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[coming out stories]

Natasha Johnson
Actress, New York
October 11, 1997

Bisexual. Now that's a hell of a loaded word. And it's a word that fits me like a glove.

I like men and I like women. I have been publicly out about this for the last couple of years. And what a hell of a last couple of years they've been!

You know, Sigmund Freud said that all people are born bisexual and later are conditioned by society to fall in love with the opposite sex. The guy was a genius, he must've known what he was talking about.

Telling people I am bi has been one of the most difficult challenges of my life. Almost as tough as being an African-American deaf woman. When I "came out", my mother almost threw me out of the house and at one point I was almost raped by a neighbor who felt I just needed a "good fuck" to set my head straight.

Sometimes, I feel the only people who really accept me are those who are also bisexual. Even when I tell people who are gay that I am bi, I always feel like they do not accept me fully for who I am.

It's always, "chose this one or that one" or "can't you make up your mind"? Why do I HAVE to? Why do people have to put limits on who they love based on what's below the waistline?

I am proud of who I am. If people can't accept that, it's their big loss.

Look inside your heart. Be true to yourself. Above all else, be proud of who you are.

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