It is often seen in films and shows, that existential, authenticity tug of war for queer people: I am too straight for my queer friends and too gay for my straight friends. Being bisexual, in many ways, mirrors that sentiment. The queerness that I embrace gives me access to the LGBTQIA+ community, but when I have dated someone of the opposite gender, I have had to prove my queerness in overt ways.
As A Therapist
As a therapist, I often talk about the spectrum of sexuality: what it is, why it exists, but more importantly, what it encompasses. To me, bisexuality was a way of articulating my attractions to all genders on that spectrum. To many, it may be argued that what I describe here is actually ‘pansexuality.’ Fair. Good point.
But for me, someone who was born in 1983 and established my public sexual identity many years ago, ‘bisexual’ was the best term to which I had access. And now, in a new era with more sophisticated terms and more mature understandings, the label that feels like my emotional home, Bisexual, has become a bit outdated and limited in what it used to say about me.
So in an era of both fighting for what is true and curating language to accurately describe who I am in the world, ‘bisexual’ is more a term I grieve and reflect upon with immense gratitude. The sexual identity, ‘bisexual,’ gave me orientation in a chaotic world and belonging when I felt isolated. ‘Different’ or ‘same-sex attracted’—a hideous term given to me by a homophobic religion that persecuted me for who I am—were no longer acceptable. Being bisexual during they days when I was just finding my footing was a life boat that carried me from novice to expert.
In today’s language, I am certainly pansexual. Gender has no barring over my attractions. Personalities do. And in this light, I need to represent who I am with more articulate language, not just because it is my truth, but because sexual identities are also our weapons against homophobia and transphobia. To say that I am pansexual is to describe the normal, biological variations that are possible within human sexuality. The implementation of the term ‘pansexual’ is a way to normalize that which is often stigmatized and hated.
This may be an off-color blog for bisexuality awareness. But as someone who has found so much comfort in the term ‘bisexual,’ I have to give thanks where thanks is due. Bisexuality saved me from life-threatening shame and allowed me to find a home when I was utterly lost.
Although I have come to see my attractions in a more holistic way, it certainly does not mean that others should or need to follow my path. Bisexuality is a legitimate sexual identity, and more so a valid sexual orientation. If ‘bisexuality’ is your home, may this time bring a sense of hope, pride, and self-confidence. We need you in the world. What is a rainbow that’s missing a section of its colors? It’s no longer a rainbow.
© iAmClinic - LGBTQIA+ Therapy, LLC 2020