I am a bisexual woman. I have never struggled with my identity like most bisexuals seem to have, and for that I am very fortunate. In fact I distinctly remember knowing I liked girls when I was in year 6 and I developed a complete infatuation with a new girl in my class, let’s call her Jane. I saw Jane and I thought, “Wow, she’s amazing, I want to look like/sound like/be as talented as her”. This lead to my year 6 life being me emulating a girl I thought was the best person I had ever met, and this was seen as “cute” and “funny” and sometimes probably a bit weird (back off kid, you’re close to being a stalker). But this emulation, I realised a few years later, was actually a crush. I thought she was great, and she would only like me if I was great, so I tried to be great by essentially being like her. Oh childish ignorance!
Fast forward a few years and I’m 16. I have had a “girlfriend” (we held hands and kissed a few times, we even went to a concert together. Heavy metal, how romantic). We break up because we can’t do long distance. She lived in the next town to me, but it seemed like another country with the 45 minute bus journey ONE WAY. And it cost £4 return, outrageous. I have also had two boyfriends in this time; I was clearly a catch in my early teenage years. But one thing I never thought about was the fact that a lot of people my age thought that you could only like one gender, you could only be gay or straight. Bi-sexuality wasn’t an identity, it was a choice, and it was a choice people made because they wanted to be “different” and get attention.
This became apparent to me in my last year at secondary school when I had been completely open about my attractions to people and celebrities to all my friends, and it was pretty much 50-50 men and women I was crushing on. My best friends were confused, but they loved me and just let me get on with it. However, some girls liked to think that this meant I was a sexual predator who would fancy the first person in my eye line regardless of gender, someone who would not take no for an answer. Bisexuality here was equated with the threat of sexual assault, something I find an interesting parallel to draw to say the least.
Two girls in my PE class refused to get changed in the same changing room as me and the “well known lesbian” of year 11 because we, and I quote, “will perv on them”. I was ready for the PE teachers to get all socially progressive on their arse, telling them not to be so judgemental and that it doesn’t matter that we like girls because it doesn’t mean we like all girls, and it certainly doesn’t mean that we will forgo giving people their privacy to quell our sexual fantasies. HA. Oh was I wrong. Instead we were told to go and change in the toilets, a cubicle each (just in case we tried to have sex with each other) because we were making the other girls “feel really uncomfortable”. By literally just being there. My very presence in that school was a burden on these girls, and that really pissed me off.
Since then I have had two long term relationships, both with men, and I have fallen head over heels for a girl that I met abroad spending a wonderful month together after which having to return to our separate corners of the globe. She is the only person who has ever broken my heart as my current long term relationship seems to be going pretty well. I have been very open with new people about my bisexuality; those I have met since I was 18 know it is part of my identity. But those people at home still think it was “just a phase” that I have grown out of, and I often don’t put them straight (if you will pardon the pun).
I also haven’t discussed it with my family, not since I was about 15 and they saw me getting very close to a female friend. This is because they would still see it as a phase, me seeking attention, trying to be a “leftie socialist student” as my uncle likes to put it. I also think my mum would never accept it. She isn’t homophobic, if I came out as gay she would be the first one yelling from the rooftops about how proud she is of her lesbian daughter, but she definitely wouldn’t understand bisexuality. How do I know this? I tried to bring it up once in relation to someone we know who outwardly identifies as bisexual to all and sundry, and a few of the comments she made showed a lack of understanding. The pronouns used were lesbian, indecisive and confused, and I vowed there that unless I fell in love with a woman who I wanted to share my life with, my family will never know how I feel about women. That is why I am writing under anonymous, not because I am scared or ashamed, but because it just makes me life easier. And that’s something that I find upsetting, because I shouldn’t have to brush over an important part of my identity because it is too exhausting to explain.
Why is it so exhausting? Because although people are very liberal and accepting these days (I say surrounded by my white middle class utopian paradise of left wing student friends) they do not understand, and explaining is literally SO BORING. For instance, here are a few comments I’ve had when people realise I like men and women:
What percentage are you though? Like 80-20 men-women?
Yes, if you tot up the formal relationships in my life, I have been with more men than women. Hell if you tot up my sexual experiences, it’s still slightly in the favour of men. THIS DOES NOT MEAN I LIKE THEM MORE. I have just found more men in my world that I have wanted to have sex with. Well, not entirely true, there’s about 100 women I would have had sex with but nearly all of them have been straight so that’s been scuppered somewhat. And even if they weren’t straight, who knows if they would even want me?
You’re so greedy! There won’t be enough left for the rest of us!
Oh yeah, me and every other bisexual person are going to kidnap every sexy, available person and you straight or gay people will be left all alone.
Logisitically, this sentence is ridiculous. Just because we like both doesn’t mean we will conquer and take all. Also, well done for stripping these hypothetical conquests of their own agency, you tits.
So is a threesome your idea of heaven?
This is equating my liking both sexes to me only being satiated if I am simultaneously banging both. And it’s also a proposition half the time from bored straight couples who want to impress their other half by bringing home a bisexual sex doll. No, I like sex with one person. I like to concentrate on feeling close to that person, feeling special and safe. I’m so sorry for ruining that little fantasy for you (I’m actually not).
So you’re confused then?
Nope, I am less confused than most. I have never been confused about it actually. I have always liked both, I always will like both, I cannot be more clear about HOW BLOODY CLEAR I AM ABOUT MY SEXUAL FEELINGS. JESUS.
And so you see, I am a proud, happy, non-confused bisexual woman. However I am not “out” to a number of people because it’s literally too much effort. Coming out as bisexual still means a lot of explaining and justifying, and why should I have to do that?
If you wish to submit to Zusterschap but remain anonymous please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org