“Love, Simon” is me, as well as others…

Contains possible spoilers about ‘Love, Simon’…

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I saw ‘Love, Simon‘ a few weeks ago at an advance screening here in Charlotte. I loved the movie.  Particularly, because just like Black Panther, it was something that I identified with and was able to see it in a major fashion, in a normal theater, around everyday people.  Not on Netflix, alone, buried in the depths of hell where you have to know a special cheat code in order to unlock it (OK, that was dramatic, but we all know there aren’t many mainstream movies about the LGBTQ life).

The movie, as great as it was because of the representation, did fall a little short on the “spectacular” meter overall, but that’s fine.  I didn’t need amazement, or some over-the-top fanticization (made up word) about being a closeted gay kid in high school who didn’t know how to be himself towards others. It was a truthful, heart-felt movie that resonated within the audience. Especially myself.

I can’t imagine how many times I’ve felt the same was a Simon, the movie’s title character, during high school and college.  Kind of wanting to be out there, but not really knowing how (only I covered it up for most of that time).  Simon, fortunately, was more comfortable with himself at this point of time in the movie than I was back in the day, but he just didn’t really know how to live his truth out. He more so just really didn’t understand why he actually NEEDED to come out.  Like, why is it a thing? Even in the movie there was this montage about his friends coming out to his parents as straight. I’ve felt this exact way multiple times, and until this past October when I wrote my post Happy National Coming Out Day, I never really felt the need to do so.

But looking back, I wish I had…

“Who you are to the world is pretty terrifying because what if the world doesn’t like you?”

“Who you are to the world is pretty terrifying because what if the world doesn’t like you?”  This is literally the single most best quote that sums up how I felt growing up.  High School was intense and you just wanted to be liked and not ridiculed.  It didn’t help that I was probably already a little weird to the “non-cool” kids and I just kind of sort of fit in.  I was so terrified to even explore who I was in that realm because, 1. I denied the hell out of it, and 2. I did that because I was scared of how I would be looked at. But you all already know that from my other posts, I won’t go into detail here.

Simon, kind of the lone wolf in his own mind, was able to explore a little part of himself once another kid from his school decided to anonymously post a message about being a closeted gay kid on the schools message board.  Simon decided to message him and open up to him anonymously as well about being just like him. Simon was finally able to be himself, and explore a feeling that’s he’s had for a long long time.  Over the course of the next few days they messaged each other back and forth and eventually became very fond of one another.  It was sweet, beautiful, even.

Since Simon’s admirer was anonymous, Simon had to live out his love stories within his imagination.  I can’t even count how many times I’ve thought that some guy who wasn’t remotely interested in me was, and it felt weird.  It was like these “unnatural” thoughts were going through my head and I just never really felt comfortable doing that.  This movie normalized that for me.  Straight people do it all the time, why can I?  “I’m done living in a world where I don’t get to be who I am. I deserve a great love story and I want someone to share it with.”

“I’m done living in a world where I don’t get to be who I am. I deserve a great love story and I want someone to share it with.”

And this is when I knew enough was enough.  Simon captured this sentiment so well and it truly resonated with me.  I was tired of hating myself for wanting to love who I wanted to love.  Was I any less deserving?

Obviously, the answer is No…

So at that time, I was tired of suffocating.  As Simon’s mom had said, “These last years, it’s almost like I can feel you holding your breath,” (I held my breath for sooooooo long) “You are still you”. As I’ve stated before so many times,  I’ve realized that I’m still the same person, gay or straight, and if anybody else didn’t realize it, then that was their fault.  When I told my mom, there was a clear sense of sadness(?) (for lack of a better word) but she also shared these same sentiments. And I knew at that time everything would be OK (I may have shed a tear or two at this point…I might be shedding one right now, lol).

“These last years, it’s almost like I can feel you holding your breath. You are still you, Simon”

One of the lower points in the movie, Simon is outed by this guy who was blackmailing him (I won’t go into details) and this caused a lot of loneliness for Simon, due to some fucked up shit he caused in the first place and this is something a lot of young gay men and women have to deal with.  Speaking from a personal standpoint, I’ve been outed plenty of times and I’ve also outed some people myself (which I’m super not proud of at all).  But another quote that stood out from the movie was “I’m supposed to be the one that decides when and how and who knows, and how I get to say it, that’s supposed to be my thing!”. And he’s right.  No one should take that away from anyone who wants to make that decision.  However, Simon stood his ground and regained control of his “coming out” story even though it was already made and at that point, he realized that he was no longer afraid.

“I’m supposed to be the one that decides when and how and who knows, and how I get to say it, that’s supposed to be my thing!”

So Simon gets to live his truth, and in the end is able to encourage his anonymous love interest to live his as well.  There were some rocky/inspiring/emotional parts in getting to this point, but I really didn’t want to give a review of the movie itself, but I just wanted to describe why I feel that this movie was important to me.  I hope it inspires a new generation to be who they are, and inspire others to accept people for who they are.  Regardless of race, religion, color, creed, and sexual orientation.

I highly suggest you go and see this movie.  You will enjoy it.  You will cry. You will smile. You will get angry.  You will lose all hope in humanity. You will gain it back. Your heart will be full.

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The Bisexual Dilemma

So it has come to my attention that when I write about sexuality and relationships, I tend to get a lot of hits on this here blog. So, here’s another one for the masses that I hope will shed some light into my view of the world.

There’s this thing about bisexuality…

And when I say bisexuality. I mean, sexually attracted to both men and women. Specifically, in a sexual sense. Because that’s what bisexuality is. Being sexually attracted to both men and women. Emotions are not at play here.

I identify as bisexual (despite popular belief, and it’s mostly my own fault). Reason being is because I have no issue being sexual with a woman, but I could never be in a romantic relationship with a woman. Emotionally, I have no attachment to them. This doesn’t mean I’m strictly Gay (I hear the “Yes, it does” in people’s heads already). Being intimate with someone is more than just being sexually attracted to them. I don’t have that connection with women like that, but I do with men. So if I had to put a label on it, I’m romantically Gay, but sexually Bi. The point I’m getting to is that, when I tell people I identify as Bi, most people would automatically think in their heads “Oh, you’re just gay”. People tend to just have that initial assumption. People have also shared this sentiment with me about other men who have identified as Bi. If a woman identifies as Bi though, there’s not really any opinion or second thought on it. Maybe there is, but I haven’t really experienced or heard it.

Being Bi isn’t this cover up about a person’s true sexuality in most cases. It’s just a label that identifies what a person is attracted to sexually. As we all know, sexuality is a spectrum. We’ve heard it a million times before. There’s this line, where Straight is on one end, Gay is on the other end, and Bi is essentially all the space in the middle. Now don’t get me wrong, Bi, by definition would be smack dab in the middle, but it’s all about perception. For most people looking in from the outside though, being Bi doesn’t seem to be a reality. It’s either you’re gay or you’re not, but sexuality isn’t just black and white though, you know? There are multiple pieces to the puzzle when being WITH someone. Sexuality, Romance, Emotions. These things are all independent of each other, but tend to be tied together when viewing someones sexuality.

And this is where the dilemma with bisexuality comes it…especially for men…

Even after explaining what I’m attracted to sexually, I’m sure there are still people out there that either don’t believe me, or just don’t understand it. This is part of the reason that when people ask me about my sexuality, I just say I’m Gay, even though I’m sexually attracted to both Men and Women. No I’m not back tracking, and honestly, since I am romantically and emotionally attracted to men only, this is another reason I just tell people I’m Gay. But the frustrating part is that it’s easy for women to ride this line of bisexuality, but for men it’s almost not a thing. I’ve been with men who were Bisexual. Being with another man doesn’t make them strictly Gay, and being with a woman doesn’t make them strictly Straight, it just makes them Bi. Plain and simple.

I was watching an episode of Grown-ish a few weeks back. There’s this girl character who identifies as bisexual that becomes interested in a guy who also identifies as bisexual. At first she didn’t know this, but found out at a later time, and since that moment she started having these thoughts of him being intimate with men, and it really bothered her. It bothered her to the point where she decided to break up with him because he’s had sex with men. It came down to the point where she just couldn’t be with a man who’s been with other men, even if she was attracted to him and he to her.

Why is this such a problem? If you’re both attracted to each other, shouldn’t that be all that matters? Most women will say that it’s the fact that their man is gay, or more correctly, has had sex with men before. There’s this fear that their man might leave them for another man. Are you really that insecure? There are straight men out here cheating on women with other women. Is that any better? Would you be less hurt if that happened? And lets not get into the fact that a Bi man may “bottom” (be on the receiving end) from time to time and also be sexually attracted to women. All hell breaks loose.

But when a woman is thought of as Bi, none of this is really talked about. Bisexuality within women is generally much more accepted in society. I really want to know why this double-standard exists, but I’ve not found a good enough answer to even post here in this blog.

And it’s not only straight or bi women have these misconceptions about Bi men; It’s also a big issue in the gay community as well. Bi men specifically, are looked at as “still in the closet” or “he’s just saying that so he won’t have to use the word gay”. It invalidates everything that the person feels about themselves and essentially places them in a category that they don’t want to be in. And yes, there are a lot of people who may use the “Bi” term to make it a little easier for their family and friends, but who re we to judge them on that. What about the ones who are actually Bi? It should be as simple as 123 to understand but it seems to not be.

I think it all goes back to confusing sexual with emotional and relationship connections. It’s like the end all, be all of being gay is once you’re a man dating another man, you’re automatically Gay, and that’s so far from the truth. Someone who is sexually Gay, does not have the slightest sexual attraction to a Woman. They may compliment their beauty, they may even make “sexual” references to them, but they would never entertain the idea of being with a woman in a sexual sense. It’s that simple. Just as a Straight male has no interest in any other man sexually, at all.

So why is it so hard to believe that a man can be sexually attracted to both sexes?

Happy National Coming Out Day

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To the people who can’t be themselves…

To the people who are judged by who they love…

To the people who are looked down on as a lesser person…

To the ones who are scared…

To the ones who are depressed…

To the people who feel like they can’t smile…

To the people who feel like they don’t belong…

To the ones who cry every night…

The ones who feel like they aren’t enough…

The people who feel out of place…

The people who have suicidal thoughts…

To the people without a support system…

Just know…

We Are Here For You!

I don’t have a coming out story. I never thought I needed to officially announce it, and I kind of still don’t, but I know how important this can be for our people. I mean, when you think about it, I guess I “come out” on a regular basis (Note the irony of this whole thing).  Life as an LGBTQ person can be hard as hell and as you’re reading this, I hope your mind is actually understanding the words, rather than making judgments and assumptions about what I’m currently typing.

LGBTQ people face the challenges listed above on a daily basis just because of who we are and who we love.  Unfortunately, this personal aspect of life gets the negative attention of so many people in the world.  But living life should be all about showing and spreading love to others, not hate. Coming out is an important step in that, where we are finally open to loving ourselves as we are; and even if we don’t make a big announcement, it’s just as important for those times where we share it privately with family and friends.  Some of these challenges listed above can be caused by not loving who we are and this is why Coming Out is such an important moment. It’s a heart wrenching moment though, no matter how old we are because we never really know how people are going to react.

Yes, in 2017, we’re still worried about how people react, even if everyone seems to be “progressive”.  There are still evil people in this world that will wish the worst on us just because of this.  It’s still a real thing.

And as we get older and as we tell more people, that worry goes away, and we tend to not care as much for what people think of us, but that comes with time.  But even though that initial struggle is over, we still face challenges. Discriminatory, hateful, and judgmental behaviors are still no stranger to our community, as well as a slew of other BS that we have to fight through. And even though we feel like giving up, we keep fighting. We fight and fight until we win.  It’s worth it because WE’RE worth it.

It took me too long to realize that.

Coming out is only the beginning, and from there things may get harder, but they will definitely get better. I know that’s contradictory, but you’ll understand. When you can live life with no regard of what others think about you, and you finally feel that weight being lifted off of your shoulders.  It’s magical. I felt as if I have finally gained control of my own life.

It’s a beautiful moment.

So I’m standing here (or sitting, because I’m typing), as a member of this wonderful community. The one with happy smiling faces, that also tends to frown sometimes because of idiots who comment on news articles, to say that you are not alone and we are here for you!

Happy Coming Out Day!

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