Sexuality is complex and personal. Coming out is not only a confusing process for sexual minorities, but it can be difficult to understand for those who do not feel the same way. Sexual minority groups which are often met with confusion are those in the middle of the spectrum- the bisexuals, pansexual and hetero-flexibles. They not only feel excluded from heterosexuals but from the gay and lesbian community also, for ‘not being gay enough’.
Bisexuals are often told that their sexuality does not exist. But just because you don’t understand something, does not mean it is not real. I do not understand gravity, but I know that it is real. It is the same for any sexuality, you may not understand, but you should respect and accept someone for who they are.
There are many stigmas surrounding bisexuality. As a pansexual, I am often called greedy or selfish. This comes from the misconception that bisexuals are promiscuous, that they jump from one bed to the other. My girlfriend and I are also often asked for threesomes, assuming that we are not in a monogamous relationship because of our sexuality. But bisexuality and polygamy are two different things, sexual appetite differs between individuals of all genders and sexualities.
These negative stigmas also make dating particularly challenging for bisexuals. An ex-partner once told me that he would never have gotten into a relationship with me if he knew I was pansexual because he wouldn’t have trusted me. The gay and lesbian community also often distrust bisexuals. When I first came out as bisexual, and later pansexual, people insisted it was a phase of confusion. I constantly felt I had to prove my sexuality. Women were suspicious that I was ‘just experimenting’ because I had only dated men beforehand. Your dating history should not be analysed for validation of your sexuality. Whether you have only dated one gender, or tend to date one gender more than others, you can still be bisexual.
Due to me now being in a committed relationship with a woman, I am assumed to now be a lesbian. Commitment to a partner does not indicate a change in sexuality or label identification. It is the attraction to multiple genders that makes you bisexual or pansexual, which is unlikely to change. And this certainly does not prove that ‘it was only a matter of time’ before I would come out as gay. Bisexuality is not always a phase of coming out as fully gay.
It is incredibly difficult for somebody to come out. Coming out is ultimately asking for acceptance. So, to tell somebody that they are confused, that they are just experimenting, that their sexuality does not exist can be very damaging to their mental health.
Your sexuality is valid. You know yourself better than anybody else, do not let anybody tell you otherwise! Share whether you have had similar experiences to myself due to your sexuality in the comments below.
For support with any LGBT+ issues, you can find help from the LGBT foundation online or over the phone on 0345 3303030
Check out the video, I’m Bisexual, But I’m Not…
For more discourse on bisexuality visit the blog, Happy Bisexual.