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Every time

Every time it’s like the first time.

Every time I drop the words into a space that seems to fit them, stand back, and wait to see what happens. Every time my heart’s beating faster. Every time I’m wondering which bridges I’ve burned.

Every time the reaction is unforeseeable. Every time I think I should have foreseen it. Whatever it turns out to be. Every time I’m rewriting the other person’s assumptions about me. Every time it’s a new beginning.

People talk about bisexual invisibility. I’m about as invisible as they get: marriage (ten years, last June) does that. At least, in church culture it does. If I want to space to talk about the multiplicity of possibilities that existed for me, that still exist in a universe alongside this one, in a future I can’t know, I have to carve it out myself.

If I want to be visible, I have to be bright. I’m half dismayed, half delighted, by the ambiguity of the rainbow. Does she mean...? Yes, I do.

My husband isn’t a Christian and I'm not straight. Nobody can tell by looking, looking at us where we sit side by side in the choir. At the churches we don’t go to, they thunder about different roles for men and women. We both sing second alto. At the churches we do go to, I have to say it, over and over and over again.

At one church I explain to the rector that I didn’t mean I was polyamorous, because I’m not, but that I appreciate his not freaking out when he thought that was what I meant.

At the next, I cry on the curate and beg to know what the rainbows mean.

I tell the whole world via the internet, and then find myself hoping that nobody googles me.

I try behaving as if everybody already knows, but it’s difficult to tell the difference.

I get so hung up on what people don’t know about me that I miss what I should have noticed about them.

I find myself expecting hostility from other Christians, and realise that the Christian who has done most damage to me is myself.

I promise myself that I’ll never leave half of myself outside the church door again.

I tell them. I tell them.

I tell them. I stand back and wait to see what happens.

Every time, I’m not sure whether it’s going to be all right. Every time changes the dynamic.

Every time it’s like the first time.


If you've been affected by any of the issues in this blog and would like to talk to someone, we recommend the LGBT Switchboard on 0300 330 0630 or their online chat facility.

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