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On being a bisexual with a boyfriend

I have been dating my best friend for the last month. My best friend is a boy. Before anyone starts throwing stones of “passing”, “straight privilege”, “heteronormativity,” or “attention seeking skank”, hear me out.

There is little point in trying to deny that parts of the queer community are rife with biphobia. I dealt with it a lot with Ms Gay Limerick and even more with Ms Gay Ireland. For the year and a half I have been out, I am very careful what I say to certain people. Sometimes it feels like the more political and vocal I get about bisexual identity, the more backlash I seem to get.

 

Preach!

 

Bye-bye biphobia

Previous to dating the current boy, I was very hush hush about my romantic life to anyone outside my best friends and my mom. I didn’t want the LGBTQ circle to find out I was flirting with boys, I didn’t want my straight friends to know I was shifting girls. I became overly conscious of avoiding gender pronouns and did all I could to avert the inevitable slut shaming that tends to follow bisexuals around. I even censored myself when writing Gaelick articles so I could be sure there would be no flaming.

Finally, there came a point when I realised that I was acting like I was still in the closet. In the same way I used to hide that I loved the ladies, I was now ashamed of not being gay enough. I did, after all, have a title to live up to.

 

Open your mind

Having a boyfriend and staying active in the queer scene can lead to trouble. Straight people will call you straight and accuse you of being a cheating harlot if you correct them. Gay people will accuse you of not being proud of who you are, not being good enough to be part of the community, and in my case, start up Facebook hate pages and threaten to bottle you. (Like everything in life, the 1% are making the 99% look bad.)

 

Don’t bi into it

Let’s ignore the fact that my boyfriend was my biggest supporter for Ms Gay Ireland, is a member of Out in UL (even though he is straight), and went to all his lectures one day in drag to help raise money for us. Even if he was an absolute a-hole, excluding anyone from a community based not on their actions and attitudes, but on who they are dating, is an awful lot like people giving you the evils for kissing your girlfriend in public. Our community is about acceptance, not judging people on who they want to sleep with.

My pet peeve is being accused of not being gay enough. I will never be gay enough. I am not gay. I am bisexual. After years of struggling with whether I was gay or whether I was straight, I am an out and proud bisexual woman. I love the queer community more than almost anything in the world. It is my passion; it is who I am. I will not go back in the closet and I will not be ashamed.

I am dating a boy now. And that’s okay.

 

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12 Comments

  • As one of my older brothers says: “Whatever floats your boat”. I don’t like people judging me for my sexuality, I’m in no position to be passing judgement on anybody else. The lesbian “community” doesn’t really exist, it’s just a lot of little groups squeezed together. You are who you are, nobody else gets a say.

    All the best to you, hon!

    Karen T. said:
  • It really is so soul destroying the way people feel the need to conform to our communities ideals.. So good on you living your life the way you want… Be out be proud, be bi be happy.. Whatever makes you feel true to yourself.. .

    Nora said:
  • Yes, of course it’s okay!

    You’re right, it makes little sense to expect the likes of acceptance and tolerance and then not show it to others. Any form of intolerance and judgement is detrimental to progress and detrimental to equality as a whole. It represents a misunderstanding, it represents the need for education.

    Congratulations on your crowns! Well done for what you did, and for increasing the visibility of bisexuality.

    Robyn Harper said:
  • Well said. So sorry to hear about the Facebook horribleness – sounds awful. Fair play for staying vocally true to yourself in spite of it!

    Emer said:
  • So well put. I made the same decision a while back and am trying to make a point of calling myself bi since I feel we need more people being open about it to try to combat the biphobia one gets both in the LGBT world and in the straight world. Nearly five years into my relationship with my girlfriend, I hope I’ll never need to be in a relationship with anyone else (male or female) but I’m still sticking to calling myself bi!

    Thanks for writing this!

    Emily said:
  • Hey, good points made in the article. I’ve nothing against anyone being bisexual, but I was a little confused about the whole Miss Gay Ireland competition when me and my friend heard a bisexual girl was in it representing, because of the name of the competition. Hope that doesn’t sound terrible, dont mean it in a mean way or anything, just being honest as that was our first reaction to it – a little bit of confusion. In general though, I dont like the crap people who are Bi have to put up with in the LGBT community and beyond, we were just a bit confused about the whole entry criteria to the competition, was it for girls who identified as Gay and Bisexual then? And is it the same for the Gay Ireland men’s competition? Fair play on taking part, I wouldnt have the bottle to do it myself! And as I said, good article. Just giving an honest comment :)

    Kris said:
  • Well said. :)
    And you’re absolutely, 100% right. I too am an out bisexual woman and I find it difficult sometimes as well, for all the reasons you talked about in this article.
    Also, sorry to hear that some particularly ignorant people felt the need to start a Facebook page just to bash you. I had a similar experience with a few YouTube videos that were uploaded so I know how you feel. :/
    Hope things get easier for you soon friend, keep smiling. :)

    Alexis said:
  • The rules for Ms Gay Ireland state that it is open to anyone who a. identifies as a woman and b. identifies as gay or bisexual. But yeah. I get that question a lot.

    K-Stew said:
  • Then what’s people’s problem about you entering?! Thanks for clearing that up! :)

    Kris said:
  • Fair play to ya. For a group who’re so often faced with limiting stereotypes we can be very cruel to people within our community. I identify as queer and I’m dating a lovely boy but I’m almost more scared to tell some people because I’ve only dated girls for a few years now. I’ve done the whole coming out lark and I don’t fancy explaining myself all over again.

    I just am and he accepts me so that’s what I’m focusing on :)

    gillmac said:
  • Sheesh!!! Thats why I dont really belong to any “bi communities” I guess it proves me right about being free to be who you are and not having to “be gay enough” or stuff like that

    Michalla said:
  • I meant any communities!!! & im a proud bi girl (not a woman, just a girl) who is comepletely open with who I am. So amen to that

    Michalla said:
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