Thursday, 7 February 2013

A small change practically, a huge change emotionally

I've made a very small change to my About page today; I removed the word 'straight'. No, I'm not about to leave Andy for another woman, but I have accepted recently that I'm bisexual. It won't make a huge difference to my life because I'm happily married and I have no intention of changing that, but it's a relief to have finally figured it out.

It's something that I remember worrying about in my early teens. I definitely fancied boys but I started to worry that I also liked girls, and I was terrified about what my dad would say. I'd already heard him say on various occasions that if my sister or I 'decided' we were lesbian he'd disown us. So I buried it. Even when I found myself in bed with another woman in my late teens I still denied it, told myself we'd just been messing around. Even though I am an ardent supporter of gay rights I apparently had this enormous mental block when it came to my own feelings. I don't really know what caused that to change. I think I'd been mentally screaming it for years and I finally started listening. I told Andy around Christmas, and last week I told my mum. I was so scared; she's always been accepting of people being gay but sometimes people react differently when it's their own son or daughter. Thankfully she was fine with it. Whether that would have been the case if there was a chance of being in a relationship with a woman I don't know, but I hope not. We came to the mutual conclusion that we probably shouldn't tell my dad though, and I'm pretty okay with that. It won't make any difference to my life and it's stress that I don't need.

So it's taken me until the age of 29 to realise that I'm bisexual, but now I feel uncomfortable using the term to describe myself. Not because I think there's anything wrong with it, but because I feel like a bit of a fraud. I'm a cis-woman in a happy marriage to a cis-man, I have never and will never be in a relationship with a woman, and I have never and will never face any kind of discrimination based on my sexuality, so what right do I have to call myself anything other than straight? Can I identify as bisexual in spite of these things? I hope so because the fact remains that I am attracted to women. I am bisexual, and I am happy with that.

Coming Out by Feminist Cupcakes
At least I didn't talk too much about sex, right?


  1. I don't know how much the theory is in use these days, as I've been more focused on feminist issues lately, but a few years back I did some reading on the sexual spectrum. The theory is that everyone is on the spectrum somewhere, and that very few people are actually absolutely, completely straight or gay. It's more of a blend. For me, that really resonated. I think I'm kind of in a similar place on the spectrum as you are, but the realization didn't come for me until later in life. I'm glad you're in a good place where you can comfortably identify as you wish. I hope your dad can grow and learn to accept everyone.

    1. I've heard that theory, and I agreed with it before and didn't think I was 100% straight, but I also didn't think I was far enough along the spectrum to identify as bisexual either. I think it was the realisation that I'd be happy to have a relationship with a woman, not just fool around, that made things click. It's been a strange thing to try and get used to, stuff like being able to admit it to myself when I'm attracted to the female characters in films, not just the male ones.
      My dad's a lot better with gay people than he used to be, but I think it would be a very different thing for his daughter. I'll keep working on him though!