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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Identity » Bisexual/Pansexual Peer Support

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Author Topic: Bisexual/Pansexual Peer Support
Heather
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This is one of a few threads we've added to help those of you who are often dealing with similar issues -- or aren't, but are members of this one broad group of sexual orientation and want to connect, even in places you're not the same -- but perhaps not seeing each other in one place on the boards to know you can connect and talk together. We keep seeing some users who it seems like would SO benefit from talking together, but due to the business of the boards, probably don't realize are here to talk to.

This one is for anyone who is or feels they are bisexual or pansexual (or queer in some other similar way).

IMPORTANT: What this thread is NOT for is anyone who does not feel or identify in those ways, but who is curious about people who do and wants to interview them in any way to satisfy their curiosity. This is a peer support thread for people who are sure or pretty darn sure they are or feel these kinds of sexual identities. Thanks!

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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sunnyday
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I'm here.
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Djuna
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I'm here and queer/pansexual. [Smile]

I think one thing I get miffed about is that having an orientation outside of the limited gay/straight binary a lot of people have in mind, I get a lot of accusations that I'm being "picky" or somehow egotistical for having an identification outside of their (deeply flawed) system.

Too, if I get one more person who thinks it's okay on hearing my identification to say "oh, so you have sex with everyone," I may scream. Obviously, I don't, I just don't pick my sexual partners according to their gender (or, for that matter, according to mine). Too, a lot of people who have asked to have "pansexual" explained to them then respond by going "oh, so you're bi." I want to tell that kind of person "um, no, didn't you listen? I'm pansexual."

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“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

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Calamity Jane
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I'm here.
I know what you mean, Patrick. Last week, I was talking with some people about a girl, who happened to also be bisexual, but they didn't know I was, so they kept saying things like "She just wants to get laid" and "she loves sex too much to be picky" It's so annoying/mean!

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Love.
What a curious thing.

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Jacob at Scarleteen
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Although I don't use pan to describe my sexuality it is the thing that most closely resembles what I say to describe my orientation.

It's pretty annoying if people who know me tell me "Jacob I know you say this stuff about your sexuality, but to be honest you only really get with girls... I think you're just trying to be different but really you're straight"

That's not nice... and makes a lot assumptions about me, my character, my identity, and that of any anyone I had sex with.

If you describe your sexuality the non-normative bit can often be assumed to be your fetish, that you actively seek, rather than more of an openness and passive acceptance of the identities of the people you might be attracted to.

So when you say bisexual, it can be the case that someone immediately asks you how many guys you've slept with.

If you say your pan, someone can want to know what kind of trans-identities that includes. And someone wants to know how many trans people you've slept with.

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Djuna
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quote:
So when you say bisexual, it can be the case that someone immediately asks you how many guys you've slept with.

If you say your pan, someone can want to know what kind of trans-identities that includes. And someone wants to know how many trans people you've slept with.

For sure, I get that all the time. Also, although at this point in my life most of my sexual partners are female (although in terms of makeout partners at least a third to a half are male), when people use that to say I'm "actually straight," they're assuming I identify as male to start with, which is where they're seriously wrong.

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“In a strange room, before you are emptied for sleep, what are you. And when you are filled with sleep you never were. I don’t know what I am. I don’t know if I am or not... how often have I lain beneath rain on a strange roof, thinking of home.”

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Haleylynn
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I'm here as well. I've just recently figured out which label on the sexual orientation spectrum fits me best, not that I really feel pressed to choose. My friends and family needing to choose for me, however, is a different matter. I probably spent all of this summer with my Dad thinking I was gay, and me yelling at him. I feel like I spend so much time translating how I feel into words just so that my family understands...ah but I digress. I recently read some books from our local library on gender bending and the gender binary, which got me to thinking (more in depth, at least) about the idea that the gender binary could be crossed. And to be perfectly honest, those types of people, ones that are a little androgynous and somewhat in the middle; those are the ones I'm most attracted to, with the occasional femme girl and straight man mixed in.
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Saffron Raymie
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I'm here, pansexual/queer.

I'm so sick of my housemate going 'Tom doesn't believe in bisexuality. Do you believe in bisexuality?'

My dad's didn't get it either. He was like 'so you're a lesbian?' when I was with a girl and then 'so you don't like women anymore then?' when I'm with a man.

The first one annoys me more though. HOW is what I feel in any way not real?!

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'Obtain the virgin's consent before you marry her' - Prophet Mohammad (pbuh)

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Yelllowwalllpaper
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Bi- pan- and similar sexual orientations are the most misunderstood I think. I remember loosing a lot of straight friends when I came out as gay, and then loosing gay friends from coming out as pan-. My parents, who were trying to convince me 'not to act on my urges' thought it meant I could just live a straight life, but what they didn't understand is that to me it isn't simply the capacity to love any gender, it's also the inability to deny my love toward a person based on gender. If I love someone, i love someone and that's that

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"Divine I am inside and out, and I make
Holy whatever I touch or am
Touch'd from,
The scent of these arm-pits aroma finer
Than prayer,
This head more than churches, bibles,
And all other creeds"
-Song of Myself, Walt Whitman

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AponiKanti
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I'm here and I'm bi. I don't actively consider or ask what other people consider their gender to be, but I know that I identify as a young woman and am currently with a man. I haven't come out to my parents, it's likely they'd ask too many irritating and stereotypical questions and make incredibly aggravating remarks especially because I've never been with any girls. As a matter of fact, up until high school I could've been considered asexual because I had little interest in dating or relationships until 10th grade. Honestly there were words I'd never heard before, such as "orgasm" and a variety of slang terms for sex and sexual activities until I began high school. Really, I was totally clueless, just as my mother wanted me to be because it meant I wasn't going to have premarital sex (which I ended up having anyway, at the age of 18, I'm nearly 20). Nonetheless, I'm out to some of my friends (including my boyfriend, that was an interesting conversation. He was more afraid that he'd have a greater chance of losing me because of my interest in girls and guys than anything. I managed to calm him by insisting the completely true statement that I'm not even looking at other guys, much less girls, because I'm perfectly happy with him.)I don't mind this lopsided knowledge of people at all. None of my friends would out me and they don't speak to my mother all that much, if at all.
I don't exactly fit into the statistics of our age group do i?

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sunnyday
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I'm pretty sure I'm bi.
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sunnyday
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I'm pretty sure I'm bi.
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sunnyday
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Sorry for the double post!
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Jill2000Plus
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I'm bisexual, and I've known it since I was... 13/14. It occurred to me after I realised it that I'd always liked girls just as much as boys, but assumed I was straight because that was what everyone else assumed, it's like I was hetero-assigned-at-birth, but looking back on things, I was always pretty queer, in both sexuality and gender. I remember there was this girl who I knew and we used to play at being Jonathan Creek and his partner played by Caroline Quentin (I was always Jonathan, I mean who wouldn't want to pretend to be Alan Davies, he has fantastic hair and jenius detektive skillz)... now I kind of want to join a Takarazuka theatre troupe and play Lady Oscar and Princess Sapphire.

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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Redskies
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Oh my goodness, Jill, "hetero-assigned at birth" - I really relate to that, that feels like such a good way of putting it. Being gay/lesbian would've been fairly controversial, but bisexuality - no-one ever mentioned that. I don't know if I even knew it was a thing. I came across something fairly recently that describes the situation: "Q.1: D you like the opposite gender? If yes, you're straight. If no, got to Q.2. Q.2: Do you like the same gender? If yes, you're gay/lesbian. If no, got to Q.1." So for a long time, I never got past Question 1, even though I really knew something was waay different to me than how most people described. It's fantastic to get to the point of "no Wonder none of that gender stuff really ever made any sense to me... I'm QUEER!!"

I'd use "bisexual" to describe my orientation, as that's the best fit word that's commonly enough recognised to be useful. Technically, I'm pansexual, because yeh, no cares for the supposed binary here. As an identity, though, I'm very much with "queer", because I love the space that that word can have for all the people who in some way reject normativity that doesn't suit them.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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moonlight bouncing off water
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quote:
Originally posted by Redskies:
bisexuality - no-one ever mentioned that. I don't know if I even knew it was a thing. I came across something fairly recently that describes the situation: "Q.1: D you like the opposite gender? If yes, you're straight. If no, got to Q.2. Q.2: Do you like the same gender? If yes, you're gay/lesbian. If no, got to Q.1." So for a long time, I never got past Question 1, even though I really knew something was waay different to me than how most people described.

I know exactly how you with the Q1 Q2 thing. I felt like I was straight by default, and I was interested in boys. Given that I liked the opposite gender and didn't even know it was possible to be something other than gay or straight, the thought took a long time to occur to me.

I identify as bisexual, but really only because it is a lot more understood than other terms and because the actual explanation is a lot longer than one word. In reality, as I told a questioning friend today who was astounded by my attitude: I like people whom I find attractive. Sometimes I like women and sometimes I like men, it is about the person and not the gender. Right now I'm dating a guy, but that doesn't mean that I don't find women attractive and that I will never date a woman.

In my ideal world there would be no need to identify one's sexual orientation. In the same way that there is no term or need to explain what race of person you find attractive, or whether you only date people taller than you, in my ideal there would be no need to explain about liking someone based on their gender. Most people don't take things like the aforementioned into consideration when they are deciding whom to date, or if they do it isn't a huge deciding factor (but, if any one is reading this and that is how you make decisions on relationships, that's cool, I'm not trying to make generalizations). In my ideal world there would be no words for sexual orientation, because people would date people, rather than genders dating genders.

Relating back to the questioning friend (who is currently questioning whether she is bi or straight) she seemed truly shocked at my attitude. She said that every one she has talked to has told her that she is either bi or straight (essentially leaving no room for middle ground). For her, the binary gender system that fails so miserably to include so many of us, had expanded to be "tri-nary", which is little better and still left her feeling marooned on an island of confusion. I hope that I helped her and that she will talk to me if she wants to talk to someone, I would have loved to have had somebody to talk in person to about all of this who would have had some idea of where I was coming from.

I feel perpetually frustrated with the world. Even when people, shows etc think that they are being inclusive by including gay people, I feel left out and invisible. A bi/pan/etc person seen dating the opposite gender is thought to be straight and is thought to be gay if they are dating the same gender. As a result, we become invisible.

Some days I love my bisexuality, some days I hate it.

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Haleylynn
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Yeah, I don't feel like I fit into the stereotypical young adult age group either. I only realized that another option could exist for me other than rigid hetero/homosexual conformity in 8th grade. At that point, I was fairly convinced I was bisexual, and made the mistake of being too vocal about it. I could not stop myself from wanting to share the knowledge that I too had a place along the same spectrum of health and happiness and orientation that everyone else seemed to belong to but yet I felt dissatisfied with. As I've grown older (I'm a senior in HS right now), I've come to realize that whichever gender I'm attracted to may change (as it has), but the way that I am attracted to someone is not simply based on physical appearance, but a narrow variety of personality traits that I find attractive.
I was asked the other day how I identify, and although I know how I would basically describe which genders I am attracted to, that doesn't convey the emotions and processes of complex attraction that depend solely the person to whom I'm attracted. Its not a haircut. Its not a voice. Its not a body part. Its a person.

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Jill2000Plus
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Just to say, the whole "hetero-assigned-at-birth" thing, is a variation on the term "male/female-assigned-at-birth", commonly used by transgendered people to describe how they feel about everyone assuming their gender when they were born instead of allowing them to discover it and express it themselves. I don't know if the term "hetero-assigned-at-birth" has been used before, but I can't take credit for the whole idea, as it came from a term that came out of the trans community.

I totally agree with the people who said that there's so much more to choosing a partner than gender (and that's not even a factor for some people, including myself). It's a rare person who doesn't care about anything other than gender or what bits are between legs in a partner.

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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Redskies
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(Jill, I totally realise your phrase was taken by analogy from trans* community terminology. I just thought it worked really well and spoke to my own experience. I also recognise that a "het-assigned at birth" feeling would be Really different to a "female/male-assigned at birth" feeling, and have no wish to appropriate or stomp over any trans* person's experiences.)

I love this thread. Even if we have some different experiences, I feel like I can get where everyone is coming from, which is completely wonderful in contrast with totally not understanding most folk's thoughts on gender/orientation.

Moonlight bouncing off water, I get what you mean about having no words for orientation in your ideal world, and that would completely work in my personal world-view too. The thing is, some people do seem to have a specific orientation, so I can see how in some circumstances it would be very useful to be able to express that. I think what I would wish for is for no-one to make assumptions according to one's current partner or anything else, for people to not have to fall in any category if they feel they don't, and for orientation to not matter - like, it's stated/apparent, and someone goes "mhm" and then they talk about something that's actually interesting.

I've always felt baffled by identity coming out of orientation, because to me, it's about the people I'm attracted to, which is just one very small, specific area of my life, and it says nothing about me as a person. My feeling that "we shouldn't have to fit in boxes", though, That I think says something about me as a person, which is probably why I think of "queer" more as an identity for me personally. I don't understand how orientation can be an identity. But an attitude, a mindset, as an identity - certainly.

I do understand how a lesbian/gay identity can create a community and how that can be important. But similar to what m b o w said, those communities can feel very excluding. I'm not wanting to take those communities/identities away from anyone who it's important to, I'm just wanting to say that I personally don't quite understand.

I like my bi/pansexuality. I love that I have the potential to be attracted to such a range of people. What I wish for is that the world never blinked about orientation. My orientation is just fine; I just wish that the world's attitudes were fine, too.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Redskies
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On a more personal note, I think tomorrow I have to tell an old friend that I'm bisexual. That feels very weird and kind of wrong, because it's not something that I think I should have to announce. With anyone I meet now, if they assume wrongly, that's their problem; but I've known this person for years, and she never had any reason to know. I don't see her often now, and I'd hate her to feel like I hadn't felt able to share it, so I don't really see a solution other than announcing it out of the blue. I'm not concerned about her reaction, I just don't like having to make an announcement out of it, which goes against my conviction that one's orientation isn't something that one should have to announce.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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moonlight bouncing off water
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Redskies, I totally get where you're coming from on that. I often struggle with whether or not to come out to people and cease to feel like I'm lying by omission Making mention of my orientation without it becoming a bigger deal than is proportionate to how important it is seems almost impossible when people don't know I'm bi.

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~moonlight

I am ME and that is the only label I need.

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Stephanie_1
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It can certainly be tough when debating telling someone, especially since feelings about not having been told can be rough. I know with some of my friends if they were hurt by not being told I just let them know that talking about it was still new to me, so I didn't talk to a lot of people about it straight out, but knew they were a good enough friend to understand that difficulty.

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"Sometimes the majority only means that all the fools are on the same side" ~Anon

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AponiKanti
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oh I've had some issues with telling people too. Some of my friends don't know and probably will never know, but it's not that I don't trust them with the information so much as it's never had any reason to come up in conversation and probably never will. Most people assume I'm straight because I am dating a boy and hope to be dating him for a while. I can totally relate to the whole hetero-assigned at birth idea too, because bisexuality was never presented as an option to me until I was in high school. And then i still didn't think much about it. Not for a little while anyway.

I told most of my best friends very straightforwardly though. Like, "just wanted to let everyone know, I'm bi!" and left it at that XD that sparked a conversation for all of five minutes about all of our orientations and then we moved on to something random. I think the hardest person to tell was my boyfriend. I've actually told him twice, he forgot or blocked it out or something, but he had the exact same reaction both times. He sorta freaked out, he's insecure (and has reason to be, I'm his only successful relationship and the only girl who hasn't done him dirty) and is worried that he now has more competition for my love. It took like an hour to calm him down and assure him that I'm not looking for anyone else anyway so there's no competition from guys or girls. He spent a couple minutes trying to convince me I wasn't bi, but I sorta ignored him and went back to comforting him that I wasn't gonna leave him. He's ok now at least.

Don't think I'll ever tell my family though.

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selina
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i've only just come to terms with finally realising what i am and its taken me a long time. i can't admit it to pretty much anyone and i hope my family will never know so i can save them the disappointment considering i have to marry a nice jewish boy because thats whats expected of me. i did think i was lesbian around 13/14 because i didn't like the guys at school and because of a harassment incident around that age, was put off guys for a long time. then i decided that it was just a phase and morphed into an asexual being (or so i thought) for several years. it has never occured to me that anyone would go for me in the first place so i assumed that i wouldn't be attracted to anyone, let alone be attractive to anyone. so i was safe in being that way for a long time. and now i have to admit to myself something that i must have known for a long time. i'm not ready to share it and i don't know if i'll ever be but i think i have to at least admit to myself that i am bisexual even if no one else knows
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Cian
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I hate how my bisexuality, due to my committed relationship to my own sex, has a tendency to warp into homosexuality in the minds of everyone. And apparently a lesbian is somehow very threatening a concept to a lot of male bodied people I talk to, as they will easily take offense and ask me why I'm such a "pure-blooded manhating lesbian". Same happens when I express my feministic views, which, again, have nothing to do with hating men or being a lesbian.

I am not a lesbian, neither do I hate people based on their gender, so I really don't know where do these accusations stem from. Granted I dislike many men, but not because of their genitals, but because of their poor conduct towards me and their general character which doesn't sit well with mine.

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Jill2000Plus
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I don't want to take this thread off topic, but I think it stinks how there's this assumption that a lesbian feminist is dismissable because they're not straight, lesbians have good reasons to be feminists, some of them the same and some of them different than straight or bisexual women's reasons. I don't get this whole "manhating lesbian" thing, I mean, do straight men just hate other men and assume that lesbians feel the same way? You do, of course, get gay men being accused of being misogynists because they don't want to have sexual/romantic relationships with women, but it tends to happen less.

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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JacquelineNV
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I'm here too, and queer.

I identified as bisexual for a long time (since I was 12 or 13) but I feel more at home with the term "queer" now - like redskies mentioned above, it's an identity and a community as much as an orientation. I am also open to folks who don't identify within the gender binary, so I felt strange using a term that (to me) implies that there are only two options.

I guess my biggest issue is feeling a bit lost and invisible. I have dated more men than anyone else over the last few years, mostly because it's easier and more common to meet men than queer women/otherwise-IDed people. Add that to the facts that I'm pretty femme and tend to look like "the straight friend," and I don't really know how to flirt with people who aren't guys, and I'm a little at sea.

Posts: 4 | From: Halifax, NS | Registered: Nov 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sans
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I'm here.

One of my struggles with my bisexuality stems from the fact that even though I had already come out to my mother, she ignores the fact that I'm also attracted to women and talks of my future as if I'm bound to date, fall in love with, and marry a guy.It is as if being bisexual somehow equates to being heterosexual. And she's not the only one. I've heard others say, on several occasions, that it's easier to be bisexual than homosexual because it is still possible that one can be attracted to one's opposite sex, and thus not have to "deal with" many of the intolerance issues and homophobia directed towards those who are homosexual. Also, another similiar belief that I hear being expressed is that bisexuals get to experience "the best of both worlds" without having to suffer from discrimination associated with being of a particular orientation.

Misconceptions like these frustrate me to no end. I fully believe that every sexual orientation/gender identity has its own set of negative preconcieved stereotypes attached that can be very difficult to deal with. It is extremely unfair to attempt to categorize others according to one's personalized expectations of how they should be in order to make life easier and more entertaining for oneself. This is one of the reasons I am reluctant to come out more, as when I do, I am immediately thrown into an iron cast and molded in order to fit the expectations and standards of others, so to speak.

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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Ohana626
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I'm here....or at least, for now I am.

I always identified as straight, and was comfortable with that title because all my life I've liked boys. I never had an experience where I liked girls until last year (my junior year in high school, I'm 18 and a senior now) and it has lasted from junior year until now, and I still feel an attraction to this girl.

But my problem is that I never had this feeling before, and although I definitely like her, it's not the same sexual feeling I get when I like a boy, although the idea of doing sexual things with this girl is a pleasing thought because I like her. But I'm unsure if these feelings are ones that just mean I want to be better friends or if I want a relationship. And the reason I question that is because although I am completely supportive of gay rights and all my friends who are gay, I was raised in an environment that accepted gays, but said that their behavior wasn't normal because it couldn't produce children and because "they don't fit" together (physically). And I adopted that opinion myself because it seemed right. I respect all those who are not straight, but at the same time I developed the idea that it still wasn't normal because a woman is supposed to be with a man. And please, I'm sorry if I sound narrow minded or offensive, but please don't be mad at my ignorance right now. I really want to figure this out.

I'm also not very sexual to begin with. Looking at men or woman sexually does not do anything for me. I'm only sexually attracted to people that I'm emotionally attracted to. So I'm not exactly comfortable moving my identity to something other than "straight" because for girls...this girl I like now for example, I was attracted to her physically, like I thought she was attractive, but at that moment I wasn't attracted to her (if that makes sense)...but then after spending more time with her, I grew to like her as a person, and that's when the sexual desire developed, but once again, not as strongly as it has with guys that I've liked.

So that's why I'm questioning right now. I don't know if I just want a closer friendship bond with her or if I want a romantic one...I mean thinking about it, if she was interested, I would pursue a romantic relationship, but I like that idea because of how intimate it is.

So...yeah, in case that didn't show how confused I am...I'm really not sure what's going on. But thank you Heather for starting this thread, I really need other questioning or bi/pan members to help, if they wouldn't mind. [Smile]

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