United Kingdom

Hi, I‘m James. I am Bisexual.

I'm a film journalist from North London, writing and broadcasting for a number of outlets throughout the country and abroad. I live with my wonderful wife in a very quiet town and am passionate about movies (obviously), sport, the arts and lots more.

What being bisexual means to me

There are so many different ways to answer that question. The accurate, but slightly bland answer is that I am attracted to more than one gender. The jokey answer is that if I'm watching "The Avengers" I'm just as likely to ogle at Chris Evans as I am Scarlett Johansson!

But, the honest answer- to me, being bisexual means that I am myself. I hid who I am for such a long time, I didn't even realise the damage I was doing. So, being bisexual means I can be myself for the first time with the people I care about the most, and being comfortable with who you are is a good start on the way to being proud of who you are.

What I would like the world to know about bisexuals

That bisexuality, in fact no sexual identity at all, comes with pre-determined characteristics. We are not inherently unfaithful. We are not hiding our homosexuality. And more than anything, we are people: people you might know, people you might care about.

All the stereotypes are based on a combination of fear and a lack of education- there's no 'standard' gay, bisexual, straight, trans or any identity. We're all just people.

What was your path to a bisexual identity?

I'd known something was 'up' from about 12 or 13 years old, and simply hid it for years. It bubbled to the surface a number of times, including a couple of times I clumsily came out in university, but I never truly addressed it until I was 31, and married! It was a rough path, but with the help of my wife and some therapy, I came to terms with who I am.

What is the toughest thing about being bisexual?

On a personal level, the very personal questions that come up when you tell people about your identity, "Are you sure you're not gay? Why are you telling ME?" and looking at my wife sympathetically and saying, "Are you ok?"

You have to be very patient with people, and remember that while this has been a part of you secretly for years, people who think they've known you for years, suddenly have all this new information to process. It doesn't stop it feeling like an interrogation though, and it has to happen a lot because as a bisexual you're constantly having to come out to people.

On a wider level, public perception of bisexuality is frustrating. From one extreme (all bi people are just gay people in denial) to the other (which rejects all labels), you can feel like something that is at the core of your identity is being trivialised or 'erased'.

What is the best thing about being bisexual?

The choice! Just kidding. The best thing is being open and ok with who I am, being able to express who I am, and knowing that I am still the same person I was when I was pretending to be straight. The same people, the same interests, the same job... day-to-day it didn't affect that much at all, and that's a great thing after spending so long fearing that this secret I had would ruin my life.

How have other people in your life reacted to your bisexuality?

I'd say 90% of people have been very positive, and in fact, don't really care. I got a surprised "Oh!" from almost everyone - it's not a negative thing, I think it's just surprise that it's a new part of you that they never knew existed.

There have been some very bad, very emotionally painful reactions. Some relationships have been damaged, some arguments have been had, and I can honestly say that they were some of the hardest days of my life.

However, I'd never, ever go back. This is who I am. I, and those close to me, have fought hard for that. My only wish is that I perhaps did it sooner, and lived more honestly for longer. However it's made me closer to my wife, my friends, and a lot of people.

What advice do you have for someone who thinks they may be bi or who is in the process of coming out as bi?

If you think you might be bi, just take a step back and take the pressure off of yourself. Ask yourself what feels right to you, and remember, it's all fine. If you're bi, that's great! If you're gay, that's great! If you're straight, trans or any variation of the above, that's great too! As long as you're being honest with yourself, it's a hell of a lot easier than denying who you are.

If you're coming out: be safe, never put yourself in a position where you think you might come to harm. Remember you're still you, and you'll still be you if/when when you come out. Unless you're in a relationship that can't continue with this new identity, it's likely that the people who were your friends will stick with you, the world can be a lot kinder than you think. There'll be tough times, there will be times when you have to be very brave, but it will hopefully all be worth it.