In complete transparency, I struggled for a while deciding how to start this article. I sat at this computer and stared at the title for days on end, unsure what to say, because sexuality isn’t really a story that has a beginning and an ending. Discovering my bisexuality wasn’t a snap realization I came to one day; instead, it was a slow, progressional realization that I actually tried to keep down for a very long time. Coming from a small, mostly conservative, mostly white community, I was never really exposed to diversity in a positive light. Sexuality was never really talked about in my middle/high school years, but when it did come up, it usually had a negative connotation. You have to remember, I come from the generation that uses the word “gay” as an insult.
I was really surprised (but also, not really) when I graduated high school and started seeing the girls I went to high school with on Tinder. More notably, most of them were the “popular” girls, the ones who played sports and always had perfect grades, the ones who won all the superlatives in my yearbook. I remembered them being so loved and accepted, so why would they wait so long to come out?
I myself didn’t come out until I reached my first semester of college. I remember sitting in the dining hall, finding out via phone call that my boyfriend at the time had cheated on me. I broke up with him via text (he deserved it, clearly), downloaded a dating app that night, and started actively pursuing women as I’d always dreamed of doing. I had always been attracted to women romantically, but going through that breakup really activated something inside me I had always pushed down. I wanted to pursue whoever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and I wanted others to know I was proud of it.
At times, especially when you’re in the process of discovering it, being bisexual can be a very difficult thing to understand. I’d always just heard the terms “gay” and “straight” when I was growing up, and, as naive as it sounds, it didn’t really occur to me that you could be somewhere in the middle (until high school, at least). For whatever reason, I had always felt like I had to choose between being gay or straight, and I simply couldn’t make up my mind what I was. Sexuality is a spectrum, after all, and it’s absolutely possible to be mostly interested in women, and slightly interested in men. It doesn’t make you “not gay enough” or “not straight enough” to simply have preferences. It’s not a competition. It’s not something you should have to justify to every person who asks. It’s simply who you are.
I’ve dated both men and women at this point, and as I’ve gotten older and explored my sexuality more, I’ve noticed a shift that’s almost prophecy-like. I can see myself hooking up with both men and women, and probably even falling in love with either, but ultimately, I could only see myself marrying a woman someday. Does that mean I’m a lesbian? Not as far as I’m concerned. I don’t think your sexuality is determined by who you end up with, it’s determined by what you’re actively pursuing in the short run of life. I’m trying not to think on a long-term scale, and just live in the moment, because that’s the most true to who I am right here, right now.
I was planning on going into the whole mess of an issue that some feminists have with the idea of bisexuality, but to be honest, it pisses me off too much. For me, it kind of ties back into the whole “It’s not a competition thing,” because that’s how I feel when I hear feminists say “you’re not really a feminist if you still have some interest in men.” Listen, I’m not hooking up with a guy because I feel like I need some manly counterpart to justify my femininity. I like sex because I think it’s fun for myself, and because it’s what I want to do, not because I’m trying to justify myself to any man. If a feminist really thinks I’m using my bisexuality as a way to show weakness in my own sexual awareness and esteem, well, I think he or she needs to reevaluate their own intents.
There is definitely a relationship between bisexuality and feeling the need to constantly justify yourself. I live in an area where I’m surrounded by about 96% straight men, and 4% gay girls. That being said, most of the attention I’m getting is with men, as much as I’d prefer for it to be with women. It’s hard to meet up with other gay ladies when there’s only about three in a twenty-miles radius, but about fifty men within five miles who are interested in you. It doesn’t make you any less of a bisexual if you’re hooking up with more men than women- it’s very much a situational occurrence. I also have to deal with the fact that I’m extremely femme and girly, which, unfortunately, means most people will assume I’m straight. I’m honestly not sure why this happens. It sucks that stereotyping has to work that way in the LGBT community, but the truth is, people always assume I’m straight just simply on the basis of how I look. When I use tinder, I hardly ever, and I mean ever match with women, which makes it extremely hard for me to have girl-on-girl encounters. I do attribute part of this to my extreme femininity, but I also believe it has something to do with my extreme confidence. To men, my confidence in myself is sexy and fiesty, but to women, I tend to come off as arrogant and unattractive. I’m sure there’s a lot more psychology about that which I could go into, but I’ll have to do some more research.
Anway, I didn’t come on here to rant. I’m proud of my bisexuality, as confusing as it can be at times, and I love myself exactly the way I am. As progressive as we have become as a society, there are still close-minded people and homophobes out there who are going to try to tear us down. I want everybody to know that you are absolutely perfect the way you are, and if you need someone to talk to about anything (sexuality or not), I want to listen. We all have to stick together and project love into the world, even if the word is spewing hate back at us.
I hope that this article can touch other men and women who are bisexual, and I’d love to hear your thoughts, experiences, and opinions too!
Coming up next: Crystal Collab: Graceful Gemstones by Alexa