Confession: I’m Not “50/50″ Bisexual
I came out when I was 14 and fell into a binary definition of bisexuality. This way of looking at sexuality pigeonholes bi people into a murky grey area between the monosexist “norms” of gay and straight. It’s common for bi people to fall into the binary trap, as binaries are perpetuated in every aspect of our heteronormative society. It couldn’t be until a few years later, when I learned more about the bi community, that I would find out that bisexuality isn’t anything close to binary.
It’s this binary idea of bisexuality that has many gay and straight individuals asking bi people questions like “what percentage are you attracted to women and men?” Many times, newly minted bi people feel pressured to give percentages, saying they’re 70% into men and 30% into women. Or vice versa. Other bi people retort that bisexuality cannot be dissected into percentages. I’ve fallen into the latter group, publicly refusing to have my sexuality comprised by my “gayness” and “straightness.”
Yet, if I’m being honest, I’ve felt anxiety in regards to not being “50/50” bisexual. Especially as an activist in the LGBT community, I stress about not being perceived as “bi enough.” This has led me to monitor my expressions, suppressing parts of my personality that might be perceived as “more feminine.”
I’ve worried about how some people might perceive my sexuality, and I’ve felt the need to be equally attracted to men and women. It’s something I unconsciously think about. If my last partner was a man, I think about what it would mean if I dated another man. Or worse, if I dated multiple men in a row. Similarly, I worry about dating women due to the isolation many bi people are made to feel in LGBT spaces when dating someone of another sex.
People frequently try to invalidate my sexuality. It’s been happening all my life. I’ve been told that I’m going through a “phase,” that I’m too “gay,” or a variety of other bisexual erasing tropes. The idea of my dating life adding to that invalidation stresses me out.
This worry is a manifestation of biphobia. Internalizing the monosexist messages can have negative effects. There are enough barriers in my dating life as a bi person. I don’t need to add to them by allowing this rhetoric to influence my love life.
In the end, I just won’t put percentages on my sexuality because I’m not 50% straight or 50% gay – I’m 100% bisexual. I want to be able to experience my bisexuality, organically, without any inhibitions, without worrying about how some people might perceive me due to my being with this or that potential partner. It’s my love life, not theirs. I’m still bisexual no matter whom I am dating and no matter how I act.
Proud to be bisexual. Proud to be me.