Gender & Identity, Love + Sex, Love

Just because I haven’t been with a woman doesn’t mean I’m not bi

I've never identified with my own gender and I'm only now understanding why.

There’s something that I’ve always wanted to be able to say out loud but haven’t had the safe place for.

It’s something about me that very few people know, few enough to count on one hand: I identify as bisexual. It has never been easy saying it aloud. There’s a multitude of reasons behind it, but the biggest and loudest one is that I’ve never been with someone of the same gender.

So how am I bisexual? Why do I identify as bisexual, enough to mark myself as such on every form I fill out that asks this question? Because in my head, there’s no doubt about it.

I’ve aware of the term bi-curious. But in my mind, this isn’t a curiosity. I know the attraction I feel towards people of the same gender as me. I am very familiar with the kinds of thoughts in my head that turns me on. This has gone beyond simple curiosity some time ago.

And yet I’ve never been with a girl.

More than half of my life I lived in an environment, a culture and a country where it was unthinkable to even talk about such a thing, let alone recognize or explore it. And later when it was talked about, it was fetishized and treated like a guilty pleasure. Something mainly existing for male amusement, a potential for some kind of threesome – because why would two girls be attracted to each other without involving a guy into it?

Isn’t that the way it works on TV?

I remember confessing this to someone I was dating, not as something I wanted to explore while I was with him, but as an admission of feelings I sometimes had.

And I remember his reaction being along the lines of, “Is this your way of trying to be cool? Do you think this makes you more interesting? Because it’s really offensive and I want you to stop.”

He thought the only reason for me to say this was to portray some kind of edgy image, not because I genuinely felt that way. Needless to say, I didn’t stop feeling this way just because he ordered me to, but I never spoke to him about this again.

Another reason I keep my feelings to myself is that I am very certain my attraction is purely physical.

I am sure I can have a physical relationship with someone of my gender, I don’t know where I stand on anything beyond that. And to me, those are highly unfair grounds to pursue anything on. I never want to be the reason someone ends up getting hurt because I selfishly decide to explore my needs. I never want to treat someone as my ‘bi-curious experiment’.

I’m not that person.

So why do I still call myself bisexual?

For the same reason that still being in the closet doesn’t mean someone isn’t queer yet. Because I believe whatever reasons a person has for not acting on their feelings, doesn’t invalidate those feelings from existing. I know too well how I feel and what my mind and body tell me. If I reach a point later in life where my circumstances or experiences change how I identify, then I will recognize that. But at this moment in time and space, this is me and I embrace myself being this way.

And I would say to anyone who might feel the same, don’t let anyone take a part of you away by shaming you for it, or trying to negate it with their lack of understanding and their “you’re not really that way” justifications.

The thing is people like to compartmentalize others into neat little boxes, and when they encounter a situation where someone doesn’t fit into their definitions, it makes them uncomfortable or angry.

But that’s not my problem and it shouldn’t be yours. Other people’s opinions should not define your reality.

Don’t be afraid to say “I am. And I will continue to be, whether you like it or not. This is me.” After all this time, this is me saying just that.