When I was in my freshman year in high school, I realized that I wasn't straight. In a world where gay marriage was not yet legal and in a small, predominately Republican town, I had to face the fact that I not only had an attraction to boys but also to girls.
I guess I always kind of knew it. I would look at girls when I was young and marvel at how pretty they were. Back then I thought I was just jealous or something. I guess not.
Today, in a world where acceptance and LGBT voices are much more dominant, I sometimes still feel out of place. If often feels that I'm either "too gay" to be accepted in straight communities and "too straight" to be accepted in gay communities.
There are a lot of stereotypes and misunderstandings when it comes to being bisexual. We are associated with three-ways, even though being bisexual doesn't always mean polyamorous. If a girl is bisexual, people think she is just 'trying to be different' and that she will eventually "come back to guys." If a guy is bisexual, then he is "really gay, but just waiting to come out fully."
Truth is, being bisexual isn't on a spectrum. I'm not "more gay than I am straight," and I'm not "more straight than I am gay."
Being bisexual is its own identity. We aren't "in the middle" of anything, and we aren't on our way to anything else. While this is easy to understand on paper, it can be hard to put into practice.
For example, I'm currently in a "straight" relationship. Even though I'm bisexual, I would get looks if I were to bring my boyfriend into an LGBT space because, on the outside, all they see is a straight couple. In my family, they see me being with a man as a confirmation that I'm straight and that I've "grown out of my phase."
When was the last time you saw a bisexual person on a popular TV show or movie? Not just someone who is with both genders, but someone who calls themselves bisexual? I sure haven't seen much of it.
Many people would benefit from learning more about alternative sexual identities besides just "gay and straight." These other identities are often ignored, not just bisexuality. A push for more education on these is necessary.