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Others doubting my bisexuality

Posted: Sat Jun 27, 2020 9:43 pm
by roxfoxreal
I recently came out as bisexual and everyone has been pretty accepting which I’m super thankful for! But I’ve had quite a few people doubt my bisexuality, especially my parents. They don’t think I’m “actually bisexual” because I’ve never had sex with a girl. This is super frustrating because while they won’t outright say it, they say it in so many words and it upsets me. Am I stupid for letting this upset me when I know others have it so much worse? Also is there a better way to deal with it? I’m feeling very frustrated and like I’m not being taken seriously or listened to.

Re: Others doubting my bisexuality

Posted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 7:01 am
by Alexa
Hey roxfoxreal,

Fellow bisexual here -- I had this same experience with my own parents! :roll: It can be *so* frustrating when you can feel that people around you are invalidating your sexuality, even quietly.

It makes total sense that this would upset you. I understand the temptation to compare your struggle to others', but I promise you that what you're going through is valid.

I definitely have a few favorite ways of coping with this kind of experience. First, do you have any bi/pan/queer community spaces that you belong to? Friends at home, online, etc? Having community to vent to who understand what you're experiencing can be really healing.

Second, do you have access to therapy/counseling? When the people around you invalidate your reality, it can be hard to feel grounded in your truth. Having a professional around to affirm that truth can be really helpful.

If not the ones I mentioned above, what coping skills are you currently using, even if they feel like they're falling short?

Re: Others doubting my bisexuality

Posted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 6:16 pm
by roxfoxreal
Almost all of my close friends fall somewhere in the LGBTQ+ spectrum which is nice but I think they get tired of hearing me complain about it (which is valid! they’re not my therapist). I might try and start up counselling again because it’s making me resent them and damaging my relationship with them. I’ve tried to explain myself but they don’t believe it because I had said in the past that I could not see myself being sexual with a girl, which is really annoying as my mind has obviously changed. It frustrates me because they make it seem like because I had said one thing in the past then I must be lying. They keep saying that my announcement has “come out of left field” for them because even as recently as Christmas I had said “I wish I was lesbian but don’t know if I could do it”. I feel like my mind and opinions are allowed to change as I grow and discover myself whereas they don’t. It’s doubly frustrating because that was at a time that I had literally just come out of a bad relationship and couldn’t see myself with anyone. They just keep saying “come back to me when you’ve been with a girl sexually”. I mainly try to suppress it because I know it’s really not that big of a deal; they haven’t kicked me out and have kind of ignored it which is better than being awful about it I guess.

Re: Others doubting my bisexuality

Posted: Mon Jun 29, 2020 7:39 am
by Sam W
Ugh, that does sound like really frustrating behavior from them! I think starting up counseling would be sound, if only to give you extra space to process those feelings and maybe someone who could help you work through ways of addressing it with them. Even if they aren't doing the worst things possible in response to your coming out, they're still being pretty crummy.

If you feel comfortable saying this to your parents, you could point out that we don't demand straight people have sex with a person of a different gender in order to "prove" their orientation. We just take their word for it. And, generally speaking, we're pretty good at understanding that people change their minds about things when they get new information, and sexuality is no exception. I really like the advice Mo gives in this column for how to deal with people making biphobic statements, and there may be some tools in here you can use as well: ... _hear_abou.

Re: Others doubting my bisexuality

Posted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 9:58 pm
by roxfoxreal
Thank you so much!! I’ll definitely give that article a read :D

Re: Others doubting my bisexuality

Posted: Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:35 am
by Heather
I'm sorry you're dealign with this, rox. You deserve acceptance without conditions. We all do.

I agree with Sam about seeing if you can't start a conversation about the unfair standard of "proof" asked of queer people that isn't asked of straight people. In fact, I'd say that with so many parents not wanting their kids to have sex at all, many make clear -- usually covertly, but some overtly -- that they do not NEED to have sex to know they're straight.

Orientation is about who we feel attraction to, not about who we have sex with, and that's the way it should be for a whole host of reasons: that everyone doesn't have the same opportunities, the same agency, the same safety, the same sexualities (asexual bisexuals, gay and straight people exist too, after all), or the same desires. Just because we feel attracted to someone doesn't mean we can or want to have sex with them. If you can expand this conversation, you might even try and gently make clear this can feel like a kind of sexual pressure, this pressure to "prove" an orientation with sex, a thing I can't imagine they want to be doing to you, sexually pressuring you like that.

Maybe you can also tell them that their acceptance of you and how you understand yourself so far -- in this as in any other part of yourself -- really matters to you, and is something you really need from your parents. Sometimes just saying, "Hey, can I just ask you to please accept me as I am telling you I am right now? I really need that from you as your child," can get to the heart of things for parents who can't yet see their own heterosexism yet, but CAN see their love for you as their child and want to meet your needs.