Thought the subject would make you want to read Anyways, since there have been *so* many questions lately (apparently these people have the search-deficient computers, but we won't kill 'em for it) I was thinking it would be cool for all of us who have a pretty good idea about who we are and who we like to just tell about how we knew, how we came out, or whatever.
I mysefl identify as being 'bi' although I like the terms dyke and queer (c'mon, it's like a cute little nickname) When I was a little kid my gurlfriends and I used to play little "let's play doctor" games (but didn't everyone? oh well) and then one day it was just like, "hey i like girls and guys, cool" at least that's how I remember it. I'm sure somewhere on scarleteen I have a post asking "am i a dyke?" I didn't think it was weird or anything because it was the same year that jack on dawson's creek came out and there were a lot of queers out there and it just didn't seem like a big deal.
It's still not a big deal (but maybe because I'm not out...hmmm, you try to come out in a family that voted against gay marriage! my mom even said that she doesn't think gays should have kids *sigh*) I've never known anyone to go around yelling "i'm straight i'm straight" so I don't see a reason to yell out "i'm bi i'm bi!" People that I don't know that well know I'm bi, when I meet new people I usually tell them but none of my friends know.
So that's my little story and I hope to hear yours!
PS: when I get my first girlfriend at *home* (meaning, in Vegas) I'll tell everyone
------------------ I'm the good girl that everyone thinks is a bad girl pretending to be a good girl :D
i am sooo hesitant to call myself bisexual because of the flack i get from both straights and gays. the straight community tends to assume i'm a slut or an opportunist or having threesomes with my husband (ugh. no thanks), and my gay friends call me names (albeit teasingly)like wannabe or traitor. although i realize we don't have to label ourselves anything, and our sexuality is often a work in progress, i think it's inherent human nature to want to be able to pigeonhole our identities. it's just easier that way. and a lot of my situation (because i'm married to a man with a 2 year old daughter) is that i desperately want to be a part of the queer community. i'm not looking for a relationship with a girl. i'm happy with my husband, but i do want friends. i just want to belong somewhere and to be accepted for me. any suggestions on how to field the teasing slurs or the blatant misconceptions that people have?
Posts: 5 | From: Dallas, TX USA | Registered: Nov 2000
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Stare them down. Or tell them that you really thought you could expect better of them than ignorance and prejudice.
Bisexuality is just one of those things people are. Fighting bi invisibility is very difficult, and can be very personally taxing. But it doesn't get any easier, for you or anyone else, if you don't resist prejudice. Being closeted doesn't feel very good, and it still doesn't protect you from the biases.
I highly recommend the resources available from www.biresource.org -- you may well be able to find a Dallas-based bi people's group or a bi women's group, too, through the biresource.org listings.
By the way -- I don't think it's inherent human nature to want to pigeonhole our identities. I *do* think it's human nature to want to avoid pain and suffering, and when not pigeonholing our identities means that we suffer, then yes, we're going to want to pigeonhole ourselves. But fear of stigma, pain, suffering, or being an outcast are not the same thing as an inherent need to pigeonhole one's self.
I say pigeonholes are for pigeons. People often ask us to pigeonhole ourselves -- or try to force us to in various ways -- because they themselves are insecure, and because ambiguity scares them.
I say there's nothing more ambiguous about bisexuality than there is about heterosexuality, homosexuality, or any other kind of sexuality. Human lives are messy, splattery, weird, funky things. There are not a whole lot of self-identified homosexuals who have never had any sexual thoughts or experiences involving members of a different sex. There are also not a whole lot of self-identified heterosexuals who have never ever had any sexual thoughts or experiences involving members of their own sex.
Insisting that bisexuality is "confused" or "ambiguous," calling someone a "wannabe" or a "traitor," are ways of hiding from one's own confusions and ambiguities, one's own fears of not being acceptable or of doing something that would get one cast out of a community. Nothing more, nothing less. There is nothing traitorous about being human. There is nothing confused about loving other human beings, or desiring them. There is nothing ambiguous about bisexuality -- it's simply that it's not "either/or," it's "either/or/both/and."
And as for the indignant straight people, I counter with this wonderful sentence from the redoubtable H.G. Wells: "Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo."
thank you so much for your reply. i got that proverbial warm and tingly feeling of belonging inside of me. i'm thrilled that i found this site, and i've passed it on to other friends...straight, gay, bisexual, and those refusing labels. and much gratitude for the link for the bisexual resource center. the list of Biphobias hit a nerve inside of me, and i'm tempted to print it out and plaster it on walls. thanks again. i'll quit before i'm gushing. heh.
Posts: 5 | From: Dallas, TX USA | Registered: Nov 2000
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Just a question hanne..If feel kind of weird and maybe, well probably just weird and not right for asking this, but why/how did you become Bi-sexuals..and wh...yeah... My parents aren't big on Bi-sexuals at all, when I showed my mom this site, she saw that it encouraged/supported bi-sexuality, she got all hyper and didnt' think the site was appropriate for me. I don't see nothing wrong with it myself. I mean it's the persons choice..but hey, maybe I do since I'm taking the time to post this......ANYWAYS. Thanx for the time
It's okay to ask, honey, as long as you ask respectfully (which you did). So don't worry about that. Asking people is the only way to learn about these kinds of things, really.
Just for the record, we don't "encourage" any one kind of sexuality here at Scarleteen. What we do encourage is an awareness that people do have the potential to be attracted to a lot of different things, and that people can be perfectly healthy, okay, functional, normal people and be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered, intergendered, heterosexual, celibate (someone who does not have sex with a partner), and even asexual (someone who does not have sex at all, even masturbation). We also encourage people to be honest and forthright about themselves and their identity, no matter what that identity may be. At Scarleteen, we welcome you no matter what your identity or who you're attracted to, because no matter who you are, it is always a good idea to learn more about your (and other people's) sexuality. It's all part of our world.
But back to your question... Like most people who do not think of themselves as bisexual, gay, or lesbian, I did not just arbitrarily make a decision to be that way. I didn't wake up one morning and say "gee, I think I'm going to be bisexual from now on."
Rather, the feelings came first, and the label -- the word "bisexual" -- came much later.
I knew when I was a little girl that I thought both boys and girls were pretty, and that both boys and girls interested me, and that I wanted to be friends with both boys and girls, and play with boys and girls. Not so unusual. As I got a little older -- around 10 or 11 -- I also realized that I sometimes got crushes on both boys and girls, and I didn't really understand it, but it just kind of happened that way.
As I got older and my sense of being a sexual being became more intense. Puberty hit, and the crushes I would get on people were more specifically sexualized: I would think about kissing and touching the people I had crushes on, just like anyone else does at about that age (12-15 or so). I imagined what sex might be like with some of the people I had crushes on, both boys and girls. I discovered that, for me, the strength of my feelings for someone had more to do with who the *person* was as an individual than they did with what gender or sex that person was.
When I was 15, I realized that I still had attractions for both male and female people and that they weren't going away. I'd always had them, and it looked like I probably always would. So I started thinking of myself as a bisexual person. That still feels pretty comfortable to me.
So that's how it happened for me. From talking and working with lots of other people who are bisexual, I have noticed that that's the way it seems to happen for a lot of us (probably the vast majority) who are bisexual. The feelings and thoughts come first, way before we ever think about calling ourselves "bisexual."
When you think about it, that makes sense. Heterosexual people don't just decide to become heterosexual, either. They know who they are attracted to and who they think about, and later on they discover that there's a name for it. It works pretty much the same way for everyone, whether they are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or anything else.
Sounds pretty normal, doesn't it? That's because it is. Bisexuals are normal people, just like you and your parents. We go to work, we buy groceries, we worry about whether or not the turkey is going to come out well on Thanksgiving, we take our dogs for walks, we love our families, we brush our teeth, we pay taxes and get picked for jury duty and all those everyday things. Some of us get married, some of us have kids, some of us live in life partnerships without getting married (it doesn't matter what sex your partner is). There are bisexual ministers and priests and nuns, bisexual politicians and teachers and police officers, bisexual farmers and economists and mail carriers and everything else under the sun.
Most of the time, you have no idea whether you're dealing with a bisexual person, or a gay person, or a lesbian person, or a heterosexual person. We don't look different. We don't wear little neon signs. You and your parents have probably met plenty of people who aren't heterosexual and never even knew it. And that's really okay. That's basically the way the world works!
I concur completely with everything my lovely business partner just said.
I'd say my own identity happened in a very similar way, compounded by the fact that my first fully-recognized consensual experiences happened in the span on just a week or two, and one was with my female best friend, the other with a boy I liked. Then are there alone, I had a pretty good idea. It may have helped that I don't ever remember my mother or my father giving me any messages that the people I'd love in life would be one gender or another. No one in my family ever said to me, "You'll find them man for you someday," or some such.
It's a pity, in my mind, when people judge others not by who they are, but by what they think they might be by virtue of their race, socio-economic status, sexual identity or gender. But what combats that, you know, is doing what you just did, kiddo: asking questions openly and sincerely and understanding our identities -- all of us -- aren't about anyone fitting into one mold or label, but about who we are, what your life experiences have been and what identifiers we feel fit us best.
For the record, too, being bisexual doesn't equal promiscuity or multiple partners unless you want it to. Most of my relationships in my life (including my current marriage) have been monogamous. Some bisexuals are as well, others are not, but the point is that bisexuality isn't about wanting to have "it all" with everyone. It's usually simply about the simple fact that for those of us who identify that way, who we love can be of varying gender identity.
One more addition: sexual orientation isn't usually simply someone's choice.
In other words, if you're heterosexual, ask yourself if you feel you could just choose to be homosexual. probably not. While we can choose what we call something, I can't choose not to find someone attractive whom I do -- I can choose whether or not to act on that attraction, but not whether I have it. make sense?
My experience backs up what both Miz S and Hanne have said. I just had those feelings. All of my attractions emereged slowly or fast and hard. It was not something I decided or chose. They were just there in my mind and body.
I didn't even know that is was possible to be bisexual until I was in my mid to late teens and learned the term. Gay, straight I knew about that. I didn't quite fit in with straight, but I was sure I was not gay, so I chose the label straight. Once I learned about bisexuality I realized there were other people like me.
------------------ Louise Lalonde -Scarleteen Sexpert & Volunteer du Jour
"Glad to have a friend like you, And glad to just be me" -Carol Hall
Hey Hanne... When did you realize you were bi? I mean, not like the day or anything but what made you realize? Same question to the other officers.. Thanks
Posts: 5 | Registered: Nov 2000
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I think you'll find our responses similar, Pooh, because bettie, Hanne and I are all about the same age.
In other words,I know Hanne and myself realized very early we were attracted to both men and women, but the langauge wasn't really out in common use like it is now. I know I knew what was up with me when I was eleven years old, but even in a big city in a liberal family and an artistic community, I didn't hear the term "bisexual" used at all until I was 17.
Personally, I'm not a big fan of the term anyway, as it seems to limit attraction to two genders, when we know there are more than two, and I know my attraction to people really has never had anything to do with gender to begin with. Pansexual feels better to me, but when possible, I'd prefer no term at all. It seems truer and simpler to just say that I am attracted to people whom I find attractive -- for whatever reason that may be.
I couple days ago, I got hit by a sudden childhood memory. When I was in the second of third grade (in the ghettoest school in the city), there was a girl named Crystal. She was in probably the fourth or fifth grade, and she had longish brown hair, blue eyes, and freckles. She was the leader of the gymnastics club. I remember this distinct thought:
quote:If I were a boy, I would marry her.
I really can't believe I forgot this. It makes so much sense. I identify as bisexual now, but I couldn't remember why. Now it makes a lot of sense. See, when I was little, I didn't know anything about the queer community, obviously. So, I naturally thought that only boys liked girls. I didn't think of it as a crush, I just thought that if I were a boy, I would marry her because she was so pretty.
Now, I am currently crushing on a girl named Allison in my music class. She's got short brown hair, and she's beyond cute. She's straight (I just went and asked, she wasn't offended), but I still like her.
When did I know I was bi? I dunno. Probably just a few months ago. I used to consider myself "straight but not narrow." After I "fell in like" with Allison, it all became so clear. I like girls. And when I think about it, I always used to look at girls, and check out girls, but I still never thought I was bi. I thought I was a straight person who liked to look at girls. Hmm.
Unlike Miz Scarlet, I had heard the term 'bisexual' at a fairly early age (my dad is a professor and used to teach Intro to Human Sexuality courses, and I used to read the textbooks). I think I basically always figured that 'bisexual' described how I felt, as much as any of the terms that the books about sex seemed to use were going to describe it. I didn't start actually referring to myself as "a bisexual," though, until I was 15 or 16. I'm still not 100% thrilled with the terminology, for the same reasons Miz Scarlet mentions -- my primary partner, for instance, is chromosomally neither male nor female, and "bi" only covers two options! It gets the general idea across reasonably well, though, so that's the term I use for convenience's sake. I'd probably call myself an "gender-bias-free nookie goddess" if I thought more people would understand what that meant.
That is one of the cooles phrases I have ever heard: "I am attracted to the people I am attracted to for whatever reason that might be" (excuse the imprecise quoting Mz. Scarlet).
Ok, back to the point. I'm an "adolescent" as soooo many annoying adults have put it, and I knew I was different around 4th grade. It didn't help my identity crisis that the most common/popular insult for the last decade has been something to the effect of queer and I tried not to think too much about what made me different. Finally I came to terms with my self in 7th grade and had world war three with myself trying to be normal. Yes, there were wounds, and almost a casualty but I managed to survive myself. I have told three people in this really really way to big world and no bad responses yet (althought that comment about trying to come out to a family that voted anti-same-sex marriages has unfortunately applied to me also). I am a freshman now and mostly comfortable with myself. Over use of the word gay was what made my realizing myself harder--not underuse as what sounds like happened to a couple of the adults here is. So sorry if I'm rambling--new to the site. Is there a language code here? I don't usually use offensive language in any case but I changed the insult above from some of the meant to be meaner ones.
Posts: 356 | From: Phoenix--name that plurally | Registered: Dec 2000
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Welcome aboard! Yes, we do have a language/content code, it's in that "user agreement" you agreed to when you signed up. If you need a refresher, I believe Miz Scarlet has "Board Guidelines Review" or some such up on the upper-left corner of each page right now, so click and read. Basically, the jist of our language restriction is this: we like to keep this site readable by everyone from 13 year olds on up to grownups, so if you keep that in mind, usually whatever you write will be fine.
I'm sorry to hear that you have had to deal with so much homophobia in your life. That stinks. Good for you for perservering! It can be really hard sometimes, but it's very worth it.
Well, I'm bisexual and I've known for 3 years. When I was younger (5-8) I'd play doctor game or a boyfriend girlfriend type thing with my friends (girls mostly). Then it didn't seem like anything. About the 6th, 7th grade I started realizing that I wasn't only attracked to guy, but girls as well. I had dreams about them and I was constantly catching myself staring and daydreaming about them as well. In the 8th grade I met other firls who were the same as me. I was thrilled. I was able to talk and relate to other people. Since then I've just known. I've had 2 relation ships with girls, and everything just seems right (not just sexual things, but the emotional feelings as well). I'm in 10th grade now, and nothing has changed.
Posts: 1 | From: warminster, pa | Registered: Dec 2000
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I now identify as bisexual, but I haven't always. I have a lesbian aunt so I grew up knowing that adults have relationships that can be same or opposite sex. I just thought of my aunt and her partner the same way as my parents. From the time I was 5 I would play games with my friends(always girls)that were very sexual. I realized that I liked girls for real when I was 9 and came out to myself, my friends and my family when I was 12. I didn't know anything about bisexuality so I pretty much just didn't allow myself to be attracted to men anymore. I declared myself a lesbian and refused to even think about boys. Then about two years ago I figured out that I am in fact attracted to men. I noticed that I had been the entire time and just didn't know how to express that. After about a year of not particularly identifying as anything, I felt comfortable with bisexuality. I don't really like labels, but they are really helpful in trying to describe myself. My only problem with "bisexual" is the same as Hanne's and Miz Scarlet's; there are more than two genders which I have the potential to be attracted to. This became obvious as a problem when I got a huge crush on my transman friend Adam. But, whatever, no one knows what I'm talking about when I say pansexual.
Well, folks, I'll go you one further. It is my theory that all people are sexually non-directed in a natural environment. In other words, I think the human race is pansexual (thanks, Scarlet). Think about it.
Sexual roles are established by society, but as each person here has testified, sexual identification is an extremely person issue no matter what parents or peers say. Sooner or later everyone comes to their own idea of who they are interested in sexually. Those who swallow somebody else's idea of what sex should be (from whatever source or for whatever reason) usually fall into a sexual role, whether it be strictly hetero or homo.
Those who feel different (and refuse to deny those feelings) usually question whatever status quo is in effect for their society, and eventually come to a place where they accept who they are.
What's more, sexually thoughtful people seem to end up denying all sexual stereotypes, as we've seen here. Where in the world will you find better sexually educated people than on the scarlet sites? To me it says something that these people all say the same things about orientation--it is personal, and the result of honest thought.
It seems to me that the more people think about sex personally, the more they realize that the object of a sexual focus doesn't have to have certain genitals. The most important thing is for each person to be honest and thoughtful--let the genitals fall where they may, I say.
Personally, I came to these conclusions in a much faster way than any other poster I've read here. I actually grew up a good mormon girl, never questioning my heterosexuality, and denying the fact that I had thoughts/dreams about women and men. I never even touched myself "sexually" until I separated from both my husband and my church. Truly.
Then I started thinking deeply about myself, and finding out who I was. In a matter of months I went from totally straight to lesbian to bi to what I call nothing at all.
Does sex even need to be a topic once we reach a point of understanding? What makes my kiss to an adult male into "sex," and my kiss to a girlchild notsex?
Why do I need to come out, when my sexuality doesn't have a name? I am just me, no matter who I'm with. I don't think I'm so different--it's all in how you see yourself, and how you define yourself. I think we're all the same on the inside.
------------------ Honesty is telling others the truth. Integrity is telling yourself the truth.
i suspected i may be bi about a year ago, when i found myself fantasising about women much more than men. it was confirmed to me that i was after a *very* enjoyable incident with a female friend but i still hate labelling myself - ppl shouldn't feel compelled to conform to catergories established by society. bisexuality is such a broad term. for example, my friend identified herself as gay for years, then found herself attracted to a man, and identifies herself as bi. and i've only been attracted to about three or four women in my life, and waaay too many men to recall - or sexualities are clearly v. different, but come under the same label.
Posts: 50 | From: England | Registered: Sep 2000
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i don't call myself bi, gay, or straight. I'm free. Sexually Free. My ex-boyfriend used to say that about us. Its a funny story really. We were at a party and I was talking to some girl (some may say hitting on her). And He was hitting on some gay guy. One of our friends was like "What the hell is up with you two, you're sitting there next to eachother hitting on different people" And my bf (at the time) looked up and just said "Dude she's sexually free, I'm sexually free, we're young, we're curious, we're having fun....Drink some more beer" I thought the situation of us sitting next to eachother hitting on seperate people was quite funny, it added fuel to the fire the fact that he was hitting on a guy and me on a girl.
------------------ Do yourself a favor and open yourself up to love. Every kind. From men, women, blacks, whites, dogs, cats, frogs. From ANYTHING. Love is good and beautiful. "Any love is good love"
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