Coming Out As Bisexual in a Heterosexual Relationship

I always expected college to be the space where I explored my sexuality. I had broken up with my high school boyfriend, and once I started college, I was ready to have a couple great love affairs with no strings attached. That didn't ever happen because I found the love of my life almost immediately after college started. I was blissfully happy to find a partner and companion, but the only problem was, he was a male and I wasn't sure if I was heterosexual or bisexual. Neither of us wanted an open-relationship, nor was I willing to break up with my boyfriend to 'find out' so I just tucked that feeling deep, deep, DEEP down and forgot about it.

Related: 9 Things You Can Relate to Trying to Date at Cal Poly SLO

I chalked up the feelings I had for girls as 'friend-crushes' or 'goal-crushes.' That worked for awhile, but it didn't feel right. Though, I also felt like I had no claim to say I was bisexual as I had had only male partners. This internal struggle became a nagging feeling in the back of my mind that faded in and out. 

I know sexuality is a spectrum and all these terms are just our attempts to linguistically bind emotions, but the term "heterosexual" did not feel right. It wasn't until the Original Women's Narratives at Cal Poly in 2017 that I faced this head-on. Sitting in the audience with a couple friends of mine, I heard a poem that felt like it had been written just for me. I connected with the words used to describe female to female love. I had never kissed a girl, but I had felt that budding rose in my heart that longed for her. In that moment I knew that no matter if I ever kissed a girl, or loved a girl, or anything at all, I had every right to self-label as bisexual. There were no lists to check off to finitely state what my sexuality was, and I had all the power to express how I felt, no matter other's opinions. And I had felt love for women and men.

Related: Why Exploring Your Sexuality in College is Important 

It was a euphoric moment, that was immediately followed by dread. Did I need to tell my boyfriend? Was he obligated to know? Was it even his business? What if he didn't believe me? What if he wanted to break up with me? 

I left OWN in a fog and went straight to my boyfriend's apartment. He could tell I was in my head and suggested we go for a walk. It took me from Mustang Village 1 to Mustang Village 2 to finally break down. After a couple centering breaths, I told him that I was bisexual.

He didn't respond right away but he seemed to be thinking about it. After a moment he asked, "Will that change our relationship?"

I responded that I loved him and nothing had changed between him and me, but that I needed to be the most authentic self I could be, and that included being open about my sexuality. He smiled, gave me a hug and then asked the best question, "Why don't we go get some pizza to celebrate?" 

I learned in that moment, that if the people around you are the right ones for you, they'll accept every part of you. It's been about half a year now and most of my friends know that I am bisexual. I still have yet to tell my family, but I know that it is my right to tell or not tell who I want. I don't need to tell everyone to officially be bisexual.