Proud2Be Guest Blogger | Roberta Chloe Verdant- Blog
On Being Bisexual
I have been coming out for about twelve years now. From the first time I vocalised my overwhelming suspicion I was Not A Straight Person, to the first time I had a girlfriend and announced her existence to my friends and family and so on and so on. As many other people who Are Not Straight know one rarely ceases ‘coming out’; we continue to meet more people and sometimes we out ourselves all over again. “Do you have a boyfriend?” acquaintances will sometimes ask me. There is an assumption in that question I feel needs to be questioned. Why should I (sometimes) be assumed heterosexual unless proven otherwise?
Does coming out always feel clunky? Sometimes I feel like the word “bisexual” bursts out of my mouth in neon lettering, lingers in the air long after I have said it. Is it the word “sexual” in there that sometimes engenders a strange reaction? I am queer I offer sometimes. Pansexual, I used to say, but I grew tired of having to explain that no, I fall in love or lust (and have relationships with) select people; not simply everything and everyone on this planet. (The world, it turns out, is full of literal thinkers).
So now I continue to come out – and mostly I declare I am bi/bisexual (or queer). I try to gauge my audience: will they be leery if I use the word “bisexual?” Judgmental? Honestly I would rather navigate the latter than the former. Will they tell me bisexuals are greedy and think they are the first person to have ever made that joke? I am perfectly capable of greediness: sometimes I think eating two vegan brownies in one sitting is an excellent idea. However, my sexuality is not greedy. I am simply not attracted to a single gender. I also like the points in between binary genders. For that, I only really fall for people occasionally; as far as I know most bisexuals do not tend to simply to be attracted to everyone.
Every so often I get told I just need to make my mind up about my sexuality. Again: occasionally I could stand to make my mind up about some things in life. For instance: do I want red hair or purple hair? Do I want to live in the countryside or by the sea? My sexuality, however, requires no more decisions. It is already complete in itself, whatever form it takes and I have never really needed (or asked for) an outside opinion on that.
Then, finally, sometimes come the assumptions about which gender I must prefer. The women who told me that should they date me I would leave them for a man; the man who told me he thought one day I would leave him for a woman. My only reaction to this has been weariness that I am sometimes seen as a generalisation; not as myself. The only person for whom I have ever left a relationship has been myself, at the precise point at which a relationship has no longer felt healthy and I have felt I owed that to myself (and to the other person).
So there we have it. I continue to come out, sometimes gritting my teeth to express my truth, telling myself that bi visibility is important and appreciating the many, many instances in which my sexuality appears to simply be accepted: no assumptions, no generalisations, or judgments. It is all a part of my coming out narrative. Perhaps you have one of your own.