I can be. People struggle with this. I didn’t other than the normal struggles that comes with anything that has to do with people. Adopting and accepting that thing that says that you should always make it easier on yourself or, work smarter, not harder.
If you’re struggling over how to get others to accept you, you’re setting yourself up to fail because not everyone is going to so the thing that you have to do first and foremost is to accept that this is how you’re feeling and thinking and wouldn’t it be nice to have sex like this? If you let anyone erode your belief in yourself in this, you’re going to struggle. I’m not talking about arguing with them or trying to futilely make them understand something they don’t want to understand:
I’m talking about knowing who you are and what’s going on with you in this – and making it proof against those who, again, are going to think you’re some kind of fucked up or, yeah, in denial of being gay. If you allow someone else to make their problems with this your problem, the struggle will be all too real for you. There is truly no “Yeah, but…” in this. I’ve talked to too many who struggle with bisexuality and it’s not that they don’t understand this…. but. And the but is usually and persistently what someone else is going to think, say, or do because, bluntly, you’re something that they don’t believe in.
If you don’t believe in yourself, yeah, welcome to the struggle and you could have avoided it. If there’s a way for something to be fucked up, humans are damned good at finding ways to do it and we have seriously fucked up the whole issue on sexuality because we still believe in some shit that isn’t the whole truth of what it means to be a sexual human being. I learned that, um, I’m very sexual and I don’t have a problem sucking a guy off and turning right around to have delicious sex with a gal… but a lot of people do and I just learned to not let their problems be my problems to struggle over.
Just don’t ask me the details about how I figured that out… because I don’t know other than to say that I’ve had a very long time to think about all of this and, yeah, maybe way back when I was a youngster and I’d hear adults “busting my ass” for being so smart or being too grown for my age, maybe that was what allowed me to realize that there was nothing to struggle with or over.
I don’t know. What I do know is that it’s real… and it can be put to bed… but you gotta believe more in yourself than you do what someone else thinks about not being straight or gay. And that’s just not easy for everyone to do but if you’re struggling, believe that I’m not the only one who figured this out and, in a way, if a lot of us have figured this out, you can figure it out, too.
Just saying. It’s only going to be difficult because you allow it to be and people are going to think and say whatever that’s going to be and there’s nothing you can do about it… except to keep right on believing in yourself and in the face of all this derision and misinformation. The sex… is actually optional. You don’t have to do it if you don’t want to or you just can’t and depending on situational things. Just the way things really are and it’s something you have to deal with… but not struggle with. I never romanticize the sex because it makes it into something it really isn’t but, okay, still no need to struggle about it and even finding someone to have the sex with shouldn’t be looked at as something to struggle over – it’s just something everyone has to deal with… and dating still sucks.
The struggle is real because we make it real for ourselves and, well, stop that!