My fingers were trembling. The knot in my stomach had tied itself up once, twice, three times as I contemplated pushing the send button.
I was about to tell my family: I am Bi. And I’ve known for a while now.
My attraction toward both men and women is not a secret to my psyche. Yet, the only time in my life when I felt even remotely comfortable with this part of me was when I lived in NYC, in my early 20’s. There, I briefly dated a woman, a production assistant. When I say briefly, I mean about 2-3 weeks. Her and I would drunkenly explore each other’s bodies in the sanctity and safety of my Morningside apartment. The sun would rise as we said our goodbyes, and off to the normalcy of the day we would go.
I remember the thrill of her texts. The buzz of my phone sending a jolt from my hips throughout my pelvis, reminding me of her lips, her voice in my ear, the sweet essence of her skin on mine.
Now, that buzz was anxiety-fueled and it was about to inform my family what many of them probably already knew: Barbara was bi.
And so, I hit send. I took a deep breath. And I allowed the tears to fall.
My life is a constant endeavor toward authenticity. Like so many of you, I have deep emotions and crave the sincerity of connection with others. It stems from my childhood: the deep desire to be seen and heard. Yet, feeling lost in the swell of eleven siblings and vying for the love and attention of my parents.
Imagine, six year old me, sitting atop the stairs at dinnertime and waiting to be called to the table; yet, in the hubbub of mealtime, no one called my name. And so, I sat and waited to be noticed, listening to my family’s dinner unfold in the room down the hall.
Fast forward to my adulthood, and that inner child will still sit, waiting to be noticed, silently asking to be seen. In my adulthood, I’ve learned how to recognize her, how to comfort her. and how to be her parent. Part of being her parent is allowing her to speak up, share her truth, and accept her for everything she is and will be. We all deserve to listen to our inner child and to soothe them with patience, love, and care.
Labels can be limiting; yet, putting words to our identity can be empowering, freeing, and nurturing. Continuing to define ourselves as authentically and openly as possible is a true and tender way to show ourselves the love we all deserve.
So yes, I am bi. I am also in a heterosexual relationship. I am kind and flawed and curious and tired. I am hopeful and I am strong. I am a holistic coach and an honest writer and as good of a friend as I can be and a sincere lover. I am a strong woman and an empowered community member and sometimes I am lonely and angry and nervous and sad at the world. I am a fitness coach and a runner and a daydreamer and an evening snacker. I am one of twelve and I am a cool aunt and I am a sister and a daughter and yes, my own loving parent when I need to be.
I am embracing all angles, all sides, all parts of me. And I sincerely want that for you, too.
Happy Pride, happy life, happy embracing of all that you are.