I’m just me: bisexuality awareness
This blog was created by Jordan Powell, daughter of Nia Jordan, Co-chair of the UK & Ireland Pride employee network.
I guess you can say I was lucky.
I was raised in an environment that was open and honest, having a gay mum felt no different to me than any of my other friends.
Mums sexuality had no impact or bearing on how I was raised or who I am as a person today. I was still loved, fed, clothed and had a normal childhood just like anyone else.
It wasn’t really until later in primary school and in secondary school that I really became aware of the differences in others mentality when it came to sexuality. Not because of any changes in home life but from the reactions of my peers around me.
I would dread social events such as parents evening as I was made to feel that I should be ashamed of who mum was when in fact that’s not how I felt at all, she was my best friend.
The constant name calling and comments in school was something that became the norm and I would try to hide this from her as much as possible. I didn’t want her to think that my experiences were a direct result of her; kids would ask if I was a ‘test tube’ baby or assume I didn’t have a dad when in fact I had both of my parents and they loved me unconditionally.
I lost count of the amount of times I was told that I would ‘turn’ gay because my mum was, if that was to be the case, I didn’t care as long as I was happy that’s all that matters.
Growing up in such an open environment unlocked multiple opportunities for me though I was never 100% certain of my sexuality it wasn’t something that particularly concerned me. I didn’t fit the stereotypical girl and would rarely wear dresses, paint my nails or spend hours on my hair and make-up.
When I hit my late teens I was more confident in who I was as a person and mum had always allowed me to express myself with piercings or the clothes I wanted to wear. She would always tell me to stand out from the crowd and be an individual, much like her I guess.
At 17 I began to explore my sexuality in a bit more detail and realised that I had an attraction to girls though those familiar taunts from school soon filled my head again. “What if people thought I was attracted to girls because of mum”.
Because of this I was really worried about opening up to mum and talking to her about it. It’s crazy to think that she would be anything but supportive though it was something that was really difficult for me to talk about.
I remember us sitting on the sofa with my best friend and her sister and it was in fact my best friends sister who muttered the words out loud.
I was relieved but was instantly worried that mum would be disappointed, mum hugged me and reassured me that no matter who I chose to love she would support me 110% and that was that.
I’ve learnt to accept that my sexuality has nothing to do with the environment I was raised, this is part of me and I embrace it.
I often get asked by friends whether I would class myself as being bisexual and my answer is always the same… “I’m just me, I don’t need a label to define who I am as a person”.
Regardless of who I am attracted to, it does not matter. My sexuality does not validate me as a person and it does not stop me from striving what I want to achieve in life. I’m not only glad that I have a mum, who just so happens to be gay, I’m also happy because she is who she is and that makes me proud of her.
The PRIDE network isn’t just for people who identify as LGBT – it’s open to all employees. Many of whom are allies to friends and family members. The PRIDE Network can offer support and advice in situations like your child ‘coming out’ to you. If you’d like more information get in touch in the comments below.