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My Auto Bi-Ography

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Sep 19, 2023

My Auto Bi-Ography

For a long while, I didn’t realize that everyone didn’t find women beautiful in the same way that I did. I remember, for instance, seeing Miss Honey from the film Matilda and thinking she was stunning in a particular way. She was pretty, she was smart, she was kind. What’s not to love? I would often think.

I’m not exactly sure how, but as I grew a little older (perhaps it was the elementary school overload of celebrity crushes clipped from magazines, foil Valentine’s Day cards so delicately folded over and sealed with red heart stickers, and awkward school dances), I realized that it was different for me than it was for other people. 

My gravitational pull toward women felt like a part of me that had to be quiet and remain tucked away. 

Girls didn’t like girls, at least my peers didn’t seem to, and my parents certainly didn’t condone it. Eventually, I learned the word “lesbian,” which confused me even more. I could not seem to fit into the equation (I was never good at math). Girls were supposed to like boys. Boys were supposed to like girls. Some girls like girls, and they’re known as lesbians. I didn’t know where that left me.

I went down a spiral of being convinced I was broken. What word was there for someone who found beauty and attraction to both? In my little corner of the world, there was none. 

I remember making a lighthearted comment to a heterosexual friend of mine shortly after “Pirates of the Caribbean” came out. I don’t remember what it was exactly, but I know that I felt that Elizabeth Swann & Will Turner were equally charming. I’ll never forget the look in her eyes, which said: “NO. NOT RELATABLE!” as she asked me why she would ever think about Elizabeth. Lesson learned. Keep this tucked away.

It wasn’t until around 7th grade that I met possibly the coolest girl I’d ever met at the time. Let’s call her Megan. She was our school’s star actress, full of confidence and grace that I didn’t (and don’t) possess. She came into choir practice holding a girl’s hand, which was shocking then, especially because she’d been dating a boy from our choir for a few months before that. When asked about it, she made eye contact and said, “Yeah. I’m bisexual. So?” And just like that, my world made sense. 

I wasn’t broken. Other people existed like me, and not only that, they had a name. Beautiful. 

That was an identity I’d carry with me until college. Unfortunately, my university’s equivalent to the Gay-Straight Alliance was run by TERFs and biphobes, so I left after my second meeting when the president of our organization said, “I’d never date a bisexual. Lord knows where they’ve been.” Gross, I know. Some ‘allyship.’ But there was a silver lining. That moment is what led me to HER. I was looking for an inclusive and mindful queer community that I couldn’t seem to find in person. 

As I grew older, I grew tired of keeping up with labels, gatekeeping, and the stress of outing oneself. A note: People act like coming out is one moment, and you’re done. But they don’t consider that you will keep coming out over and over again. To new friends. To people that enter your family. To new coworkers or employers. Within the HER community, I began to find comfort in the label “queer.” A complex word that seems deceivingly simple.

What is something you would tell someone who is struggling to come out today? 

You’re not broken. There is nothing wrong with you. Unfortunately, some queer folks will tell you there’s no room for you. Babes, they’re full of absolute horseshit. LGBTQ+ has a B in it for a reason. You are just as queer. You belong. You’re valid. Yes, even if you’re dating a man. You are enough, you are loved, and you are a damn treasure. And if you’re around people who say otherwise, they don’t deserve to be in your life. 

What feels like the biggest misconception about being bi+ to you?

Honestly, the whole “bisexuals are sluts” thing blows my mind. The way we’re treated both by straight people and lesbians, you think we’re just like, “Ah yes! More toxicity and fetishization and hate for me! Sign me up for six scoops!” Sure, bisexuals can cheat. So can anyone else. It’s not a rare trait of one person’s orientation. Also, “I just want attention.” I am an introvert through and through. I do not want to be perceived. Miss me with attention. 

How can people in your life make you feel seen and accepted?

Pardon my French, but by believing what the fuck I tell you. When I say my orientation, people get this cute idea that it’s up for debate or discussion. It’s not. Accept me as me. Don’t try to convince me it’s a phase (especially if I’m in a relationship, that’s gross and disrespectful). If you’re a fellow queer — respect us. Don’t let other people make their shitty phobic jokes. Call them on it. My mom’s favorite joke is, “My daughter’s not a lesbian, but her girlfriend is.” More of this energy, please.

What should people do less of when talking to you about being bi+?

For some reason, the idea of being bi+ is absolutely mystifying to some people. Having dated men and women in the past, I have gotten this from both sides. When I was dating a man, it was “Oh! So you’re back to being straight!” When I started dating my fiancee, it became, “Ah, so it was a phase. You’re a lesbian.” Like…. No. My orientation does not shut down somehow because I’m in a relationship now. Stop.

What has made you feel hopeful recently about bi+ visibility and acceptance?

The youth! Gen Z, you beautiful butterflies! Identifying in more ways and higher numbers than ever before. This brings me hope that more people “get it” and that it’s less misunderstood. I hope you are the bringers of change and acceptance. 

Coupled with the rise in things like HER and TikTok and influencers speaking out about it to a huge audience, I am so happy to see folks finding their community. With news and politics and all the ugliness that’s rearing its head towards queer and trans communities, we need to be together and stop the fighting that is coming from inside the house. 

What has dating been like for you? How has it changed over the years?

Honestly, I’m really grateful for being out of the dating pool. Ironically, I don’t have a huge dating portfolio for someone who works for a dating app. I met my fiancee when we were in high school. We met on the internet when it was still considered dangerous, and online dating was a tiny little thing that hadn’t exploded into the huge phenomenon that it is now. 

We have evolved and changed together over the course of thirteen years, and we’re better and stronger for it. What I wasn’t anticipating, however, was how many people would try to warn her about me. We were at a queer event once and had started talking to some folks there. Identities came up, and I mentioned being bi+. 

Y’all, you know, in movies where the record scratches and comes to a stop? That’s how it felt. I had been welcome until that point, but no longer. She looked at my partner, no longer noting my existence, and said, “You’d honestly date a bisexual? Good luck with that when she’s off fucking some dude somewhere.” I was honestly speechless. Who thinks it’s okay to talk to or about people that way? Bigots. Fortunately, my partner is amazing and doesn’t tolerate any of that nonsense. 

To anyone who might have experienced something similar: please know you’re not alone. Know that even though there is a lot of ugly in the world, there is a lot more beauty. There are so many people who understand you, accept you, and love you just the way you are. You don’t need to defend your bisexuality to anyone. You’re not damaged. You’re not less queer. You’re not confused. You are valid AF. 

So, as we celebrate Bi+ Week here at HER, here’s to you! You are amazing, you are beautiful, and you are worth celebrating this week and every other week, too. <3

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