Stand or Hide, It’s Up To You

Bisexuals in Vancouver had our bi-monthly Wednesday night Meetup this week. It was a powerful, highly-charged evening where all those who attended got to play out two very strong currents running in each of our heads: stand or hide.

Here is a letter I wrote in response:

Dear Loving Family Member,

I have not told you Who I Am because I already know that you won’t be able to love me if you really knew. I already know (and am living with the reality that) you would see me as a lesser person because of it, and I don’t want you to see me as such, so I will keep the fact that I am a lesser person to myself.

Of course I have never even asked you what you’d think of me if I revealed that I had this capacity to love people regardless of sex or gender. I don’t have to. I won’t even give you the shadow of the doubt. I won’t trust that your love for me is stronger than your disdain for this capacity I have to love all.

I am going to pre-judge YOU, and your capacity to love ME. I am going to skip the dialogue and trial, as I already know and accept the verdict, concluding on my own with no input from you that I AM GUILTY AS CHARGED.

I am unacceptable to you. I know this because in truth I am unacceptable even to myself.

I agree with you: this is capacity of mine to love people regardless of sex or gender is way too disturbing to be mentioned; Who I Am is so toxic that I promise to pretend to be someone else when I see you. I’ll bury this part of me forever to save you from the trauma of me. I’ll pretend to be the person you want me to be so you can go on living in the comfort of your bigotry and intolerance. I’ll do that for you because I love you and do not want to burden you with the aberration which is me.

I will walk around all day, every day FULLY OWNING my as yet unsupported belief – which I now see as a fact – that I am indeed unworthy of being loved in your eyes. This I will carry for you, and everyone else who finds this capacity to love so deplorable.

I do not blame you for your own views, and will love you despite them (although I know you cannot give me this in return). I understand how entrenched you are in your own bigotry, intolerance, and hatred of those who have a capacity to love all people, and I do not want to disturb you or cause you any undue discomfort in your ignorant views, even though they are a direct condemnation of Who I Am.


Your Loving Bisexual Relative

But dear hiding bisexual friend, as you sit there acting as someone you are not, ensconced in this facade of warmth and love of your family (which you believe they are not truly offering you), comfortable in your own self-condemnation, having a picnic together in the park on a sunny Sunday afternoon, along come a couple of young women holding hands. They are flirty and kissing and obviously in love. They come walking right toward your family picnic.

Someone quietly points out the lesbos. Grumblings begin, a disparaging remark or two ensue. The power of your family’s condemnation of those two young women suddenly becomes palpable to them, and now they are fearful as they walk by your table.

They look over at you, searching for a possible sign of acceptance, an ally in the midst of this disdain being directed at them. But you can see that from their perspective, you are one of them, siding with them, eating with them, actively condoning their intolerance, your energy being put into the same pot of judgment and bigotry as theirs, and a little corner of your soul dies as a sacrifice to saving your family unit.

You want to jump up and tell those two young women that you do not condemn them! You are one of them! You support them! You are a sister too! But you can’t do that. You need to save your family from all the ugliness of Who You Really Are, and all of those who are like you.

Instead you take it all on the chin: it’s okay; my family is not that bad really, I know this. These are good people. You can’t blame them for not understanding; they are not capable of accepting non-heterosexual love. This does not define them as people (although it defines you in their eyes).

On your way home from the picnic you are convinced more than ever that you need to hide. You don’t want to be those two young women, feeling such condemnation from you own family – or any other. You want to spare yourself that ordeal. Oh, wait a second: you’re not sparing yourself, it’s the others, your family you are sparing. They are the ones who need protecting, from you.

And maybe you can protect yourself too, from yourself. Maybe you’re not really bi. Maybe there is something wrong with you. Maybe you really should seek psychological help, become more disciplined and stop desiring what it is you desire. Maybe you should be stuffing yourself into a box so that this bloody capacity to be with both sexes can once and for all be banished from your psyche. Maybe you should take some action about yourself: force yourself to straighten up!

Now you’re determined to keep this part of you under guarded lock and key – forever!

Is it any wonder that bisexuals have such severely elevated levels of mental and physical ailments?

But that’s okay. We can sacrifice ourselves for the good of everyone else; keep our ugly secret about loving all, desiring all, being open and free to all, safely and securely packed away in a closet in the back of our minds.

We are truly not fit for this world.

Or are we?

There is nothing wrong with acknowledging, acting upon, and fully owning our capacity, need, desire to love beyond sex, gender, age, race, creed or colour. This is the gift, the joy, beauty, and divine expression of Who You Really Are.

This is what you have come here to express.

You have a choice: sacrifice yourself for the world, or be the change you want to see.

Yes, these issues are big. Yes, they have real impact on the world. Yes, this is life. It’s not a dress rehearsal. This is the real thing, with real challenges, real issues. Your best friend may not talk to you; your wife may leave you; your family may disown you.

So be it. No one said this is going to be easy.

You stand strong in the Power and Majesty of Who You Really Are regardless. You stand strong, along with every other human being who has had to stand up to bigotry and hatred throughout history. You stand strong in the Power and Majesty of Who You Really Are and you stare down the face of fear and proclaim your truth to the best of your ability, even if your voice shakes, even if your knees quake, even if your mother runs screaming from the room.

You do this because anything less means that you condemn yourself. And that is simply not an option.

There is nothing wrong with you.

There is nothing wrong with you.

There is nothing wrong with you.

Can you accept that?

Please watch Morgana Bailey’s emotional Ted Talk on the subject of hiding, and the consequences of not being who you really are.


5 Responses to Stand or Hide, It’s Up To You

  1. Marco
    25 October, 2015 at 20:07

    Dear Liz,

    Thank you for sharing your story on my blog.

    I understand your fear and pain.

    What you need to understand is that both the fears and the pains you are feeling are the result of one thing only: your underlying belief that there is something wrong with you.

    You feel guilty and ashamed about Who You Really Are: a bisexual woman. You believe that you are a difficult person to love; that you are screwed up; that you will hurt those who love you because of this terrible, terrible defect of needing emotional and/or physical connections with both men and women.

    Because of this awful defect, you are hurting the man you love; you are ruining your marriage; you are an embarrassment to your friends and family; you are never happy or satisfied. On and on and on about the truly awful reality of Who Liz Really Is.

    What can you possibly do with such a recalcitrant person such as yourself! How are you going to fit in among all these normal people? What is everyone going to think of you if they should discover the horror of who you really are? How are you going to escape this life-sentence of misery?

    You have tried and tried to be someone other than who you are, but you have failed. Instead, you are stuck with yourself.

    Liz there is only one solution to the horror which is your life: You will stand up from your chair, wipe your eyes, take a few deep breaths, and then turn to face the world, including your husband, your friends and family if need be, and anyone else who purports to love you and say:

    Hi. I am Liz. I am a bisexual woman and feel fabulous about me. I love my sexuality. I love being able to have intimate connections with both men and women, and in fact, I need this to be happy in my life. Anyone who wants to walk through life with me will love this aspect of myself as well, will support this aspect of myself, will embrace all of Who I Really Am.

    And if you cannot, then I will lovingly say “Good-bye”, and happy trails to you. But I cannot and WILL NOT contort myself into configurations which are painful to me just so that you can be happy. I will not play make-believe to soothe your own insecurities, to calm your judgments about me, or to conform to a way of life which does not fit with Who I Really Am!

    Liz if your husband loves you, then he is going to have to love ALL of you, not just the bits he wants. Together you can work through his jealousy, you can incorporate your bisexual needs within your marriage, you can come up with ways of living that will be pleasing and satisfying for the both of you.

    But what you cannot do is disregard yourself and your needs.

    Why on earth would you!? Unless you believe there is something wrong with them. Which there isn’t.

    Now go talk to your husband. Tell him the bitter truth about what you are feeling. And either you work this out together and get your needs met, or you leave the man.

    No one said life is going to be easy. But it can be fun, satisfying, fulfilling, and enjoyable. It is up to you to make it so, however.

    Do what you know you need to do.

    Kind Regards,


  2. Aiz baldos
    17 October, 2015 at 12:47

    Hi! I wrote this letter…

    I don’t know where to start. I felt lost, broken and miserable. I’m not blaming anyone, it’s all my fault because I’m too afraid to open up my feelings to my husband. He knew im bisexual last year, we almost broke up. We love each other that’s why decided to keep going. But his understanding is different, he thinks that being bisexual is a choice that i chose this, that if i really love him i should choose him.

    I wanna talk to him and tell him that i feel miserable but i don’t know how. :( im too afraid with everything. I cheated on him once and decided to stop it to focus on our marriage. I’ve tried really tried but the urge keeps coming back.

    I don’t know what to do. :( now, i feel that our marriage is at stake. Sexual intimacy is very poor even though he’s trying his best to please me and he’s starting to get mad about this.

    I know i just need to be open about my feelings but i don’t know if he will accept if i tell him what i want. For sure he won’t. He loves me so much and he doesn’t want me to share to anyone. He’s a nice guy, sometimes i felt he doesn’t deserve me.

    Please help.


  3. Marco
    13 July, 2015 at 19:02

    Dear Susie,

    I am so sorry that your comment got lost on my site.

    I’m not sure if you are still looking for the answers you posted here, but I will respond nonetheless.

    There are many, many couples living in the kind of lonely isolation from each other that you describe. Indeed there is nothing more lonely than being married and sleeping next to someone with whom you have no connection – or ability to break through the deadlock of this lack of communication.

    In your case, the rift seems to be around your husband’s sexuality, and both your inability to talk about it. But this is only one of a myriad of reasons why couples close down and turn away from each other. The big issue here is communication.

    The lack of communication cannot be blamed on one or the other – as it takes two to tango. You are both responsible for 50% of this relationship.

    As the partner of someone who is in denial about his SSA (same sex attraction), it is your job to do whatever you can to make it safe for your husband to open up. It is also your job to relentlessly, compassionately, persistently pressure him to open up.

    As the partner you need to make it clear that this deafening silence is not workable. That anything is better than the isolation and loneliness you feel. That unless he can open up and talk about what’s going on, you are not going to stay.

    It seems as if your husband was not and is still not willing to open up – mainly to himself, and then by default, to you. The tragedy is that it is so unnecessary. That all this strife and torment is much greater than simple acceptance and authenticity. For some reason, we believe the opposite is true, and refuse to allow ourselves out into the world.

    For you personally Susie, it is important that your take-away be about your own need to communicate openly – even if the topic is scary and filled with huge implications. You too must acknowledge that you had a part in creating the loneliness of your marriage.

    So, going forward, you must make it a clear policy that in future relationships – that in ALL your relationships starting right now – you speak your own truth, get your own needs met, and refuse to accept a life of isolation and silence.

    I strongly suggest you contact your ex-husband and spill the beans – tell him all you know, all you’ve kept inside, all you’ve been yearning to say to him but have not. Cleanse your own psyche by opening up and talking about your pain and struggles with him over the years.

    Do this for you – not him. Do this for your own benefit – not his. This can be your first exercise in self-expression and talking about things which are uncomfortable.

    This is your path to happiness and fulfillment. I wish you all the best on this.


  4. Betty
    4 June, 2015 at 07:04

    Love this article!

  5. Susie
    26 May, 2015 at 19:15

    I have spent hours and hours on the internet trying to connect with other women who may be feeling what I am feeling. But so far, all the discussions on SSA attractions seem to be focused on the men and their inner feelings. Occasionally, there will be something on couples who know and accept their relationship and have decided that it works for them both. They both got to choose. What I haven’t seen is anything for women who suspect that their husbands are SSA but living in their marriage as a straight person. I have tried to bring up the subject casually making statements like “it’s great that these couples have so much love and trust that they can be completely open and share those thoughts”. Trying to talk to your partner on this subject can be very sensitive. My husband refuses to talk even in the general sense and completely withdraws as I suspect he knows in his heart that I know but refuses to accept it himself. I don’t know if he thinks I will leave him or not but speaking as a wife who is in this situation, the loneliness can be overwhelming. I love my husband today as much as I did the day I married him and over the years, I kept telling myself I was crazy to have those thoughts. Now that I am older, I know that I need to live on my own and free myself from that silent ghost. We don’t talk about why we split up as we both know. I will keep his secrets forever (as they are my secrets too). Maybe someday I will write on those lonely years and what a wife goes through when she is not accepted into the confidences of her SSA partner. Some days I feel that my whole life with him was a lie; other days I just accept that he just couldn’t tell me; and then I realize that — the why really doesn’t matter. It just is and my life with him was good except for this shadow that lurked and haunted me in my lonely hours.

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