Reflections and ‘coming clean’

Eric Casey, Special to The Beacon

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Editors note: Eric Casey graduated in May 2016 from Wilkes University. He is a former opinion writer for The Beacon.

This is not an opinion piece or a music review like I was so used to writing every week for this campus newspaper.  There are some things that I need to get off my chest.  I’ve been waiting for the right time, and for some reason I feel like now is the time.

This paper often writes about a variety of social issues about race, religion, gender, etc.  In the fall, I wrote an article about how bisexuals are often ignored in real life and often not portrayed in the entertainment industry.  I wrote the article because not only was it important to bring awareness to those who are unaware, but it’s a personal subject for me as well.

What I’m trying to say is that I’m bisexual…if that’s the correct label.  Since around 8th grade I noticed I started to become attracted to the same sex.  High school was absolutely miserable for me as I struggled with my personality, mood swings, depression, friendships, bullies, and other issues.  I understand everyone goes through stuff in high school because of hormones, but it was a little different for me.

I had to face the same group of people everyday who made it a living hell.  

The weird thing is, I convinced myself I was straight in high school even though subconsciously I knew I wasn’t.  I didn’t even support gay marriage or anything like that because at the time I was trying to hide any evidence of being something other than straight.

The real struggle for those in the LGBT community is convincing others that it’s not a choice.  The belief that someone chooses to be gay is just as ludicrous as someone saying that they chose to be bullied in school through physical or mental harm.  No one chooses to be straight, they are just born that way or they aren’t.

During my first year at Wilkes I encountered an article called “Mostly Straight, Most of the Time” on a website called goodmenproject.org.  It basically talked about how many young men out of high school describe themselves as “mostly straight” instead of 100 percent straight, bisexual or gay.  The study in the article mentioned four different with four different attitudes about their sexuality.  For example, one guy questioned whether we’re all born bisexual and culture just pushed us one way or another.  Another guy said he wouldn’t rule out experimenting with another male without it meaning anything.

The article was really compelling and helped me feel more comfortable with myself.  Honestly, there are days where I feel around 80 percent straight, other days I’m feeling about 40 percent, and some days I just don’t feel any kind of attraction.  For that, I look at the Kinsey Scale.

The 80 percent would probably make me a 2 on the Kinsey Scale.  That’s considered “predominantly heterosexual, but more than incidentally homosexual.”  The latter percentage number I mentioned (40 percent) would probably make me a 4 on the Kinsey Scale.  That would mean “predominantly homosexual, but more than incidentally heterosexual”

In early December of 2014 I was in the midst of seasonal depression and felt like I couldn’t keep some thoughts to myself anymore.  The first person I came out to as bi was my great friend Lyssa Scott.  I knew she would accept me, despite her religious upbringing.  Once I came out to her I thought it would be easier,  which it was.  During 2015 I slowly came out to certain friends who I knew could handle it maturely.

It was time to come forward because I’ve always felt the pressure from certain people, including friends.  It’s been very bothersome for me over the years, but I hope you can now move on with your lives.  Just as I will also move on with my life without so much weight on my damn shoulders.

I have many friends that are all over the Kinsey Scale.  It’s nice to be surrounded by others who are similar to you.  By saying these things, I would hope that others can come out to express who they really are.  In my opinion, if your friends don’t support you, then they probably aren’t your real friends.  That’s the kind of negativity you don’t need in your life.

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