Getting Bi

Updated: Nov 29, 2019

by Bere


I am born. Before I even understand what sexuality is, I learn to like boys.

I am straight.

I'm in 2nd grade. The teenage girls in my family are writing love letters. I want to join so I write one to a boy I am not attracted to.

I am straight.

Soccer practice. Freshman year. A lesbian girl walks through the field at practice. I feel...something, but ONLY because she's dressed like a boy. I have a major crush on a guy, so...

I am straight.

Senior year. I'm president of the french club. A cute basketball player walks up to my crepe booth. I get butterflies in my stomach when he smiles. I get the feeling I've met this person before and then "he" speaks. I tell myself I only got nervous because I thought she was a boy and I'm an awkward mess.

I am straight.

I graduate highschool and date boys in college. A girl tells me that the basketball gal confusion makes me gay because I was attracted to a woman even if just for a second. She's wrong because I am obsessed with boys.

I am straight.

I argue about bisexuality with a friend. She tells me all the stereotypes and I argue against them. But I internalize them and since I don't fit the awful mold she's described,

I am straight.

At age 25 I marry a man. He is wonderful. My mom says she thought I would "turn out" gay because I always wanted to be "the boy" when I played with dolls, but I'm married to a man now so it's clear that

I am straight.

I read an article about a married woman who told her husband she was bi. I tell my husband and my best friend I sometimes think girls are attractive...but because I cannot picture a relationship with a woman,

I am straight.

During an interview, a bisexual actor says she knew she was bi when she saw a girl in a ponytail and she wanted to put that ponytail in her mouth. I do not want to do that, so I decide

I am straight.

Age 29. I go to a skating rink for what turns out to be a pride fundraiser event. I see a girl I recognize.I ask my sister if she recognizes her too. She jokingly asks if I'm trying to date the girl. I feel the all-too-familiar shame and guilt. I bury the attraction and deny its existence because

I am straight....right?

Random Tuesday in July: I see a woman in menswear and hair cropped short like mine. She asks me a question. My heart starts racing. My mouth responds calmly while my brain turns to mush. All memories of the strange feelings I had in highschool come flooding back to me all at once. My brain screams that no matter her looks, SHE is a woman and so were the girls that gave me butterflies when I was a teen. As if her presence had flipped a switch in me, I suddenly realize,

I am not straight.

I text my friend to share the news. I tell my sisters, husband, and a few others. It comes out of me like word vomit. I just want to tell the world.

I am not straight.

I hesitate to label myself because I don't feel straight or queer enough to belong. An instagram post says I'm only calling myself "queer" because I'm bored with my hetero life. This reaffirms my need to stay closeted so I keep my little secret:

I'm not straight.

I start to think about all of the things I've heard about bi people. I wonder if my feelings are even valid or if I'm just infatuated with this one person. I cry a lot. I get angry at society. I wish I had figured it out sooner. I wish I didn't feel any of this. I am no longer excited about my self-discovery. I feel lonely. I feel burdened by this knowledge, and yet...

I am not straight.

Someone asks me if I'm lesbian. I respond "no" because I am sure my attraction to men is real and I am sure my attraction to at least one woman is real. I find comfort in relatable instagram posts posted by people half my age that tell me my experience is valid. I remember the girls from highschool. I recognize those moments as genuine attraction to people of the same gender. I come out to another friend. I hear myself says the words that still feel uncomfortable to admit to myself:

I'm bi.

I discover the bisexual flag. I fall in love with the colors. I start to write and draw to process this new information. I join a group of wonderful people who have stories similar to mine. I feel at home with them. They reassure me when I'm feeling like my sexuality is unimportant.

It's ok if I didn't know.

It's ok if I still struggle to love and accept myself.

It's ok if I'm not always feeling proud.

I am still valid.

I am loved.

I am bi.

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