I'm a bisexual girl, and I like to keep to myself about it, but I do tell people that are close to me... My best friend does know that I'm bi, she found out through someone else, but she became very uncomfortable around me when she did find out. For example, she would normally let me hug her as a greeting, but after she found out, she threw me off her and shouted "Look! I'm not BI you know!"
Then we became distant, but we're best friends again.. Lately I find her insulting bisexual people, and I'm wondering if she even remembers I'm bi! And if she doesn't remember (or decides to ignore it), should I tell her? Or should I just shut up and listen to her insults? I don't get it... She doesnt really seem to mind gay people or bi people, but she does seem to mind if those people are near her...
Posts: 2 | From: Honolulu, HI, US | Registered: Feb 2004
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Would you just sit and listen to her insulting people of other sizes, or races or genders or social classes? I sure wouldn't advise it.
And I wouldn't advise this either -- that has got to feel pretty cruddy for you, and enabling anyone's bigotry is ultimately not a good idea.
So, how about a gentle reminder? "Hey, not only am I bisexual, too, I'm not comfortable with what you're saying because...."
And then explain why based on what she's saying. For example, if a bisexual person is near her and she's assuming that means they want her, you can remind her that heterosexual people aren't attracted to EVERYONE opposite sex, and the same holds true for bisexuals or homosexuals. Et cetera.
Ultimately, the biggest force for change in terms of prejudice is one person at a time, as personally and gently as possible, coming from someone that person respects.
You might also want to consider that your friend is uncomfortable around you because she found out about your bisexuality through another person, not directly from you. She could mistakenly think that there's an underlying reason why you didn't tell her yourself (like you have a crush on her, or something), or she could simply be angry that you didn't confide in her first.
Which is why it is even more paramount that you be direct with her now and stand up for yourself. If she's just saying these things because she's still mad at you, then you'll get past it. If she's truly a bigot and she keeps on saying awful things even after you take her to task, then it's best that you know this now. And it's not good enough for her to "tolerate" gay people as long as they stay away from her. That's how segregation starts...
It's got to be weird being someone's best friend and having to find out such a big thing about them through the grapevine. Surely she must have wondered (and might still wonder) why you couldn't tell her yourself, and it might be the reason she's acting this way. She could be worried that you like her, hurt that you didn't confide in her, or both.
That said, it also has to suck having your best friend treat you this way because she has some things she has to deal with. The next time she says something like that, remind her you're bi. I'd be very surprised if she forgot, but you can help everyone out by reminding her about a real face of bi-/homosexuality. At the very least you should be able to get her to treat you better and keep her homophobia to herself.
If you're gentle about it, she might be able to explain to you at some point why she says and does these things when she knows about your orientation and is supposed to be your best friend. It might be good for both of you to get to the bottom of that one.
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