On Being Bisexual

Bisexuality, defined as an attraction to two or more genders, exists in a strange place in the LGBT community. Although the third letter in the widely accepted acronym, bisexuals face a myriad of erasure and sometimes violence. Growing up in Mississippi as a questioning individual, who everyone widely thought to be a lesbian, I caught a lot of flak for falling on the spectrum. It became much worse when I began to openly identify as bisexual, not only from my peers in Mississippi but from my family and peers in D.C. as well. I’ve been told that if I were in someone’s hometown, they’d take me out to the front yard and put a bullet in my head. I’ve been told that I have it “easy” because men find my sexual orientation hot. I’ve been told that bisexuality doesn’t exist and that my attraction is actually a misconstrued appreciation for the same sex’s beauty. Obviously, some of these statements are preferable to others, but they all relay the same message: my sexual orientation isn’t valid. It’s an abomination, a tool to attract men, and a misunderstanding. It’s a stepping stone to lesbianism or a heterosexual’s attempt to “relate” to the LGBT cause.

The truth? I’m attracted to men, women, and everything in between. My MCM and WCW are quite literal and I’ve almost broken my neck to sneak a peek at a lovely androgynous individual in a London airport. Although it took me a while to come to terms with my sexuality, looking back I realize now that I was always like this and I can’t help but resent the forces and culture that kept me in the closet for so long. But even now, as sure as I am in my attractions, I feel almost ashamed to introduce myself as bisexual. I’m in an opposite-sex relationship, and I feel awkward mentioning the gender of my partner to those in the LGBT community because my label isn’t always accepted as “real.” Some of my family and friends have taken my relationship as a sign that I’m admitting my heterosexuality, and others still are waiting for me to discover that I’m actually a lesbian. Moreover, bisexual representation in the media isn’t exactly on point. Ultimately, it’s just confusing to me that something that feels as natural as my attractions is such a point of contention. I sort of get where the lack of understanding comes from, sometimes I have trouble understanding monosexuality, but it’s impossible to reconcile the complete disrespect I’ve received.

Bisexuality simply isn’t talked about enough. And when it is discussed, it’s discussed with such a negative connotation that a lot of individuals catch themselves trying to fit themselves into a binary that has no place in the complexities of human psychology. Bisexuals exists, and we’re not going anywhere. 


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