I have a husband, we are monogamous, and we have children together. He works full time, I’m a stay-at-home mom. On the outside, we look like a traditional family. Reality, though, is different than what meets the eye.
I’m a bisexual mom. Usually, I just identify myself as queer. (And yes, queer is still an OK word when used appropriately, even though it historically has been used as an insult.)
Bisexuality exists. And even though I married a man, I’m still bisexual. I’m still attracted to females and males. It still counts. Bisexuality is real, even if you can’t “see it.” We’re still an LGBTQ family.
Sometimes it seems like we get the best of both worlds. My husband and I can “appear” to be a heterosexual couple. We have a child who biologically shares both of our genes and, therefore, we aren’t generally subjected to the hardships that plague families with same-sex parents. Among other things, we don’t need to be as vigilant about our safety, and we know that we will both be recognized as our children’s parents without many questions.
But with those privileges also comes erasure.
The box I often fall into feels small, and invalidated. All of that unintentional projection makes life feel just a little bit dimmer. The bright spark that makes me feel like myself feels like it’s edged with gray.
As a bisexual mom, I hover between two categories I will never fully be part of — not quite heterosexual enough for heterosexual families, and a little too “hidden in plain sight” to overtly be a part of the LGBTQ community.
Saying that your family is an LGBTQ family requires an explanation — some “proof.” Being in a room full of other LGBTQ families, I battle with my own feelings of “imposter syndrome.” On the other hand, when I essentially “come out” to a group of heterosexual families, this “detail” is often looked at as “too much information” or, my personal favorite, information about my “sex life.”
I can “kind of” fit into both, but I “kind of” don’t fit into either.
I know some of you are thinking, “Man, this mom is just having an identity crisis she very obviously needs to solve.” And… you would be correct. But I know I’m not alone here. According to UCLA, about 11% of the population acknowledges at least some same-sex attraction. It’s pragmatic to reason that many of those people are also moms, with family dynamics similar to my own.
So what’s my point here?
It’s simple. There’s someone like me and a family like mine in your life, whether you know it or not.
It could be a friend, a relative, your neighbor, or the family you always see at your kid’s 8 a.m. soccer games with the gallon of coffee they’re willing to share. You might not see them, but they’re there: the LGBTQ family hidden in plain sight.