Okay let’s get vulnerable Sis.
I fear that my family will never fully accept me. Despite the continuous support that I receive from my family in regards to a variety of different aspects of my life, my love life is still the giant elephant in the room. I often wonder, “will they come to my wedding, accept my children, and welcome my partner with open arms?” These are questions that have plagued me at times.
Naturally, I want to share how amazing my partner makes me feel despite their gender. However, I often ask myself “is it worth it?” Is it worth the judgment, awkward looks, and biblical rants? Of course I want to beam with joy, bring my partner to family gatherings without warning, and share photos from our latest excursions. But the one part of myself that makes me very happy often remains silenced. I am thankful for the family members that have gone above and beyond to make me feel accepted. For example, I can proudly share my love life with my aunts, sister, cousins, and brother but even that took some time.
Over the years, I have felt a surge of emotions including fear, sadness, and anger. At one point, I wished that I was not bisexual. I would eagerly share dating stories that involved a man but claim the “single life” when I was dating a woman. It almost felt like I was living a double life. Let’s keep it real, bisexuality can be confusing to black southern families. It is hard to escape the perception that “you are going through a phase” or “purchased a first class ticket to hell.”
There are some family members that have never heard me say ” I am bisexual!” Not because I do not love them dearly but in fear of judgement or discord. I am from a very small town where the latest gospel is “breaking news!” I never want my family to feel embarrassed or as if they have to “keep this dark secret!” Despite my empathy, it will never prevent me from living my life.
Sis, I know what it feels like to fear that your family will never fully accept you. It is a very difficult and heartbreaking reality to face. If you are or have shared a similar experience please keep these affirming words in mind:
- You have a right to be angry and guilty at the same time. Your emotions are completely valid.
- Even if those close to you do not fully accept you, please do not stop accepting yourself.
- Just because they do not accept you, does not mean that they do not love you.
- Don’t forget your chosen family! Center yourself around those that fully accept and embrace you. Especially around the holidays, it provides a nice balance.
- Don’t dim your light! No matter if the one thing that brings you the ultimate joy does not make sense to someone else.
- You are loved, appreciated, and valued.
- You don’t have to fully separate yourself from your family! Give them a chance to accept you. If after some time there is still resistance, be selective with your energy. But DO NOT attempt to alter your life to ease the mind of others.
Please know that you are divinely and wonderfully created. Cheers to self-love, acceptance, and perseverance Sis.