#27BiStories: Why a Bisexual's Sexual Orientation Is Still Important Even If They're in a Relationship
BY Eliel Cruz
August 28 2014 11:00 AM ET
Is your sexual identity still important even though you’re in a same or different gender relationship? If so, why?
Brian, 45, Nebraska: Actually, in many ways my sexual identity is more important to me now that it ever was before coming out. While I was in the closet with my bisexuality I did a lot to repress my sexuality in general for fear that it would expose me as not being straight. Now that I am out but in a long-term (formerly monogamous for 19 years) marriage with a woman, I want people to know that my bisexuality is a big part of who I am, who I’ve been and who I will continue to be. Just because I am married to a woman does not change that I am a bisexual male. My sexuality is not defined by the person I am with, it is defined by who I am attracted to. For far too long I allowed others to define me, not something I wish to ever have done to me again.
James, 32, New Jersey: As my sexual identity is different from my sexual activity or my relationships, it is and always will be important. Additionally for me, being Bi means more than just who I am attracted to, it also means that I see the world from a particular place. A place without borders or little categories. Gay, straight, white, black, male, female. cock, pussy, these things don't matter. Are you a good person, a kind person, a funny person? Those things matter.
Calvin, 30, North Carolina: Always. Who you are is always a part of yourself. It isn’t about what you do, or what you’re doing in that moment, being bisexual is a recognition of a part of yourself. To pretend otherwise, to your society or your partner or yourself, may be convenient at times but ultimately is a form of self-harm. It is something you repeatedly put yourself down for, if you don’t accept it fully. And you cannot fully accept something about yourself without it remaining entirely relevant.
Heather, 29, North Carolina: My sexuality is always important to me. Regardless of being mono or poly, being in a hetero or homo relationship, I constantly struggle to be visible. I fight against bi erasure as much as I’m able, but it seems like a never-ending uphill slope. I’m tired of being erased completely from queer communities and conversations. It’s important to me because it’s not important to anyone else.
Denise, 43, New Jersey: Absolutely! My husband and I met in a local bi group. Most of our friends are bisexual, and we administer the BiActivist group on Facebook, and I was one of the 33 bisexuals who were invited to the historic White House Bisexual Roundtable. Our car has a bi flag sticker on it (which we are happy to explain to anyone who asks). I started the first "safe space" program at my institution. We are committed to the larger LGBT community but I am especially committed to the outsiders within that group — non-monosexuals and transgender individuals. Maybe it is because, individually people assume both my husband and I are homosexual. When we are together, it is difficult to convince people we are married and bisexual and poly and happy. As to why it is important. .. no one would ask a woman why being a woman is important to her. It is because it is who I am. The very thing that allows me to experience my sexuality as fluid, allows me to see that nothing in the world is dichotomous. There are shades of grey everywhere. Bisexuality is who I am, not what I do. It is the lens through which I see the world. I don't have to explain that to my husband. He gets it.
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