- by Bench Bookkeeping
I’m 26 and I realised I was bi while at University but came out as Bisexual in January 2019, a process that started with a very nervous whisper to my Mum as we watched a film as a family. I’m incredibly lucky, in that my parents are very supportive, they were shocked at first and confused, but supportive nonetheless.
I had only been in a few relationships with men before coming out, not ever being, firstly aware enough and then brave enough to recognise my bisexuality. While I am now confident in knowing who I am sexuality wise, I’m still not quite 100% done figuring out the rest.
I came out in Jan 2019 because of a few reasons. Firstly, I had entered a relationship with a woman from my workplace, a really adorable and amazingly brilliant woman, and I didn’t want to hide that from my family. Then secondly because my Nan was sick and I was terrified that I would lose her without her knowing who I really was. My cousin told me that she cried after she found out about me.
It was the most nerve wracking, freeing, emotional, anxiety inducing, rollercoaster of a time. I was only coming out to my closest family and friends though. I felt uncomfortable telling a lot of people for fear that it would get out at work.
I work for a Christian NGO and the thought of coming out at work was far too terrifying. I have a great working relationship with my peers at work, and so does my partner. We are in different teams, different departments, and our wires don’t cross in our day to day projects. We were very careful, the office just seeing us as best friends and that was it. Neither of us wanted to feel uncomfortable at work, not knowing how some of our more religious peers would react. Would they change how they work with us? Or not care in the slightest? Would we get hate or rude comments thrown our way? Both of us had been around comments made by some staff members that led us to feel like the negative was more realistic.
In August 2019 I lost my Nan and it broke my heart. All throughout her illness I was never brave enough to talk to her about my coming out. Even though I was glad that she knew, I didn’t want to upset her or make her talk about things that made her uncomfortable when she was so sick, so I lost her not knowing if I still made her proud or not.
After that, I decided to become more active. I found and then joined the diversity and inclusion group at work. I almost died of nerves when I sat down in that first group meeting, where we went round in a circle and explained why we joined. I came out to that working group then, I did not disclose my relationship status, but that I was Bisexual. It was scary, but really quite empowering, so many in that group were so encouraging.
I’m still growing and learning and blossoming into my authentic self and it’s a much longer process than I could have ever imagined but I’m getting there. Working within the diversity and inclusion group has given me so much knowledge and a drive to make sure my work place is a safe and welcoming place for the LGBTQIA community. There is a lot of work to do, but I am really glad that I get to be apart of driving positive conversations and change within my organisation, whilst I’m becoming more confident in myself.
I would love to be closer to the community I belong to, myself and my partner don’t know if there is any body else at work who belongs to the LGBTQIA community, so we only have each other to share our experiences with. I hope this will change in the future.
This is my experience so far and it feels really great to write it down. Maybe this is something that you can use to help others or not, it will still feel amazing just to share it with you both.