So this post has been a long time coming......... out... *see what I did there?*
Hi, I'm Rosie and I'm bisexual.
I'm now with a male partner and guess what...
I'm still bisexual.
I 'officially' came out a few years ago, with mixed statements about my sexuality. It started as the truth, that I like all of the people, but that truth got lost very very quickly. The assumption was that I am a lesbian and I allowed this to continue because I had found new friends, a community, support, membership in an LGBT choir and an identity. In these spaces, I was seen as a lesbian and that was great because I was accepted so I carried on identifying as gay, despite the niggling feeling that I wasn't being completely true.
It is so so frustrating that society (myself included, in spite of my own sexuality) deems people to be either straight or gay, depending on the genitals of the person they are dating or sleeping with at the time.
But then (a year ago yesterday) I went on a date with a male. I ended up falling for him. This put me in a right pickle.
Coming out as 'not gay' was harder (in my experience) than coming out as a lesbian.
Deciding to go with my heart and commit to this man was scary.
I had lost people on my way out of the first closet, was that going to happen all over again?
Was I going to be rejected? Disliked? Hated, even? Will I be branded a liar? Attention seeking? Just experimenting until I settled down with a nice boy?
Was I going to lose those LGBT friends and spaces? My identity?
I'm not queer enough.
I'm not straight enough.
Who the hell am I and where do I fit in?
But then, as all my journeys of discovery start, I read. In my opinion, blogs and internet articles have probably taught me more than the education system ever has.
I discovered a sort of uprising, a lot of people are just as frustrated by monosexism and bi-erasure as I am.
It helped me to realise that my bisexuality is just as legitimate as anyone's homo or heterosexuality.
It's still hard though.
In September, I re-joined that LGBT choir and I was terrified.
I felt like a fraud.
I felt that everyone there would think I was a fraud.
I voiced my fears to a couple of the members before my return and I was met with kindness and acceptance from them, which did ease my worries a little and allowed me the courage to take those steps into the building. I loved being part of the group again. It's such a joy to sing with such wonderful people. Although, my stomach would flip every time I had to say 'my partner' just hoping a pronoun wouldn't slip out and initiate the inevitable rejection.
Last weekend was our Christmas concert and I invited my mum and partner along.
Person: 'Anyone you know coming tonight?'
Me: 'Ummmm yeah.. my mum and my partner' *please don't ask questions, please don't realise I'm not gay and therefore in your eyes, straight and a horrible liar*
The choir is for friends/allies as well, but that isn't who I am. I am a part of this. I just don't feel like a part of this. I fear that others don't see me as a part of it.
I must say that everyone seems to have been lovely and accepting so far. I think most of this comes from my fear and anticipation of internalised prejudices, myths etc.
I get told that labels don't matter. Why should it matter that people assume I'm straight?
Well because that's not who I am. I've gone through a lot to get to this point and to have this part of me erased hurts. I don't think anyone can understand the feeling of some of their identity being erased unless they've felt it themselves.
I feel I must say at this point that I have no clue where I am going with this post.
I feel like I have jumped all over the place, not actually making any points...
Maybe that is how my sexuality feels a lot of the time.
It's not secure, it feels fragile.
Not because I'm confused.
I'm not confused.
It's because I keep seeing and hearing the message that bisexuality doesn't exist.
But we do.
I'm in a committed, long-term relationship with a man, but I am still bisexual.