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Author Topic: Am I bi, or not?
mulanaiko
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This has been on my mind for about 3 years now, and I'm 21. At this point I really don't know what to think. Lately I've been thinking about one of my female friends, a lot. But I have been in a long term relationship with my boyfriend for about 5 years now. He knows that I was questioning my sexuality for a minute, so I told him I was straight to avoid this big reaction. He already is talking about threesomes, but I just shrug it off, because I don't want him to know that I'm questioning my sexuality again. I know that I like girls as well as guys, guys slightly more than girls. All these feelings that I'm having right now have me in a funk. So I want to know if this makes me bisexual. Plus I am worried that if I come out, everyone in my life is gonna bombard me with questions, and worse, hate because of my sexuality.

[ 08-22-2012, 03:48 PM: Message edited by: Ashley H. ]

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Heather
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We can never, ever answer that question for someone: what our orientation is and how we want to identify it is just something we have to do for ourselves.

But bisexuality is a term people usually use to describe a person (including oneself) who has a pattern of experiencing feelings of sexual and/or romantic attraction to either mean and women alike, or people of all genders (some people use pansexuality for the latter instead).

Too, it might help to know that if and when someone is bisexual, that doesn't mean they want a threesome, or simultaneous sex with more than one partner. It also doesn't mean even if they want to have more than one partner, they want to be sexual with those people together. And by all means, if and when someone is bisexual, if a partner of theirs sees that as an opportunity for a threesome they want, that doesn't mean the bisexual person needs to comply.

You also only need to tell who you want about your sexual orientation: that's true for anyone. And if and when someone has questions, you always have the option of answering them or declining to answer. And for sure, in some places, we need to be mindful of our personal safety when it comes to being out, or being seen with partners of the same sex.

So, where do you want to take this from here?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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mulanaiko
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I want to completely come out, but I'm worried about what the people around me will think. I just want to be supported and feel safe when it comes to my sexuality. But most of all, I want to be happy with who I am. I am definitely in love with my boyfriend, but I don't know how to tell him that I'm not comfortable with a threesome. And about this female friend, I don't know what to do with this situation either. These feelings have happened more than once, with more than one girl. I'm confused.
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Heather
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Well, maybe it's best we do some for-now.

For now, do you want to stay in an exclusive relationship with your boyfriend? After all, having certain feelings for people doesn't mean we will always choose to do certain things with them: there will often be plenty of people in life we have romantic or sexual feelings for, but don't pursue those kinds of relationships with for various reasons.

(And even people who are heterosexual or homosexual and in love with someone they're in a relationship with will often still feel attracted to other people.)

And for now, per coming out, is there anyone around you who you think would be supportive, and who you would feel safe telling?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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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mulanaiko
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I'd like to stay in a relationship with my boyfriend, plus my twin brother is supportive as well as my mother. Most of the people I socialize with are LGBTQ-friendly. It's my own personal fear of rejection that's keeping me from coming out.
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Robin Lee
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Since you know several people who are LBGT-friendly, is there one in particular you think you'd be most comfortable with coming out to first? When we're afraid of something, it's often helpful to take small steps towards that something rather than jumping in with both feet and making a great big splash.

Since you want to continue to have an exclusive relationship with your boyfriend, what do you think the impact would be on him, and on your relationship, if you came out as bisexual, whether to all people or just to him and a select few?

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Robin

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mulanaiko
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I don't know. I don't want to hurt him, but I don't want to lie to him either. But I don't want to catch any flack for coming out as bi from my extended family as well as friends of the family. I could take baby steps, but where do I start? I'm hesitant to even express my feelings because I don't like to explain them. It's my life, and I don't need to have people judging me based on who I like. They all know I've been with this guy for almost 6 years, and they know how I feel about him. But I'm unsure of his family's stance on gay rights. Though when I tried to explain the Day of Silence to him, he was confused because the school we went to didn't have a Gay-Straight Alliance or talk about gay rights, and that made me wonder about any LGBTQ youth at the school and whether or not it was a safe place for us. So I have stayed quiet since '07. But now that I'm older, I feel as though I have to start being true to myself. Now that I'm in college, and there are some more accepting individuals, I have to figure out the right one to go to with this issue. My group of friends is mostly LGBTQ young adults, so I feel comfortable when I'm around them. Perhaps I should choose one of them to talk to.
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Heather
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(Ashley, I have to head out for the night, but I'll check back in with you myself in the morning.)

--------------------
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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Robin Lee
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That's a long time to feel like you need to be quiet about something important to you, so I hear your eagerness to tell people and claim an identity that feels right to you.

Is telling your boyfriend something you want to do now, or do you want to take more time, tell other people first?

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Robin

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mulanaiko
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That's the thing. I want to tell him, but I don't want him to think that means "Cool! Let's get another girl and do it". I cannot stand that stigma when it comes to bisexuality. Perhaps I am eager to tell someone, I'd rather come out to someone I don't really know that much, like someone online. I've been thinking about coming out, I just don't know when the right time will be. I don't want to have to go back in the closet if things get a bit crazy.
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Heather
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Well, if you think that is how your boyfriend would interpret you saying you're bisexual, then you could certainly always include saying just that when you tell him. In other words, "Just to be clear, this doesn't mean I want to have sex with someone else right now, with or without you."

That all said, no one has to come out. Or come out the second they feel certain about their orientation at a given time. It's not required of anyone.

I'd certainly hope that someone you're with for as long as five years is someone you felt able to be all of who you are with, and who you thought you could count on not to try and capitalize on your bisexuality for their own desires, mind you, but if you don't feel ready or able to share this with your partner right now, you certainly have the right not to.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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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mulanaiko
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You have a point, Heather. Maybe I can be bisexual and still have a long-term monogamous relationship with my boyfriend. But of course, he has to be understanding about the whole situation as well as accepting. My immediate family (meaning my mother, brother) are very supportive, and they even said that they wouldn't treat me any different. I love how open-minded my peers are, which makes it easier for me to be who I am. And hopefully one day, I can come out and proudly say that I'm bisexual.
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Heather
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Well, lots of us who are bisexual still engage in long-term monogamous relationships, just like people of every orientation. And, just like people of every orientation also do, plenty people also choose not to do that. But really, those choices aren't about being bisexual for most folks.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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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mulanaiko
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That's good to hear that I can be bi and in a long term relationship. I feel a lot better knowing that I'm not the only one this applies to. Thank you for the advice. [Smile]
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Heather
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Of course!

Being bisexual isn't about a person needing partners of both genders, unless that's what it is for *that* person.

And again, let's remember that, say, heterosexual people aren't just attracted to the one person they're in a long-term exclusive relationship with when they are. This really is no different. No orientation is about a numbers game: orientations are just about who we have the capacity to be attracted to, that's all.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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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WesLuck
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Yes, that's one of the first misconceptions (just using the word, I can't help if it sounds like contraception or conception [Wink] ) that Heather helped put to rest - orientation is who you can be attracted to. Being bisexual does not automatically mean "at the same time/menage a trois". It is up to the individuals involved, and as always, every individual has to be happy with whatever activities they take part in.

Maybe orientation could be called "general gender preferences". But then again the shorter words are usually used more, so I guess "orientation" is as good as any other word/phrase. [Wink]

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mulanaiko
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I appreciate the help you guys, I'm really starting to come to terms with my sexual identity. I know that I wouldn't be comfortable with a threesome, but I can still be bi and stay with my boyfriend. I don't believe in having more than one partner, that just sounds awkward and a lot of feelings could be hurt. I'd rather be with one person, and only one person whenever I decide to be intimate.
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moonlight bouncing off water
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Hey Ashley, I know you're talking about your personal relationships here, but could you please be a bit more considerate with your wording here? Lots of people engage in polyamourous relationships with lots of success, no awkwardness and no jealusy and people some people engage in monogamous relationships that are mighty awkward and full of jealousy and feelings getting hurt. It's fine to talk about your own relationships and about non-monogamy not being something you're interested in, but please just be careful when making general comments that could hurt the feelings about the groups you're making presumptions about.

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~moonlight

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

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mulanaiko
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I didn't mean to make a general statement, and I didn't mean to offend anyone. And if I did, I apologize.
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Heather
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(Just a general FYI, to anyone and everyone, but I think when statements like these are qualified with an "I believe" like Ashley did, and made to be clearly about her, it's okay, and someone really is doing all they can to express their feelings while leaving room for a diversity of beliefs and experiences. There obviously needs to be a middle ground with this stuff, and I think this is basically it.)

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me • Get our book!
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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mulanaiko
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I understand that now, I just feel really bad because I didn't want to offend. I just wanted someone to talk to, but I didn't know how to arrange my thoughts. This is my first time using a forum, so bear with me.
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WesLuck
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Well, if you are feeling a bit down, here are some:

-hugs- [Smile]

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mulanaiko
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Thanks, WesLuck [Smile]
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moonlight bouncing off water
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Oops, I'm sorry. Perhaps I didn't take enough time to read the post and understand where Ashley was coming from with it. I certainly didn't set out to make you feel bad.

--------------------
~moonlight

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

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mulanaiko
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I forgive you, moonlight.
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