Manuevering the Edge
Contributor
Written by
Kevin Camp
August 2010
Contributor
Written by
Kevin Camp
August 2010
When I entered this space, I decided to keep certain things to myself. I suppose I wanted to push back against a stereotypical notion, one that said no heterosexual, run-of-the-mill male would have any interest whatsoever in contributing to a site overwhelmingly female in makeup. But I'm not the typical male and I never have been. I don't think I entered under false pretenses, but I did want to make a statement I hope will not be muted by a revelation to the contrary. I write this because I want to further understanding, though as I write this I am struggling with fear and the likelihood of possible regret. I even prayed about this, funnily enough, and the answer I received was an unrequited nod in the affirmative. So I suppose I must proceed. With therapy, I have tentatively contemplated revealing parts of myself I usually entrust to a few friends alone. This is what therapy is for, of course. Though we often expect therapy to perform wonders it is really not capable of managing by itself, it does nonetheless have its virtues. As for me, it's the fear of being misunderstood or making others uncomfortable that has prevented me from being completely honest. As a Quaker, I'm supposed to speak Truth, as I understand it, and this provides an additional layer of compulsion to speak forth. Feeling sick and overwhelmed with life has me at an especially vulnerable point at the moment, and I hope I'm not making a mistake. I have been encouraged to speak honestly, and to relinquish the need for continual secrecy. I don't know why I feel like this instant ought to be confession time, but some force beyond my understanding seems to have deemed this appropriate. On my own blog, I keep such topics off-limits because my mother reads it, and regardless of what I might think about her belief on the subject, I do not wish to embarrass her. I am now considering not feeling inclined to censor myself for her behalf or anyone else's. I'm bisexual and genderqueer. I mostly partner with women, though, since I have absolutely no trust at all with most men. I keep primarily female company because of this fact, leading many who know me in person to believe I must always be after a sexual partner or girlfriend. I've talked before about being sexually abused as a child, and here lies a result. I have a chronic illness, bipolar disorder, which is regulated with medication, but full of constant demands upon my time and patience. These complexities factor into a grand riddle, making it easy for others to form conclusions that are not factually correct. I would rather reveal the solution than stoically guard it from usurpers. Mainly, friends, I'm just tired of being misunderstood. Each of these details I have now revealed are usually doled out piecemeal, a bit at a time, and only to a few firmly established friends or lovers. For most, it is a system that works well. For me, however, I have decided to brave the potential for negative reactions, believing in the promise of comprehension. I saw family members live in the shadows, harboring family secrets only learned upon terminal illness or deathbed confession. I saw a former partner desperately pursue a relationship with myself and other men, finally to acknowledge who she was, even when her soon-to-be former church told her that simply being herself was a sin. I saw the guilt of my mother when the part of her that was a regular human being sometimes slipped out when she was supposed to be in perfect Mommy mode. I do not wish to live that way. I once opted for a compromise measure, wherein I'd be selectively open about these personal matters. I was out in my professional career, but not so much in my private life. Before long, interested parties will probably connect the dots anyway, as I have grown less and less inclined to cover my tracks. I'll be proactive and save others the trouble. So here I am, as I am.

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Comments
  • Kevin Camp

    I am so pleased and relieved at the wonderful response I've gotten from this. I certainly wasn't expecting it at all. I'd give you all a hug if I could. Thanks everyone!

  • Kim Earley

    Kevin, I wanted to thank you for setting your nervousness aside and putting yourself out there. It's so easy to worry about people judging you. I have the same fears (different reasons, but the same fears), and don't post some of my personal, private thoughts on my blog (mostly for my mother and my own sake... "my own sake" is read: ex-husband). For me, it's less about my sexuality and more about religion. These are strange times, supposedly enlightened times; however, the fear of persecution is still very real in many areas of our lives. I applaud you for your post, which is moving, articulate, and honest. So, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for being who you are.