If You Had the Chance

It was four years ago that I realized I was bisexual. Within the time following this event, I noticed one question that kept resurfacing in conversation every time I came out to someone new. It hasn't happened too frequently, but it's left an impression. I'd be asked, “If you had the chance, would you want to be straight?”

I’d like to say that my answer was an automatic rebuttal, but the first time I was ever asked this question was when liking both girls and boys was still new and frightening. So, I answered yes. After that, I brushed it off as a curious question in a casual conversation, but it left a mark, a feeling of uncertainty. It bothered me-- not the question, but my answer.

I asked myself, in those times when I dug deep, did I really? The answer should’ve been obvious. Because who wouldn’t want to be accepted as they are from the get-go? Who wouldn’t want to be free from the closet they’d been forced to hide in? Or rather, who would want to be scared all the time, of slipping up in front of parents, friends, or strangers that would hate them just for, well, existing? Who would want to double check their every move, every word to make sure they don’t stray too far from the status quo? Who would want to fight tooth and nail every day just for the right to live? 

And yet, if someone asked me the very same question I was asked four years ago now, I wouldn’t miss a beat in answering, “No”. If I was straight, I definitely would not be the same person I am today. I’m someone I can honestly say I’m proud to be. Being queer has opened my eyes to things that reach far beyond my own communities. It has educated me, made me smarter, kinder, and better. Being queer has made me learn how to accept myself. So yeah, if I was straight maybe I would have an easier life. Maybe there’d be far less fear and crying, less secrets to keep, and less problems to deal with, but that’s just what they all are-- maybes. 

By Allianah Pingol

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