United States

Hi, I‘m Bea. I am Queer.

I'm in the process of coming out about my sexuality. I grew up in a small, Bible-Belt town and most of my family is much more conservative that I thought as a child. I didn't have any exposure to LGBT+ culture until I went to college. My past of not dating women is due to lack of effort, not lack of interest. I just couldn't wrap my head around the fact that the girl I thought looked nice, might think I look nice, too. My attraction to other peoole falls all over the gender spectrum.

What being bisexual means to me

This is something I'm figuring out, still. I don't feel any different as a person identifying as bi/queer than I ever did when I said I was "straight". It's almost like a surreal non-change. I'm in a committed relationship, dating isn't something I'll be doing anytime soon. (Though my pool of potential partners has expanded.) I'm want to connect with people and feel a sense of belonging and community that has been absent most of my life.

What I would like the world to know about bisexuals

It's hard to write anything that doesn't sound cliche. The most obvious thing is that the stereotypes don't apply to every bi-person and attraction isn't an even split for bi-folks. Bi isn't a code for "sometimes gay, sometimes straight".

What was your path to a bisexual identity?

I've always been attracted to men and women. For a very long time, I chalked my attraction to women as "aesthetics." I had this habit of making justifications like "of course I find that magazine model/actress (or co-worker or barista) attrative, who wouldn't? It doesn't mean I want to date her." (Note: I understand basic physical attraction to another person doesn't mean you want to date every person you find physically attractive.)

My past serious romantic partners have only been men. My current partner is a bi-man and has been incredibly supportive and encouraging of my reevaluation of my sexuality. Our relationship is "monogamish", and it's allowed me to explore my attraction to women. I'm still getting comfortable thinking of myself as queer.

What is the toughest thing about being bisexual?

I'm worried that I won't be taken seriously by others if I told them. I'm a cis-woman and my partner is a cis-man. We're both queer. We are a queer couple. It doesn't feel that way when it comes to being part of the LGBT+. A relationship with a cis- man and woman is automatically assumed straight. It's something I'm guilty of myself, and that makes bi-visibilty and coming out more significant. I have some serious social anxiety and bi-erasure is probably the thing I fear the most about coming out. I don't visit any local queer spaces. I worry I'll be seen as an intruder, or a fake. "A straight-chick pretending to be queer", or "only saying I'm bi- because my boyfriend is bi-." There are even moments when I worry that my own partner might doubt me if I tried being more open about my queer identity.I've never attended Pride because of these anxieties.

What is the best thing about being bisexual?

My boyfriend and I check-out people together.

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

My boyfriend and close friends that I've told have been accepting. I'm more progressive than the majority of my family. This has already strained the relationship I have with the extended members. I honestly don't know how they would react. If they did react negatively, it wouldn't complicate my life. I just don't think any of my family will ever see me as anything, but straight.

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

I'm actually in need of the advice.