About Francesca Bongiorno Fortunato
“Love and Death,” in addition to being the title of a Woody Allen movie, seems like a pretty good summary of what our lives have been about during the past week. This was the week that my eighty-six year old mother-in-law (okay; not quite “law”) died, my partner and I celebrated our Holy Union, and she then went to Florida for her mother’s funeral without me. As I write this, I am alone in our Brooklyn apartment and will be alone for another four days. The silver band she placed on my finger is still there (along with the silver, sapphire-set engagement ring that matches the one I gave her). The two red roses we carried as we walked down the aisle together are hanging on the kitchen wall, bound by a green ribbon from one of our gift boxes, waiting to become sentimental keepsakes of this bittersweet time. And I’m seeking solace in this computer, as I do far too often…
You probably won’t believe how easy it was for me to come out, the first time around. Actually, it was so easy that I don’t even really remember it. My parents were ultra-liberal straight people, who had many Queer friends. I can’t recall a time when I didn’t know that some men fell in love with men, some women fell in love with women and some people could fall in love with both men and women. I was probably about ten or eleven years old when I realized that I was romantically attracted to both boys and girls. I matter-of-factly told my parents, who matter-of-factly accepted my reality, and life went on.
During my teens and twenties I had boyfriends and girlfriends. Everyone who knew me (aside from my grandparents, aunts and uncles) knew I was bisexual. No big whoop. Then I fell sufficiently in love with a man to marry him. He knew I was bisexual but he also knew I wasn’t polyamorous. Marriage meant monogamy. I wouldn’t have relationships with women anymore because…women were other people. I wasn’t planning to have sexual relationships with other men either. I knew the attractions to women were not going to disappear, anymore than attractions to other men would. I was a grownup. I had my priorities. I could deal.