the following questions every day:
- When did you know that you're [insert gender here]?
- When did you know that you liked [insert gender(s)
you're attracted to]?
If you feel you may be one of those 4.1% I want you to know, up front, I am here for you. This blog is intended to provide you
support, friendship, and the resources you need. You’re not alone.
For the other 95.9% of the population, I’d like to ask:
- Have you ever considered having to defend your
sexual preferences before now?
- How much thought did you really have to put into it?
- Have you ever had to carefully word your answers in fear
of someone responding negatively to them?
...is a frustrating question for a lot of people, including myself and contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t just happen once. As a bisexual woman engaged to a man, this question is never-ending. I usually answer via memorized script:
“I guess I technically came out in the eighth grade to my best friends, I came out in the ninth grade to all non-family, and to my parents my junior year of high school, when I got my first serious girlfriend."
I am exhausted from having to think about it so much. It’s like being in one class and having a teacher call on you ten times in a row to answer the same question. Then the teacher is disturbed by your anger the tenth time around when you snap.
I am comfortable with my sexuality, but you need to be comfortable believing that.
Everyone else seems to need more information before I am allowed to call myself “bisexual.” I’m in a relationship with a woman? Clearly, I’ve just chosen a side. I’m in a relationship with a man? Welp, I’m clearly not LGBTQ anymore.
I am not a book to be analyzed or a film to be critiqued, yet everyone seems to have their own opinion based on my actions, rather than just believing how I feel.
This constant parade of questions is mentally exhausting, and emotionally deteriorating.
Blogger McKenna Ferguson explains the effects of this constant doubt best in her piece, “If You’re Going to Mislabel My Bisexuality, Just Don’t Call Me Straight.” She goes through, in excrutiating detail, her problems gaining access to LGBTQ spaces because of being mislabeled.
So, to be clear: I am the B in LGBTQ+, and I need these spaces, too.
It is embarrassing and disheartening to go to a support group and have to defend my right to be there. It’s a place I go for safety and comfort, but it’s almost worse than explaining my sexuality to straight people because there is this sense that I’m trying to invade and even steal away people’s “safe space.”
You see, there’s this new phrase floating around: “practicing bisexual.”
It was probably made most famous in an interview between Larry King and Anna Paquin. [the bisexuality comment happens around -11 min]. If you’d rather not watch the clip, here’s the short version:
King insists that Paquin cannot be a practicing bisexual because she’s married. She is clearly uncomfortable with this definition and sticks to her guns that she can be married and bisexual. I am totally with her.I would say that I am a “practicing bisexual” because I am actively alive and bisexual.
I’m not saying that Larry King invented this idea that bisexuals are irrelevant once they're in a monogamous relationship, but he did give it a word and made it more real for people who already were in that mindset. So now, we as bisexual people, have to deal with it.
All of this has added up to one ongoing hurdle bi/pan people deal with: the “out” questions.
To a lot of people, after answering the questions, I am too straight to be gay and too gay to be straight or confused or lying for attention. I am certain that I am not alone in this hurdle.
So if you’re...
questioning your sexuality, if you experience bi-erasure, feel you have no support because people think you don’t belong in the community, or you or someone you know has struggled with this, I have a resource for you:
Consider joining the online support group: Bittersweet. We started it specifically to solve this problem. I sooo wish I had this group when I was discovering my identity and I’m glad you have it now.
You can sign up here. The next meeting is LITERALLY TONIGHT! I'll likely see you there <3