Confused By Bisexuality


Bisexuality isn’t just sexual attraction—it’s your sexual identity. Being confused by bisexuality isn’t that uncommon; it’s one of the most oft questioned parts of the LGBT community, and there are actual, live people out there who don’t even believe bisexuality exists. I’ve even been treated poorly within the LGBT community when I’ve told people I’m bisexual, so I can understand why someone might feel confused or ashamed of their own bisexuality. The media also does a very poor job of portraying and answering questions about bisexual people, which has led to some occasionally funny but often hurtful assumptions as to the nature of bisexual people’s character. Having had these questions thrown at me in many shapes and forms for a number of years, I feel I can adequately answer them, and perhaps shed some light on bisexuality for the uninitiated.

But Vee, you’re dating a guy…?

I am! And he is wonderful, and supportive, and curious about my sexual identity, which I openly speak about with him. I love him very much, and wouldn’t trade him for the world. Next question!

…So that means you’re no longer bisexual, right?

Swing and a miss! It doesn’t just “go away” when I date a man. When I date a man, I’m bisexual; when I date a woman, I’m still bisexual. Hard to understand, right? To some, it’s the most difficult concept to wrap their head around, on par with quantum mechanics and string theory. I am constantly feeling like people are trying to invalidate my sexuality by asking this question (and variations of it), but then I stop and remind myself: it doesn’t matter. I have nothing to prove to anybody, and neither do you.

If you’ve never dated or slept with anyone of the same sex, how do you know you’re bisexual?

This isn’t one I’ve actually gotten asked, as I have slept with and dated women in the past. But I’ve seen other bisexual people have their sexuality called into question for those reasons, to which my response is, “Well, you’re a (woman/man). If you’ve never slept with a (man/woman), how do you know you’re straight?” Bisexuality is something within you that takes a lot of introspection and self-examination to realize, and admitting it is not easy. If somebody comes out as bisexual to you, please try to avoid asking them this. Calling into question someone’s sexuality based on a personal opinion is ultimately pointless, and does nothing to advance any actual, productive dialogue on the subject of being bisexual. I’ll say it again: You don’t have to “prove” your sexuality to anyone. 

Does being bisexual mean you like men and women equally?

I’ll use the ‘purple paint’ answer to explain this one. Let’s say you mix together equal parts blue and red paint—you get purple, as any second-grader can tell you. Now let’s say you add in a bit more red, or a bit more blue; what you get isn’t the same shade, but it’s still referred to as “purple”. That’s what being bisexual is! There are many shades of purple out there, just like there are many shades of bisexuality.

Do you have secret crushes on all of your female friends?

Not in the slightest, because that’s not how it works. You know how being a straight woman doesn’t automatically guarantee your sexual attraction to every man you meet? It’s like that. I just don’t rule anyone out based on gender, plain and simple. I have a type, and it isn’t “everyone and anyone”.

Does being bisexual mean you cheat on your boyfriend?

I don’t know where this insane myth that bisexual people are ultra-promiscuous comes from, and the amount I have been asked this question borders on the insane. I am very committed to my boyfriend, and my sexual identity has nothing to do with how faithful I am to him. Of all the questions I’m asked, this one perhaps hurts the most, as the people asking it are usually people who have known me for years and are very aware of my commitment in relationships. Having one’s character called into question like that is incredibly uncomfortable for everyone involved.

Homosexuality is a sin! The bible says so!

The bible was written and interpreted by humans, which basically means it’s one never ending game of Telephone. I don’t personally agree with the interpretation that homosexuality is forbidden. Also, I’m not a religious person, and I don’t make any of my decisions based on the bible, so attempts to shame me from a religious perspective will end in disappointment on your part…purple monkey dishwasher.

Sex lives are private; why do you bring this up?

It’s a tricky subject to broach, but I think it’s important for my friends and family to understand that they know someone who’s queer. When you talk about ‘gay issues’, you aren’t talking about ‘those people’; you’re talking about me. This isn’t something I can calmly and objectively remove myself from and observe from a distance, because it’s my life. Every decision that SCOTUS makes, every law that’s passed denying rights to my brothers and sisters in the LGBT community, it affects me as well. And I want, more than anything, for everyone reading this to understand the wonderful spectrum of human sexuality that exists in the world. And I want you to know that you aren’t alone in this—ever.