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  • The conversation I am working up the courage to have with my parents:

    Dear Mom and Dad,

    I've been wanting to tell you this for a long time. I've known since I was 13, but it wasn't until I was 22 and dating that beautiful literature major who looked like Uma Thurman that I really knew.

    I'm bisexual. I'm bisexual and I've been able to hide it from you by mostly dating men. I didn't think I could tell you because I excitedly told my little brother about the Uma Thurman girl and his reaction was scary and negative. I didn't think I could tell you after that photo of me kissing a girl on Halloween in 2009 made it on to Facebook and dad told me how "ashamed" he was--words I'd never before heard from him in my entire life. I didn't think I could tell you two years ago when we sat around watching football together and my little brother called some player he didn't like a "faggot."

    I'm bisexual and I am 33 years old and I am finally ready to come out after the horrific, homophobic hate crime committed in Orlando killed 49 people who were dancing in a night club and injured 53 others. I need you to know that the LGBT community is not just other people in other towns who are dying from gun violence at the hands of hate. The LGBT community includes your own daughter that you love. She could die from hate too.

    I'm bisexual and I'm not out to most people at work or on social media or even entirely in my very progressive friends' circle. Part of that is because by mostly dating men, I don't feel I can claim that identity--like I'm some sort of a fraud. Part of that is also that I haven't tried to date women I've been attracted to because I don't think you would support me. Part of that is because the women I have slept with have been friends, and we never tried to date publicly.

    I'm bisexual and I'm probably wrong that you wouldn't support me. Because even though you're both so very Catholic, and even though you live in Southern Indiana, you have always supported me. You supported me when I worked for the union and when I worked at Planned Parenthood and now when I work at the uber progressive advocacy organization. You don't agree with the work I do, but you support me and you still love me, so what makes me think that if I fell in love with a woman you wouldn't support me then?

    I'm bisexual and I could be wrong. I don't know how you will respond. It's been easier to just date men and let my bisexuality be erased then to face the possibility that you could disown me. I don't want to lose you. We may not always agree on politics but you've been an amazing family, full of love and always there for me. It would be devastating if I lost you over who I loved, and it's been worth hiding from you to not have to face that possibility.

    I'm bisexual and I am in love with someone you have heard about but have not met. You have heard a man's name and will see a man when you see pictures of us but the person I love does not identify as a man or woman. As scared as I am to come out to you, I am more scared of you not bothering to get to know them just because of who they are. So for now I will ignore the "he" pronouns and just hope you learn so many great things that their gender will not matter once you are finally made aware.

    I'm bisexual and I'm scared, but I'm going to tell you now because I have to for all the people who will never speak again. I love you. Please promise me you'll love me too.
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