Coming out

A couple of weeks ago, I retweeted something about the struggle somebody had as a bisexual teenager because she wasn’t sure if she wanted to be the women she liked, or she hated them. It never occurred to her that, actually, she was attracted to them. I said I’d experienced it too.

My mum said to me the next day “Did I just read on Twitter that you’re bisexual? Is this how I’m finding out?” and I just said yeah, I always was. My mum was stunned but I didn’t want a fanfare. I’ve known I was bisexual for as long as I can remember and I pretty much just accepted it.

The thing is, people really weren’t as accepting of LGBTQ+ when I was growing up. Brokeback Mountain to me was heart-wrenching and my heart ached for everyone who couldn’t just openly love, or even just have crushes on the same sex. It was a film mirroring so many lived experiences. I still find it a very difficult watch. For everybody else, though, it was a joke. “I wish I could quit you” jokes circulated the internet, Saturday night entertainment shows, the radio, everywhere. People who are attracted to the same sex have always been repeatedly told that our sexuality is hilarious and no, straight people will never take us seriously. So I stayed quiet.

I told friends who, inevitably, told others and soon rumours circulated. If people asked me, I said I was bisexual but I didn’t “come out” because I felt no pride. I felt fear and misery. I’m still quite sad about how much I was held back by this.

So now, if people ask, I tell them. I sometimes make slight nods to it and I don’t try to hide my sexuality per-se, I just don’t shout about it either. I wish I had the confidence to.

Every interaction I’ve had with a woman I’ve been attracted to, who’s been attracted to me has had an air of fear and uncertainty around it. I am a great girlfriend, and I’m really fun to date but if you’re the same sex as me, I worry. It’s shit.

Bi-erasure has also played a massive part in me not shouting about my sexuality. Whenever a bisexual person gets with somebody of the opposite sex, they’re accused of “picking a side” or just saying they’re bisexual to impress people. I was with a man for 7 years. I did actually drink the Kool Aid and believe that yeah, I’d chosen a side. Obviously I hadn’t. There’s no choice. I am still very much who I am and that means whether I date men or women, I will always be attracted to- and have the capacity to love- both.

I’ve also dated men, and told them quite earnestly that I am bisexual just to have the response “oh my God I’ve always wanted a threesome”. As if my sexuality is here as a piece of entertainment for them, something that adds to my sexual appeal. Completely erasing it as a fundamental part of who I am.

I don’t care what you think is hot.

So, here it is, me actually, officially “coming out” I guess. I’m bisexual. No percentages, no confusion, no side-taking. I’m attracted to both men and women. I’ve dated both men and women. I am not more likely to cheat, I’m not bothered about whether my partner thinks me kissing girls is hot — it’s completely irrelevant. I’m full to the brim of love and I am starting to feel more proud about it as days go by. I still feel like an outsider, like I’m not really “queer” or bisexual “enough” to identify as LGBTQ+ or go to Pride parades but maybe I one day will be.

To some, this is extremely old news and to others this may be surprising but it is I guess, the first time I’ve ever publicly stated it.

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