My Boyfriend Thinks I’m 50% Gay/50% Straight. Uh-Uh.
When you’re 100% bi, having to juggle your queer side and your straight side, while navigating through a same-sex relationship with someone who has had similar past experiences with different genders, but is 100% gay, can be a challenge. The initial challenge is figuring out why they identify as gay, when their past behavior screams bisexuality. But just as my boyfriend doesn’t understand the percentages to being bi, I don’t understand how he can be 100% gay.
But that isn’t entirely correct. Growing up with a desire to be with men is something my boyfriend and I both have in common. The desire was so strong in me as a teenager, that if I had come out then, I probably would have labeled myself gay, just as my boyfriend did. But at 42, and having only dated women the majority of my life, my past experiences molded me into the bi guy I am today. And they were great experiences.
“You’re 50% gay and 50% straight,” he says. “Case closed. You’re 50/50.”
But that isn’t accurate at all. I try to explain that I’m like a 100% straight man and a 100% gay man trapped in the same body, but also they are the same person. I say that I’m just as gay as a gay man and just as straight as a straight man, except that I’m not gay or straight, I’m bi. 100% bi.
I don’t think it’s sinking in, as he just gave me a quizzical look.
How can he not understand this? There isn’t really a percentage to my sexuality, for one. Additionally, he’s had sex with way more women than I have. (Albeit, when he was a teenager and his brain was still maturing.) “Can bad past experiences with women make one gay?,” I wonder. I don’t want to open that can of worms. But there is one major difference between us.
We agree that that difference (with him being a gay man and me bi) is that he finds vaginas disgusting. He finds them utterly repulsive and I don’t know why. Beautiful, soft, warm vaginas. Cute bathing suit area apricots ripe for the plucking, he has a problem with? He finds them disgusting? Every vagina is different. Maybe he’s come across some that just aren’t to his liking. Maybe menstrual blood rubs him the wrong way. Maybe his girlfriends back in high school had just got home from school, sweaty from 6th hour P.E., and decided it was just easier to shower at home, but then he showed up. Maybe he’s just 100% gay and I shouldn’t worry about it.
But I still don’t know how it isn’t sinking in that I’m not 50% gay. I look at men just as much as any gay man. I’m aroused just as strongly as any gay man gets aroused by men they are attracted to. I feel the same love for men that every gay man feels for the men they love. Even the ones who don’t understand bisexuality pie charts and fourth grade math. My queerness as a bi man is no less than that of a gay man.
“So, only 50% of me is attracted to you?,” I reply. “Only 50% of me is in love with you? Only 50% of me can be committed to you? You’re only getting 50% of the great sex you want?” I pause and with a clever smile say, ”I can give you 50%, if you want.”
As I look at his furrowed brow, I imagine the gears working in that beautiful, gay grey matter of his, as he absorbs this data and the future of our under-the-covers stuff.
He now 100% doesn’t think I’m 50% gay.
This is a common perception in our world. I’ve been asked who I like more: men or women. What percentage gay am I? What percentage straight am I? Although the questions do not annoy me (because it gives me an opportunity for a teaching experience), the reality of bisexuality is being questioned in these queries.
Living openly as bi means judgment from many around you. Whether it’s someone looking up to you for being true to yourself, someone deriding you due to misinformation, or even someone laughing at you because of doubt. You gotta remember you’re 100% you, all the time. Your sexuality doesn’t change. Your fluidity in romance is never stagnant like a gay, lesbian, or straight person. (And I mean stagnant in the most loving way possibly. It just doesn’t flow.) Your sexuality as a bi person, however, flows in the direction of your partner, or your love interest, crush, new date, mystery person on the train, etc.
I liken bisexuality to the hydrological cycle of our planet. There’s water. That water evaporates into the atmosphere. The clouds form from that evaporated mist and water rains back down onto the earth to collect in reservoirs, lakes, rivers, and oceans, only to evaporate again at some point. It’s still H2O whether it’s liquid, mist, condensation, or rain. One hundred percent. Whether I’m dating a trans man, a woman, an intersex person who identifies as genderqueer, an agender demisexual, whomever, I’m always bi, even though the place where I’m at, and the relationships I’m in, changes. Sometimes I’m collected in that reservoir. Sometimes I’m up in the atmosphere looking around at my options. When I rain down, though, I rain down bisexual. ~Fluid gotta be fluid.~
As does my sexuality.
I’m not a block of ice, stuck in position and form, never melting (because where I’m at, temperatures never fluctuate in this scenario). So when you split me into percentages, dear boyfriend of ice (because I liken gay, lesbian, and straight people to ice in my hydrological cycle example), I don’t get to be me. You can break ice into pieces, but I’m not ice. I flow, I evaporate, I condensate, and I storm. I nestle in a basin so people can swim in me during summer. I wash away the grime and make things shiny. I rearrange terrain, destroy mountainside roads, and sometimes small villages. Okay, maybe I’ve taken my example to the extreme. It’s kind of gotten away from me.
The point I’m trying to make is that you can see I’m pretty varied yet still one hundred percent me as a bi person. Varied in that I can relate 100% to a gay man when it comes to being attracted to men, as well as that I can relate 100% to a straight man when it comes to being attracted to women. I get that you don’t understand my attraction to many genders, dear solid-as-ice boyfriend. But, I’m glad you accept me for who I am and I’m glad you love me 100%.