A very special anniversary is coming up later this month. Nope, it's not a relationship or anything like that. It's the fifth anniversary of my coming out as bisexual. I'm going to post a commemorative post then, but since I'm already in the mood for celebration, I want to talk about how I came to accept my sexuality since coming out.
I didn't always identify as bisexual. From the ages of 15-18, I did. I began to question if I was a lesbian near my 19th birthday. I came out as lesbian for a few months before I met a great guy, then suddenly my understanding of my sexuality was skewed again. We dated for 11 months, ending due to us growing apart. Not long after this, I came out as a lesbian again at age 20. This time I held onto that label for a good 9 months before meeting the wonderful person I'm now with - another male. By this time, some friends of mine were extremely confused. I was by far more confused than any of them.
I'm a bisexual that prefers women but am dating a man. That's a mouthful
to say, but a common misconception of bisexuals is that we like
both sexes equally. Some of us strongly prefer the opposite sex, some strongly prefer the same sex, some like both sexes equally, and some
feel a slight pull toward one sex more than the other. It depends on
the individual. I feel the need to describe my type of bisexuality so
that I can convey this message.
It took me ages to realize that I hated the term "bisexual" so much that I was desperate to call myself anything else - lesbian, queer, fluid....just not bisexual because of it's generally misunderstood nature as a half-way house between gay and straight, or the metaphorical "fence" we supposedly sit on. There's also the assumptions bisexuals are slutty, unfaithful, polyamorous, greedy...you've heard them all. I was afraid of the word. On occasion, lesbians and straight men rejected me on that label alone.
I thought I'd primarily date women, so I figured "lesbian" was a close enough description. Yet, when I called myself one, there
was that feeling in the back of my mind that I was right the first time:
I'm bi. I'm no longer scared to use the term because its stigma is
exactly why I SHOULD use it - to educate others until the stigma dissipates.