The Struggles Of Coming Out As A Bisexual Woman Vs. A Lesbian

The Struggles Of Coming Out As A Bisexual Woman Vs. A Lesbian

The answer to "How can you be a lesbian if you've had sex with men before?"


Being out in public as any member of the LGBT+ community has its moments where you wish you had just stayed in the closet. If you've come out more than once, though, the challenges you've more than likely experienced can be very different.

Like many others, I made more than one stop along the way while discovering who I was and what I wanted out of life. Accordingly, I've had a few moments where I've had to come out to friends and family more than once as I looked deeper into myself.

This is largely because growing up, I thought there was only one way to be: Straight.

Although I was always aware of my attraction to women, I was raised to think that being gay was unnatural, disgusting and came with a one-way ticket to hell. Because of this, I spent the better part of 18 years pushing down my instincts as far as they would go and forcing relationships with men.

Finally, when I was 19-years-old, I stopped lying to myself and everyone around me and started identifying as a bisexual.

That lasted for about two years, mainly because I was too much of a scaredy-cat to start dating women and I kept getting distracted by men.

During that time I actually didn't feel any different, internally or socially. I still hung out with my regular group of friends, and the only homophobia that came my way was from guys who sexualized my friendships with women. In fact, I felt like I didn't even belong to the LGBT+ community because I didn't go through the "gay struggle."

As soon as I had my first girlfriend, I was hooked. My attraction to men flipped off like a light switch and I started to question everything. How could I be gay if I've had sex with men before? How could I be a lesbian if I've dated men my whole life, even said "I love you" to boyfriends before?

I want to add in a disclaimer here because my experiences while I identified as a bisexual woman were largely influenced by my upbringing, my friend group at the time and a lot of internalized homophobia. Bisexuality is not just a phase girls go through in college, or a stepping stone to coming out as gay.

Anyone who has questions about bisexuality is encouraged to reach out for more information or dig into their resources!

I ended up taking the summer to really come to terms with it, but by August I was telling all of my close friends and family that I was a lesbian.

This is when I truly started to feel "the struggle."

At first, there was just some weirdness from homophobic women who thought I was going to assault them and men who insisted they could make me "turn back." But about a month after I had officially come out, three of my straight male friends, who I had trusted as best friends, all walked out of my life.

All for the same reason.

It just went downhill from there.

I felt like every interaction I had was marked by it.

People, mostly straight men, would ask extremely personal questions to try and see what made me "switch sides." It was so invalidating to be forced to answer, "Are you gay because you were raped?" and I felt totally exposed having to defend myself to guys who wouldn't take "no" for an answer because "I'd done it before."

To this day, that period influences the relationships I have with men and the tone of my internal monologue on dysphoric days.

I realized that I hadn't felt "the struggle" yet because no one had even seen my bisexuality as real, let alone as a reason to discriminate against me. I realized all of my male "friends" were never actually friends because they were just biding their time until they could get in my pants.

Those first few months totally redefined what "friendship" means to me, all because of those few people who prioritized their expectations of me above my happiness.

As hard as that was, I got what I wanted. I was finally a graduating member of the LGBT+ community, with plenty of "struggle" to prove it.

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All The Ways Long-Distance Is Worth It

They are not for weak, let me tell you that.

Long-distance relationships are not easy nor are they for the weak, but they are so rewarding. There is nothing quite like the feeling of seeing that person after it has been so long since you have last seen them. Whether it is a month or 6 months, nothing compares to the moment you lock eyes for the first time in a long time.

1. Nothing, I mean nothing, is better than finally getting a FaceTime date in after a few weeks.

Making time for those little FaceTime dates is the key to every long-distance relationship. You each have your own lives so it is the best feeling to finally find time to have a little "face-to-face" conversations.

2. Life moves on when they aren't there.

This was the hardest adjustment for me. Your significant other has a whole other life that you are not a part of because you don't live where he/she is. But, life does not care. It keeps on going even if you are not together.

3. Distance truly makes the heart grow fonder.

I know that is so cheesy, but there is no greater feeling than seeing him/her after an extended period of time (and when I say nothing, I literally mean nothing compares). There is just something about being back in their presence again that just makes the world go back together for the time you two are together. It is the BEST feeling and I know you all can agree with me on that.

SEE ALSO: How Long-Distance BFFs Can Still Be #Goals

4. They are not for the weak, let me tell ya.

Long-distance is not for everyone. It is so easy to argue with someone when you can't see their face. It is so easy to get mad at something you can't see for yourself because you have already envisioned how it must be. Y'all, it is so easy to just cover the bad day up and every struggle and act like it is all okay. Yet it also so easy to just let every issue and bad thing that day out on the other person and get so mad because they just don't understand. You just have to be strong, simple as that.

5. Catching up with life when you see each other is so fun.

This is my favorite part. It is like talking non-stop. So many happy conversations and sharing of memories with the other that just have to be explained in person.

6. Little things are the big things.

Like riding in the others car or singing along to the radio for two hours. Or simply eating at the fast food restaurant in town. Or just like sitting on the couch together literally makes you so happy.

To tie it all together, long-distance is beyond hard but is so worth it. Time with that person become preference because no one gets how much you miss them. It is hard to explain to your friends and sometimes you just miss them so much it hurts. Other days, it's easier because you are the only person you have to worry about because he/she is not in the town. It has its highs and has many lows, but nothing makes you want to truly quit and the highs always outweigh the lows.

Cover Image Credit: Caidie J Photography

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You've Heard Of 'How To Be Single,' But Let's Talk About 'How To Be Romantic'

For some of us, it takes work to be cutesy and romantic.


Okay, I'm probably the least romantic person anyone has ever met. Not to say that I'm a bad girlfriend or that I'm not caring. I just find love in simple things like knowing what to order for them at restaurants, doing their laundry, planning unique dates, or cooking for them. It's not that I'm opposed to being arduous, I've just never been a chocolate and flowers kind of girl. I'm more of a Mongolian hot pot and "let's walk across the Brooklyn Bridge!" kind of girl. I appreciate some effort, tailoring something to fit a person's idiosyncratic personality or general spontaneity, not how flowery something looks. Not saying that I'm not feminine, I'm just my own entity, so to speak, and that translates into my love life. Needless to say, I thought I should learn how the other half lives, so I've challenged myself to take a course on being a classic/hopeless romantic just to understand how others think and who knows I might change some of my habits!

1. Leave notes

I think it's a really cute and simple idea that I will try to do because it makes everything very personal.

2. Write them a poem

I've had this done for me but I've never actually done it, because believe it or not, I didn't like to read or write poems up until this year.

3. Cuddling

Okay, so I'm not a cuddler, I have no idea why — it's more or less a personal space and attachment issue, I guess. I love hugs though! I guess I just have to be in the mood to cuddle and at times I can be. Other times it just makes me nervous.

4. Dedicate a song to them on the radio

It seems like the people on the radio that do this are crazy in love and honestly, to be able to have the ability to go on the radio and just declare your love for someone else is really inspiring.

5. Surprise them!

I personally cannot stand surprises, but I love to surprise other people and just be spontaneous, so I sort of do this already.

6. Carve your names into a tree

I've thought about doing this, but I've never got around to it, so I promise one day I will.

7. Go see a romantic movie

Nope, nope, I'll barf! Not happening, strictly horror movies for this girl, sorry!

8. Make them a care package

See, this makes me think a lot about what really defines romantic, because I do this all the time, but I don't consider it romantic, I just think it's sweet.

9. Take a walk on the beach together

I've done this, but I have to be doing this while looking for seashells or I feel like I'll be bored.

10. Make a CD for them


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