I knew I was bisexual before I knew the term, “bisexual”. Even before I connected the term to my own sexuality, it has always been a part of my identity. However, once I began to associate the term with myself I realized the entirety of its implications.
Figuring out that you are bisexual is an extremely emotional process; at least, it was for me. Feeling half-gay or half-straight is a unique phenomenon. At first, you fight it. You think: this can’t be right. Something must be wrong with me. Maybe I don’t really like girls. No, wait. Maybe I don’t really like guys. No, wait. Maybe I do like both. The internal struggle can drive you crazy as you wrangle with, and in my case, internalize life-altering realizations.
Once I allowed myself to understand my bisexuality, I realized that I now faced a huge decision. To come out, or to not come out. At first I wasn’t sure that I ever would. After all, I am in an extremely committed relationship with the most amazing guy, who both loves and accepts me. I could (and intend to) spend the rest of my life with him, and no one would ever know.
For a while, I thought this was enough. I thought I would just escape the negative connotations with bisexuality, and just stay silent. However, the more I lived with my secret the more these connotations began to rankle. Staying silent while acquaintances, classmates, friends, and family members spouted biphobic comments felt like I was betraying the LGBT community, and myself.
“They can’t like both.”
“They’re just looking for attention.”
“It’s just a phase.”
Comments like these hurt more than heterosexual people could ever realize. I wasn’t escaping, I was hiding. So, I’m not hiding anymore.
I DO like both.
I am NOT just looking for attention.
It is NOT just a phase.
Before knowing that there was such a thing as being bisexual, I thought I was a freak. I knew that there are lesbians, but I also knew that I wasn’t one. I knew that there are heterosexual people, but I also knew that I wasn’t that either. I nearly drove myself crazy punishing myself for, and denying my feelings. And then I learned that there are also bisexual people in the world. People like me.
The term “bisexual” is therefore both my savior, and my biggest insecurity.