Sexuality is simple: it’s to whom you are attracted to physically and/or emotionally.
Figuring out your sexuality? Not so simple, especially when it’s assumed since birth that you are and will be heterosexual and being something else puts you into this category of Other. Different.
There are a whole host of complications and implications that come with one’s sexual identity, including but not limited to: physical safety, acceptance from your loved ones, feeling wrong or dirty, and other fun (read: not fun at all) symptoms of homophobia. But we already know this for the most part.
We also already know that bisexuality— the attraction to two or more genders —is often the target of misconceptions both from within and without the LGBTQ+ community. Or at least, bisexuals know this.
I’ve only been out for about a year and a half. And by out, all I mean is that I stopped lying and finally allowed myself to feel everything I was feeling without coming up with excuses or reasons for them to be wrong. My struggle with coming out wasn’t because I feared not being accepted or lacking safety in my home, it was because bisexuality is overlooked and erased. I knew I was attracted to guys, so I couldn’t be attracted to girls. Or, on the days my attraction to girls was undeniable, I feared I was a lesbian.
I didn’t fear being gay because I thought it was bad, I was scared of labeling myself— or being labeled by others —as a lesbian because it didn’t feel right. Because even when I couldn’t deny my desire to make out with or wine and dine a girl, my attraction to guys still lingered in the back of my mind.
So, for me, coming out was finally saying to myself “I like both.” I realize this is a fairly privileged coming out tale.
Still, that doesn’t mean I want to date more than one person at a time or that I’m greedy and want to have a lot of sex with a lot of people or that I can’t make up my mind. In fact, that last misconception was what kept me from being truthful with myself for 19 years. I thought you were only supposed to like one gender and that you only could like one gender.
So, what’s my point? None of this is groundbreaking and I’m sure it’s been said before. Well, my point is that not only do we need to stop invalidating the feelings of bisexuals by saying their identity doesn’t exist, but we also need to be careful with how we let these stereotypes influence us, even when we don’t think they are.
So yes, a girl did ask me if I wanted to have a threesome with her and her boyfriend. This is a clear example of people thinking bisexuals are in it for the sex— with anyone and with multiple anyones at the same time.
But I’ve also had my well-meaning, straight friends tell me that they wished they were bisexual. That it sounds so fun. What you may not realize is that you’re basically saying the same thing to me as if you’d said “I wish I was bisexual, I’ve always wanted to have a threesome.”
Before you tell a bisexual that they’re sexuality sounds fun, ask yourself why being bisexual sounds fun. I don’t hook up with any more people now that I’m out than I did when I thought I was straight. I’m still the same shy, awkward person I’ve always been, most of the time too nervous and terrified to approach anyone regardless of their gender. Even if I wasn’t so shy and nervous, there’s the small problem that nowhere close to every girl I’m attracted to is also queer. And, even if they are, they would still have to want to make out with me, too— you know, that whole super important consent thing?
But, listen, even if you filled a room with 100 percent queer girls, I wouldn’t want to hook up with or date all of them. I’m not attracted to every girl I meet just like I’m not attracted to every guy I meet and that hasn’t changed just because I’m attracted to some girls as well as some guys.
Don’t get me wrong, being bisexual is fun. If by fun you mean that I finally feel comfortable in my own skin and with my own feelings and no longer question the validity of how I feel about every single person I get a little googly-eyed over. It’s fun because I’m finally able to live my life and have fun without my own denial hanging over my head. It’s not fun because now I go around hooking up with whoever I want.
So what’s my point? My point is that even if I did want to have a threesome, I don’t want to have one with you because I’m not attracted to you or your boyfriend. Ignorant isn’t my type.