A brave young woman was willing to share some of her thoughts and experiences being a bisexual. It's incredible how many things everyone goes through but may not be perceived on the outside. So for the sake of educating people, but also possibly helping those who may be in a similar position, here are a few words you may find useful!
¨Believe it or not, according to a 2011 report from the San Francisco Human Rights Commission (HRC), bisexual people have a greater likelihood of depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders. Minority stress stems out into external stress (distal) and internal stress (proximal). An example of distal stress is a bisexual person being told they're lying, or that their sexuality doesn't exist. An example of proximal stress is internalized biphobia, or not even coming out at all for fear of backlash. "Minority stress falls very hard on bisexual folks," said Dr. Sarah Noble, author of the APA's factsheet.
However, like many other identities, it is often heard that being “bisexual is now a trend”. That's why I decided to write this public rant, a list of what it has been like and what it meant to ME. It should be emphasized that I am a cis, Latinx woman and that my experience does not speak for that of others. I wrote “being bisexual is” because it is what I myself have seen or experienced throughout my life:
-Being bisexual is having to often listen to people telling you that you say it for attention or a trend, when it has been a secret for years and it still gives you anxiety when you tell a stranger.
-Being bisexual is feeling misunderstood when surrounded only by homosexual or heterosexual friends.
-Being bisexual is having to go through moments of constant biphobia even when they don't know you're bi.
-Being bisexual is having the "possibility" to go out and "go back into the closet every day". (how positive can this be for your own identity?).
-Being bisexual is having to listen to "jokes" from your friends who say: "my boyfriend doesn't trust you because you're bisexual" or "I'm sure it's hard for you to be faithful."
-Being bisexual is feeling guilty for having a boyfriend (instead of a girlfriend) as a woman and feeling the pressure of having to constantly prove that you are still bisexual or to feel the obligation to hide it forever since you are now in a relationship that they call a “hetero” relationship.
-Being bisexual is not feeling LGBTQ enough, because I think I have the opportunity to "hide" more easily and not be as oppressed.
-Being bisexual is feeling confused as to whether I am actually homosexual/heterosexual like others say. And then asking myself that if I doubt my sexuality so much, to what extent is it valid?
-Being bisexual is having to put up with so many proposals/jokes about threesomes, to the point that if I ever wanted to have a threesome, today I completely lost the desire and I hate the idea.
-Being bisexual is being constantly over-sexualised at parties by people. Also seeing your few bisexual referents being over-sexualised in advertisements, series and movies.
-Being bisexual is when your boyfriend tells you that he wouldn't be jealous if you kiss a woman, but he would be jealous of a man. (huh? Should I feel lucky?)
-Being bisexual is when your lesbian friends tell you, “I would never go out with a bisexual woman because she’ll probably cheat on me”, or “I have a friend whose ex-girlfriend ended up leaving her for her current boyfriend…” and stories like that.
-Being bisexual and having anxiety is predicting that since you haven't come out yet you will probably end up meeting and dating more men, eventually falling in love with one, getting married and hiding a precious part of yourself for the rest of your life.
-Being bisexual is to take years to accept your label so that later someone from the collective comes and tells you that you are not actually bisexual but pansexual and that you should stop calling yourself that, when in reality both labels are valid.
-Being bisexual is thinking and over analyzing too much about sexuality and attraction to finally end up exhausted and losing attraction to everyone.
So no, I don't think being bi is a cool trend, nor do I consider myself a victim, because despite these bad experiences I have been very lucky and privileged. At least for me, being bisexual is a wonderful experience that I wouldn't trade for anything. In a certain way, I think it has given me the perspective of being able to fall in love with people without gender limitations. I can easily empathize when my friends tell me about dating whatever gender they are. It has also made me meet incredible people from the collective and live the experience of being part of it and the activism that this entails.
If you are bi or think you are and you are reading this, I would recommend to take your time and observe that despite the bad, there is an incredible community opening their arms to you. Don't feel obligated to say it until you're ready. As much as we live in a heterosexual and binary world, know that you don't have to be it and fit in it. There are thousands of people who don't fit in it either and are waiting to meet someone like you. If one day you dare to share who you truly are, you will surely inspire someone. I truly believe that we all have the opportunity to be someone else's example.¨
If you feel you are struggling with your sexual orientation or with coming out to your loved ones, don't hesitate to contact me.