Exploring Your Sexuality in College

Let me just start off by saying that what you are feeling, however that may be, and the curiosities you have, are completely natural.

It is apparent that we live in a socially-constructed binary society in which gender, racial and sexual expression are controlled and confined. From a young age, we are placed into a metaphorical box that forces us to choose and never change what defines us, whether it be being a man or a woman, heterosexual or homosexual, black or white and much more. Our society thrives on labels. As a result of this, our curiosities are suppressed, as we constantly preform our pre-determined identity.

I challenge you to look introspectively to determine what you have previously labeled yourself as. I also invite you to think about what good it does to label and constrict yourself. You are a twenty-something year old with multiple facets to your personality and identity that you haven’t even begun to uncover.

Congrats! You have escaped the heteronormative hell-hole that is high school. You dumped your jock boyfriend, moved away from home and started realizing that you might’ve had a crush on that girl in your Spanish class.

Now is the time to dive in. Now is the time to question.

These are crucial and informative years for you to learn about yourself. If you have any curiosities, regardless of whether it be specifically regarding sexuality, I encourage you to experiment. What do you have to lose?

Within a binary society, the notion of bisexuality, being attracted to both the opposite and same sex, is challenged. As a bisexual, I have been told many times that I am selfish, confused, in a phase and need to choose if I am gay or if I am straight. In a relationship with a man, I am seen as straight, whereas in a relationship with a woman, I am seen as a lesbian. I am never seen as a bisexual, unless it is to be shamed. I am here to put those stereotypes and misconceptions to rest. Regardless of the gender someone’s significant other, their sexuality is not up for interpretation.

With misunderstanding, comes violence. According to Brittney McNamara, a writer for Teen Vogue, two in every five bisexual college students will be subject to sexual assault. Similarly, bisexual college women are more likely to experience depression or suicidal thoughts due to “societal pressures and silencing of the bisexual identity” than heterosexual college women. It is extremely important for those who identify with the LGBTQ+ community to seek help when they need it, along with educate those around them about myths and misconceptions of the community.

As our society slowly shifts more and more towards a spectrum-based ideology of sexuality, sexual experimentation will become more and more accepted as part of growing up. I invite you not only look at your identity, but those around you as fluid and ever-changing. As someone who has experimented and dealt with constant misunderstanding throughout my life, I have never been more happy and self-actualized than I am as a bisexual woman.

Read more about violence against bisexuals on college campuses here.

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