My experience has taught me that straight men view bisexual women as an invitation to invite others into the bedroom.It has also taught me that many straight men assume that just because we are dating, we are both straight.The very idea of the awkward questions that people would ask after coming out was enough to convince me to continue play-acting straight.Hiding behind a mask of heterosexuality was my way of prioritizing that everyone around me feel comfortable.I kept up the façade that I was straight by only showing interest in men, presenting myself in a more conventionally feminine manner, and limiting my interactions with queer individuals.Instead of actualizing my queer desires, I actively chose to deny myself of my true sexuality and suppressed my longing to be with women.Being bisexual can be a marginalizing experience in both queer and hetero spaces.As a bisexual, feminine presenting woman of color, I’ve been told everything from “you just haven’t come out as fully gay yet” to “you’re not queer, you’re just curious.” I’ve even had potential partners tell me “I would never date you because you would cheat on me with someone from another gender.” These comments are all based on harmful stereotypes of bisexual folks as promiscuous and closeted.
For most of my life, I’ve struggled with being bisexual.
Mostly I did this because I did not believe that others would accept me, but also because I had not yet accepted myself.
I didn’t start to come out until college when I fell in love with a woman.
Dating straight individuals used to feel like safety, but now it feels like wearing my queerness in disguise. I’m now surrounded by queer folks of color who embrace my identity as I learn to embrace it, too.
They affirm that my identity matters, and that bisexuality is real, despite what others may say.Having a closeted partner was hurtful for me, especially as I was trying to grow into accepting my queer identity. There is a long, oppressive history of women’s sexuality being forcibly defined in relation to others, especially when it comes to women of color.