Last week, I came out as bisexual. Needless to say, it’s been an interesting week. Exhausting, too. And overwhelming. But in the long run, I’m sure it’ll be liberating.
Without a doubt, I’ve been asked more questions this past week than I’ve received in perhaps the entire last year. That’s saying a lot, too, because I’m typically asked a lot of questions in general. In this follow-up piece to last week’s bombshell, I would like to clarify a few things, not because I feel obligated to answer everyone’s questions, but because I’m of the belief that the more we know and understand one another, the better this world will be.
Point I: Bi People Are Often Monogamous
A bunch of people have asked me, “If you’re bisexual, does that mean you’re in an open relationship?” Why did they ask this? I don’t know. Bi people can be, and are often in, monogamous relationships. Not that I don’t fully affirm polyamorous people, because I do. If that’s your thing, by all means, go for it. It’s just not mine. Nor is it my wife’s.
Point II: Just Because I’m Monogamous, Doesn’t mean I’m Straight
I know most people think of hetero as the default human setting (hence the term heteronormative). But it’s not. It may be dominant, or the majority, but it’s not how everyone is wired, nor is it something you switch on and off like a light switch. I had one person ask why I chose to marry a woman (and thus become straight) and how I could now still be considered bi if I was monogamous. I explained it to them like this: You were straight before having sex, right? Okay, so same goes here. I can be bi even though I’m not having sex with men. It’s not about sex. It’s about attraction.
Point III: I’m Not Disrespecting My Wife by Coming Out
Someone actually said this. They slid in my DMs and said it was disrespectful to come out bi because it proves I’m attracted to other people. Newsflash: Straight people are attracted to other people, too. No one gets married and then finds all 7 billion of us unattractive. And if they say otherwise, they are either lying, or they’re lying. Also, you don’t get to tell strangers they are being disrespectful to other strangers. If my wife’s cool with it, then she gets to speak for herself. Capisce?
Point IV: This Isn’t the Oppression Olympics
While I’ve had a lot of support from people in the LGBTQ+ community, I did have a few gay guys question why I was coming out when so many of them have faced oppression. In other words, there was no bravery in coming out bi because I have the privilege of not facing the same bigotry due to my being married to a woman. This is kind of an adventure in missing the point, no? It’s my belief that the more of us who are honest with our sexuality, the more normalized LGBTQ+ folks of all stripes will become. I would love nothing more than for gay guys to be able to live their most authentic lives without facing any bigotry whatsoever. But just because that can’t happen in every corner of America yet doesn’t mean I can’t also celebrate my sexuality. Let’s not be so binary.
Point V: If Someone Comes Out to You, Check in On Them
Before I made this public declaration, I told some friends and family first. Most were super supportive. Some, not so much. One family member in particular, whom I told a day or two prior to coming out publicly, never checked in because they “forgot.” I’m not saying that so people feel sorry for me. Don’t feel sorry for me. I say it so that if you are in the same situation as this person – where a family member comes out to you prior to going public – make sure you check in on how they are doing. Public announcements such as this are never easy, even when you have a lot of support. They are often quite draining, emotionally and physically. So be there for them. Saying you “forgot” doesn’t make things better.
Point VI: Don’t Ask Me About Pedophilia
Seriously. Don’t. Bisexuality is not pedophilia, and it’s not our job as bi folks to answer this question. There is no data that I’m aware of that correlates bisexuality to pedophilia, so the assumption that it’s our responsibility to answer this charge is ludicrous. Heterosexual people are probably just as likely to be attracted to kids, so get this type of thinking out of your pea-sized brain. I can’t believe I have to say this.
Again, to everyone who supports me, thank you. This week hasn’t been easy, but it’s been easier because of all the lovely people who are in my corner. To the rest, y’all can kick rocks. Peace!
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