Tentatively Accepting My Bisexuality
Tentatively Accepting My Bisexuality
By: Sam (she/they) | SHRIMPTEETH
Katy Perry's "I kissed a girl" was blasting on all the radio stations when I first considered I might be queer. At the time, I also had a boyfriend and a couple fuck buddies. I didn't love having sex with any of them, but was drunk on the power of being desired. I expressed megalomaniacal contrarian teen beliefs, "monogamy is unnatural" and "women are just objectively hotter than men," not realizing polyamorous or queer folks existed. I believed I was just alternative and knew better than everyone else, in the way sixteen year olds often do.
My parents were passively homophobic in a polite gen-X middle-class liberal way. In my parent's understanding of queerness there existed two types of women, butches who were "real" lesbians and femmes who were just pretending. My mother often made comments about how lesbians preyed on straight women who'd had "bad experiences" with men. Bisexuality wasn't a word I'd even heard uttered at that point, so I silently assumed that I fell into the "confused prey" category. And that's how I secretly saw myself, a dissatisfied straight woman waiting for a hot butch to come corrupt me.
There was an incident involving a childhood friend I'd reconnected with in high school that fueled my sexual confusion and rooted my experience in shame. One night, as our parents chatted downstairs over dinner, I listened to my friend complain about the sexual ineptitude of her boyfriend. Without much thought, I tried to kiss her and the shock and disgust in her face has never left me. We never spoke of that moment, but at school the following week, things had changed and she made it clear I was no longer part of our friend group. I was mortified, angry, and took it out by trying to seduce her boyfriend instead. The rest of my high school experience was mostly plagued by social isolation and slut-shaming.
I couldn't wait to get the fuck out of Ithaca, opting to go to college in Montreal. There, I met a girl - she was everything I wanted and would never admit. We both had boyfriends back in the States that we rarely saw, but tethered us to our increasingly flimsy straight identity. We went to strip clubs, drank too much, held hands walking home, shopped for lingerie, cuddled when we watched movies in bed, and slept together. But she was straight. And so was I? We didn't talk about labels, we didn't talk about the ever blurring boundaries, and we didn't talk about the ways I fantasized about her being my girlfriend. In my head it went something like "I kissed a girl, hope my boyfriend won't mind it."
I brought her home for Thanksgiving planning on telling her and my parents how I felt. The day came and I opened the conversation broadly. Her roommate was a "real" lesbian and it felt like a good (although chickenshit) way to test the waters. Predictably, the conversation turned sour when I inserted a hypothetical "what if I was gay?" to which I received a simple, "you're not." The girl of my dreams added, "you're in love with your boyfriend!" A fleeting conversation, which I later learned had left no memories for them, crushed me. I once again felt the weight of rejection and the suffocating feeling of self-denial. I'm not. I'm not. I'm not. I'm not. I'm not. I'm not. I'm not. I ordered a gift for my absentee boyfriend that afternoon, and made plans to reconnect at Christmas.
"I'm bisexual," I said it out loud, to him, for the first time.
"Yeah I know. It's always been pretty obvious," he replied.
To be continued...
About the Author
Sam (she/they) is a proud queer vulva-owner (a clam parent, if you will). They are polyamorous; she loves many people and allows each relationship to develop in mutually supportive structures. Sam has a Master in Arts from New York University in social psychology with a focus on consumer behavior. They are a sex educator, writer, researcher, avid reader, designer (with a Bachelor in Fine Arts in packaging design from Fashion Institute of Technology), and artist who does social media content creation.
Sam created Shrimp Teeth in 2018 to talk about how we communicate / approach / talk and think about sexxx. Check out their Patreon http://Patreon.com/shrimpteeth, website www.shrimpteeth.com, or email [email protected] for questions and/or collaboration opportunities!