I realised I was bisexual at age 14. There was no denying it; the attraction I harboured for girls was just as strong as the one I had for boys. And though I already considered myself a ‘gay rights advocate’ I struggled to accept the label for myself.
While I loved gay people in the abstract (Ellen and Portia videos took up a lot of my time) I didn’t want to be ‘that kid’. Between then and now I’ve had straight relationships, queer relationships, and a whole lot of time to think about what it all means. And over the years I’ve grown to not only embrace my sexual identity but genuinely think it’s the best one. (Kidding, the others are fine.)
And, within the context of both types of relationships, I’ve been asked a plethora of wild questions. Let me answer a few.
1. Are you attracted to every human you see?
Are you attracted to every [man/woman/non-binary person – choose whichever floats your boat]you see?! No. Neither am I. Pure idiocy, but a real-life question I’ve received. Cut this one out.
2. Does bisexuality actually exist?
This one, though seemingly easy to disprove, has gotten under my skin in the past. It’s especially pertinent to bisexual men, who receive almost no media representation (seriously, name more than one), but it affects women too.
Bisexuality is still seen by many, sometimes even subconsciously, as a passing phase that wild straight girls go through. Or a first step out the closet for lesbians. And while it’s true that some straight girls experiment with girls, and some lesbians use the label as a stepping stone, bisexuality, in and of itself, still exists. Let’s cut this one out too.
3. Are you still bisexual when you're with one person?
I’m usually asked this within the context of straight relationships, but I’ve also been asked, within queer relationships, if I’m ‘a lesbian now’. And while I do consider my current relationship a ‘lesbian relationship’, the truth is, my sexual identity doesn’t waver, no matter who I’m with.
4. How can you be satisfied with one person?
This rather existential query invokes the subject of monogamy, not sexuality. And, despite what you’ve heard, bisexuality and polygamy are not synonymous. Most people have the capacity to be attracted to people outside of their relationship (as the number of cheating straights prove), and most people have the capacity to love monogamously. Even bisexuals.
5. Why do so many bisexual women date men?
First of all, a bisexual woman in a relationship with a man is doing nothing wrong - men are one of the damn options. And secondly, do you know easy it is to get a boyfriend? Straight single men line the streets like rotten feijoas. Queer women are like ripe avocadoes. Rare and hard to find.
6. Are bisexuals likely to cheat?
Oy. I suppose this dumb notion stems from the fact we’re attracted to more people- but a better way to think of it is that we choose our partners from a wider pool- so they should feel even more special. (Also, see again the number of unfaithful straights.)
7. Are bisexuals only attracted to two genders?
So, the affix bi does mean two. When we’re talking bi-weekly,we mean every two weeks. (Or twice a week. Shit, which one is it?) But when it comes to bisexuality, bi simply means ‘more than one’. Everyone accepts that October is the tenth month, so they can accept this fact too. We know there are more than two genders, and though everyone’s experience with the label is different, bisexuality usually encompasses attraction to people of all genders - usually on a person to person basis. Some bisexuals think of the binary part of bi as being attracted to the same and different genders.
The most important thing to remember is that everyone’s experience with their identity is different. Some bisexual women, by chance or choice, have ended up dating lots of men. Some date women exclusively. And some bisexuals have lots of cats. But one thing we all do is exist. No one has the right to question that.Support Villainesse