Over the entire span of my dating life, I’ve had boyfriends and girlfriends. When I’m dating someone of the same sex, though, there’s an anxiety that comes about that I don’t get when I date someone of the opposite sex.
If I end up marrying a man, oh that’s fine. That’s normal. But what’s going to happen if I end up marrying a woman? I’m definitely going to have to come out. I’m pretty sure everyone would notice that.
I’ve only ever entertained the idea of coming out to my family when I’m presently in a relationship with a woman. And as I already don’t have a functional relationship with my parents or extended family, I really don’t see the point in telling them if I currently have a boyfriend.
Most of my family are not very open or progressive people. Even the ones who claim to be accepting of LGBTQ+ people, have already told me to my face, “not you though”. As in, it’s okay for those Americans to be gay, but not one of our own. “Ellen Degeneres is a lesbian, but that’s okay. She’s cool. But you can’t be. That’s for the white people.” Honestly, I don’t even know how to respond to that.
Being bisexual, it’s already hard enough, because there’s that backlash of bisexual erasure, which can be defined as “the tendency to ignore, remove, falsify, or re-explain evidence of bisexuality in history, academia, news media and other primary sources. In its most extreme form, bisexual erasure can include denying that bisexuality exists.”
Now, personally, I experience this a lot. Particularly, being a bisexual woman in the Caribbean. My sexuality is often fetishized by men, who think bisexuality exists for them to realize their dreams of having a threesome with two women. Even within the LGBTQ+ community, there are times I feel discriminated against. I go to gay bars, and other spaces, and because I’m femme, I generally do not get approached by women. It’s also my space, but I am made to feel like an outsider. A lot of lesbians I have spoken to as well, don’t “believe” in bisexuality, or flat out don’t date bi women, because they believe that we’re just “girls who want to experiment”. It just really sucks feeling like you don’t belong in a space that was supposedly made for you to feel safe and connected.
There are still these myths that I hear from both straight and gay people, that “bisexuality isn’t real”, or that “you’re either gay or straight”. Honestly, in this day and age, are we really perpetuating these ideas? I am bisexual. I experience attraction to both men and women. I am not “greedy” or “indecisive” or “experimenting”. I have been in relationships with both men and women (and no, not at the same time.) When I am dating a man, I have not become straight; and when I am dating a woman, I have not become a lesbian.
I remain bisexual, and very proud.
Julie Mango is an internet enthusiast, and a Trinidadian. She spends most of her time writing words down. You can find some of those words at https://theislandalien.