Lesson Two – Accept Yourself

June 21, 2010

The only acceptance you need concern yourself with is self acceptance.  Acceptance from anyone else is superfluous, a bonus, a pleasant surprise.  And since bisexual people don’t hear it often enough, I’ll say it here, just for the record:

It is perfectly natural to enjoy an emotional and sexual attraction to both women and men.

I’m sure you know this intellectually, but until you really embrace yourself, the distraction of self-doubt puts you at a social disadvantage.  You’ll find it difficult to nurture a balanced, successful romantic relationship, especially one of the same-sex variety.  Self-assured people will sense the I’m-ashamed-of-myself vibe and withdraw, while predators will step up to exploit your insecurities.  And so you’ll find yourself compromising your dignity, overcompensating to nurture your denial, perhaps hurting a few good people unfortunate enough to cross your disharmonious path.

But like everyone else, you’re a work in progress.  Work on accepting your bisexuality so you can put it in perspective and live with forward momentum.  Because your sexuality is only one part of you, albeit inextricably intertwined.  And when you’re “there” you’ll discover that self acceptance frees you to focus on someone other than yourself.  That is, because you will not be focused on whether you’re worthy, you can more readily determine whether others are worthy of you.

And when you’re ready to share, don’t give people a “choice” in accepting you.  One of the most liberating states of mind I have achieved is not giving a damn what other people think about my sexuality.  It was a younger sister who helped me to this understanding during our “coming out” conversation some years ago.  When she asked why I hadn’t told her before, I shrugged and knee-jerk answered, “I didn’t think you’d accept it.”  Her agitated reply:  “What the hell are you talking about?  Accept it?  That doesn’t even make sense.  This isn’t something to accept or reject.  It just is.”  Things have to make sense to my siblings (which is why I believe we’ve enjoyed such rational discourse about sexuality, among other things), and after I thought about the way she put it, I realized my statement didn’t make sense.  In fact, it wasn’t even my own, but an adoption of second-class citizen thinking I’d heard some self-deprecating gay folk say.

It is disempowering to give people the option to accept you.  Your informing someone of your sexuality is an extension of trust, perhaps something one does out of professional courtesy or medical necessity, but it is NOT a solicitation for acceptance.  Coupling this liberating disclosure with a request for acceptance (express or implied) amounts to an apology for being who you are.  And that diminishes you.  It is not your responsibility to help anyone else come to terms with your sexuality.  But it is your obligation to do so on your own behalf.

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval”. – Mark Twain

One Response to Lesson Two – Accept Yourself

  1. Tabitha on June 22, 2010 at 8:55 pm

    Good points (as always) Miki. I know and respect your belief on the existence of God. But for Black Woman who do believe in God, “Does God accept who I am” is a major issue for them to overcome. I think once people understand that it is ridiculous to believe that their creator would not accept something he made. Once people can get over the God thing, then friends/family…the road to accepting one self is so much easier…

    I really love the part about not giving people the option to accept you.

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