I am a Bisexual woman married to a man. I have been out and proud of my bisexuality since I was teenager. It’s been awhile. 😉 I have never been even remotely confused or concerned about my sexuality. I cannot imagine being any other way. I have fully engaged in and enjoyed all aspects of bisexuality (insert wink here). My husband and I have been married for 32 years. I have never hidden or denied I am bisexual. I have always been supportive of and actively engaged in obtaining equal rights for everyone in the LGBT community. I have never shied away from making sure everyone I knew was aware of my strong political feelings in support of equal marriage rights for everyone in the LGBTQIA community.
However, I have a few regrets. As you can imagine, since I am a married woman with three kids assumptions have been made. I have not always actively made sure every single person I have come in contact with knew I was/am/will always be bisexual. There is no doubt that some of the kids’ teachers, some co-workers, and/or casual acquaintances may not have been aware of my bisexuality. I regret that. I regret that anyone has ever assumed I am heterosexual. My marriage never has been and never could be ‘straight’ because I am not.
I think one of the reasons I was not constantly shouting ‘I am Bi’ from the mountaintops is as a parent I was just freaking busy. My concerns sometimes took a back seat to the day to day hectic quality of raising a family. I say this as a cautionary tale. Do not let it happen to you. To say I was aghast that anyone could mistake me for a heterosexual is a vast understatement. The period of time when I was not constantly wearing my Bisexual badge was not long but I consider it a very dark chapter in my life story. All of a sudden I was in my early forties and there were some friends who did not know I was Bi. I remedied that situation quickly but I have a few hints to prevent this from happening.
- Maintain your activism in the LGBTQIA community. While I did this I felt I did not have time to show up at every protest or rally. Make the time to do this as it will make sure you maintain my ‘second’ point.
- Maintain and/or cultivate friendships/relationships with other Bi and/or Queer people. This is CRITICAL. Especially as my kids were growing up and we were involved in their many and various activities it seemed the only new people we were meeting were (at least, they appeared to be) straight. I have nothing against straight people (except the racist, sexist, homo/bi/transphobic variety) but there is definitely a ‘queer sensibility’ and they do not share it. You need to be with your own people to nurture your own queerness.
- Get the bling. Whether it is a Bi t shirt/pin/tattoo….whatever….have something on your person, as often as possible, to proclaim your Pride.
- Show up in Queer spaces. This one can be a bit challenging for Bi folks as we do not always feel welcomed especially if we would like to have our partner with us. My suggestion is twofold: go by yourself sometimes (everyone needs their independent time/use it) and bring your partner sometimes (and to hell with those who say you are not queer enough)
- Be honest with yourself and your partner. This was not a problem for me as my husband knew I was Bi long before we were married. However, if you are still working through your sexual identity make sure your partner/potential partner is well aware of this. Surprises are sometimes fun (birthday parties/romantic dinners/special toys for sexytime) and sometimes not (finding out your partner is queer when you had no clue it was even a possibility). Remember honesty is the best policy.
Just remember to be true to yourself. You will be your best You if you do. There is always support for those who seek it. You are valid and your partner does not define you.