I believe my sexuality is valid, even if I don’t outwardly present it. I am a bisexual woman in a heterosexual relationship and I have been for the past five years.
I started dating my boyfriend back in high school when we were both 15 years old and before I came to terms with my sexuality. So, it’s safe to say that we have gone through this journey together, but I still struggle with the validity of my sexuality because of my straight relationship.
About 57% of LGBTQIA+ Americans identify as bisexual, so why does it still feel like such a touchy subject? Regardless, I am always willing to talk about it even if my friends are uncomfortable with asking me. Just ask.
“How are you bi if you’re with a man?”
This is what I normally lead with: I love women BUT I love the man. My man.
Then the conversation rabbit holes into other questions, so, I’ll break it down just how I would for any of my other friends.
I don’t think that because I’ve never dated or officially been with a woman that my identity as a bisexual is any less validated.
No, it was never a phase and no (to other women) I don’t see you as some kind of experiment.
My male friends then typically ask how my boyfriend feels about it and how it affects our dynamic as a couple. Quite honestly, it produces such a healthy dynamic for my relationship.
For one, the element of jealousy is not a point of conflict for me, if anything, I am the one looking and pointing out attractive women and showing him, trying to get him to verbally agree; and because I have that habit, I tend to over-communicate.
I am an anxious person, so, if I find someone attractive and want to compliment them or interact with them, I check in with my partner every step of the way. I annoyingly berate him with questions like, “Is this okay? Am I going too far? Can this be perceived as disrespecting you?”
I’m almost always met with the comforting response of, “You’re fine, if I was uncomfortable with anything I would let you know.” Because of this form of communication I can say that I have a healthy relationship.
He makes me feel secure in my identity in times when things feel or seem unclear to me.
I believe that my insecurities regarding my sexuality stems from the biphobia—the aversion or hatred towards bisexuals and bisexuality—that is prevalent within the LGBTQIA+ community. Although I have never experienced it in real life, it is still prevalent in social media and the online space.
After all, one cannot deny that existing online is a big factor in how we live our daily lives. As much as I’d love to ignore TikTok videos where people say that bisexual women need to get over their “Bi phase,” I can’t. It’s there, the content exists and I see it.
There was a TikTok I saw on my for you page about a month ago, it was a lesbian couple playing the “They’re a 10 but…” game and after some back and forth landed on, “She’s a 10 but she’s bi(sexual)?” To that, the other person says that they would be a two.
It’s small internet commentary like this that perpetuates harmful rhetoric that invalidates the existence of bisexuals and bisexuality.
I don’t want to be one to talk over queer people who are in same-sex relationships but I would like to make it clear that bisexual people are just as queer, and any attempt to diminish or invalidate their identity is wrong.
I understand my relationship status gives me privilege but if I can make anyone who identifies as bisexual feel seen, heard or validated in their sexuality. To you I say, you are valid.