The vast majority of the people I have come out to as bisexual are nothing but supportive. I am forever grateful to live in a society where all sexual orientations are becoming so widely accepted. Yet, the idea that there is still choice involved in a bisexual person’s life is still a prominent misconception in my lifestyle.
While research in the ‘60s and ‘70s helped curb the irrational idea of sexuality as a choice, a large portion of research missed bisexuality as a whole and represented it as either a transitory phase or non-existent all together. This idea is still prominent in today’s society, where bisexuality is often still questioned if not out loud, than in people’s thoughts. It’s easy to see how bisexuality is stereotyped into a transitory phase because some gay men or women do find it easier to come out as bisexual before they come out as gay. But that only further proves that this is a poorly identified or understood orientation. This is why it is so important for bisexual people to come out and reclaim the bisexual identity.
Being a bisexual person does not make me less faithful or more likely to fall for anyone else.
I finally decided to come out to my immediate family as bisexual when I started to fall deeper into a relationship with another man. Prior to this I didn’t feel the need to complicate family relationships with my sexual orientation. One response, and not an uncommon response I got when coming out was that, “If you have the choice to be with a guy or a girl, why would you choose the more complicated route?” Another response was, “Do you think you might eventually fall in love with a girl?” Both are one-sided questions. The feelings I have for someone are not a choice and one does not have to be the more complicated route.
Being a bisexual person does not make me less faithful or more likely to fall for anyone else. While it is easy to see where these questions come from—and they’re often asked with the best intentions—they seem rather self-indulgent to those who identify as bisexual.
The question of falling in love with someone else means the exact same thing if you were to ask it of a straight person (as it should). Asking how I am certain I won’t fall in love with the opposite gender implies that I am making a debatable decision, one that I might regret later on, and furthermore that there is a choice involved in who I have emotions for. A bisexual person will fall in love the same way a straight or gay person will, and to question further engagements is irrational.
Nevertheless, these questions would have never had the chance to be discussed until I was upfront and honest about my sexual orientation. The discussion allowed for a learning opportunity on both sides and in doing so, it’s important for all bisexual men and women to come out to strengthen bisexual visibility and make room for more positive, healthy and true relationships.
–Colin Roy is a freelance videographer living and working in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
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