For Black and Latino Gay men, having that extra layer of cultural expectations — of being masculine and living up to the ideas of manhood — expectations that our fathers have put upon us since the day we are born, is nothing new.
Layer and layer of stereotypes and pressure that is passed on to us as we navigate through childhood.
But what about when the child is growing up questioning both desires for both male and females.
What about when the child is growing up with feelings of something they don’t know or hear much about – Bisexuality.
These are feelings that author and award-winning American recording artist, Ross Victory, knows all too well, as a 34 year-old Black Bisexual Male trying to live his truth in Los Angeles.
Victory is the author of father-son themed memoir, Views from the Cockpit: The Journey of a Son and bisexual themed Panorama: The Missing Chapter, where he examines his experiences around culture, race and his sexuality.
Using his talent and creativity proved to not only be therapeutic for Victory but also a powerful form of exploration about intersectionality within the LGBTQ+ community.
With his creative content, Victory is giving a much needed voice to an often ignored community within a community.
“Growing up Bisexual, even as a Pre-Teen in a Christian household who was always in church, I wasn’t even aware of what was going on or what was happening to me,” explained Victory.
He described that it’s almost like there is a separate closet for bisexuals, particularly in the Black community and that often it can give “Living on the DL” a whole new meaning, especially as he was growing up in his teens.
Victory recalled a time in college when he had an “Aha!” moment while he was seeing the school Psychologist and she referred to him as Bisexual. He then realized that he was and ended up coming out to his straight best friend and was met with doubt – “Guys can’t be Bisexual, only Women can,” his friend exclaimed.
This is something we see in society even now. Women can easily move into these intimate spaces with other women even in public, touching each other, and it doesn’t get called out.
Dealing with trying to come to terms with who he was and identify eventually caused him to become physically sick often and it wasn’t until he dealt with the grief of losing his father and his brother that he accepted his sexuality as a Bisexual Black man living in America.
Victory tapped into his creative juices to express what he was feeling inside and turned to writing and music, fueling his storytelling and ability to educate and express his own views of who he is and his place within the LGBTQ+ community as well as his relationship with his father as he was growing up full of expectations.
“Now I feel that my job is to shine a light on how I see myself in the midst of it all. I also think there should be spaces for Bisexual people to meet where they can be comfortable and meet other people just like them,” added Victory.
“You get to a point where it becomes less about meeting someone that is one or the other – Male or Female, and more about who do I want to date? Who is going to be there and show up during those hard times and what does that look like overall? Who am I connecting with?” added Victory.
Finding space to be himself can still be a challenge as well, even in a city like Los Angeles. Even here we question the authenticity of our Bisexual community family members and Victory knows firsthand what that feels like. Yet, he is open to continue to connect and immerse himself in the community.
As we near “Celebrate Bisexuality Day” on September 23, 2020, it’s important to make sure we are aware of the people around us or in our lives who are Bisexual and make space for them and their stories as continue to educate and learn more about the “B” community within our LGBTQ+ family.
Books and music from artists like Ross Victory should be shared and enjoyed not only with each other but our allies who sometimes might find it easier to understand other sectors of our community.
To learn more about Ross Victory or purchase his music and books you can go to his website: https://www.rossvictory.com