Long Story Short by Patrick Lilja
It was a hot summer afternoon in July 2015. I was on the road in western Wisconsin returning to the Twin Cities after a weekend with friends and “it”, the truth, just abruptly popped into my head: the realization that I was bisexual.
Sounds incredibly simple, but it wasn’t. I had been wondering for a few years. I felt empty inside like something was missing and I didn’t know what. The idea that maybe I wasn’t straight was one of the things I wondered but for some reason it didn’t click, as if it was really that suppressed in my mind. I’m also autistic so perhaps the long battle with accepting that part of my life prevented me from realizing I was also bi. Who knows?
While I felt a sense of peace knowing that the empty space I was feeling had been filled, the next thing was that I was scared to tell anyone, even people I knew I could trust and be supportive of me because of the way this realization had come about, and the fact that everybody had known me as straight up until now.
I reached a rest area a couple hours later and I immediately tried to call one of my close friends to tell them I was “out”. They texted me back to say they were busy at a function but I could text them if it was important. So with my shaky hands I tried to write out a message that was probably better left for an actual phone call but I couldn’t wait any longer and I dumped it into a text somehow. My friend was supportive of me as I knew they would be in my head, but that little reassurance that I had support made me feel much more secure. I began to tell a few people here and there, only people who I knew would be supportive of me. I have yet to come out to anyone who I have doubts about how they would receive the news.
As I think about my adolescence I realize now that a lot of the same physical features that I found attractive about women, I also found attractive about the boys I grew up around. It continues to be something I’m trying to integrate into my life as I try to unwrap my repressed feelings about boys.
To those who support me, thank you. You are the best!