My gorgeous fiancé and I. Image taken by Kylie Barton.
Now we all know that sexuality is a beautiful and colourful continuum, and that the 'B' is often the forgotten letter of 'LGBT' alongside the Q, the P, the I, and the A. Because of bierasure, bi men and women everywhere are probably leading a closeted heterosexual existence - how do I know this? Because I was one of them.
I have known that I am bi since I can remember, from the age of 6 or 7 I can remember wondering why all the stories were about Princes and Princesses, and looking at the Princesses thinking 'but I think they are really nice and pretty too'. At that early age, I remember having sleepovers and wondering why it was ok for girls to share my bunkbeds, but not my boy friends. I just knew there was something different about me, and it took until my twenties to realise that this was ok.
As a bi woman in my late teens, I was made to feel like the side of myself that liked women was an element of promiscuity - simply a tool to lure in men. And boy, was I used as one. My girl mates would use me as a dancing pole to hook a man on every night out, and I would be left there thinking 'why couldn't we just go home together instead - fuck the men!' (or not as the case may be). I fell for straight girl after straight girl, and it never even crossed their minds that trying out a bit of curiosity with me was just downright mean.
I started to think that maybe it was just a sexual thing. This is what bi women are conditioned to think; that the only reason they are interested in other women is for the pleasure of men. It is misogyny epitomised; it is bierasure. To think that a bi woman could want and love another woman in the absence of a man is still unthinkable to most, and it is exhausting. Being bi is about being interested in the person, no matter what is or isn't dangling between their legs. It doesn't mean we need both at the same time, it doesn't mean we cheat, and it doesn't mean we are indecisive.
I knew I wanted to find a nice girl to settle down with by my early twenties. The problem is, you are fishing in a much smaller pond. Even if I were a lesbian I would have struggled to find another one with my small town life. But as a bi woman you are looked at as the black sheep of the women-loving community, and full lesbians often won't even entertain the idea - ironically they are a big part of the bierasure problem. So searching for other bi women limited the probability of finding 'the one' even further. You would think being open to men and women would mean a larger sample to choose from - but sadly it just ain't that easy.
So for many years I went from bad relationship to bad relationship with men. Now, I am not blaming their penises for them being such huge dicks, but now I am finally in my blissful bi relationship, and with hindsight, I can see they are is why it never stuck. As a bi woman, I was craving something different from a relationship from your stereotypical hetero offering. After going through so many men, finally being with a woman is such a huge release.
My gorgeous fiancé actually talks to me, she loves cuddles and affection, and we can enjoy things like shopping together! Sure some men can provide that, but they are even harder to find. We can just gaze into each other's eyes for hours, it is always making love and never just sex, and we aren't afraid to cry together; it is just another level. This is why I am urging all bi women, to not give up and settle for a man - a woman is worth the wait and the painstaking search. Make sure you at least try out a proper relationship with a girl, as you don't know what you're missing.