Dennis Ward

California + Illinois + Indiana + USA

Sometimes it takes time…

Bisexual + Pansexual / 17 and Under + 60-69 / White / Other

Hello, I am Dennis. I was born in the Midwest that was then a place and a time where the terms gay, bisexual and even straight were not around yet. You were heterosexual or the terms I knew of then, a pansy or a fag. If you were non-heterosexual you kept it to yourself as much as possible. My world was a blue-collar working class one. Everyone seemingly straight, married families and the like. I was raised by my mother and grandmother, not the typical home on our street. And as I would find out as I grew up not everyone was straight either. We also attended a very conservative Christian church too.

I was around 10 when I had a same sex experience with a classmate. That was my introduction to that part of myself, a revelation as such. I fully enjoyed it and knew I would do it again. It felt natural to me, nothing wrong or abnormal. I never felt any guilt or shame for finding pleasure in that. I just took it as how it was for me. I knew I still liked girls and the thought of being sexual some day with one was still in the front of my mind too.

I also knew that it was something to keep hidden too. Growing up the only ones who knew about me so to speak were the guys who I had sex with. I was never out to any of the women I was in relationships with, till finally later in my life. I had gotten to a point where I did not want to hide that part of myself from someone I was to be close with at least. I fully identify as pan or bisexual hetero-romantic.

I was in my mid-twenties when I first heard the term bisexual. Ahah, so that is what I am! Cool. I had been married and divorced by then. I was dating some girls and I had had a few same-sex encounters during those years too. It was with a close circle, with guys I knew well and some were even good friends. We sort of all kept each other’s secret.

So now… I am 67, designer & artist, and Unitarian with a Buddhist bent. I am married with a daughter in her late teens. My wife is bi also. I came out to her soon after our relationship started to become serious and she did to me then too. So we have always been supportive of each other. What sparked my coming out was our daughter. She came out as bi to us when she was 16. Of course we felt so good that she felt she could and would to us. We in turn came out to her. So conversations about bisexuality among us were quite common. After that I felt I wanted to be more at home with myself and I started coming out more. I didn’t do a universal declaration. Though I did do a video for “Still Bisexual” and my wife did a cameo in it. On a personal level, I have been letting others know as I go along, to mostly friends and some family at this point. It has felt very liberating and affirming.

I hope this helps others to know that someone of my age is bi also. To know someone else was that young when they discovered that part of themselves then and has gone on through life with that. You can be young and old and sexually be who you are.