United States

Hi, I‘m Jamie. I am Bisexual.

I've been openly bisexual for three years. I play the cello and I'm first chair in my section in my school's varsity orchestra. I have a passion of language and the fine arts and I hope to teach ESL in French speaking countries when I graduate.

What being bisexual means to me

When I first came out, I came out as pansexual as it more accurately described my personal experience. Bisexuallity is a blanket term for a lot of polysexual orientations, and I ended up feeling more comfortable labeling myself as bisexual.

What I would like the world to know about bisexuals

There's a lot of pressure on bisexuals to 'prove' their sexuallity. There's no one way to be bisexual or polysexual. You're attraction doesn't have to be an even 50/50% split between the opposite sex and same sex either; a 10/90%, 35/65%, etc. split in the strength of your attraction to other genders/sexes does not invalidate your bisexuality.

What was your path to a bisexual identity?

I grew up in a Roman Catholic family, from as young as I can remember, my family would pray that I would find God's intended husband for me. As a bisexual, it was easy to ignore my attraction to other females simply because I didn't know it was something someone could have. It wasn't until I was in 7th grade that I began to question not only my faith, but also my sexuality. I was terrified to be 'gay', and I used my attraction to males as a way of ignoring my real sexuality. The very next year, I realized that my attraction to males was not diminished just because I was beginning to realize I was also attracted to females. I did research and I listened to other people's stories and finally understood that I wasn't broken or made wrong. I was bisexual. A simple answer to my complicated feelings.

What is the toughest thing about being bisexual?

Definitely the dismissal from (ironically) LGBTA spaces and people, fetishization, stereotypes, and general dislike and mockery of bisexuallity in popular culture.

What is the best thing about being bisexual?

The openness to choose whomever as a future partner, to establish a connection based on connectivity without worrying about physical attraction. Not to say that monosexuals can't experience the same feeling, it just feels a lot less important and constricting when it comes to a dating pool.

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

My friends have all been super supportive as most of them identify as LGBTA too. I've also found that despite living in the Bible Belt, a lot of my peers are very supportive as well.
However, the reaction that caused me pain was my mother's and sister's reaction. They love me very much but when I came out, they were confused and didn't believe me. They thought I was lying or trying to be trendy. When I brought it up, it wasn't shot down with bible verses and bigoted words, it was frozen out with flinches and silence. I was hurt; I felt misshapen and broken. I thought something was wrong with me... and then that hurt turned to frustration, depression and a deep wrath. I ended up starting to cut; I wanted to pain on the inside to be reflected on the outside. I wanted to cut out the broken part of me. I felt so alone despite the support from my friends. I thought my family would be happier if I was just dead. After a close call one night when I spent too much time holding a giant bottle over the counter pain medication in my hand wishing I was "brave" enough to end it all, I felt my anger finally turn outward instead of inward. Just like all those other people who felt the same as me, nothing was wrong with me. I wasn't broken or poorly made. I was simply me.
From that moment on it was an uphill battle with my family and my own lingering doubts. When I was met with frosty silence, I spoke louder, longer, and more passionately. Just when it seemed like nothing would change, and as I prepared to cut my mom out of my life permanently, she opened up. We had a long conversation about her fears for me; she had been afraid I was acting out, that I didn't know how severe the hatred towards LGBT people was, that I was just confused. She told me all she wanted was for me to be happy and that her love was and always will be unconditional.
I've always had a great relationship with my mom. I grew up in a positive household with a loving mom who put her self second to make sure my older sister and I felt loved and wanted. Everyday she tells me that she loves me and she's glad I'm here. I never told her about the cutting or that one night, but I think she knows.
I'm truly blessed to have the amount of support that I have and I'm extremely happy to be here.
I'm now working on slowly letting my extended family know about my sexuallity, but with the support I have a home, I'm not afraid to take the time to explain and wait for their understanding.

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

You are NOT alone! You are NOT broken! Some people in your life won't understand, but it's important to remember that there are more people who do or will love you! If you ever have a moment of doubt, you can always turn to someone in the bisexual community. If you're religious, there's so many LGBT positive groups and people available to join your sexuality and faith. Even if you give up your faith like I did there's still so much support to be found there. We can do this together, no one should ever feel alone or less because of something they were born with. Be strong, and remember we stand with you!