So, despite the fact that I have periodically slept with girls, I have never really considered myself bisexual. When one of my previous partners used to press the issue, I would just waffle and say “It’s complicated.” In the last year or two I have occasionally used the term “heteroflexible,” which I feel slightly more comfortable with. Part of this could be due to my upbringing, of course. I’m sure it will be shocking to hear, but part of being raised in a Conservative Christian home is not a deep and abiding acceptance of homosexuality in any form and certainly I considered my occasional forays with women to be wrong. However, I also had what I considered a perfectly valid explanation for it – I had dealt with sexual abuse and that was what had caused it. This made sense to me and I saw no reason to question the theory. It explained why my attraction to women felt really different than my attraction to men. In a lot of ways, women were safer, I felt more comfortable and in control around them. It seemed to fit well enough. That was what I believed for many years and I felt okay with it.
Now I started thinking about this when I was thinking about possibly helping out my supervisor this quarter with the LGBT youth support group he’s talking about. It’s something he’s very passionate about because of his own experiences growing up with limited support and being bullied and such, which I think is wonderful and I absolutely want to be able to help with that. But I guess when I think about it, looking at it from the perspective I have now, this is another reason I don’t claim bisexuality. I don’t really feel like I have the right.
Look, I was never bullied for my sexual preferences. Even with my family and all of that kind of thing, it was a deviation, it wasn’t who I was. I know my dad was mildly terrified I might at some point decide to come out, but I was never worried about that. I’ve never had to come out. I’ve told people over the years, of course, but it has not been the coming out experience. I had exactly one bad experience where I told a Christian friend that I had had experiences with women and she was completely disgusted and told me she didn’t want to hear anymore. But there were many problems in that relationship; that was only one of several horrible conversations we had. I have spent several years now reading about LGBT history periodically, trying to understand what they’ve been through as a community, what they continue to go through today and I do not feel like I have any part of that or should attempt to. The truth is, if I had been growing up in like the 50’s or something, I just never would have acted on any of this (I mean, as much as you have any idea what you might or might not have done). I would never have acted on it because I don’t typically feel any need to act on it. I have enjoyed my experiences with women and it’s entirely possible it could happen again and if it did, I would see what that looked like. But I don’t miss it when it’s not there. I tend much more strongly towards men and I always have.
I guess what I most strongly have gotten (at this point) from my personal attractions is just a fair amount of empathy and confusion over why it is a big deal. To me it seems normal to at least think about both genders so I have a hard time understanding why it is such a crisis situation for people, even if you do believe it’s wrong. But I feel like I belong more as friend and supporter than part of the group, so to speak. I’m not sure if it even really matters. It’s just something I’ve been thinking about and I did promise something shorter this week.