For Trevor Wilson, the main protagonist in The Art of Survival, bisexuality is not something he has ever allowed himself to explore. The story will see him struggle with his feelings, mentally, emotionally and sexually. He will ultimately have to choose between the acceptance of his family and the man he could love if he only let himself.
I’ve mentioned this in one or two places as an inclusion to my biography, but coming to terms with sexuality was a hard-won thing. I wasn’t one of those people who popped out of the womb knowing the I wasn’t straight.
In retrospect, I probably should have recognized the signs of my sexuality a lot sooner than I did, but for a myriad reasons, I missed the signs–or just plain ignored them. There was a brief point in my youth when I entertained the idea that I was bisexual, rather than straight or gay, but then a few things conspired together to make me believe that was impossible.
If you don’t believe bisexual erasure/panseuxal erasure/polysexual erasure is a thing, you haven’t lived my life. I not only lived bisexual erasure, I let it erase me. I believed for years that I had to choose. That something was wrong with me because I chose and still had these other feelings.
Then one day, after another series of events, it was like a dam broke inside me. I burst into tears listening to Silent Legacy by Melissa Etheridge. I finally knew that it was time to accept myself. That not only was bisexuality a real thing, but so was pansexuality, which more accurately described how I felt.
It was a revelation. It was like throwing off shackles. It was amazing. I was only sad it had taken me so long to come to terms with it. It felt like being alive for the first time. It felt like I had survived something and come out the other side.
Recently, it was suggested to me that my readers didn’t need to know I was pansexual. The suggestion came from a place of good intentions, but it also helped me to realize something very important.
Maybe my readers don’t need to know–but I need them to know. I want them to know. LGBT people have hidden in closets for too many years. Me personally for longer than the current average. I don’t want people to assume I am straight. Or gay, for that matter. Not even bisexual. I want them to know that I am pansexual. I am Pansexual and I am proud.
Now, I know there are those of you who have read this whole thing and not even known what pansexuality is. So I will educate you. Pansexuality refers to feeling attraction to people without regard to their gender or sex. It means, if I am drawn emotionally and mentally to a human person over the age of consent, it makes no difference to me what physical equipment they have or what gender they are presenting as.
That is not to say that I don’t like the equipment. I like all the equipment. I like masculine and feminine people, people who are both and people that are neither.
I write male-male romance because those stories tend to lend themselves more easily to hard struggles with sexual identity and those are the stories that I best like to tell. Those are my stories. Those are the stories I identify with.
And I don’t mean for a moment that women do not also struggle with their sexuality. They do. Of course they do, but society as a whole is more accepting of lesbianism than of male homosexuality.
If you don’t believe me, look up homosexuality laws in African nations. See how many places male homosexuality is (or used to be) punishable by death or imprisonment while female homosexual is not and never has been illegal.
Men have privilege in this world, but the fastest way to see that privilege taken from them is to have a man viewed as unmasculine. And being gay is seen as the ultimate in unmasculine by those against it. Is that true? Or fair? No to both. It’s something the younger generations seem to be actively fighting to change and I hope they are successful. Closets are so 1950. Maybe by 2050, we won’t need them anymore.
Wouldn’t that be divine?