20 Things That Being Bisexual Has Taught Me
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Politics and Activism

20 Things That Being Bisexual Has Taught Me

Accepting yourself comes first, everything else is secondary.

20 Things That Being Bisexual Has Taught Me

I have deliberated about whether or not I should write this article. Those closest to me already know that I identify as bisexual, but while they have accepted that and have reassured me that they love me regardless, I still feel like they and everyone else do not know who I really am and what I have learned while coming to terms with my sexuality. Part of that is largely because my sexuality is not something that I like talking in great detail about, so I do realize that the accusation is largely my own doing. However, there is something to be said about not truly understanding something unless you experience it.

I am fully aware that my decision to write this article could set me free in a way that I have not yet fully experienced, or make me feel isolated in a way that I hope I and others in similar circumstances will never have to encounter. However, in the end, the pros outweigh the cons -- I have spent the last 20 years of my life being a friend, a daughter, a granddaughter and a cousin. Now, as I have just recently turned 20 years old, I am ready to fully be me. There will certainly be people who tell me that this is not the proper platform to talk about something so personal. However, I have always felt most comfortable expressing myself through my words and something so integral to who I am should not be expressed any differently. Therefore, here are the 20 things that being bisexual has taught me.

1.When you tell anyone that you are bisexual, they will hesitate.

You will be asked, “Are you sure?” and it will make you doubt yourself for a while. However, the chances are pretty significant that you are sure and only time will help you and them realize that.

2.There will be people who do not understand what it means to be bisexual.

Be patient with them. Understanding sexualities that are either misrepresented or ignored by mainstream media will take time for people to fully comprehend. If you want to place blame – blame the lack of representation.

3. People will think that you are confused. This corresponds to #2 -- people are ill informed about what it means to be bisexual. You’re not confused -- you’re bisexual.

4. You will feel like you do not belong to any particular group. I know that when I realized I was bisexual, I did not know what that meant other than “I was not straight enough,” but I also “was not gay enough.” It is unfamiliar territory, but eventually I realized that I do not belong to either group because I am not either of those sexualities.

5. Some people will treat “bisexual” as if it is a dirty word… and you may eventually believe that it is one.

I know that I still feel uncomfortable labeling myself as bisexual out of fear of people misunderstanding, but I am slowly learning that it is not my fault if people are uninformed and it is not my sole job to be their teacher.

6. The notion that bisexuals are “greedy” will surface and re-surface at various points.

I have never experienced it in person, thankfully, but social media is not always the friendliest and is certainly not always the most accepting place. Again… ignorance.

7. You will worry that no one will want to be with you because they will say that they are afraid of “having more competition.”

This is complete garbage and anyone who truly cares about you will realize that if you are with him or her, you will be loyal.

8. You will have to learn at some point that there are different types of attraction. It will be confusing to come to the realization that there may be certain aspects of one gender that you like more than another, but that does not make you any less bisexual. It means that you have different preferences for different people and that is completely fine.

9. You will have to explain to people what #8 means. People have been genuinely confused when I say that I am attracted to guys and girls in different ways, but it may just be something that is not really understandable unless you have experienced it yourself.

10. You will encounter people in your life who will say that “you are not really bisexual” if you have never been with or interested in someone of the same sex.

Just because you are not constantly interested in pursuing someone of the same sex that does not mean that your sexuality is invalidated.

11. People will hope that you will end up in a heterosexual relationship and you will at some point too. People will tell you that it will make your life easier and it certainly would, but the reality is that there is as much a chance that you will end up with someone of the same sex and the sooner that you learn how to accept that, other people will, too.

12. You will begin to wonder who you should “come out” to. This is applicable to anyone who is “coming out,” but there will be that moment when you start measuring who you are closest to and who you can justify not telling because it may be harder.

13. When talking about the future, people who know that you are bisexual will generally use “your future [insert opposite gender (boyfriend/girlfriend)]” as the default. You may smile and nod along, but it will still be an itch in the back of your head reminding you that you live in a heteronormative society and that even if these people are not conscious of it, they are latching onto that hope that you will fit that norm.

14. There will be people who are the opposite of #13 and will constantly walk on eggshells because they are worried about offending you.

Again, you will smile and reassure them that generally, what they are saying is fine, but there will come a point that you grow frustrated and tell them that if they offend you, you will let them know.

15. Like any other person who is “coming out,” you will worry about telling certain people more than others because of their beliefs.

I have experienced this firsthand and it made me realize that sometimes this fear is entirely constructed in our heads. Of course, there are times when this fear is well founded, but certain people do not let their beliefs change the way that they see others and those are the people that you want to hang on to.

16. You will realize that telling your friends of the same gender is different than telling your friends of the opposite gender, and not always in the way that you would expect. There are different stigmas that come with being a girl who is bisexual than a guy who is bisexual and sometimes, the opposite gender will be uneasy about it for different reasons that you will have to ask them -- I have not quite figured that one out yet.

17. People will have more questions for you and you will want them to ask these questions. After I told one of my closest friends, the next thing that I said after I realized that she was fine with it was: “Feel free to ask me anything.” I would rather have someone ask me questions than assume or feel like they would offend me by asking.

18. There will be times when you think that your sexuality is constantly changing. Sexuality is fluid, so there is an extremely strong chance that it may change with time as you develop and gain more experience and that is completely fine. It may lead to some internal confusion – and confusion expressed by others – but communication is key.

19. You will worry about telling everyone that you are bisexual and then having to re-adjust that perception later.

When I still doubted myself, I was worried that I would tell everyone and that my sexuality would eventually change and the entire ordeal would be for nothing. It is never for nothing – at the time it mattered and everyone should be able to express that without worrying that people will judge them if their sexuality changes or they realize that a certain label fits them better than the one chosen previously.

20. You will have to grow thick skin. There will always be people who are confused, uncomfortable and rude, and they will be unafraid to express all of those characteristics. Realizing that I am bisexual meant that I had to be ready to face those questions and people who are skeptical because despite not wanting to get used to people’s ignorance, it is unfortunately a part of life that everyone who is not heterosexual has to experience.

Everyone has different experiences coming to terms with their sexuality and I am not saying that what I have learned necessarily reflects the experiences of anyone else. I am also not under the illusion that these experiences will not change with time. However, the knowledge that there may be someone who can read this list and identify with even one of the experiences is enough for me to realize that writing this article is the right decision.
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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