I always kind of knew this about myself, but never had the words for it until much later. The attraction I felt for girls was similar to what I felt for boys. But I would brush my feelings aside as a platonic “girl crush” or think that I just wanted to be as cool and amazing as that girl. I didn’t have a name for what I felt until my early 20s, while I was already in a committed relationship with a man. In fact, the only person in my real life who knows that I am bisexual is my partner, and I’m incredibly lucky that he has never fetishized my orientation, been disgusted by it or felt insecure about it. But I have never been with or even dated another woman before this, and because I am still in the same committed relationship, I likely never will.
For the past few years, whenever Pride Month rolled around, I’ve gone back and forth between whether I should tell other people that I’m bi. Part of me thinks, what’s the point? It’s not like I’m going to be dating other women anytime soon. It would cause drama and upheaval in my conservative-leaning family for absolutely no reason. And why would my friends need to know something that personal about me, anyway?
I think, they’ll ask me how I know I’m bi if I’ve never been with a girl before.
I think, everyone will say I’m just bringing it up to get attention.
It’s strange and sad that I’ve internalized biphobia long before I even realized that I was bi. And for a long time after I knew, I believed that I had straight-passing privilege. I don’t like being taken as straight because it ignores an important part of who I am. But I have also never corrected anyone who assumes that, either, because that would mean coming out – something I’m not quite ready for.
Bi people often face this weird situation where we’re not straight enough to be accepted by the mainstream society, but we’re not gay enough to be accepted by the queer community either. Sometimes, it feels like the LGBT community at large only cares about bi people when we’re dating someone of the same gender. This way of thinking makes me feel like I’m not queer enough, that I somehow picked the “wrong” side, am now permanently straight because of it and that I have no business claiming any legitimacy in the LGBT community.
I’ve seen other members of the LGBT community leave comments on bi-positive posts. How no one wants to hear about bi girls’ boyfriends and how we shouldn’t be rubbing our het-relationships in everyone’s faces. It’s hateful and wrong. I think about young bi kids reading that trash and internalizing it, and my heart hurts because that was me, once. I want to tell these kids: your identity is valid and you do belong here.
(I still have to tell myself this, sometimes.)
It’s hard to explain how I can be happy and proud as a bi person without being public about it. The best way I’ve been able to describe it is this: the most important person who has to be okay with my bisexuality is me. As long as I accept that part of myself, it doesn’t matter what other people assume about me.
Maybe I’ll keep this to myself for the rest of my life. Maybe I will end up telling other people one day. I don’t know for sure. But I do know that I love being bi, and for now that’s enough for me.