I’m doing this in a blog post because it’s less exhausting than telling my far-flung groups of friends and family individually and also, I’m a writer so “saying” this here comes more naturally than saying it verbally. Most of you probably won’t be surprised by this post. If you know me, you probably at the very least have suspected it.
I’m also frustrated that this is a declaration I have to make. Frustrated that I have to fight for acceptance and swallow so many hurtful things said by friends and family who until now either didn’t know or didn’t care. I no longer have the emotional energy to hide, to cut myself into pieces and decide which ones I can show to which people in my life.
I’m fortunate to have friends who know and accept this about me. Because of them, I know I can finally say this safely, surrounded by people who will stand up for me and support me.
I guess this is the part where I explain how I arrived at this realization, but the honest answer is I’ve known since I was a kid. I was just terrified of it for the longest time, and spent many, many years convincing myself I was straight because the alternative was too confusing. I understood what it meant to be straight and gay, but until a few years ago I didn’t have a word for what I am. I thought bisexuality meant true 50/50 attraction to men and women; I thought sexuality was set in stone, never changing. And yet I always had these feelings for women but more so for men so I convinced myself I was straight, sometimes using words like “heteroflexible” or jokingly calling myself “mostly heterosexual.” I saw how bisexual-identified people were treated by both gay and straight people, and I was terrified.
Coming out has been a slow, agonizing process, and all I can do is try my hardest to focus on the people who are supportive. It doesn’t always drown out the negative reactions. I’ve bitten my tongue when I wanted to shout every time I’ve heard someone I care about say people like me don’t deserve full civil rights or people like me don’t even exist.
Someone asked if I’d “decided” I was bisexual. Trust me, if sexuality were a choice, I would not have picked this one, the one people call greedy or slutty or indecisive if they even accept it exists. A lot of people don’t. I’ve been told all the usual things, including that I’m actually a closet lesbian or I’m just “bi for attention”. I think I’ve heard it all by now so I doubt there’s much anyone could throw at me that would do more than just make me sad.
I’m not asking people to accept me. I know some of you finding this out for the first time won’t, and maybe some of you will. This is a nice out for my family: y’all can feel free to bring this up or act like you never read it.
I am just so, so, so tired of hiding myself and constantly worrying if I might slip up. I’m tired of being able to talk about the guys who broke my heart but not the women who bring me joy.
If you’re confused about bisexuality and what it means, maybe come talk to me instead of clinging to misconceptions. I’m more than happy to explain, especially if it means fostering acceptance.