It’s risky putting your head above the parapet. Revealing who you are and being vulnerable publicly. I knew I wanted to write a piece in the South Asian Heritage edition of CSP Frontline and that every Chartered Physio, student & support worker member would get copy through their front door. Glossy and undeniable.
Here is the article: https://www.csp.org.uk/frontline/article/hi-bi-living-beyond-boxes
I made myself do it. Having been in this profession for 30 years, since the start of my training, I have met wonderful colleagues and knew they would be supportive of my big reveal. I am an invisible bi/pansexual as I am married to a man, my 2nd husband. Many didn’t know me when I was with a woman. She was my first long term partner and first love.
Now what is very interesting is how I have been sharing this piece through my professional networks. It feels relatively safe. I haven’t shared on social media where there are larger numbers of my Mauritian community, particularly my parent’s generation. My father is my life’s inspiration and I’ve been driven in my career, partly to show him that I can be successful as a non-medic. Asians wanting their kids to be doctors, the age old cliché. One of the reasons I flunked my entrance to med school was that my parents discovered my relationship with a woman. My Irish mum was confused but generally supportive. I could not be in the same room as my father for a long time. He said very little, but the disappointment hung heavy. Years later, my mum knows I identify as bi/pansexual and I’m sure she thinks it’s still a phase (that has lasted 30 years).
I have avoided sharing my piece on Facebook as I know my father will find it. I know his friends/family will find it and ask him questions. I’m still not ready to have that conversation with him. He’s a quiet man, a good man who does not enjoy drama. Am I protecting him from difficult questioning from the community? Absolutely. Am I also shying away from tough conversations? Probably. As my mother’s main carer, I don’t want to rock his world again right now. His energy needs protecting.
As many of my LGBTQIA+ friends have discussed, coming out is a constant process. It is not one event. Every instance is carefully calculated for safety. Some will say I’m cowering in my bi-invisibility. They’re not 100% wrong. My calculations aren’t favourable yet, and it is definitely the intersection with my cultural heritage making this harder. Asian cultures are based on collectivism and the opinion and interventions from the community are part of that. This is why many South Asian LGBTQIA people retreat from their communities. Many stay in the closet.
One thought on “Hi to Bi, my piece for Frontline magazine”
Gita, these are inspiring words and will resonate with many. You absolutely need to make the right decisions for you and your personal circumstances, and your cultural heritage plays an enormous part. I am so happy that you have received love and acceptance from your professional networks: it was a courageous article and I am proud of you in taking that difficult step in such a public way.