Assumptions + doubting my bi identity

Questions and discussion about your sexuality and how it's a part of who you are as a person.
thewrit3r
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Posts: 181
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My Awesomeness Quotient: I’m pretty smart
My primary language: English
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My sexual identity and orientation: Bisexual
Location: North Carolina

Assumptions + doubting my bi identity

Unread postby thewrit3r » Mon Aug 10, 2020 1:45 pm

For years, I went back and forth trying to figure out if I was bi. My sexuality still feels very fluid, but 9 out of 10 times I feel most comfortable calling myself bisexual. Well, unless I’m talking to someone else who isn’t bi or has a lot of assumptions about it.

Firstly there was the attraction “scale.” For so long I thought you had to be “equally” attracted to men and women (and I didn’t even include non-binary folks or other gender identities there). I was definitely not like that. I was and still am more sexually attracted to men than women, but I’m still attracted to women, especially in a romantic context. I’ve mostly gotten that assumption out of my head, but when I see it being perpetuated it makes me wonder sometimes, you know?

Secondly, and what I’ve been dealing with mostly, is how I’m “supposed” to experience to various genders, particularly male and female. The other day, for example, I mentioned finding a female celebrity attractive and my brother assumed I found her attractive the same way he did (more sensually/sexually), but I didn’t. But I felt like if I admitted this then maybe I’m really not bi since I don’t experience the same sexual attraction to women that I’ve heard other people attracted to women (mostly straight men) express their attraction. And there’s the fact that I keep going back and forth on my sexuality - some days I wonder if I’m even bi instead of straight, and other times I feel really gay and wonder why I ever questioned that. It’s already confusing but when I hear other people assume what it means to be bi, or just straight up for what it means for ME individually to be bi, I question and doubt my identity.

In hindsight, it doesn’t matter what other people assume about me, and I’ll be damned if I’ll let someone who doesn’t even know what I’m experiencing “tell” me how I feel or should feel, but the doubt’s there sometimes, you know? And even though queer representation is getting better, I notice a distinct lack of bi characters - or if they are bi, it’s portrayed as not being a real thing.

:cry: :cry: So I guess what I’m asking for other people like me - fellow non- monosexuals (unless there’s a better term for it?), have you experienced this doubt in your sexuality before, and, if so, how do you deal with it?
"The writer is by nature a dreamer - a conscious dreamer."
-Carson McCullers

Mo
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 1794
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:57 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I'm always wearing seriously fancy nail polish.
My primary language: English
My pronouns: he/him, they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queer/bisexual

Re: Assumptions + doubting my bi identity

Unread postby Mo » Mon Aug 10, 2020 3:01 pm

One thing that's been helpful for me is having a lot of bisexual friends and figuring out that the idea of some sort of 50/50 attraction split, or being attracted to all genders the exact same amount and in the exact same way, just isn't reality for most bisexual people I know. It's also a very common question we get here, where folks will worry that because they don't have that equivalent attraction split along gender lines, they can't truly be bisexual. And in a way, the more I hear that question, the clearer it is that it's a question based on an assumption that isn't based in reality.

I've known I was bisexual for just under 20 years at this point, and I've noticed some patterns in how I notice attraction to people. There have been periods of time where my "passive attraction," where I would notice strangers on the street, people in photos online, etc. as attractive, was highly skewed towards one gender, but the people I was developing intense crushes on in my personal life were more likely to be other genders. The first time I noticed this, I wondered if it was odd, but now it just feels normal to notice these differences in attraction (although my patterns in attraction have shifted over time, so this isn't necessarily how I'm feeling now).

Ultimately I think this is a product of sexuality being a lot more expansive, diverse, and fluid than a lot of people are willing to admit or discuss, and any sort of name for one's sexuality that's a word (or even a sentence), and not a huge paragraph that we can change or update as needed, is going to fall a little short of showing the full picture. "Bisexual" is a helpful shorthand for this part of my identity, but it is never going to encompass what makes "my" bisexuality different from yours, or from anyone else's.

thewrit3r
not a newbie
Posts: 181
Joined: Wed May 03, 2017 10:07 am
My Awesomeness Quotient: I’m pretty smart
My primary language: English
My pronouns: She/her
My sexual identity and orientation: Bisexual
Location: North Carolina

Re: Assumptions + doubting my bi identity

Unread postby thewrit3r » Tue Aug 11, 2020 6:35 am

I think surrounding myself with more bi+ positivity will and has been the most helpful. I’m actually a part of a subreddit for bisexuals and it’s really bi positive which I love :) I just wish I could get that experience in person - I know with COVID that’s not likely to happen any time soon, but when all this is over (finally!) I’d love to connect with other bi+ folks. I just feel like I don’t fit in the queer community sometimes - I’m also black and I rarely see black queer folks in the media and have to actively search for them :/ I know they’re out there, but I want to find them. I know you can’t give someone confidence but having a sense of community is so important, especially if you’re a part of multiple marginalized communities.
"The writer is by nature a dreamer - a conscious dreamer."
-Carson McCullers

Mo
scarleteen staff/volunteer
Posts: 1794
Joined: Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:57 pm
My Awesomeness Quotient: I'm always wearing seriously fancy nail polish.
My primary language: English
My pronouns: he/him, they/them
My sexual identity and orientation: queer/bisexual

Re: Assumptions + doubting my bi identity

Unread postby Mo » Tue Aug 11, 2020 3:34 pm

It is such a bummer to be away from in-person communities right now, but I'm glad you've at least found a positive space online; I know I've gotten a lot of support from my queer & trans online communities lately and I've been very thankful for them.


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