In Defense of Bi-Phobia
Emma Lindsay

Your words highlight a truth that I think we are all afraid of: My sexuality is a combination of things I can choose and things I cannot choose.

I have been in love with men. I have never chosen to sleep with one. I have been in love with women. I have only chosen to sleep with one.

Does this mean I’m straight, or just narrow in my sexual choices? Does this mean I’m bisexual and I am repressing things that would bring me joy for conservative “heteronormative” benefits?

Am I less happy because of my sexual choices than I would be if I made different ones?

Unfortunately, there is no way to know without risking the happiness you have. I am extremely happy with my life, and my sexuality is only a small portion of that. Some choices I could make right now in an attempt to improve my sexual happiness would be in direct conflict with happiness that comes with being committed to a single partner. Which sources of happiness should matter to me most — the ones nature built in, or the ones I’ve built (with the help of others) for myself?

What is the end goal? If my end goal is to be happy, I should talk to old happy people and ask them what choices they made. I should consider if the things that make them happy will make me happy. I should consider whether they were lucky to get to where they are, or if they built their happiness to get there. In the end, everything else I spend my time on trying to be happy can only be considered a short term benefit.

Short term benefits can’t be relied upon to bring lasting happiness. We all know this. What we fear is that by watching someone receive a short-term benefit, we might be tempted to give up a lasting benefit.

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