8 Stories About Coming Out As Bisexual
"How can you like both?"
“But you have a husband!” “How can you like both?” “Are you a lesbian now you’re with her then?”
Coming out as bisexual is very different to coming out as lesbian or gay. Just like revealing that you’re lesbian or gay, coming out as bi isn’t a one-off – it’s a continuous process. Unfortunately, for bisexuals it can be even more of a continuous (and complicated) process, because we are so often mislabeled according to who we are in a relationship with at the time or, you know, told we don’t exist at all. LOTL collected some thought-provoking bisexual coming out stories…
1. I came out as bi after identifying as lesbian.
“I didn’t know what bisexuality was when I started getting crushes on my female school friends. I figured I must be a lesbian. I came out when I was 16, but always wondered why I still liked guys. Eventually I started dating my current boyfriend at 18 and had to tell everyone I was bi and not gay. My mom still does not get it.” – Sarah, 21.
2. My boyfriend wouldn’t believe me.
“My most memorable coming out story would have to be when the guy I’d been dating for three years point-blank refused to believe I was telling the truth about being bi. ‘But you’re with me, babe,’ he kept saying. ‘You’re straight. You’ve never even kissed a girl.’ We split up soon after, when I realized that if he couldn’t accept that I knew my own mind then he definitely wasn’t the one.” – Elaine, 36.
3. Some people still think I’m a lesbian.
“I have a lot of lesbian friends and I mainly date girls, because my posse normally hangs in gay bars. When I first came out as bi it spread across the whole local scene, and loads of stuff got said behind my back. Things like ‘She’s just scared to come out as lesbian’, which is ridiculous.” –Hasmita, 28.
4. I came out as bi but I’m really gay.
“I came out as bi last year, but I’m not into men at all. I thought it would be easier than saying I was full-on gay, but it’s not, it’s just another set of issues. Now I get constant questions about what gender I prefer, people telling me bisexuality isn’t possible, people telling me to make my mind up, people saying I should try and end up with a man because it’s easier. I need to set the record straight (ha ha) and stop living a lie but the longer I leave it the harder it gets.” – AJ, 19.
5. I wish I’d never come out at work.
“I told one of my workmates I was bisexual after too many after-work cocktails, and it got round the whole office. I must have had about three emails with that ‘doubles your chances on a Saturday night’ Woody Allen line in. It’s died down now but people still joke about it. Telling my manager is pointless as he’s the worst culprit.” – Jane, 26.
6. I left my boyfriend for his sister.
“Nothing says ‘I’m bi’ like dating a guy’s sister after you break up with him! Do not ask me how it happened. It just did. I’m not proud of it but I was so young and I couldn’t see the harm in it. Turned out it was a disastrous idea, but at least it made me open up about my real identity.” – Hanna, 27.
7. My best friend deserted me.
“We were curled up in front of the TV with a bottle of wine, just like on any other girls’ night in, when I told her. She immediately moved away from me and started saying she felt ill and asking if I could maybe leave soon. I made a couple of lame jokes about her not being my type and how we could still ogle guys together, but she wasn’t laughing. That night she sent a text saying my ‘lifestyle’ was against her beliefs and she felt sorry for any men I dated in the future, as I would probably cheat on them with a woman.” –Fran, 41.
8. My parents knew already.
“As a teen I spent ages working out how to tell my mother and father I was bi. But when I finally dropped the B-bomb nobody really reacted, except my brother, who went bright red and started staring at his feet. Turns out I couldn’t trust him to keep a secret after all. But on the plus side, it meant my parents had that extra time to get their heads round the concept of bisexuality before they had to discuss it with me.” – Aoife, 34.
Charlotte Dingle is a freelance journalist, fine art tutor and mature (ahem) creative writing master’s degree student. Writes regularly for Cosmo, DIVA and Occupy. Ex-editor of the Stonewall award-winning g3 magazine, for lesbian and bisexual women. Current editor of Biscuit, a Stonewall award-nominated website for bisexual women. Bisexuality and mental health crusader. Hobbies include hanging with a lovely, smelly, weird, 23-year-old cat. Too many tattoos and piercings (well, that's what my mum said).