Ms Gay Limerick 2012

Lads. I won. My crown is class.

When I entered, I didn’t think I would win. I wanted to help out by adding another contestant to the mix and I wanted to have the banter. I kind of wanted the crown, a lot.

It fits. I’m all about activism, I’m all about Pride, I want to big up Out in UL and I want a more public forum for bisexual visibility. On the surface, its all rosy. Winning last night was one of the most amazing rushes of my life and the support and love I felt from the Limerick LGBTQ community was something I have rarely felt before.

Today feels different. Because today I am not swaddled in the warmth of my fellow queers, non-heterosexuals who empathise and understand. Today, I am not only out (as I have been for over a year), I am OUT. To the world of Facebook. To anyone who keeps up to date with I Love Limerick (which is a lot of Limerick) and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Post or the Leader had some pictures and suddenly I am out to my nana and the rest of my extended family.

I have no issue with being out. I am very, very proud of who I am. To me, bisexuality is no big deal because it just means that whoever I’m dating may be of a different gender from relationship to relationship. But it invites questions. Questions that, whilst I can get into, I’d rather not if possible. I’m dating a boy which complicates things to the outside eye. He is my only interest, but how can Ms Gay Limerick be in a heterosexual relationship. The relationship is straight but I’m not.

I’m not confused or transitioning over to gay either and that’s another question I have to frequently deal with. I worry what my family is thinking. Are they secretly ashamed and just not telling me? I worry what T is thinking. Will he be too embarrassed to tolerate me anymore? I am so proud of who I am but I am worried that it might be selfish to be this proud of only me when the rest of my family might not feel the same way.

I am scared of backlash. I am scared that a bi girl won’t be good enough to be Ms Gay Limerick. I’m scared that I have offended the people who I hadn’t directly come out to because the issue never really arose.  I’m scared that people will think I’m a cheating whore because of my orientation. I’m scared that people will see me differently even though nothing has changed.

I thought that getting up on stage and being judged by my community was going to be the hard part. But I was wrong. It’s the next bit, the bit where I have to stand up and take charge of what I’ve done, that’s where I’ve got to be brave. And hope it all goes okay.

I wonder if I’ll get funny looks wearing the crown in the supermarket…

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