The College Experience
Does college have a more accepting atmosphere when it comes to bisexuality? What are the biggest challenges for a bisexual collegiette?
Alyx: “Being queer in college is interesting. I don't think it's really affected my academics at all. Although, after I out myself, I tend to become the ‘token queer’ in my classes. It's kind of awkward being the default everyone in class defers to on topics relating to queer-ness, especially since I'm not really an expert on anything other than my own life. One girl in my Human Sexuality class was apparently convinced that I was a lesbian, and expressed a great deal of surprise when I was talking about my boyfriend."
Hannah: “I'm not anywhere close to accepting my bisexuality. Every other day, I try to convince myself that coming out isn't worth it, that it'd be better to go back to just making it work and passing as completely heterosexual. But then I think about how much better I am, and will be, for accepting myself as a complete person... not just the parts of me that society views as acceptable. Ultimately, I just want to want what I want. College, and more importantly the people I met there, taught me that I don't have to be ashamed of that.
Being bisexual in college, for me, has been more about discovering my sexuality. I've always known I was attracted to girls but I grew up in a really, really conservative environment and somehow managed to avoid ever putting a label on it. Even when it first started dawning on me that I could by no means honestly identify as completely straight, I planned to hide it and ‘make it work.’ But meeting more and more accepting people changed my views on that. Now, I don't want to close myself off to the possibility of a relationship with anyone, no matter what [his or her] gender is.”
Misconceptions of Bisexuality
There are many myths and misunderstandings associated with bisexuality. Struby Struble, the director of the LGBTQ Center at The University of Missouri shared some common misconceptions about bisexuality:
MYTH: Bisexual people are attracted to everyone.
Struble Says: As is true with all sexualities, bisexual people are only attracted to some people (e.g., straight women aren't attracted to all men, just to some men).
MYTH: Bisexual people are promiscuous.
Struble Says: This myth usually comes about because there's a belief that because of the possibility of attraction to more people, bisexual people have more sex. As with all sexualities, each person chooses her number of sex partners.
MYTH: Bisexual people are confused.
Struble Says: If someone is self-identifying as bisexual it is because they have come to a point where their sexuality is clear to them and they are not confused.
MYTH: Bisexuality is a stop on the way to being gay or lesbian.
Struble Says: Not necessarily. All sexualities are fluid.
The bottom line of bisexuality? “As with all identities, bisexual people should be allowed to self-identify. This does not mean that they cannot change how they self-identify [over time]. The key is that it is SELF-identification and not being identified by others based on a person's current relationship status,” says Struble. It’s up to each collegiette to define her own sexuality as she sees fit—it’s not up to others to define it for her.
Most importantly, these collegiettes want to send a message that bisexuality isn’t that different from being straight. They still feel the same emotions that hetero- or homosexual people feel when it comes to crushes, lust, love, and commitment!
*Name has been changed to protect privacy.