Let’s get one thing straight: I’m not.
I’ve mentioned it off-hand a few times since last year, but I wanted to take the chance today to properly come out and explore it a little.
I’m bi. Usually this is short for bisexual, or bi-romantic. I like to use the shorthand rather than either of the longer terms. I feel that describes me best, given the way I understand and experience the different types of attraction.
The definition of bi(sexuality) that I like to use comes from the Melbourne Bisexual Network: “Bisexuality is romantic or sexual attraction to the gender the same as your own, and to other genders. Some people use it to mean attraction to two or more genders. It is not attraction to only men and women. The understanding of ‘bisexual’ as being supportive of gender binary is one that is from outside the bisexual community.”
I’ve highlighted the part of the definition that I usually like to use, as it sounds less clunky to me than the first sentence. Both of these definitions are true. In a plural form, “bisexualities” or “bi plus” it can also be used as an umbrella term for various types of multi-gender attraction (e.g. pansexual, polysexual), though each of those exist in their own right too.
Let’s bust some myths, shall we?
- Bisexuality does not equal promiscuous.
- Bisexuality does not mean “more likely to cheat”.
- Bisexuality does not mean “confused”.
- Bisexuality is not “a phase”.
- A person does not need to have had relationships with more than one gender to call themselves bisexual.
- A person does not stop being bisexual if they’re in a so-called “opposite sex” relationship.
- A person coming out as bisexual is not jumping on a trend.
All being bi means is the definition above – being attracted to two or more/ your own and other genders. I am bi. I have only had relationships with (cis) men, though I have kissed a couple of women and gender diverse people outside of that. Even if I hadn’t, I would still be bi. I’ve also been in the same relationship, with a cis man, for the past four years, and we are very happy together. I hope it continues for good. This (again) does not negate my bisexuality, and the very idea that some would think my sexuality means I’m more likely to cheat on him is offensive to me.
But, how do I know I’m bi? Well, firstly, that’s a very intrusive question – please don’t ask it. Only exception being is if you’re extremely close with the person and they’re inviting questions. It should never be used as a “gotcha” or an “I know better than you” moment.
In the spirit of the day, I’ll answer. I know I’m bi because I find particular women, men and gender diverse people attractive, and I’ve enjoyed kissing people of all genders. It’s that simple.
I did not decide to identify as bi on a whim, but after a lot of questioning. Being bi is the best descriptor that fits me. I know my own identity.
Happy bi visibility/ celebration day!