Alright, this post is not going to be a cheerful fluffy one, and it is not one that is easy for me to write. This particular subject is one I have a hard time talking to about. It's something that, until the past year, I had never even been able to begin talking about.
Let me explain. I have always gotten along better with men then women. Ever since I was a little kid. I like (yes, present tense) dinosaurs and lasers and robots and sci-fi and fantasy and video games and things that are often considered "male". I still did the pretty princess thing, despite my tastes I was never a proper Tom-Boy and to this day I'd rather wear a cute skirt then a pair of jeans (though that may tie into what an impossible task finding jeans that fit right for me is). It always put me in a strange place with the other kids, and the boys tended to be less freaked out that a Pretty Princess wanted to go and slay the dragon, too, then the other Princesses. So I tended to hang out with the boys more then the other girls, and as I got older, just more, period. So I've always gotten along better with men. We have more in common. I HAVE female friends, just not as many. This was the case back in high school, and college. You know, the times in my life before I was engaged. I never gave it much thought in high school. I was geeky and cute, and so there were a bunch of geeky cute boys who would sometimes ask if I maybe wanted to go see a movie some time? There just weren't a lot of gay or bisexual women around me in those days, and the few that were just weren't my type/never approached me anyways. Even in high school I couldn't get a crush going unless I thought the person was the right mix of funny/smart/goofy/nice/interesting, and the particular mix that I was into isn't one you find terribly often in teenage girls. Girls don't usually want to be "goofy" for some reason.
I never thought anything of being able to say "Man, that girl is pretty/cute/sexy" because hey, it's easy to appreciate the female body! Lots of women do! It's totally normal! Later on in life I realized I wasn't looking at these women like art, I was looking at them the same way I looked at a man I found attractive.The opportunity for me to be with a woman has never come up, though. Through the tail end of high school and all of college (the times I was starting to realize that I might be bi) I was in a serious relationship. I only dated a little bit after that relationship before I started dating my now fiancee. Since I have never been with a woman, I'm afraid to talk about being bisexual. Though there are a lot of other reasons I'm scared to talk about it, that's one of the biggest.
Bisexuals will often hear some awful things.
"You're just saying that for attention" which I wouldn't know how to face because hey, I HAVEN'T been with women, so CLEARLY despite the fact that I'm happily engaged and monogamous I'm still trying to get me some of that sweet male-gaze fueled validation!
"Pick one or the other, both is just greedy."
"Pics or it didn't happen"
"Bisexuality is just a stop on the train to Gay-Town"
And a friend having an imaginary conversation with his own Mother. "Mom,
what would you do if I was gay?" "Nothing. You're my son and I love you
anyways." "What would you do if I was bi?" "Disown you. No son of mine
will be a whore."
"If you like both, why not just be straight?" This, I almost feel, is essentially what I've done, though not on purpose. Which brings me into a whole OTHER slew of anxiety I face when talking about it. I know one of the first things people will ask me is "Well, how do you KNOW? Other women think women are pretty all the time. Doesn't make them gay/bi!" I'm well aware of that, but trust me, imaginary person who just said that, my feelings go beyond "oh she's pretty". How did you know you were heterosexual before you started dating? You just do.
I've waffled on how to define me sexuality. I've always been attracted to women, but for a long time I thought it was the same way all women are attracted to women in that "Oh she's pretty" and I am DEFINITELY into men. I KNEW I was into men. I also had bisexuality explained to me as the preference was even. You liked men as much as you liked girls. It has been about a year since I stopped trying to talk myself out of identifying as bisexual. In the year since I became comfortable enough to identify as bi to myself, I've spent most it not sure if I should talk about it at all. To anyone. Up until earlier this week, I had out right told two people. My fiancee (who shrugged and said "I figured. It doesn't matter. Well, I mean, it matters but is doesn't change anything." <3) and another friend of mine who has come into my life within the past year and didn't already just assume I was heterosexual. It made it easier to say it.
So while I've waffled over if I should post this, and tried to write it about seven different times, I managed to just... Bring it up. A friend of mine was going on as many people do about how bisexuality is just a stop on the way to homosexuality. He wasn't being malicious or cruel, he was just... Talking. It was topical at the time, but he noticed I was very deliberately not looking at him and frowned, "Am I upsetting you with this?" he asked, confused. I found it funny that he knew me well enough to know that was a sign of me being upset, but not that I liked girls.
And then I did something that I've been debating how to, or if I even should, for a year. I brought it up. "So, you know I'm bi, right?" my stomach was in a knot as I said it, and I felt anxious, and, to be honest, guilty for saying it after. He didn't know, he didn't mean any harm, and I just made him feel like a huge douche-canoe! He even apologized, once as a knee-jerk "I was being insensitive shit" and then again later in a "No, really, that was shitty, my bad." He hadn't known, and he hadn't meant any harm, but I realized that was what made it more important for me to speak up. People don't know. And they never mean any harm, but I wonder how many closeted bisexuals are out there just being functionally heterosexual because they're afraid to speak up? How many of us just keep quiet while people go on about how there's no REAL such thing as a bisexual because we're scared to face their judgement and questions?
So I'm speaking up. I am done with being scared to talk about such a huge part about myself. I am terrified, I am anxious, and I don't think I'm the right person to be a spokesperson, but I'm doing it. Because this is important. Because someone has to. People are entitled to their privacy and have every right to keep their sexuality to themselves, but I feel that this is a narrative that we need more of.
My name is Erika, and I'm bisexual. I'm not desperate for attention because I'm unloved by my parents/significant other. I'm not just trying to hook up with anything that moves. I'm not "on my way to gay town" and I am not "confused". It is a legitimate sexual orientation, and anyone who tries to say it isn't in the comments of this blog will be promptly banned.
So, thanks for reading, and I hope none of you stop because of this, because honestly? It doesn't change a thing. Back to the norm of fisting jokes and heavy drinking Tuesday.