“I am not my sexual orientation”

I’m confident; I’m spunky; I own my insecurities; I don’t take BS from anyone.

And yet, this is the piece of me that I tell myself I don’t deserve to claim. That I have no credibility to own and no right to proclaim. Because, it is easier to keep waiting and postponing than to own it.

It has nothing to do with you—whoever that may be—and everything to do with me. I could say I’m afraid you will judge me. I could say I’m afraid of how our relationship will change. How my status might shift. How my family would view me.

But, I’ve never really given a damn what anyone else thinks about me. So, when it comes down to it, it’s about me. And the fact that for years I’ve told myself this. isn’t. valid.
I’ve made my sexuality small, stagnant, insignificant to who I am. Because I was not ready, not confident enough nor proud enough, to let myself take this identity marker as my own. I was shaming myself, however small that silent act of shame may have been. And belittling my attractions. I convinced myself it was OK to create fractions out of my identity. That this partitioning did not rob me of the freedom to be my whole self. For years, I buried my sexuality under a mountain of other identifiers that I felt I had more claim to. I made other aspects of who I am more important than the one piece of me I didn’t believe I had the strength, the right, to own.

This “coming out” isn’t for you. This “coming out” is for me. Because, my attractions don’t require any justification, validation, or affirmation. They are not a privilege I have to earn. They are mine.

The hardest part about identity is owning it. And this, this coming out, is me, letting myself, daring myself, freeing myself to own me, in its entirety.