I spent the rest of the day in a haze. I couldn’t take back the thought once I’d had it, but I realized I no longer wanted to. I knew this revelation wouldn’t change some things – it didn’t give me a sudden desire to leave my marriage, for instance. But my sense of myself had changed, and even though I wasn’t sure what that would mean for my life yet, when I manhunt nedir looked at my three friends, I knew it would be okay. I could be like them. I could be myself.
Thankfully, this is changing as more and more shows introduce bi characters who are at ease with their own sexuality
A door cracked open in me that day in Glastonbury, and it’s been letting sunshine into my life ever since. After years of tying myself into knots, I’m trying hard to approach my sexuality with curiosity. (It was both.) When I find myself interested in someone, whether in real life or on a screen, I pay attention to how I’m feeling: Am I attracted to this person? Do I have a type? It’s like I discovered a whole new color, and now I see it everywhere.
So far, the deepest joy of coming out has been learning to trust that the things that make me me – what I want, who I want – are valuable. And yet I still second guess myself sometimes; after all, I’ve never even kissed a girl. But why should that matter? No one asks straight people to prove that they’re straight – no one would say to a teenage boy, well, you’ve never kissed a girl, so how do you know you like them?
I’m not the only bisexual person who feels this way. Part of the problem is that for a long time the media has dealt with bisexuality exclusively as a joke and a phase – a “layover on the way to Gaytown,” as Carrie Bradshaw said. This is when bisexuality is represented at all, which it usually isn’t (the term for this is bi-erasure, and it contributes to the disproportionately high rates of depression that bi people experience). Two of my favorite shows, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and Jane the Virgin, each have more than one bisexual character. Darryl even gets a song!
I want to stress that I’m very lucky. I’ve been able to come out slowly – a privilege of being married to a man; no one would know I’m not straight unless I told them – and family members have been supportive, as have my friends. Even coming out to my husband was surprisingly easy. We’ve always been able to talk about crushes, even though we’re monogamous, and his biggest concern was whether I would want to change that. But I don’t: being bisexual doesn’t mean I have to date both men and women, although this is a common misconception.
Instead, I identify with bisexual activist Robyn Ochs’s definition: “I call myself bisexual because I acknowledge in myself the potential to be attracted, romantically and/or sexually, to people of more than one sex, not necessarily at the same time, not necessarily in the same way, and not necessarily to the same degree.”
I’ve been revisiting movies and TV shows that I loved: all those times I saw Titanic in the theater, was I really just there for Leo, or was I there for Kate?
This isn’t to say I don’t long for what else could be. Don’t we all wonder sometimes about the lives we could be living, the choices we don’t make? But the lingering regrets I have are less about my present, and more about my past. I wish that my childhood self hadn’t internalized all that shame. I wish that I could’ve danced to “This Kiss” with a girl at prom. I wish I’d had first kisses, and first everythings, with both men and women in college. I wish I’d known that what I wanted – all of the things I wanted – mattered.