By Rev. Lois Parr
I was married to a man and our oldest son had been born when someone asked me, “how do you identify?”
It seems to me the first time someone had asked me specifically, and it gave me a kind of freedom to respond, “bisexual,” to her, to claim and name the truth of what she experienced in me. She, too, identified as bisexual, and when she mirrored me to myself, it helped me to know and unlock that spoken honesty. There was nothing surprising in it, for her or for me: it was the significance of saying it out loud. And we compared notes on what it had meant to us to hang around with lesbians and feel not-quite-at-home there, to recognize that being attracted to women and men was tricky territory.
Straight crowds weren’t completely right, but we could fit in there; lesbian crowds urged us to just make up our minds and get on with it. Everybody assumed we wanted to have a lot of sex. That moment, now 24 years ago – the age of my son – feels at once far away and present. Naming a truth of “orientation” (that is to say: sexual attraction identity) seems unnecessary and superfluous when you’re married to a person of the opposite sex and it’s been going swimmingly for over 25 years.