I am confused, but I am pretty sure I am bisexual, if not fully gay. Maybe most of you already knew this, but in case there has been doubt, I must be clear about my feelings. I feel guilty for sharing, but I have no choice if I want to survive. I have kept my sexuality hidden for a very long time, so long that and I often feel as if I am dying, or that I am already dead. There has been a part of me that I have hated my entire life, that has been poisoned, that has in turn destroyed every attempt I have made at having an intimate relationship.
I cannot continue refusing to be open about who I am, at least as far as I am able. It saddens me that my sharing will hurt so many of you, but I simply do not know what else to do. Please forgive me for the pain my words may bring, but I want to live, and to do that, I must be honest.
At several times in my life, I have wondered about my sexuality and considered being open about my feelings. Each time I would freeze up. Each time the same questions would come: Was I just saying that I was bisexual for effect? Was I simply rebelling for the sake of rebellion? Was I just trying to be trendy? Was I trying to please someone, lure them into liking me? Being willing to do whatever sexual act so that someone would love me?
I cannot answer these questions. Perhaps the answer to all of them is yes. At this moment, I feel like I am somewhere else writing about someone else. Maybe I am not far from another hospitalization. I don't know. I hope not.
I have loved and do love women but having sex has always been a challenge, a challenge that I most often overcame through the use of drugs. I do know that there are several men that I would like to kiss; not just a brush of the lips, but a passion-filled, open-mouthed, romantic kiss. Would there ever be more than that? That, I do not know.
For some reason, the world of relaxed and loving sex has been closed to me for my entire life. How and when the lock was put on the gate to sexual pleasure I do not know. I hope that someday it will be opened. I pray that it will be. But I am pretty sure that it cannot open unless I am as honest as possible. If I cannot find a path to the warmth of intimacy, I can live a life of celibacy. I have a lot of practice. But even if I am celibate, I must admit my feelings and desires openly. Otherwise, I will live a life of lies and darkness.
Somewhere in my mind a voice screams at me to not post this letter. It says, “How can you be so selfish? Why do you want to hurt those that love you? You should be ashamed of yourself.” I am ashamed. I do feel selfish. I do not want to hurt those that love me. That is at the root of my problem. I feel as if all of my life I have been asked to kill a part of myself in order to avoid hurting those I love. When I think on this dilemma, my despair can become so great that I consider ending things.
Today, I will use the strength I learned from my Father to push myself away from that precipice. I use his strength and courage to share the truth, even though sharing it must hurt him and the rest of my family. Sharing in order to survive is better than the alternative. I am your son, Holland Hankins, and I love both men and women. I am your brother, Keith Hankins, and I am bisexual. I am your brother, Michael Hankins, and I love who I love.
Where things go from here I do not know. Maybe I will find it easier to be who I am. Perhaps some of you will read my note and spare me the pain of having to tell each of you individually. If you do read it, let me know. And, if you can find it in your heart to love me as I am, let me know that too.