Last night was my dad’s memorial service. I delayed my coming out because of his illness. I knew that he was already struggling with his own mortality and that trying to reconcile the daughter he was so proud of and loved deeply with the ideas he had about LGBT people would be too much for him.
It’s hard on the heart to realize you’re invisible.
Standing amongst the rows of trees I stared across at my partner. She was smiling, grabbing apples from the trees with an excited exclamation as if each one was a new find, a sparkly treasure, with that same childlike wonder that made me first fall in love with her.
My first kiss was with my next-door neighbor—a young boy in my class. It was back when I didn’t know what it meant to be queer, what it meant to be bisexual, what it meant to be trans. We were together under a flagpole at recess, he told me that the previous night was “Hershey’s Kiss” night at his church.
Shortly after coming out to my church, I began to notice just how many LGBTQ people our congregation had. While my time prior to deciding to come out had been full of nerves and worry, my time after was filled with new friends and role models.
My childhood was defined by conflict. This conflict was only sometimes visible. Internally, however, the conflict was seismic and ever-present.
My name is Carol and I live in the south of England. I am married to a straight man and am the usually proud owner of three children, two boys and a girl.
I like being born in 1950. It feels so central. It’s easy to calculate how old I am. Last year I hit classic retirement age. I also hit marking about 20 years out to myself, and the world, as bisexual.
I’m a strong believer in the value of a journey. Whether it be literal (like a road trip), figurative (like learning a skill), or emotional (like overcoming trauma), a journey gives us a chance to move towards something, prepare for what comes next, and anticipate a new world for ourselves.