My name is Mercedes Jet and I am so honored to be a part of this amazing community of supportive, compassionate, and intelligent people who are here to make a difference for themselves and for one another.
I proudly identify as a bisexual woman and Robyn Ochs’ definition fits best for me which is: “I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge that I have in myself the potential to be attracted – romantically and/or sexually – to people of more than one sex and/or gender, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree.” (Bisexual Resource Center)
My journey of understanding my sexuality began around puberty when I had a sexual experience with a female friend during a sleepover. I really liked it and from there my fantasies began to encompass more than a prince rescuing me but also of me being the rescuer. It was this interplay of fantasy and role playing where I began to explore both intellectually and emotionally my capacity for attractions to more than one gender. To me, it felt natural but because of my Christian upbringing, it also felt wrong and scary. During adolescence, I harbored guilt for not only having attractions towards females but also for having sexual experiences outside of wedlock.
Looking back, I noticed my passion for social justice and equality among all human beings, particularly among the sexes, was fueled by my own experience as a bisexual woman. Bisexuality was not a word used often in school yet several classmates I knew were having relations with multiple genders. I spent years agonizing over whether I was straight or a lesbian — feeling one way or the other at different points until it FINALLY clicked. I was reading a book in one of my Women’s Studies classes about a woman who described herself as fluid both in her gender expression and her attractions to other people. It was at this very moment that the light bulb went off because I finally found myself in someone else’s story. It felt great! My heart felt light and my mind was still for a moment (which rarely happens considering how active my mind is).
I made the conscious choice to stop allowing my ego to enforce a monosexual mold upon me and little by little found the courage to come out to my friends as a bisexual. They were all very very accepting of my bisexuality. I was so grateful. I mean they had witnessed me in my drunken moments of making out with other women and checking out girls. I cannot hide my inner feelings. My face gives me away all the time. It is like my body wills what I want before my mind catches up with me. My friends continued to support me as I introduced them to men and women I was dating. If it was not for my friends and my self trust, I do not know if I would have come out and learned to love me for me.
This ability to trust myself is what gave me the courage to eventually come out to my conservative family little by little. I had to harness all of my strength to do this and it was one of the hardest yet BEST things I could have ever done because I was advocating for me and setting healthy boundaries. I was doing what I wanted and what felt true for me rather than allow what my family members said to keep me in the closet. No sir, not me. I was living in that closet for way too long and had to come out.
This trust is something that I am constantly cultivating. I still experience doubts and longings that require me to delve deeper into my own darkness so I can find my light. It is scary and hard at times but being honest about who I am and what I want is one of the most freeing and loving thing I have ever done for myself. I know there is never any better time for me than now. With every moment, I can choose to open my heart to myself and to others and learn. I can choose to welcome all that comes up (with the fear and the peace and the plethora of feelings).
One great thing I learned is that my feelings and thoughts do not define me. Our feelings are just there to make us pay attention to ourselves. Nothing is ever set in stone and that is the essence of life. If things were so clear cut, there would be nothing to learn and what fun is that. It is a part of our human condition to keep growing and learning and I am glad to be here to do that with all of you.
Truth is, it was from this struggle in coming to terms with my bisexuality that I learned to work with other self issues. We are multi-faceted creatures and our sexuality is just one component of who we are. I remember making things about my sexuality that were really about something else (like my relationship to whoever I was dating at that time). Sometimes there is a fine line when we are struggling with different issues. It takes a lot of time and patience to delve deep and work things out because with each layer of the self that we peel back, there is another layer to learn about and love.
As a bisexual community we welcome everyone. One saying I love (as a woman who leans towards women but happened to fall in love with and marry a man) is “there are not enough numbers on that Kinsey Scale to capture my bisexuality.” If you fall between a 1 and a 5 on the Kinsey Scale (which just about sums up most people in the LGBT community including those who do not identify as such) then you belong here. For many of us, life takes us up and down the spectrum-we do not fit neatly into one box or one number. Most people in the LGBT community have had experience with attractions to more than one gender on some level but more people happen to identify as monosexual. That is because there is still strong pressure by society to be monosexual. I’m glad it has not stopped people from BEHAVING bisexually because bisexual behavior is the most common behavior in the LGBT community.
But our behavior is not what defines us-we are what define us. We get to choose and I promise you that this wonderful community is here to help you do that no matter whether you choose a label or change your label or choose no label; this thriving community is here to support you through the ups and downs and let you know you are not alone. We are all a part of the struggle and of the beauty that comes from finding the light. Who you are now, who you were, and who you will be in the future will evolve. If you are not evolving (in my opinion) then you are not living and what’s the point of that?
Thank you for coming onto this site and reading about our experiences here. There is a reason you were drawn here and I hope you come back and engage with us. For those who have already begun posting, please continue to contribute because you do not realize how much your honesty and courage is helping other people. I look forward to continuing to share my story with you, to learn from you, and to help you as much as you have helped me and will continue to help me.
Many blessings for a great 2015! You can create a great year if you choose to.
-Mercedes Jet, Contributing Author