How to Treat a Man Who Comes Out as Bisexual

Bisexual
Zachary Zane

There’s a common misconception among straight and gay communities about male bisexuality: it’s just a stepping stone to the inevitable, “I’m actually gay.” For many men, it’s true, identifying as bisexual is a pit stop on the way road to gay-town. That’s ok — get to a place where you feel comfortable with your sexuality.

However, that doesn’t mean you, or anyone else for that matter, are allowed to invalidate people whose final destination is bi-town.

Here's how you should treat a man who comes out as bisexual.

How would you feel if people didn’t believe you when you said you were straight, gay, trans, or anything for that matter? Our sexuality is such a fundamental part of who we are, to have that ripped from us and put into question is devastating. Your friend could identify as gay later, but there’s a large chance he’s actually bisexual.

The harm you’re causing by invalidating his sexuality as a bisexual is greater than the gains you get from saying, “Oh, baby, you’ll get there,” even if he eventually identifies as gay. And let’s say your friend is questioning or not yet comfortable labeling himself as gay. Telling him, “No, you’re actually gay” is not going to help him. It’ll just push him deeper into the closet.

“But you really haven't dated a guy, so how do you know you’re actually bi?” You were 14; how did you know you were straight/gay? 

Let’s say your friend comes out as gay after identifying as bisexual, and you had a strong suspicion this might be the case. Still, don’t say anything. When you say, “I told you so,” you perpetuate the idea that bisexuality is a pit stop, and it's simply not.

Let’s say you have a friend who identified as bisexual and later identified as gay. Screw it, let’s say you have a thousand friends who identified as bisexual and later identified as gay. That doesn’t mean ALL men who identify as bisexual later identify as gay. Assuming 1 percent of men are bisexual (and I think that’s an underestimation) there are, quite literally, millions of bisexual men on Earth.

So yeah, some men identify as bisexual before identifying as gay. Don’t be a dumb and believe that all bisexual men do this. Don’t be insensitive and need to “prove” you were right if he does later identify as gay. Don’t be ignorant and invalidate his sexuality. In short, don’t be awful when a guy tells you he’s bisexual.

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