Recently, I wrote an article outlining tips on how I deal with internalised biphobia when I am at low points in my sexuality. So, I got wondering why we deal with internalised biphobia. I looked at where my internalised biphobia stems from. Because when I know, I know what to not tell myself any more. It’s dangerous to live with that level of self doubt, but there are things that you can catch yourself thinking sometimes. And when you do, call them out. Tell them no. So stop telling and asking yourself these things:
Am I sure?
I think for me, this is the one I get caught in most. I know for me that this one comes from the time between me realising my sexuality and coming out. When I realised that coming out was a thing I felt I had to do (for a variety of reasons), every day I questioned if I was sure I needed to. And the answer was never certain. In part, as I was very nervous, but also I simply just wasn’t ever entirely sure. I am still not. But it is OK. A fellow bisexual friend I have said they question themselves a lot and that they hate the uncertainty of it. And if there is something like this you aren’t sure about, that can affect you. For me, it’s very much about what happens if it is just a phase? What if there was no point in coming out to anyone? The uncertainty is awful. And, if you are someone who is very fluid in their sexuality, as I am, what do you do then? Because your questioning then can go through the roof. I dislike the uncertainty.
But I have learned how to answer this question. All I can say to myself is, “Yes. You are valid, and you are real, and you are bisexual”. Most of the time, that is enough to shut down that thought process. Sometimes, it isn’t. And you just have to say, “No. But This is how I am feeling today, but tomorrow, I’ll review myself again and see.”
But I am not equally attracted to genders.
Lord.... no. I am absolutely not. I am (generally but I am fluid) much more attracted to women than men. This does confuse people. And I think that this comes very much from a society thing. I wonder if it genuinely comes from the fact that bisexual representation in our society isn’t that great. For me, in television, the only thing I have seen that has had really good and accurate bisexual representation was Crazy Ex Girlfriend on Netflix. There is even a song he uses to come out and the character is so lovely and genuine and an older guy, so it honestly challenges most of the stereotypes along with it. But it is the only thing I have ever seen in which a character clearly states that they are bisexual and challenge stereotypes. It is one of the greatest things to watch.
The point is, many bisexual people do not have a clear equal attraction to different genders. But for some reason people think that we do. However lots of bisexual people have unequal attractions to a variety of genders and are fluid in their attractions. So you can be bisexual and not always be equally attracted to just two genders.
Just A Phase
Again, this is a big worry for me. And it ties again into the uncertainty of this sexuality. And this is the one that I think that is truly truly biphobic. Because it is just a form of bi erasure, and saying it is not real. I think this maybe comes from the fact that a lot of people who are out as gay, originally came out as bisexual. And as they later come out as gay, people make the assumption that it is a stepping stone to coming out ‘completely’.
Well, for some people it might be. It might be that they are still questioning and want to just keep their options open. It might be that they use it when they come out to give the people they come out to a level of hope that they might still be able to be in a straight relationship. Some people see it as something that exists when you’re young but you grow out of.
All I say is that I hope it’s not a phase. It’s taken a lot for me to get to this point of comfort in my sexuality, including powerful struggles with my mental health. So if it is a phase, I will be very very annoyed. But, even if it is just a phase, what means that it isn’t real in this moment? I know right now that I am bisexual. Maybe in a year’s time, I’ll have gone through more self discovery and realised that maybe it will no longer be how I identify. But does that make my feelings right now any less valid? Because it’s what I feel right now that matters.
Internalised biphobia will make you unhappy. Try and give yourself some bi love, and appreciate yourself in all your bi-beauty.