Most of my writing will centre on the theme of coming out, my experiences of doing so and people’s reactions to it. But coming out for me has been a journey that started fairly recently, and I feel the need to explain how I actually came to this point. My next few posts will deal with how my life had been before I decided to come out, and how I came to terms with my bisexuality during this time internally at least.
I've known I wasn’t straight from around the time I was twelve or thirteen. Unfortunately, it all started with the Internet and porn, rather than something sweet like falling in love with the boy next door. We were living in Asia, and if I remember correctly, I was twelve when we got an Internet connection in our house for the first time. I want to be clear – it wasn’t like my life was suddenly saturated with porn. We had a dial up connection (which in itself should tell you how much porn I could've gotten my hands on...), and the computer was kept in my parents’ bedroom.
But still, sometimes I managed to sneak in when no one else was there and used the computer to look up porn. I already knew about heterosexual sex from school and from friends. It was actually the only kind of sex we knew about: homosexuality didn't really exist for us then. And while the word gay had on rare occasions been used as a slur at my previous school in Europe, its meaning never completely registered in my head. So at first, all I looked at was straight porn, and it didn't even occur to me that there might be anything else out there. But at some point, I decided I quite liked the men, and I’d quite like to see more of the men. It was never a fully articulated thought, even within my own mind. Consequently it never occurred to me this was a gay thought, let alone a wrong thought. So I saw more of the men. Then I saw the men together. It wasn’t some kind of revelation. I just thought hmm, that’s interesting, I would have never thought that you could or would do that.
Then my imagination took over. And that was the true revelation.
But this was also when all of my internal conflicts began. Before my foray into gay porn, I had a small, perhaps slightly religiously inclined voice in my head telling me that porn is wrong. This voice didn't really bother to make a distinction between straight porn and gay porn, and it was one that I mostly ignored. My new gay tinted imagination, however, gave rise to a new voice. This new voice was also slightly religiously inclined, but objected quite strongly to gay porn. In fact, it found the concept of two men being together so wrong that it even encouraged straight porn so that I would stay away from the gay porn.
What interests me most now that I’m looking back is trying to understand where this voice came from. I knew my parents would blow up if they knew I was looking at porn, and I knew they would disapprove of gay porn even more. This knowledge was quite concrete in my mind, but I'm not sure where it came from. I imagine now that it possibly came from the fact that gay people weren't visible in the Asian society we were living in at the time or in the Bangladeshi society we came from. This in turn possibly led me to believe that homosexual behaviour is wrong. But I don’t know for sure.
What I can say for sure it that it sent me into a stage of denial. As soon as I realised that the label gay could be applied to what I was doing, I refused to confront it. My occasional Internet habits didn't change, and neither did the thoughts in my head. But I refused to think about it beyond that. I was still attracted to girls. I checked frequently to make sure. I was going to get a girlfriend eventually, and everything was going to be fine. And that, was that.