Hi, I‘m Thomas. I am Bisexual. I grew up in the (figurative) swamps outside of Orlando. I've experienced a lifelong love or art and story, and an insatiable appetite for deconstruction and analysis of cultural artifacts. I work and live in northern Florida now with my spirit-wife/domestic-partner/lover of nearly a decade. I love storytelling in all media. I'm equally obsessed with linguistics and psychology. As a kid, I fell in love with Anais Nin and Jack Kerouac. I love weird occult stuff, and depending on the day you catch me and my state of mind I might agree to believing some very strange things about the nature of reality and magic. Even though I don't have much of a passion for cooking, I've become pretty good at it, and worked all kinds of food service jobs, from fast food to fine dining. I work in catering now, which is definitely my favorite so far. I consider myself an unambitious underachiever and an extremely frugal autodidact. Generally, I am fairly reclusive, though I have a number of close intimate friendships that are my entire world. To my mind, nothing in this world is more important than our relationships to other people, and our experiences together and alive. Growing up I never thought I would even be alive this long, and I try to appreciate every moment that I have here with my tribe.
What being bisexual means to meIt means being a human being. It is hard for me to even imagine perceiving the world any other way. For me, it means relating to men and women as humans first, and giving as much thought to their gender as to their hair color. It means not existing as some kind of static caricature of compulsive-identity-performance. Maybe that's a little harsh. Bisexuality really just means being attracted to genders similar to your own as well as genders that are different from your own.
What I would like the world to know about bisexualsThat there's as much variation among individual bisexuals as there is variation among individuals worldwide. Many of us have as hard a time believing monosexuals exist as they have believing we exist.
What was your path to a bisexual identity?I've always had an extremely skeptical relationship to gender. As a child, I suffered incredibly dark bouts of gender dysphoria that eased the more I came to understand the way these kinds of things are constructed out of language and programmed by memetic repetition and behavioral reinforcement. I got the hell out of that environment as soon as I could. I am one of the many people who are often reluctant to use the word bisexual. Like many of us, I have not had very good experiences in the world of identity politics. As highly as I regard the power of story, I can not stand political narrative, and It seemed that there is often a lot of compromising-of-ideological-integrity that comes with towing party lines, and bisexuality in general tends to seriously destabilize political narratives around orientation and gender, which in turn tends to make people uncomfortable. So, I have never really felt welcomed in any political-identity-oriented community. I am more likely to describe myself as ambiphilic, omniphilic, pathophilic, or some other generally uncontested linguistic territory. But there is something to be said in visibility, beyond politics, that makes it important to me to share my personal experience, so that I can save someone in the future from the frustration I felt.
What is the toughest thing about being bisexual?Honestly, for most people the hardest thing about being bisexual are the reactions that monosexual people have. It can be difficult to find a place in hetero- and homosexual circles, which is why I feel like the least I could do is add another voice here telling the world that we do exist. The toughest thing about being bisexual is the constant struggle for legitimacy in the eyes of some monosexual people. Dating hetero- or homosexual people can also be a serious bummer. For this reason, I have pretty much only dated other bisexual people.
What is the best thing about being bisexual?Being alive. It's hard to pinpoint exactly what I consider to be the best thing about being bisexual, as it's all I've ever known but from what I see of straight and gay people's relationships to gender, sexuality, and identity, I can say that my bisexual friends are the most understanding, the kindest, the most compassionate, and most truly egalitarian people I've ever met, so that's got to be a bonus, right?
How have other people in your life reacted to your bisexuality?Reactions have mostly been unceremonious, but this is because I have carefully curated the people in my life so that I need only associate in my free time with kind and compassionate people, most of whom are also bisexual. I've had my share of shitty people make a big deal out of it, but like I said, I associate with very few people, (three co-workers, and a dozen or so close friends), so it's a numbers game. There are always going to a couple of people who take issue with it.
What advice do you have for someone who thinks they may be bi or who is in the process of coming out as bi?First and foremost, don't feel like you owe anything to anyone but yourself. When it comes down to it, the voice that is reading these words in your head, only that person can know who you are and what that means. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Don't compromise your personal truth for political convenience. Follow your heart. Don't speak for anyone but yourself, but remember to speak for yourself, too. No one else will, and no one else should.