Q1: What is your earliest memory of realizing your sexuality/gender identity? What was that like?
A: My earliest memory of realizing my sexuality was around maybe 19. That was the age that I finally put a name to it (bisexual) and acknowledged it. As young as my middle school years I remember having homosexual attraction, but the shame of "sin" and other religious dogma was so embedded in me, I never acknowledged it or acted on it. It wasn't until the culture shock of college that I recognized that sexuality was a spectrum and "bisexual" was where I felt most comfortable.
Q3: What was it like for you to accept yourself? Was acceptance of yourself contingent upon the acceptance from peers/loved ones?
A: Accepting myself is a long and hard road. I say "is", because I work to accept myself fully everyday. It is an ongoing process for me. For most of my life, my idea of self was completely wrapped up in others' expectations and perceptions of me. It has taken a lot of prayer and therapy to work through. Especially the religious trauma. Q5: Did you come out or did you just start living in your truth? Do you feel like coming out is necessary/required? Why or why not?
A: I came out almost 4 years ago, and it was very important to me. I lived a number of years in the closet while being in an emotional relationship with an AMAZING woman. By me being in the closet, I caused us both a lot of harm and pain. When I realized that I was in love with her and I couldn't do life without her, it became necessary for me to come out. She was worth more than I was giving her. I was worth so much more than I was giving myself. Our love couldn't be a secret any longer. Not if I was serious about her, myself and what I wanted, and I was serious. Q7: Has religion/spirituality had any kind of affect on your journey to accepting yourself (good or bad)? If so, how does that affect your view and/or practice of religion/spirituality today?
A: My spirituality and faith has an incredible effect on my journey of acceptance. My view of faith kept me in the closet and in turmoil for years! It was until I decided to come out that I began to feel more comfortable in my faith. It was the realization that when others turned their backs on me and when I felt most alone, like I would honestly lose my mind, I was still standing. And it was by no strength of my own. I was expecting my faith to abandon me, when it was my faith that kept me strong. It was then that I stopped trying to "reconcile" my love of God with my sexuality and started spending more time reading and studying the Bible for myself. Spending time in prayer and communion with my savior. And now, today, I feel more confident in my relationship with Christ than ever before. Q8: What do you see for yourself in the future? Does the current state of the world have any affect on that vision?
A: For the future, I see myself as a wife and a mother. The world can be a scary place, but I won't allow it to stop me from building the beautiful life I know I deserve to have. Christ came so that I could live and live an abundant life. I will walk in that promise! Q10: When people say they accept you, what are some green flags that indicate that they do? What are red flags that indicate that they don’t? When it comes to people showing support, what is your biggest pet peeve(s)?
A: When someone says they "accept me", the main green flag I look for is treating my relationship just like they would any other. Celebrating happy moments with me, as they would a heterosexual relationship. If someone says they "accept me", but they don't want to hear about my relationship or parts of my life that involve my partner, then that's a red flag. You only "accept me" while I perform, or you can see me as "straight".
Q14: What does living in your truth mean to you? Do you feel like it’s important? Why or why not?
A: To me, living my truth means living in the way God created me. Q16: What do you think your younger self would have to say/think about who you are today?
A: I think my younger self would be incredibly proud of who I am today! I am living the life I always dreamed of having. I have the career, the home, the partner (younger me pictured a man, but my wife is everything I could have ever wished for and more) and the friends that I wanted. I prayed and manifested this life from the time I was a girl. And I am going to live it!
"..I was in love with her and I couldn't do life without her, it became necessary for me to come out. She was worth more than I was giving her. I was worth so much more than I was giving myself."
- Christina, She/Her/Hers, Bisexual/Cisgender
Couple's IG: _chrisandmo_