Once I realized I was bisexual, there was never any shame in it for me. I was never scared of telling people. I was happy in accepting that as part of me and I never bothered to hide it. I mean, I wasn’t walking up to new people like, “Hey, I’m Crystal and I’m bi. How are you?” However, if it was brought it up in normal conversation I was always open about it. Being a bisexual woman has always been more socially acceptable than other orientations and I had never had a negative reaction.
Seeing what happened at the Pulse Night Club in Orlando reminded me of what it is like to be scared. It reminded me of a night where I met a guy named Rick*.
I was at Walmart and I noticed this guy seemed to be stalking me from the other side of the aisles. Finally, as I stopped to look at the hair color he came up and commented that my hair was gorgeous as it was. Since I hadn’t dyed my hair for over a year, it was all natural and I thanked him for the compliment. We ended up walking around the store and just talking. He told me that he was trying to get custody of his son back from his ex. He had had custody for years and she hadn’t even really been around, but all of sudden she showed up while he was unemployed and the judge turned custody over to her. Unfortunately, he had to take a drug test the next day and he was worried that pot he smoked would show up so he was getting some things that he was told could flush his system. It was a long shot, but he was willing to try anything.
People have this tendency to be very truthful about their life with me. I don’t know. I have had complete strangers walk up to me and start telling me about what was going on at their house. One woman told me she didn’t know whether to get her mother a Christmas present or not because she was very ill and might not make it to Christmas. She didn’t want to have to return it or get it so soon that she couldn’t return it. It seems like such a cold way to look at it, but you know, maybe that was the only way she could deal with it that day. When people are going through a horrible situation they can’t control, they tend to look for things they can control. The present was something that she could deal with. Maybe that’s why people talk to me. No judgement.
Anyways, Rick and I went outside. It was super late, like after midnight. I drove my car over to his truck. He was parked on the side that was closed so there were no other cars or people around us as we stood there talking. As things go when attractive people are talking, we started talking about things of a romantic nature. I cannot remember exactly what led up to it. I think he had said something about kissing some girl and maybe I mentioned the last girl I had kissed. I don’t really remember, but as soon as I said it he said, “You’ve been with girls?” and had this look of pure disgust on his face. He looked pissed off about it.
I remember it vividly because I had NEVER had that reaction before. It scared me. I actually glanced around taking quick stock of my options. Where were the closest people? Would they hear me if I scream? If he comes at me, should I try to run or try to get back in my car? What if he hits me? What if he knocks me out? How can I get out of this situation? What should I say?
It’s truly amazing how much thinking you can do in a moment of panic. All of that was thought in the matter of a couple seconds before I decided on a tactic. I went with, “Well, I prefer guys, but I have been in threesomes before.” Not a lie, not the whole truth and it was apparently a good enough answer. He kind of shrugged and said, “I was with two girls once. I didn’t like it. I prefer to just focus on one woman.” I calmed myself a bit and felt like I overreacted, but the fact that I did, that I had to even experience that bothered me.
We finished talking and he wanted to talk again so we friended each other on Facebook. We didn’t really talk after that. He disappeared off my friend’s list at some point. Looking back, I don’t think he actually would have hurt me…like at all. I ended up seeing him once after that. He was in the general sessions court the same day Sylar’s dad and I went in for a divorce. Seeing him that day, I highly doubt he got his son back. He was pissing off the judge.
After that experience, I knew that not everyone was as accepting of my sexuality as I had previously thought. I guess since the situation turned out okay I never really changed how open I was. I am probably more open now than I ever have been before. Seeing someone target the LGBTQ+ community was a shocking and terrifying reminder. It is a scary world for people who are openly not-straight and that includes bisexuals (that is what the “B” stands for). A person had snapped at me after the shooting and he apologized saying he had lost a couple friends and that it was a big issue for him because he was gay. I told him I understood and that it was my community, too.
I will still go on being open because one day I fully believe it will no longer matter. That day is not today. That day is not tomorrow. Hell, we’re in 2016 and still having fucking race wars. Someday though…someday equality will happen. I may not be alive to see it, but I have faith that it will happen.