As queer people around the US celebrate Pride Month and remember its true origins, I am thankful to finally be in a place where I can fully embrace my sexuality. As a bisexual woman in a committed relationship to a man, my sexuality has often been invalidated.
I didn’t come to terms with my sexuality until the summer after high school, and even then, I wasn’t positive. I was seeing a man but had always been told I was gay. People at my school and in my life associated a certain look and behavior with being a lesbian. I was called slurs and told I was pretending to be straight simply because I wore more “masculine” clothes and was and outspoken feminist.
Although I had no problem being associated with being gay, it made my journey of self-discovery much harder. I thought, if I was going to label my sexuality, I wanted to be 100 percent positive I had picked the right one. Now that I’m older and more versed in queer discourse, it’s silly to thank I put so much pressure on labeling myself.
As a society we tend to invalidate bisexuality. For women, we are told we are just doing it to get the attention of men, while men are told that they are just gay and simply pretending to like women. We center the idea of sexuality around men because we are constantly told that is the norm.
Prejudice against bisexual individuals comes from everyone. When I switched my dating profile to include women, I was astonished at how many women had “no bisexuals” in their profile. I quickly learned that some lesbian will not date bisexual women because they don’t think we are truly attracted to women. On the opposite end of this spectrum, men often fetishized me, hoping I would partake in a threesome with them and their girlfriend.
Regardless of where it came from, being bisexual, like any other member of the LGBTQ+ community, came with prejudice. Although I do not face the harshness and discrimination other queer people face, because I am in a heteronormative relationship, these biases should still be acknowledged.
Coming to terms with your sexuality is never an easy thing. Many people choose to “come out” while others choose not to because straight people don’t have to make a declaration of their sexuality. Personally, I wanted to share the ending of my self-discovery journey, so I posted on Instagram.
For the first time in a very long time, I was proud of who I was. I knew who I was and I wanted to share that with the world. The cool thing about labels, is they are just that. Labels. What I learned is that labels aren’t required to live your life as your true self. Just be you. Happy Pride!