I feel like I missed the boat to be bi

This is a bit of a vent because I don't feel comfortable talking about this in literally any other virtual or physical space. I hope that's ok.

I'm a 28 y/o cis woman in a straight relationship.

When I was 14 I once confided to someone that I thought I was bi. A couple of years later she brings it up in a group setting an I was adamant that conversation never happened and that I was 100% straight.

I grew up in an immigrant community and while unspoken it was always clear to me that there would be hell to pay if I was bi. My parents were already abusive and neglectful and it was hard enough to survive in that environment as is... I was always conscious of not wanting to make that even harder.

And because I was also attracted to men I guess it felt easy enough for me to ignore my attraction to women.

Even in uni I would make out with girls and stuff and my mental dissonance was like "oh, all girls are like that."

I'm super happy that kids these days are more comfortable being queer but as that happened around me it became clear to me that... Oh, shit, I'm bi.

And it just upsets me? Like I'm in a loving straight relationship. I want to spend the rest of my life with him. I'm going to marry him in a couple of years. I don't have the opportunity to explore my bisexuality because that boat has sailed.

And I don't feel comfortable "coming out". I have this vague guilt that I've lived my entire life with straight privilege and still do, being in a straight relationship. I feel like if I came out I'd be virtue signalling and taking oxygen from people who are "actually queer". I'm worried people won't believe me, because I spent 15 years not believing myself.

In terms of things in my life that cause me distress this is not the biggest one (I had C-PTSD, MDD, GAD, and am still not sure I'll survive to my 30s).

But I just feel like I'm stuck being a straight woman, and it's just something about myself that I'll never get to be authentic about. And it sucks and it hurts. And I'm ashamed to tell anyone because I'm afraid neither straight nor queer spaces will believe/accept me.

dumples,
dumples avatar

My wife came out to me as bi after we got married so we are in a straight presenting relationship. We are still in a monogamist relationship and from an outsiders perceptive nothing has changed. But for us internally its different but overall much better. Her honesty has let me explore portions of my own sexuality away from the heteronormative assumptions which has been great. We are both more open and honest since the whole experience. It started with mall things like both admitting that the actress in a show is hot but it was a prompt to be more open about everything in our relationship from kink, monogamy, jealously etc. It is totally worth it from my end as a spouse of a bi women. We aren't out here having threesome constantly but that doesn't mean she still isn't bi.

From her standpoint she has been coming out to her friends and family and most people are supportive. There was a one big fight with one of her
"friends" who didn't understand why she was saying that she was bi now. This was hard for everyone.

However, the disconnection from the rest of the queer community since she is an straight appearing relationship is hard. She has said that she wishes she had more friends in her situation. The ironic situation is since she is a therapist is that a large percentage of her clients have come out as bi in the exact same situations as her. They are all women is happy relationships who are bi with straight male partners. They all feel the same way and she is even starting a therapy group for them to talk about their situation. So you are not alone in this situation and coming out you might find some friends who are in the same situation.

BraveSirZaphod,
BraveSirZaphod avatar

Her honesty has let me explore portions of my own sexuality away from the heteronormative assumptions which has been great

This is really the most personally beneficial and freeing part of being gay for me. Once you realize that you're simply never going to be just a normal guy, you're free to stop bothering with even trying to be. You're free to let yourself be who you actually are rather than what society tells you you should be. Sure, that guys are hot and fun and cute is a nice bonus, but it's the liberation from oppressive social structures that I value more than anything else.

However, the disconnection from the rest of the queer community since she is an straight appearing relationship is hard.

That's super valid, and there is a lot of awareness in the community that this is an issue. On one hand, there is the simple fact that bi people in monogamous relationships simply don't face the same level of societal opposition that more visibly queer people do. But that's not a bad thing! However, it can create a bit of a disconnect, and more negatively, a little bit of resentment from this idea that bi people haven't "earned" a place in the community, which is of course absurd. But we're dealing with people, and particularly, people that have often been hurt and come to find community and connection in that hurt. It's always gonna be a little messy.

dumples,
dumples avatar

Once you realize that you're simply never going to be just a normal guy, you're free to stop bothering with even trying to be. You're free to let yourself be who you actually are rather than what society tells you you should be.

This is really a freeing experience. I feel like everyone should get a chance to do this both sexually and for their day to day life.

Foon,

I feel like if I came out I’d be virtue signalling and taking oxygen from people who are “actually queer”. I’m worried people won’t believe me, because I spent 15 years not believing myself.

For what it's worth from an internet stranger:

I believe you. You are allowed to take up space. You are allowed to be who you are. You have just as much of a right to identify as whatever you want as anyone else. And if someone doesn't agree with that, that says a whole lot more about them than about you.

pizza_rolls,
pizza_rolls avatar

You can be authentically bi while being in a hetero relationship and not having to have this big official coming out thing. I told my bf I was bi when I figured it out and it wasn't this big thing. I don't think anyone else is aware of that except him and randos on the internet. Definitely can't tell my parents cause they are the type that would disown me, and it isn't something that comes up often in conversation with my friends. But still I feel like my true self even if I didn't announce it to anyone (except with my parents... that's a whole other story)

The feeling that you're "not really LGBT+" because you're in a hetero relationship is just biphobia. There are not "levels" of being part of the community where you "aren't enough". You can participate in whatever way you see fit and feels authentic to you. Yes there are going to be biphobic people who argue the opposite, but they need to fuck off and accept the B in LGBT+

Pseu,

You can be bi and not out, or you can come out to your partner. In fact, I think the latter would be a good idea. He sounds like a loving person, and someone close to you saying "I accept you, and I love you." can mean so much. Coming out as bi to a couple of friends was a huge relief for me. Even though I wouldn't enter a gay relationship until years afterwards, just getting that off my chest did wonders.

branflakes1413,

I’m not sure if it’s been said yet, but I think it needs to be.

There is no time limit on coming out. There is nothing—absolutely nothing—that says you have to decide to come out or not, either! It is personal. It’s your truth and your sexuality. What matters is that you feel comfortable with yourself and how you feel.

Honestly, it’s human nature to think ‘about the what if’ and it makes wonder about what life may have been like if you had just… Nope, that’s when stop the train right there and get off of it, lol. Sure things could have been different but that’s neither here nor there.

Don’t beat yourself up for past you’s mindset. Acknowledge yourself and how you’ve grown since then and just be ❤️ there is no need to put ourselves into boxes with labels. We are all people and we shouldn’t be viewed one way or another based solely on who we have in our bedroom.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that we can’t dwell on the past. As you said you’re happy with your partner and want to make a life with them. That’s all that should matter, man or woman.

Big hugs 🫂

PrunesMakeYouPoop,

Same boat, but I have a penis. San Junipero for real.

Hexorg,

I’m a cishet white male and I can’t really imagine what it was like, all I can say is I’m sorry you had to go through it. At the same time (and again this is looking through whatever privilege I have had) i think it’s worth coming out to your significant other with no other goal but just to have him know you better. It’s scary. They might react negatively. But if you can afford losing this relationship think - would you rather be married to someone who’s against who you are? Do you want to constantly hide who you are at home? I think if you do come out to him you’ll likely feel more validated and have a “load off your shoulders”

harry_du_bois,
harry_du_bois avatar

Like others have said a lot of what you're feeling may be internalized biphobia. Went through the same thing too personally. But here's something I realized that I keep in mind that helped put things into perspective: as a bi person your dating pool will always skew towards a "straight" passing one because they're are simply more straight and bi people of the opposite gender or other genders than bi and gay folks of your gender. That's just how the math works out. So statistically the average bi experience is a "straight" relationship from a shallow outsider perspective, but that doesn't change you, your partner, or yalls sexuality at all.

Being Bi is also not defined by enjoying your whole range of attraction simultaneously. There's a lot of things we all would like to do but realize realistically we just won't be able to, and that's okay. I love space but I know I'll never be an astronaut and go there, yet that doesn't make my desire to see the stars any less real and valid.

Kindajustlikewhat,

I love space but I know I'll never be an astronaut and go there, yet that doesn't make my desire to see the stars any less real and valid.

I actually love this and it legitimately makes me feel better lol

dumples,
dumples avatar

But here's something I realized that I keep in mind that helped put things into perspective: as a bi person your dating pool will always skew towards a "straight" passing one because they're are simply more straight and bi people of the opposite gender or other genders than bi and gay folks of your gender. That's just how the math works out. So statistically the average bi experience is a "straight" relationship from a shallow outsider perspective, but that doesn't change you, your partner, or yalls sexuality at all.

This is a beautiful point about the numbers involved here

peanuts4life,

Random but you should check out the podcast "sawbones" or "still buffering." Sydnee McElroy (who's in both of them) is also bi and married to a man with kids. She's really cool and a great illustration of a public figure who is out as bi and also in a monogamous, heteronornative relationship. It might help you too listen to someone in a similar situation to yourself!

This is literally the episode she comes out as bi on https://maximumfun.org/episodes/still-buffering/still-buffering-how-pride-now-50-teens/

Also sawbones is just the absolute best podcast. You can't go wrong with it.

greenskye,

Realized I was Bi 3 years after I married the love of my life in a fully straight marriage. I don't really feel like I missed out, but it does feel like it's not allowed to be part of my identity because I never got to take action on it.

Kindajustlikewhat,

Exactly on the identity piece, although I do kind of feel like I missed out. I keep thinking about all the times I felt attraction and ran away from it 😅

But I'm with the love of my life too, so, I guess I just move on.

greenskye,

I would recommend you try to deal with that feeling, purely for your future relationship. I'd hate for that to cause you issues down the line. Marriage can be hard enough without constant feelings like the grass is greener somewhere else. Even if you never do anything, that can still affect you.

fedosyndicate,
fedosyndicate avatar

I relate to this a fair bit. I also had a somewhat conservative upbringing from a migrant background, so I didn't really express feelings about attraction or gender. I still don't talk about it a lot because it takes a lot of emotional effort. Maybe just piles of bad memories and negative associations floating around in my mind. I hope you find more opportunities to talk about it, and perhaps that will help process things over time :)

spicy_biscuits,
spicy_biscuits avatar

I feel like if I came out I'd be virtue signalling and taking oxygen from people who are "actually queer"

It's not virtue signaling to live as your authentic self. Live your truth, sis!

GrayBackgroundMusic,

I feel the same. I didn’t realize I was bi until I was in my 30’s. I was raised in a stereotypical religious household and being gay was a mortal sin. Additionally, all of the talk on sexualities I was presented with were binary: straight or gay. It took a loooooooong time to realize that I’m not 100% either. I like the Kinsey scale and I’m probably a 2.

However, all that said, it’s kinda irrelevant bc I married in my 20’s. So, whatever. It doesn’t matter what sex someone is, I’m taken, lol. I don’t tell people I’m bi. I just am. I just act however I want. If someone asks if someone else is attractive, I answer honestly.

Gaywallet,
@Gaywallet@beehaw.org avatar

Imposter syndrome can be such a weird thing to overcome. Do you experience attraction to more than one gender? Then you're bi! It's not oppression Olympics - a fundamental part about intersectionality is that no identity is erased by the presence of other identities, regardless of how marginalized one is in reference to the other. You're not intruding on a space by sharing an identity, even if you don't experience the same amount of marginalization.

People have already mentioned that this is also an extremely common kind of biphobic behavior - erasure. Straight people find bi people too gay and gay people find bi people too straight. Both think that bi people are pretending, or are just in a phase. Some people sometimes erase the label entirely, claiming that everyone experiences attraction to both genders.

You're valid and you're more than welcome to adopt the bi label. We'd love to have you under our beautiful queer umbrella 💜🌈✨

Fizz,
@Fizz@lemmy.nz avatar

Straight bi or gay its all the same. As long as you’re loving who you love. You don’t need to show or prove anything. If you say your bi it’s no one’s business to question it. Dont let anyone tries to give you that purity test bs.

Dinonugget,

I just want to tell you... feeling invisible is not a privilege. Feeling like you have to hide who you are because you might never be able to explore it fully is not a privilege. Feeling like you have to pretend to be someone you are not is not a privilege.

"Straight privilege" for queer people is not a thing. It's a form of erasure, plain and simple. And it seems to really hurt you.

Please don't feel like you being able to hide your sexuality is something you need to feel guilty about. It sounds more like you suffer because of this. You have the right to call yourself queer, you are not taking away anything from anyone by coming out and you have the right to be comfortable with who you are.

Kindajustlikewhat,

Thank you. It's hard to say more right now because this is a lot to take in... But thank you.

floga,

I’m late, but I wanted to echo this and add an interesting fact to support it.

Studies show that bi people experience poorer mental health than gay and lesbian people, and a large part of that is thought to be because bi people are much more likely to be closeted. (See this paper: www.tandfonline.com/doi/…/00224499.2017.1387755)

I’m a mostly-closeted bi woman, for reasons similar to OP, but I found it helpful to learn that. It definitely made me feel less guilty, and more comfortable existing in the few queer spaces I can be out in.

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