United States

Hi, I‘m Jason. I am Bisexual.

My name is Jason. I am happily married with children. I am open with my wife and, as my best friend and soulmate, she has been an amazing supporter of me being who I am. We have an open marriage and live in northwest Florida (on the panhandle) in a small town about 15 minutes from the beach. She manages the house and kids and I work in a professional position that often requires travel.

What being bisexual means to me

It’s difficult to say what being bi means to me... to me, it’s just me. What I would prefer to answer is what embracing bisexuality means to me...

Embracing this part of myself means accepting who I am. Life has been a journey of learning who I am in what often feels like an uphill climb against a society that can be quite fickle in the expectation and demand of what or who you should be. That journey has been long and oftentimes difficult on a personal level in many ways and it continues even now.

Embracing bisexuality and being bi are both an enduring process of self acceptance and I believe that with each of us who not only accept but embrace the normalcy of bisexuality despite pressures of a heteronormative society, we change ourselves, those around us, and by extension society and the world as a whole for the better. It’s such a big thing that comes from such a small task: simply accepting who we are.

What I would like the world to know about bisexuals

First and foremost: we are real and we are valid. We are not confused and we are not lost in indecision for which “side” we will choose (gay or straight). We have hopes and dreams and passions and hobbies and no, they don’t all revolve around sex. We are simply people just like everyone else.

We don’t control who we love or are attracted to, though I could spend hours in a friendly debate that societal norms and our upbringing certainly have tried to control that for us.

What was your path to a bisexual identity?

Growing up, I had an interest in girls and girlfriends from as early as second grade. My formative sexual experiences however from age eight to fifteen all included other boys. Sadly, and I must have picked it up from church somehow, these experiences brought on a lot of confusion for me. I thought for a long time that I was gay. And all I knew was, according to the boys in our neighborhood, I absolutely did not want to be gay. Who knows how my life might have turned out differently had I been able to accept myself back then?

Ironically, I had lots of “gay” experiences with some of those very same boys. I thought for a long time that I was going to go to Hell from my experiences with boys and masturbating. It was a very difficult time that caused a lot of long-lasting damage to my self esteem. Even now I am still working through some of that.

I had my first real girlfriend and my first real boyfriend in middle school. First kisses with both in middle school. My same-sex sexual experiences continued throughout that time, but my first sexual experiences with someone of the opposite sex were not until I started dating my wife in high school. We were off and on and I had other sexual experiences with other girls as well. Even through all this, I still had not embraced my bisexuality and kept that side of myself a deeply held secret... to some degree even from myself.

My wife and I were married and each had an incident of infidelity: hers with her ex and mine with a guy I met online. We came out to each other years later. It was a challenging few months but we got through it. She insisted that we open my side of our relationship (she tried too but didn’t enjoy the experience and stopped before it really started). I’ve been with other women since and though it’s been a decade since I’ve been with another man, I’ve finally come to embrace that this is who I am, with her love and support. I needed external validation, I suppose, before I could find it within myself. Though there have been bumps along the way as we each find our sexuality, we are in a place of accepting ourselves for who we are.

What is the toughest thing about being bisexual?

I think I answered much of this already. Generally, I always thought the toughest thing about being bi (or “being” anything really) involved being accepted by society, friends, family, etx, while the reality has actually been that it is toughest to accept myself. The lack of a solid sense of self inherent in that is what so profoundly compounds the emotions that come from not being accepted by others.

What is the best thing about being bisexual?

I think the stereotypical answer is that bis double their pool of potential partners, but with 7 billion people on this planet, I’m not sure that it’s necessary to increase that pool from the 3.5 billion that would otherwise be “available.”

For me, the best thing I guess might be that I’ve learned so much about myself through experiences with both men and women. I’ve found solidarity and friendship amongst others who go through the processes of self realization.

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

I’ve received a variety of responses. I’ve had relationships stall, friendships falter, Andover also had both blossom and endure due simply to the fact that there are “unconventional” attractions at play inside me.

My father must have suspected as he once gave me unsolicited advice from a place of great concern that I would be harmed. He warned me of some who may feign interest in same sex attraction only to lure the person in with the intent to harm or kill them. It was a warning to be careful, not to stop. I have never asked him, but I believe that concern was born from his own personal struggles with exactly what I was going through.

My wife had a hard time dealing with it philosophically when I would bring it up early in our marriage as hypotheticals. She always knew of my past experiences as a child but not middle school and beyond. We grew up on the same street and she personally knew most of the boys I engaged with. It took years of inching forward before I was finally comfortable telling her my whole truth. We had a few hiccups at first but in the end it has made us so much stronger. I can see though how many marriages end when one partner comes out. It was a difficult time.

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

The trouble with self acceptance is that once I was there, I was so happy and so relieved and so excited that I wanted to tell everyone and everyone. I felt the same way with polyamory. The trouble is that in this state of elation and celebration, it’s very easy to forget that we are still living in the shadow of a society that is generally oppressive toward anyone who differs from the norm. My advice would simply be this: know yourself and love yourself and enjoy that bit when it comes to coming out, be strategic and mindful of the way you communicate it to those you love. It may not be easy to hear. They may need to go through the same mental and emotional hurdles you did for yourself. Indoctrination to the norm is a powerful and unfair disadvantage. Some people may not be ready to take the red pill. Guard yourself emotionally and be patient. Mostly, be true to yourself.