These stories and poems by bisexual+ youth were collected by Bisexual Women of Color (BIWOC), a Bisexual Health Awareness Month campaign partner. BIWOC is an organization whose mission is to provide emotional support, resources, community, and a safe space to discuss intersectional issues that affect bi women of color. They welcome all with multi-gender attractions, including but not limited to: bisexual, biromantic, pansexual, queer, fluid, and questioning.
Sometimes I think it would have been easier for my mother to understand if I had been “only” a lesbian. It would have likely taken her even longer to understand and come to terms with, but maybe she wouldn’t keep holding onto some kind of fragment of hope that I’d be straight for so long. That if I just meet the right guy I’ll forget all this talk, that if she just holds on for long enough I’ll marry a nice straight man and that this will all be settled.
To her credit, my mother once said nearly as much to me over some (several glasses of) wine. She asked me if she was a bad person for hoping I’d marry a man eventually. My mother and I have had a great relationship most of my life, so how could I possibly tell someone who has supported me since I was born that they were a bad person? So I told her she wasn’t, but I tried to impress upon her that she would need to come to terms with the fact that that day might not ever come. And that even if it did, it wouldn’t change my bisexuality.
I’ve tried to give her time. Some days we go forward, and some days we go back. One day she consciously makes sure to reference my possible future “partner” when idly discussing marriage or dating or kids, and a week later she purses her lips when I talk about a nice girl I met on a dating site. She says she’s not ready for PFLAG, and to be honest, I’m not sure I mind too much, because I have no idea what the parents in the local chapter would tell her about bisexuality, considering what many of the people in our community at large themselves have to say about bi, pan, poly, and otherwise identifying people.
A couple months ago I had my first yearly checkup with my new doctor, since I’ve finally, begrudgingly, aged out of my pediatrician’s office. My doctor asked me, while approaching a conversation about my sexual health, if I had a boyfriend. I’m wasn’t, and still currently am not, in a relationship of any kind. I said “no” before I could really let myself think about saying, “Actually, I’m bisexual, but no, I’m not dating anyone.” My doctor is very sweet and likely would take this new knowledge perfectly well, and yet I didn’t. Perhaps less out of reluctance, and more out of the time I needed to contemplate if I had the energy to delve into the subject and consequently deal with any possible negative reactions, confusion, or microaggressions. And it’s sobering to think about how I even have to consider all that before answering. In terms of my actual physical and sexual health, though, it wouldn’t have changed anything because, for that matter, I’ve never had sex. In fact, I’ve never dated anyone.
That’s not for lack of trying, of course. I don’t mind being the one to ask someone out, but at this moment in time, nothing has panned out for me in that department. I’ve always viewed that as a succinct refutation of the arguments that anyone needs to date, have sex, nurture crushes, or take part in any kind of “qualifying” act to know confidently what their orientation is. If you don’t know, then that’s awesome, too! But don’t let anyone tell you it’s just because you haven’t done x, y, or z. Some people, mostly online entities, have proclaimed that such a status simply means I can’t possibly know how I identify yet. They echo the former (white, straight, cis male) friend who demanded to know if I could imagine kissing, marrying, and having sex with a woman the first time I ever mentioned thinking I could be bisexual, and then accused me of doing it as a fad when I admitted I couldn’t necessarily imagine all that. I couldn’t imagine having sex with or marrying anyone right then, though. Those sentiments even echoed my own some days.
But I am bisexual. My bisexuality is now a distinct and acknowledged – no, a celebrated – part of me. And I know myself. I know myself just fine, especially considering that I’ve had plenty of time to myself, with myself (and no one else) to figure that out.