There’s a point in childhood when you start to understand sexuality in a somewhat abstract form. With age, your understanding of sexuality evolves and you start to explore your own sexuality, realizing it might not be as simple as you thought. That’s when you start to question your attractions.
For bisexual (and other sexually-fluid) people, the questioning doesn’t always go away. There’s a nagging feeling that maybe you’re actually just gay or straight. Maybe you’re just confused. It’s inevitable. With people constantly delegitimizing bisexuality, asking, “When are you gonna pick a side?” it’s tough not to question your sexuality, even when you know you’re bi.
Society is constantly dichotomizing sexual orientation: Gay or straight? With society reinforcing binaries through language, media, and frankly, everything else, it’s impossible not to have doubts.
There are even times (although they're few and far between), when I think to myself, "I’m just gay," or "maybe, I’m just straight." I mean, those ships have clearly sailed, and everything I’ve ever thought and done goes against the idea that I’m monosexual. But still, these ideas creep into my mind.
It’s natural to question your bisexuality at times. Don’t freak out. There’s no need to have an identity crises. It just means that you are perceptive of what’s going on in the world today.
So, here are eight things to remind yourself when you start to question your bisexuality:
1. No one knows you better than you
You know yourself better than anyone. Better than your family, closest friends, and even your therapist. Don’t let anyone convince you that you are something you’re not. Just because they say it louder, doesn’t mean they’re right. If I listened to others, I would think I’m gay, and I would have missed out on all the beautiful connections I’ve made with women.
2. Sexuality ebbs and flows
Sometimes, you will be more attracted to one gender. There may even be times that you’re not attracted to one gender at all. That’s fine. Bisexuality means that you have the capacity to be attracted to multiple genders. Not all at the same time, and not all in the same way. Don’t let the ever-evolving nature of attraction confuse you. You are still bisexual.
3. Attraction is multi-faceted
Romantic and sexual attractions are different components of attraction. You may be romantically monosexual but sexually bisexual. You may only date men, but still love women. There are multiple configurations of attraction and bisexuality.
4. Being monogamous doesn’t eradicate your bisexuality
Just because you’ve been dating or married to a person of one gender for years, doesn’t mean you are any less bisexual. It means you love and have decided to commit yourself to one person. That’s all. Your bisexuality remains perfectly intact.
5. Many people are ignorant AF
It’s the one thing this current presidential election has taught us. Take what everyone says with a grain of salt.
6. People will project their insecurities on you
Masculinity is fragile and because of this, many insecure men suppress their attractions to the same-sex, unable to admit that another man is good-looking. Of course, all men, regardless of sexual orientation, can tell when another man is hot.
Still, many straight men refuse to admit that they are able to recognize a handsome man, fearing that if they can, they must be gay. Of course this is ridiculous. These men are insecure in their masculinity and sexuality. Instead of introspectively evaluating their feelings, they project their insecurities onto you. Don’t listen to them.
7. Bisexuality doesn't have to be “50/50”
What does 50/50 even mean? You date an equal number of men and women? You have sex with an equal number of men and women? What about all the people who identify as neither a woman nor man? What about your attraction to them? Not only is it impossible to quantify attraction, being 50/50 is not a prerequisite for being bisexual.
8. You are not alone
God bless the Internet. We sometimes forget that we can use it for more than GIFs and memes. There are tons of bisexual people of all genders online, sharing their stories and attempting to create a visible and inclusive bisexual community. Join us!