Carina Cay is 33, happily married to a man and recently welcomed her first child into the world eight months ago. Perhaps not your typical coming out story. Yet it was actually the birth of her daughter that spurred her on to openly be her authentic self and proudly share her bisexuality with the world.
“Motherhood changed a lot of things for me. It just made me realize that I need to be more clear, more honest to who I am, to my work and to my family,” Carina explained to GCN. “And basically, one thing that I’ve always wanted for my daughter since I got pregnant was just for her to be happy, I want her to be free. And I want her to find who she is in this world. And I felt that she needed a reference. And if I am this reference, I need to be clear, and I need to be open to her just so she can grow up with this reference. And she can have the confidence to be who she is in the future.”
Growing up in Brazil, Carina didn’t even know what bisexuality was. She had seen some representations of gay men and lesbians in the media, but it wasn’t until she was older that she realised bisexuality was a thing. And it was even later that it dawned on her that it was something she might identify with.
“I never got a reference of anyone from the LGBTQ+ community, in my life or in my family,” Carina said. “And I am reflecting around why it took me so long to be who I am, or why it took me so long to be free of all these prejudices. And basically, one of the reasons is that I never had a figure in my life until I was probably 20 and some of my friends were coming out. So basically, growing up all my formative years when your brain is developing, when you’re forming your character, I never had a reference, I only knew that gay people were bullied in school.”
She moved to Ireland two and a half years ago and has found it to be a very welcoming place where she has been able to have more nuanced discussions around sexuality. Following the birth of her daughter and with the encouragement of her husband, she decided she wanted to come out as bisexual to the people in her life.
Apart from a lack of representation growing up, one of the things that held Carina back for so long was fear of rejection from the LGBTQ+ community itself.
“I am afraid most of all of the rejection from the community just because, you know, the setup of my family and basically people not taking my feelings as valid. Like I am more afraid of their rejection than my family and friends rejection, which is kind of crazy to think about.
“I was afraid of people just coming out and saying, like, Oh, yeah, it’s really convenient for you to say you’re bisexual when you are 33, and you’re married to a man, and you have a daughter.”
She recognises the privileges that come with being in a more traditional set-up, but she also now knows that her sexuality and feelings are just as valid as anyone else’s whether she is in a relationship with a man or not.
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So she has started telling her friends and she planned to tell her family during Pride.
“It’s a really weird thing to do it like this during a pandemic,” Carina said. “Especially with my parents like it’s going to be a FaceTime call. It’s weird, but the reaction I’ve gotten so far, it’s really good. And everyone seems to be really on board and really happy that I’m finally, you know, taking the step.”
The Dublin Bus campaign and being so visible terrifies her, but she is also excited and proud of coming out about her bisexuality and being so open after years of keeping that part of herself hidden,
“Feelings are hard to describe,” she said. “You kind of have this feeling on your shoulders that they’re kind of like lifting. You know when you’ve done a yoga session, and you just finished and you’re like ahhh. It’s not the rush of endorphins. It’s just like, you feel so light and so stretched and so happy I guess, but it’s more than happiness. It’s a relief. It’s a peace inside. And that’s how I’m feeling at the moment.”
With more stories from the wonderful people who share their Coming Out journey in the Dublin Bus Coming Out With campaign, be sure to check back on GCN! And catch the campaign on the sides of the Dublin Bus fleet and bus shelters across the city!
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