I’m Bisexual, but not…

10928991_10152961890687159_4571412982328917857_n

It’s been more than 24 hours now since I’ve been out!  The response has been 99% positive, and I’m so grateful. The other 1% has been confusion, which came from a dear close family member. I have read about bi people in particular facing these questions:

Family member: I don’t get it. You’ve always told me about everyone you’ve ever fancied because we’ve always been close. They’ve always been men.
Me: Yes, because I didn’t tell you about the women. I was scared of coming out. But there have been women, too.
Him: But I’ve known you since you were little and you’ve only shown interest in men.
Me: Again, no, I’ve shown interest in women too but secretly. I wasn’t ready to tell you.
Him: Okay, but… how can you have known this long and not told me? I thought you told me everything.
Me: This was possibly the one thing I never told you. I was worried. I didn’t know how you’d handle it. But let me tell you now. I’ve always been attracted to men and women.
Him: Okay… You always wanted to marry, though.
Me: And I still do. I’ll marry a man, or a woman. For years I tried to ignore my feelings towards women and imagined that I will only marry a man. Now I’ve accepted who I am and I would love to marry a woman or a man. I’ll fall in love with whomever and I won’t limit myself to the idea of straight marriage only.
Him: Are you a lesbian? You should definitely just say so if you are. I will love you the same. Maybe you are a lesbian and don’t feel comfortable coming out.
Me: No. I am attracted to men as well. If I were lesbian I’d say so. I’ve revealed everything now and have nothing to lose. I’m definitely attracted to both men and women.
Him: Okay, okay, I accept it. But you’ve not been with a woman.
Me: Would you question a straight virgin on if they’re really straight? It’s about feelings of attraction, not experience. I know I’m bisexual even if I’ve not yet been with a woman.
Him: You don’t know.
Me: Did you know you were straight when you were a virgin?
Him: Yes.
Me: There you go.
Him: Okay, but you know this is going to be yet another thing to put prospective partners off? Straight men and lesbians won’t want you. You’ve really limited yourself.
Me: I’m sure that someone can someday look at me for me and not my sexuality. I wouldn’t run off with a person of another sex and cheat.
Him: But they would think you would. They won’t want you.
Me: If they understand that I love them, that I’m strictly monogamous and have always loved the idea of having one partner for the rest of my life, they’ll know I won’t. I would never ever cheat. Plus a straight person or a gay person can cheat too.
Him: Yes but…
Me: It’s not like I’m wanting to have both a boyfriend and a girlfriend. Some bi people are polyamorous, but I’m strictly monogamous. I’m an only child, for goodness’ sake; I get jealous when my Mum gets close to other people!
Him: You like your attention, so I have to ask… Are you doing this for the attention?
Me: No. I’m doing it to be true to myself.
And the discussion continued…

Anyway, that family member does genuinely care about me, so that wasn’t biphobia. I just wanted to share my responses to help more people understand. There are so many negative stereotypes and general assumptions about bi people. We are not confused. We aren’t more likely to cheat. We are not all polyamorous. We are not doing it for the attention. If we’re with someone of the same sex, we’re not suddenly gay; we’re still bisexual. If we’re with someone of another sex, we’re not suddenly straight; we’re still bisexual. If we’re alone, watching The Voice on a Saturday night eating leftover pasta like yours truly, we’re still bisexual.

I’m not going back in the closet, not for anyone or anything. Nothing has changed. I’m still me; I’m just being true to myself finally. All my family have accepted me, and I’m so happy.

Kimia Etemadi
at
A British-Iranian Jewish woman living in Manchester, England, Kimia is a language enthusiast who can get around in 11 languages. A cancer survivor, OCD and anxiety sufferer, crazy cat lady, and vegetarian, Kimia has recently finished her second Master's degree.