United States

Hi, I‘m Ashland. I am Bisexual.

I love to write and music is a huge part of my life. Horse riding is my escape. I live in Montana.

What being bisexual means to me

I am attracted in every aspect to both men and woman. Being bisexual, to me, means loving both genders. Being bisexual is just part of my life. It's who I am.

What I would like the world to know about bisexuals

Asking us to choose a side is not possible. Telling me I am a lesbian for liking a woman but then turning around and saying I am confused for then also liking a man is upsetting. I'm not confused, but it feels like the rest of the world is.

What was your path to a bisexual identity?

I grew up with a mother who was very religious and a father who was very prejudice. For as long as I can remember, I was told that anything not 'straight' was wrong and shameful. I was very closeted and confused as a teenager as a result, and very unhappy because of it. I would reject any female interest and try so desperately to date only boys, be with boys, want boys. It was hard, trying to convince myself I wanted only men.

It wasn't until I was actually intimate for the first time (with a man) that I realized there was a part of my life I was neglecting, and wanting to explore. Secretly I started to look for answers; in friends I trusted, online, in chats and in any form really. I started to see that I had been trying very hard to hide that I also found women just as appealing as men. For a short while, I wasn't even sure what I was. Was I lesbian? Was I fluid?

When I was 20, I met a woman in the Hospital and fell very much in love with her. This was like that moment you see in movies where it all makes sense. I didn't feel shameful about it either. It was like a puzzle and the final piece was placed. It was finished, but I still needed to really look, if that makes sense.

When I was 21, I told my mother I also had feelings for women, but I told her it was simply due to many bad experiences with men. I thought this would be easier for her to understand. It was, for my situation at least. I was then allowed to be a little more open around my family. 4 years later and a lot of soul searching inside myself, I have come to accept who I am. I came out to my friends and family completely, and while they don't yet fully understand, they are starting to. It took me almost 25 years to understand myself! Even my mother has been willing to understand and accept who I am.

I feel attraction and love for both men and women.

I am bisexual. It's who I am, who I always was.

What is the toughest thing about being bisexual?

Trying to get people to understand that I like men and women (when it's not that hard to understand!). Just because I like a woman or I am with a woman, I don't call myself lesbian. If I am with a man, I don't call myself straight. I have found that people also think I am their ticket to a threesome; I'm not! Being bisexual, I often feel shoved into a corner and told to not exist or pick a side.

What is the best thing about being bisexual?

I feel very free. Whose going to grab my attention next?

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

I have met the occasional person who is very hurtful, and always will. My friends and family are accepting. But all that matters is that I am happy with being who I am.

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

Don't rush it. Don't listen to anyone but yourself. Not being sure is okay.