“I just don’t understand, you’re gay or you’re straight,” the girl told my professor in my human sexuality class. “[Bisexuality] is not real, it’s just a phase.”
I could feel my face getting red, my heart beating fast from anger, my blood pressure rising. All I wanted to do was turn around and scream, “I’m bi, would you like to tell me it’s a phase to my face?!”
It was sometime in middle school that I felt this attraction to the same sex. I knew I was expected to like boys because that was what was normal, and I definitely did, but there was also just this interest in girls that peaked my curiosity.
Like any other 13-year-old I had a subscription to Seventeen magazine, and I’ll never forget reading one of the statements in the health section that basically said, “There is a certain way girls carry themselves that make them attractive. It is normal to think you are attracted to them.”
I told myself that was it, I was just thinking I found them attractive, it’s normal. However, as hard as I tried to subdue these thoughts they never faded. I googled constantly, “I think I’m bisexual,” “How do you know if you’re bi?” “Can you like both genders, but one more than the other?”
There was no black or white answer on any website, no one I could talk to or ask questions. I knew people who were straight and gay, but bi? Practically unheard of. I felt alone, and all I could think of myself was, “Why am I not right?”
I was clueless as to who I could turn to. I still feel that my family would be more understanding if I came out as strictly homosexual rather than bi (they’ll probably fall off their rocker when they read this). One of my very best friends at one point even said she believed people could be gay because it is biological, but people who are bisexual are just choosing that lifestyle. How was I supposed to explain that I can’t help it?
Eventually, because I felt so alone, I told my boyfriend and close friends. It was weird for them at first but they do accept me… to an extent. Part of me believes that there is this doubt in them, they think I am in a phase, and they aren’t even the worst of it.
When other straight people find out I am bisexual, I am immediately sexualized. Between being attracted to both sexes and my current open relationship status, it seems to be clear to them that I am only in this for the promiscuity and threesomes, and who can blame them?
Society and the media are great at taking people who have large personalities and a history of self-destruction and calling them “confused” or “out of control” just because of past choices they have made. It was an uproar when Miley Cyrus and Lindsay Lohan were spotted dating another girl and just added to their “train wreck” of a life. Not to mention the other face of bisexuality, the great Tila Tequila who can be known for her MTV show, A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila, and her famous Myspace singing career with hit songs like “Stripper Friends.”
Yet there is another renowned industry in which bisexuality thrives in: pornography. Because mainstream TV shows and movies are only just now scratching the surface with themes of bisexuality, the only other reference point for people was turning to PornHub and checking out what you already are imagining.
It was all okay though, I thought. The straight community doesn’t feel I’m straight enough, fine, I can find support from the LGBT community. Yet even while my sexuality is included in the acronym that so frequently gets tossed around, I can’t find support there either.
It was one time at work when I was talking about how excited I was to get off because of the date I was going on with this girl afterwards. One of my coworkers, who openly identifies as homosexual, remembered that I talked about having a boyfriend and asked me what I was talking about. Explaining to her that I was bisexual, I thought she of all people would have been understanding. Instead I was greeted with a flat out laugh in my face, paired with an eye roll and a sarcastic “sure.”
Honestly, as weird as it is, the place I have felt accepted the most is Tinder. There are so many people who are trying to be low-key, even some I went to high school with, that are bisexual but feel too shy to say anything. From once feeling alone and confused, I have found there are so many others out there like me who have not felt accepted and afraid of the reputation breaker that this can be.
So here I write, opening up to the world, in hopes that those of you not like me can understand, and those of you like me remember that you are normal. I can’t help who I like, who I find beautiful or who I find handsome, and frankly I love the person I have becomes since I embraced who I am. Thank you for those who have supported me, and those who genuinely support the LGBTA community. Be yourself, own who you are, and find happiness. Happy Coming Out Week from me to you.