United States

Hi, I‘m Dennis. I am Pansexual.

I am a visual designer and artist, now in my mid-sixties. I was raised by my mother and grandmother, she was an artist and showed me there was more to the world that the one I grew up in. A product of the sixties, open-minded and liberal. A college grad who still loves learning. I am married 16 years now with one daughter and I have two other children. I am originally from Indiana and lived a number of years in San Diego and now in the Chicago burbs. I was grew up an a very conservative blue color world. I was brought up in a conservative protestant church and my path has lead me to a zen/taoist spirituality now.

What being bisexual means to me

Bisexual was the only term I came to know that I could identify my sexuality with when I first knew of it. I now think of myself now was pansexual. I am sexually attracted to both all but my emotional connections are with women.

It is being able relating to another person emotionally and/or sexually on any level. That their physical gender or self-identified and the societal norms attached to those does not dictate nor restricts the level of what that can be. Be it love or lust one is open in pursue that. To extend that, they can be monogamous or poly relationships, emotionally and sexually open or of fidelity. It is about the openness to explore, discover and have the relationships that work for all involved.

Sexuality is not a choice... No one I know of chose to be heterosexual as anyone else chose to be omni-sexual (gay, bi etc.). We are born into a world that is largely heterosexual and that becomes our default orientation. In time many of us come to find ourselves relating to others emotionally and/or sexually outside of that somewhat imposed sexual nature. It can happen for many at a very early age, as an adult and even into their later years as well... it can be a gradual awareness over time or the result of an event or encounter that sparks ones realization that they are more sexually. A curtain being slowly drawn back or a bolt out of the blue.

What I would like the world to know about bisexuals

We are!! We relate to others just as you do, just not to one gender as such. The emotional and physical dynamics are the same. Attraction, affection, love, desire and lust just as heterosexuals feel and experience them we do as well, just with more options as it were. It is not a phase. I am sure there are those who have thought of their non-same sex experiences a that or just experimenting. As some want to paint those being omni-sexual as promiscuous, sex-crazed and sexually deviant or perverted those things do not exist within our world alone. They are as much a part of the straight world also.

What was your path to a bisexual identity?

I think I was more aware of sexual thing than my peers going up. I seemed to pick up on the sexual aspect of things as early on as I can remember. So when the opportunity to have those first sexual experiences I was very open to. What I consider my first real sexual experience happened when I was quite young, was same sex with a classmate after school. It was a positive experience one I enjoyed quite well and I knew from then on knew I was open to same sex activities. The desire to have sex with females for me was no less diminished and has always been a part me he as well. I knew even at that age that same sex experiences were not something to be know about by others, a highly charged negative back then. So I kept a it low key as much as I could. Growing up I had a few more same sex experiences with other guys I knew. Looking back I know my mother was concerned in my teen years I might be gay. Bisexual was not a part of the lexicon at that time. I had just turned 17 when I had first had sex with a girl. I dated with girls through my teen years and married right out of high school but never shared that part of myself with any of them, still keeping it my secret. I first became aware of the term bisexual in the mid-seventies and I identified with that to myself. Overtime I came out to those I was close to and was in relationships with. As I am to my wife and some others in my family now.

What is the toughest thing about being bisexual?

The judgments and assumptions that others have about it. The condemnation and how it is used by the radical political and religious right to promote their agendas.

What is the best thing about being bisexual?

To be one that can experience and enjoy so much with others as they choose.

How have other people in your life reacted to your bisexuality?

With the friends I have opened up to about it good. I have been somewhat select with those I have with. I have some family and friends I have not with as that I think they are somewhat uncomfortable about such things or it just would't be the thing to do. A bit of discretion.

What advice do you have for someone who thinks they may be bi or who is in the process of coming out as bi?

Be open to yourself as to that being you, don't judge yourself as to it being wrong or a sin. It is normal in spite of what we are taught and told to think of it by so many. Embrace it don't be afraid of it. Follow it at a pace that feels right for you.