Wednesday, 9 June 2010

My bisexual story part 1

This post is sort of my bisexuality story.

I realised I was bi in April 2006 when I was 14 years old. It's not very clear in my memory, but then again, for me it wasn't a single moment of realisation. When I look back with hindsight, I see now that there were incidents before then that were because of my sexuality that I didn't realise at the time, such as at primary school, finding I was okay with kissing a girl's cheek, and sometimes wanting to, but the girls I tried to kiss were not okay with it, and drawing pictures of women with accentuated features and skimpy outfits, when my friends gave them big dresses and big make-up.

What brought my attention to not being straight, as I had assumed I was up til then, was a particular girl. When talking to my friend on the phone about her, I would refer to her as 'Richard' so my parents wouldn't cotton on if they overheard, but on here, I'll use the pseudonym Marigold. She was a girl in my year who I was vaguely friends with. And I sought out her attention more frequently, and tried very hard to make her laugh, and when I noticed my behaviour I found that I felt the same warm feeling that I associated with my crushes on boys. This was in April, and I spent the weeks until July and the summer working out what it meant. My first thought was that I was gay, but I knew I liked boys too, so I started to research it, and when I came across bisexuality, it just clicked. At a basic level anyway. I spent until January 07 realigning my sense of self identity. I also spent that time falling in love with Marigold from afar, and getting closer to her as a friend.

Now, I was under the impression that all the girls in the year were straight, naive as I was, and it was only when I identified with being non-hetero that I gave it any thought, and eventually understood that, as in most averages, about 10% were gay or bi. I dreamed of Marigold being bi, but I saw it as just a lying-in-bed-at-night fantasy, especially with her record of sleeping with men, even at 14. So when I went to the cinema alone with Marigold, I just enjoyed being with her and expected nothing.

What happened, I did not expect. I was high on feelings from being close in the dark to the girl I loved, leading to the bold move of taking her hand. We leant in closer and closer until our cheeks were touching. I don't think I realised what was happening, I wasn't thinking at all really. So I just instinctively turned my head and we kissed. My brain jammed with the single thought "I'm kissing her, I'm kissing her!" She was an experimenting teenager, and I was only just coming to terms with my sexual identity. A few weeks later, Marigold 'asked me out' and we began a three month fling. I didn't realise at the time what a nonsense relationship it was, and how Marigold used me to express her sexual confusion and frustration.

But it did teach me a few things about who I was, and some things about my bisexuality. I noticed I felt protective of her in the way I wanted to be protected by a man, and that I was highly sexually attracted to her body, much more than to men's. That was my first same-sex relations experience. I drew self-confidence from it, and it led me to come to terms with who I was. I spent the time up to my GCSEs not talking about it except to one friend (who had the unfortunate task of being on the other end of the phone the night I first kissed her. Wow, was I loud).

Then I truely came out to friends when I moved to a new college for my A levels. I met a new group, and simply mentioned it casually if it came up - and it felt good. They totally accepted me no questions, and I flourished, even asking out a girl in my drama class. My next important relationship was with a boy I'll call Colt. He introduced me to sexual relations with men, and how someone else can love my bisexuality. He enjoyed comparing notes on our tastes in women, and I completed my initiation into being sexual.

So I come to my current relationship. After months of crushing on a girl I met at the start of the academic year who became a part of our social group, I asked her out, and here we are eight weeks later. I am learning every day how to be a strong girl without a prescribed role in my relationship, doing what I can for her and myself to make us happy. I am learning some of the differences between having a girlfriend and a boyfriend, from the roughness of men's kisses in relation to the softeness of women's, to the almost opposite needs of them, as well as the similarities.

So that's part of my story (up to the point of writing in June 2010).

Saturday, 5 June 2010

About being bisexual

Hello, and welcome to the start of my blog about bisexuality.

- OED: sexually attracted to both men and women
- Wikipedia: a sexual behavior or an orientation involving physical or romantic attraction to both males and females
- Wiktionary: sexually attracted to persons of either sex

The above definitions are archaic and inaccurate. As everyone knows, sexuality and orientation is not only about physical or romantic attraction, but also attraction on an intellectual and emotional level. Nor is gender, sex, or gender expression, binary. Let's just get that clear from the start. (Google 'genderbread person').

Bisexuals are attracted on some or all levels to more than one gender.

That's the basics of it. It is not better or worse than being hetero or homo, nor are the problems with relationships any easier or difficult. In LGB, they are probably the least understood, and for the majority of straight people (and some gay people) the most confusing. Such questions as "Why can't they choose?" and "Aren't they being greedy, with one foot on each side?" crop up in conversation with people who are monosexual. This blog hopes to clear this up and give some clarity for all readers, regardless of their orientation, age or gender, for sexuality transcends all boundaries of human society and history.

I am a bisexual myself. Please be aware that I am using my own knowledge and experiences (as well as Google searches!) and giving my own personal opinion. I believe that orientation is a result of nature, with only small influence of nurture, but I realise that others believe different. I don't think it can be changed, though I do believe that some people exist with a fluid sexuality, and I don't think falling love can be bad simply because of the gender of the recipient. But I am not using this blog to impose these views on anyone, for we're all entitled to our own views.

Bisexual is a misleading term. Some people, like me, are 'bi'sexuals, in that they are in fact attracted to men and women (the two ends of the spectrum) in a binary fashion, with no preference. But that's not often the case; bisexual in terms of LGBT is used as an umbrella to mean all those who are 'not gay or straight', and that includes people who are attracted to more than two genders, or who are attracted to both but have a preference, or for whom gender is not an issue, or who's sexuality is fluid and the parameters of who they are attracted to change over time. This is one of the hardest elements of bisexuality that non-bisexuals have difficulty understanding. The 'bi' as in the 'two' does not have much to do with what bisexuality as an identity has emerged as meaning since the term was coined.

To put it another way - being heterosexual, a woman has the potential to be attracted to anyone who is a man. I am a 'bi'sexual, so have the potential to be attracted to anyone who is a man or anyone who is a woman. Some bisexuals don't work like that; they don't feel that just any man or woman is potentially attractive by dint of being man or woman - their gender doesn't factor into the equation. They just identify as under the umbrella term 'bisexuality' to show that gender doesn't limit them to one option, they are open to same-sex or opposite sex romantic and sexual relationships. Or they only identify with bisexuality umbrella because most people are even less aware of the other terms for people's sexuality, which often strive to point out an attraction to transgenders, and genderqueer people, or that their attraction isn't based on gender at all (people who identify with this last one most often identify as 'pansexual').

This post gives a basic definition of bisexuality. But it's actually very hard to define, and so it will only be found in all the posts collectively on this blog, which will discuss different aspects of what living this life is like. Every bisexual is different, which I really shouldn't need to say, because everyone is unique, and every hetero is different and every homo is different as well.  Ultimately, it is not for other people to use their own parameters to judge what bisexuality is; if a bisexual identifies as bisexual, that is what they are and other people should accept that.

But anyway. Bisexuality. It's an attraction. To more than one gender.

See also: