A letter about bisexuality

This is a repost of a letter I wrote to Jared from Lick the Fridge. Read more about this kick-ass letter-writing project here.

 

I’m Bisexual and There’s Nothing For You to Worry About

Dear Jared,

I sat down tonight to write you a letter expanding on my comment from your Betty Friedan post. And then I read your post, Some People Are Gay – Get Over It! and my mind went in a completely different direction.

I’ve been working on writing this in my head for some time now. It started this past September. I told my boyfriend what I wanted to write about. He asked me if I was sure I wanted to do that. I said, “I don’t know.” I chickened out and wrote this not-nearly-as-personal post instead.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve been thinking about it again. I’ve been feeling that “I don’t know” turn into a soft “yes.”

To most of the world, I’m a straight woman who advocates for LGBT rights. But I’m not. I’m a bisexual woman who happens to be in a heterosexual relationship. I’ve never felt the need to come out. I’ve never had to come out. All of my long-term relationships have been with men.

I first accepted my bisexuality when I was 21 years old. Since then, I’ve never really hidden it, but I’ve never actually said it either. I don’t deal with overt discrimination and bigotry because most people in my “real life” don’t know.

I did check the “bisexual” box on MySpace years ago, though I admit I was only comfortable doing that because no one in my family was on MySpace. I was teaching preschool at the time and while sitting in the office one day a co-worker asked for my MySpace page. I told her.

About a week later another teacher accidentally made a comment about being irritated with that co-worker and a few others. I asked her why. She sighed and said, “She told me she saw your MySpace page and that it said you were bi. Now she and a couple other girls are skeeved out.”

I rolled my eyes and we joked about how egocentric they must be to think I’d have any interest in any of them. But later I started to panic. I wasn’t thinking about that one little tidbit on a website chock full of other information about me when she asked for my page. I started to regret checking that box. I was worried that this was going to affect my work environment.

Fortunately, it didn’t. The gossip died down the second there was something new to latch onto. That was the last time I directly dealt with any issues related to my sexual orientation.

Still, I listen to people describe bisexuals as confused or greedy or promiscuous. Over ten years ago when I made this discovery about myself, I was dating my ex-husband. I was always faithful to him.

On a few occasions, I’d talk to online friends about being bisexual and many times they’d “correct” me and tell me I must be bi-curious. They’d say things like, “If you’ve never been with a woman, how can you know you’re bi?”

I’d reply with, “How old were you when you lost your virginity?” And after they answered, I’d ask, “So, you were straight-curious before that?”

I’ve never quite understood why it seems to be so difficult for many people to grasp the idea that a person can be interested in both men and women. Whether it’s attraction or infatuation or like or love – that for some of us, those things don’t come attached to specific gender.

It doesn’t mean that I’m confused. It doesn’t mean that I secretly want to bang every woman I meet. It doesn’t mean that I went through a “phase” in college or that I can’t have a committed relationship or that I’m just trying to be the “cool” girlfriend.

You said that you wish we didn’t have to talk about all this stuff because you wish it would just be the non-issue that it should be. I agree with you 1,000%.

I watch a show on the BBC (Torchwood, if you’re interested) with some very open-minded portrayals of sexuality. My boyfriend’s commented about how it’s strange that you’ll see girls hook up with girls and guys hook up with guys and there’s never an explanation of that person being gay or bi. I said, “Isn’t that how it should be? Would you expect an explanation if a man and woman started kissing?”

During my courses on teaching special education in college, my professor talked about people with disabilities portrayed in the media. She made a distinction between having a show about a person with a disability and having a show with a character who happened to have a disability. She explained that the latter shows all of who the person is. It was about making a distinction between putting the disability first and putting the person first.

I think that’s the case for so many things – race, color, religion, and of course, sexual orientation. These things are a part of who we are, but not the whole of who we are. And that’s a huge part of the reason I’ve never actually come out. Because it’s just not that important to who I am. It doesn’t define me.

And then a few weeks ago I read this article and I thought, “Maybe I should indulge these feelings of wanting to be more vocal about this because this is something I relate to and it’s important to me and I’m not ashamed of who I am and maybe I should just tell people that.”

So, for whatever it’s worth or not, that’s what this is.

~Dayle

Read Jared’s response: Using Privilege to Define Normal

Photo Credit

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6 responses to this post.

  1. Dayle, just in case you were worried about how some of your blogging friends might react to this news, I just want you to know that you are the same person to me today that you were yesterday. 🙂 Big Hugs!

    Reply

  2. As I said before, so what?? B.o.r.i.n.g. 🙂 🙂

    Reply

  3. I think I could just sign under your post. 🙂

    Reply

    • Thank you for reading and commenting, Masa!

      I took a quick glance over at your blog and found several things I could relate to there as well — once I get myself more organized, I’ll be over for more in-depth reading 🙂

      Reply

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