As part of Bi-Visibility day 2019, which falls on 23 September, we have had the following submitted to us and they have very bravely asked us to share their story. Bi-Visibility Day has been marked each year since 1999 to highlight bi-phobia and to help people find the bisexual community. We would like to thank this brave person for agreeing to share their story with a view to highlighting the bi community and maybe even dispel some misconceptions:
My Bi Visibility Day Story
“So not everyone feels like this?” was the question I asked my workmate when she told me that ‘no, she didn’t find women attractive’. That was the moment, at around 40 years old, that I realised I liked both men and women in a way that most other people didn’t.
As Bi Visibility Day on the 23 rd of September approaches, I started to reflect on my own sexuality, only accepting the fact I am bisexual in the past 5 years or so. I always knew I was attracted to both men and women, but it didn’t occur to me that I was different to other women.
At secondary school I realised there was a girl I liked, she wasn’t the most well behaved, and I think I was attracted to her character as well as her physically. I obviously didn’t do anything about it, she was a good friend, but it didn’t occur to me that it was anything more than friends. There were women around I liked, I adored Madonna, I thought she was beautiful, I still do. I also had a thing about redheads, Molly Ringwold was around in films, and she set off a lifelong attraction to red haired women, Nicole Kidman, Amy Adams and Christina Hendricks, oh wow!
I grew up in a very old fashioned family, it was expected that I would get married and have children, so I did. I didn’t know anyone who was gay, I had quite a sheltered life and was extremely shy, so just got on with what I thought I should do without drawing attention to myself. I had an aunt who lived with a woman under the guise of old university friends who had a business together. It was many years later that I found out they were indeed VERY good friends and had gone through a Civil Ceremony. I don’t think my family ever knew and I used to think it was sad that they never spent the Christmas holidays together as they visited their respective families.
After my divorce, I thought “this is the time”, I wanted to explore. I joined a dating site for gay women, as dating apps weren’t available at the time. I spoke to some women and met someone who I got on with amazingly. We saw each other for about three months, but I couldn’t get over the fact that we couldn’t show that we were together in public. She wasn’t into public displays of affection, but I was used to being able to hold hands and kiss in public, we couldn’t do either. I wasn’t ‘out’ at all, and the one friend who I told declared “BUT THAT’S NOT YOU!” But it was me! I split with this
fantastic woman as I couldn’t cope with hiding my sexuality and our relationship, and I was still too self-conscious to ‘come out’.
I went back to dating men, being ‘normal’, only to end up with a man who was violent. Following an awful divorce, I again looked at dating women. I was a little more ‘out’ by now. I’d spoken to a friend at work about how I liked both men and women and how I thought this was the same for everyone. Apparently not, she only liked men and had never thought of another woman in a way other than friends. This was actually a revelation to me, I realised I was bisexual, really bisexual!
I joined some lesbian dating apps and met a few women, as well as getting in touch with the woman I split with a few years earlier. She obviously didn’t trust me, but we kept in touch as friends. Other women I met weren’t for me, they got serious far too quickly. I now saw the compounded effect of two women’s emotions together. It was a new thing for me to be dealing with a woman’s feelings instead of a man’s. The stereotypes seemed to be true, women got emotionally involved quickly and were needy, whereas men were laid back. I met a couple of women who got quite obsessive quite quickly, I freaked and ran.
Of course, I went back to the safety of men. I still didn’t really know any gay women in real life, so I was back to dabbling with mainly men on dating apps, but also chatting to women. There are more men than gay women out there, so I inevitably ended up seeing men. I also found lesbians on the whole believed the stereotypes about bisexual women, we’re experimenting and will go back to men, we’re not committed, we’re really lesbians but ashamed and not ‘out’, or we’re promiscuous.
I saw a man for a few months who asked if this was a threat. “No, it’s not!” Another man asked which of my friends I wanted to sleep with. “None”!
Fast forward a year or two and I am now more involved with the LGBT+ community and I am almost completely ‘out’. I still haven’t met anyone, but very much open to it now. I’m more comfortable with my sexuality as I spend a lot of time in the community and finally feel it is ‘normal’, instead of feeling the odd one out in my straight circle of friends. I’m accepted by people I know and love that. I have wasted so much time hiding my sexuality, too shy to deal with it, but it has brought me to this point in life where I am now.
I’m sure there will be a few eyebrows raised when I meet a woman I feel strongly about enough to go public. I just want people to know I am still me, it doesn’t change me, it’s the whole me.
I am not greedy
I am not confused
I am not ‘easy’
This is not a threat to any current relationship
I am incredibly loyal to a partner