Good Bi Love: Reflecting On The Evolution Of My Bi Pride

9/10/2018

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This wondrous month is Bisexuality Awareness Month, with the big Bisexuality Awareness Day happening on September 23. Needless to say, it’s my favorite month of the year, because I get to talk about bisexuality more than usual, and if anyone dares say I’m talking about it too much, I tell them it’s my month, and I’ll do whatever I damn well please.

Throughout September I will continue to discuss the negative health disparities that disproportionality affect bi individuals, but not in Good Bi Love. I’ll save those pieces for more mainstream outlets so straight readers – the ones who really need to be reading it – have an opportunity to learn.

For GBL this month I want to celebrate how far we’ve come as a community, as well as how far each of us have come when it comes to embracing our own sexuality. Think about where you were a year ago, three years ago, and even 10 years ago. I can’t speak for all of you, but I’d be willing to bet that you’ve made at least some progress in your sexual identity journey.

I’d like to briefly share my own sexual identity journey, which definitely took some unexpected twists and turns.

Ten years ago, I was told by my psychiatrist that bisexuality doesn’t exist in men, and that I’m straight.

Eight years ago, I was getting hammered in order to kiss a man. Doing anything more often required drugs, which lead to blacking out, which gave me an excuse for being sexually intimate with men (i.e., “I was so drunk; I wasn’t thinking clearly”).

Seven years ago, I kept jacking off to gay porn while dating my girlfriend and feeling huge amounts of shame. A few times, I imagined she was a man during sex. Those nights, I cried myself to sleep, feeling levels of guilt and confusion I didn’t think were possible.

Six years ago, was the first time I had penetrative sex with a man. I was piss-drunk.

Five years ago, I had penetrative sex with a man sober.

Four years ago, I went on my first date with a man, and shortly after, I came out as bi to my family and friends.

Three and half years ago, I had my first partner after coming out as bi. She identified as pansexual and non-binary (but preferred female pronouns). It was the first time I felt unconditionally loved for all of who I was. It was one of the most powerful and incredible feelings I have ever felt in my life. Now, I refuse to accept anything less when it comes to my partners. I was madly and hopelessly in love.

Two and a half years ago, I fell in love with my first man, and he became my first boyfriend. My family met him. My friends. Everyone. He introduced me to polyamory. To this day, it was the most honest, open, and communicative relationship I’ve ever been in. He showed me a whole new world of ethical non-monogamy, and I knew, very quickly, it was the world I wanted to live in.

Two years ago, I moved in with my then-boyfriend and his wife. The six months we lived together was unlike anything I had ever experienced before, but eventually I knew I had to leave to move to New York City. There was nothing left for me in Boston besides him, and the city was sucking the creative juices out of me.

A year and a half ago, I started my life in Brooklyn, the first city where, from the beginning, I embraced my sexuality. Within months, I fell in love with NY – the openness, the acceptance, and the embracing of all things weird, alternative, and queer made me feel welcomed. I had found my home.

Presently I’m single, proudly bi, living in Bed-Stuy, and writing about what I love: sexuality, identity, travel, lifestyle, culture, and research.

I bullet-pointed the last decade of my life for a few reasons. For one, I love talking about myself, which is why I became writer, but two, to remind myself how far I’ve come. So often, we feel as if we’re not “doing enough.” We’re not growing as people or we’re stuck in our careers, or we find ourselves in the same situations over and over again when it comes to dating.

There are also still times when I’m not completely positive of my sexual identity. While I’m 100% certain that I’m sexually and emotionally attracted to all genders, I’m unsure about other factors, like the role I want sex to have in my life, which kink to explore next, what type of relationship would work best for me, and if I’m using open-relationships as a crutch for commitment issues. I find myself working on the same constellation of issues with my therapist, and sometimes feel like I’m working in circles.

But then, I write out a list of what I’ve accomplished. I remind myself of where I was years ago and where I am now. How much I’ve matured, and how many risks I took that paid off (and some that didn’t, but still happy I took the risk). I moved in with my boyfriend and his wife after four months of knowing him. (I seriously can’t believe I did that!) But I learned so much from living with him about jealousy, long-term relationships, time management, and communication.

Writing this out, I’ve realized that in the past decade, I’ve actually spent more years drunkenly engaging in sexual activities with men than sober years. That’s honestly insane to think about. I spent six years of my life unable to have sex with a man sober, but hey, I got over it. And now I have sober sex with men, women, and people of all other genders, and guess what? It’s freaking amazing! I’m more confident sexually than I have ever been before.

I also changed my career to one that focuses more on sexual identity because I love discussing it so much. And I moved to a city that has a huge queer community who embraces me for the intricacies and nuances of my sexuality.

Still, all of these things took years. So now, when I’m feeling as if I haven’t grown in the past few months or whatever it is that’s getting me down, I can remember that these things take time. And the truth is, I have grown so much with regards to my sexual identity in the past decade, and I will continue to grow.

This Bisexuality Awareness Month, I’d like to encourage you to do the same. Take a break from beating yourself up, thinking you’re not “bi enough,” or worrying that you haven’t figured out everything with regards to your sexuality. (Spoiler, you never will! It’s an ongoing journey!) For the entirety of September, simply go ahead and remember how much you’ve grown, and be proud of yourself for being the badass bisexual you are!

Zachary Zane
Zachary Zane a Brooklyn-based freelance writer, speaker, YouTuber, and activist whose work focuses on (bi)sexuality, gender, identity politics, relationships, and culture. He's a contributing editor at The Advocate Magazine, a columnist at Bi.org, and currently writes for The Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Out Magazine, and PRIDE.