“””Part of me is actually glad that the Domestic Partnership ordinance was shot down today. I know many of you will find that odd coming from me, but it’s true.
I have seen brave people standing boldly in the face of ignorance and oppression, staring down hardships, slander, and even threats without once batting an eye. And as hard as I’m sure it was at times, I envied them. I envied them because they were honest with themselves, and they were honest with the world.
You see, I am bisexual. I have been for as long as any of you have known me. For various reasons I have hidden it from the world (save for a few close friends, as well as my wife) for all of my life. And you know what? Those “various reasons” all boil down to one thing: fear.
So because the ordinance in question has been shot down, I can now choose to be open and honest about who I am and not be seen as some Johnny-come-lately, jumping on a perceived bandwagon of good vibes following the victory which the forces of Justice have been denied (albeit temporarily).
I, Travis Kilgore, am bisexual. I am married to a wonderful woman and we are monogamous, but that changes my orientation no more than it changes the color of my hair. I know too well the fear of discovery, the pain of self-denial, the sting of the word “faggot” in all its forms, all of this. I know what it is like to live for decades in absolute terror of losing relationships, both friendly and familial, and I know what it is like to hate yourself for not being what someone else says is right… to hate yourself for knowing that you are not what someone else says is right, but being too cowardly to admit it to yourself… to hate yourself for knowing that you are not what someone else says is right, admitting it to yourself, and being too cowardly to “stand and take arms against a sea of troubles” by being honest with the world.
My name is Travis DeMars Kilgore. I am a Christian. I am a father/stepfather. I am a husband. I am (much to my delight and surprise) a local musician of (some measure of) note. And I am bisexual. I am nervous, yes, but I am not afraid. I am not a coward, and now, because of this minor, ignorance-and-fear driven setback for the city of Chattanooga, I will proudly stand shoulder to shoulder with Marcus Patrick Ellsworth, Kat-Krista Cooper, and a host of other brave souls, and we will work side by side, speaking truth to power, enduring whatever is thrown at us. Like them, I will meet ignorance, lies, and hate with knowledge, truth, and love. Like them, I may lose friends. I may lose family. But like them, I will not be afraid.
No more. Never again.
It is my sincere hope that this knowledge changes nothing between you and I, Facebook friends, whoever you may be. Every conversation we’ve had, and everything said in them still holds true. Every shared memory is still the same memory. Whatever the bond we’ve shared, it is still just as pure and sincere as it was before you read this. The only difference is that now you know a little more about who I really am, and a small part of why I have hated myself for as long as I can remember.
Cowardice doesn’t sit well with me.
No more. Never again.
Thank you for your bravery Travis!
(From Travis’s Facebook Timeline. With his permission.)