It has taken me a long time to be comfortable with my bisexuality.
I’m not shouting it from the rooftops (though is fearless, jubilant confession a necessary rite of passage for all? Straight people surely don’t do this). I pick and choose who to disclose to based on social cues and a general sense of trust (some days I feel more trusting than others, or perhaps I’ve had just enough alcohol). I still get nervous even saying it out loud, though I have yet to tell someone who reacted negatively. But here it is:
I like women (too)!
Part of me thinks, who the hell cares? The other part is still wary. How will my boss react when I no longer share stories about my boyfriend and have to awkward explain that I’ve also liked women all along? I know my mom’s cool with it, but I’m not sure my dad would handle it the same. What would the family think if I brought a woman over for Christmas dinner? Surely someone will ask me, “but don’t you want kids?”
The hell with it, I’m an educated feminist! Who cares about cultural norms! I choose love, no matter the gender! Down with the man! Except that’s not always practical. As an employee of Planned Parenthood, I am no stranger to explaining sometimes controversial but important pieces of my identity to people. As someone who thrives on sharing love life tales of woe and happiness, including but not limited to what happens in the bedroom, as well as describing my most recent unique poop story to anyone who is up for it, I’m not sure why my bisexuality is so scary to throw into the mix.
I think part of the fears comes from my struggle with the notion that if I’m bisexual, I should feel equal attraction to both sexes and only recently have I begun to accept that this is simply not true. This stems from a deeply ingrained fear of bisexual erasure in which it’s a constant battle to be equally valued in two (often opposing) communities at once – the straight community and the LGBT community. If I engage with straight and queer people at work in the same conversation, I refrain from using the word ‘boyfriend’ even if I had used it without restraint around the straight people earlier in the week. I automatically assume the queer people are trying to size me up in terms of my queerness, which is one hundred percent unfair of me. I want them to know I’m not just another cog in the heterosexual machine! However, I do have to acknowledge that as a woman currently in a straight relationship, I am reaping societal benefits that aren’t accessible to other LGBT members.
For me, there is so much nuance that often being bisexual feels like walking on eggshells. I am lucky enough to have a few people in my life that I feel comfortable discussing all shades of my bisexuality with and I hope for a day in the future where no one has to fear talking about their sexuality.
In summary, fuck Kim Davis.