Growing up, I never thought twice about homosexuality. To me, it was normal. Having gay parents will do that to ya. I knew the general idea of being in love based on my parents, their relationship and the relationships they had with others over the years, as well as media influence. I think I’m one of the lucky people in my generation that knew the difference between Movie Love and Real Love early on.
All throughout elementary and middle school (who am I kidding, literally all 12 years of school and then some) I was known for having a crush on every boy. For some reason, Little Mary could just see the attractiveness in every person, no matter how physically unattractive they were. As I got older, this shifted, until I could understand that I liked a great personality more than looks. It’s something that I still base attractiveness on to this day. You can be Chris Evans hot, but I want nothing to do with you if you’re an asshole, ya know?
In 8th grade health class, something shook Little Mary to the core: there was a girl in class who was…cute? And funny? And I liked her?! Not just in a friend way, but more?! In theory, I already knew that this was possible. My mom and dad had shown me that, in Quinta Brunson’s words, “People be gay”. But I had never thought that being Not Straight was applicable to my life until I befriended this classmate.
Obviously, I told my dad and he was unfazed. I’m extremely lucky to have the upbringing I did, because I’m sure that if it were under any other circumstances, that conversation would’ve ended very differently. If one were to ask me my coming out story, I guess that would be it? Although I never officially “came out”, most people know that I’m not 100% straight. I never considered myself “in the closet” because to me, I’ve never hidden the fact that I’m attracted to basically everyone. I usually try to not make it a big deal because to me, it’s normal.
During Pride Month, however, I like to embrace the idea that people might not realize that I am indeed pansexual. Being “straight passing” and in a committed relationship with a man obviously has its benefits; I don’t have to be afraid every time I want to hold hands or kiss in public, for example. Although times have changed enough for LGBT+ people to be as outward with their love as heterosexuals are, it’s still terrifying I’m sure, especially in places where being LGBT+ isn’t as accepted.
It’s weird to preach about LGBT+ issues while I myself, despite being part of the community, feel like I’m outside looking in most of the time. All of my committed relationships have been with men. I’ve been on a few dates with cis women and went on a date with a transgender woman as well. I’ve even kissed a couple of lucky ladies! I’ve never fully committed to any of them, however, and that’s where I feel the disconnect. Some of the LGBT+ people I know would say that I’m just bicurious because of that, but I fiercely disagree. If anyone know me, it’s me, and I fully believe that if I were to find the right woman, I could settle down with her.
“But Mary,” you may ask. “Aren’t you already married to a man? You’ve said before that he’s your soulmate! What’s the deal?” If you’ve read my previous post, you’ll know that I fully believe in multiple soulmates. I don’t label myself a polygamist or a polyamorous person, as I personally value being faithful to one person. I have also never been in the situation where I’d have to challenge that belief, so I can’t say for sure I would never open myself up for that either. My husband and I have talked about it a few times, but we both admittedly have a jealous streak that would affect a third party negatively so we usually agree to not worry about mixing things up in that way.
That all being said, I never got to truly explore the other side of my sexuality like many do in their 20s, and while I don’t regret it, it is something I think about from time to time. How would life be different if I had chosen to commit to one of those lovely ladies I went out with before Matt? Would Matt have even been on my radar? Would there have been two white dresses up at the altar last December? There are lots of unanswered questions, questions that I don’t think will ever have an answer. Honestly, I’m okay with that!
I am very confident in how I chose and still choose to navigate my love life, even through the rough times. At the end of the day, even though I didn’t get to explore as much as I wanted, I still found someone who loves me for me and whom I love deeply. That’s all anyone could ask for, and I’m very lucky that I’ve found a love that will last forever at a relatively young age. It just so happens that this love appears to be very heterosexual! Thanks to me, however, it is definitely Not Straight, and we’re both completely okay with that.
Of course, Pride is not all about wanting to prove that I’m Not Straight. Before I end this post, I have to give you my thoughts on Pride itself. Pride has always been a celebration of love and life to me, and I always give thanks to the generations of LGBT+ people before me who fought for their right to love. I also cherish my peers who challenge the status quo and continue to fight on for equality.
Although we’ve come a long way, we still have so much further to go. It’s very important to me that myself and the people I surround myself with know this, whether or not they are a part of the community. After all, if someone I love believes that my parents and I should not be granted the same rights as them, I should 100% reevaluate their love for me, and mine for them. Challenge the ones you love to accept you for who you are, and if they cannot, seriously consider life without them. There are so many people on this planet who don’t care who you love or what you do, they will love you for you! Find them and keep them close!
Thanks for reading, y’all! Hopefully you both learned more about me and took everything to heart :) Happy Pride, be safe, and do ya thang, gurrls.