#27BiStories: Tell Us Something We Don't Know
BY Eliel Cruz
August 29 2014 5:00 AM ET
What is something you want the general public to know about your relationship and about your sexuality?
Leah, 22, Colorado: I would like the public to know that just because I'm bisexual does not necessarily mean that I want to sleep with everyone. I would like the public to not to think that I'm going crazy with wild sexual urges and that it's a normal thing. I'm just a normal person who is probably not having sex more than anyone else.
Dave, 27, Scotland: That it is legitimate. People see binaries all the time and are generally accepting of gay people in same-sex relationships — it makes sense to them. I guess the dream is that one day it just won't be an issue — I don't feel like I need to shove it in anyone's face, but I do want to be able to talk about it openly when it's appropriate without people judging me or my wife, saying, "Oh, I bet he's really gay," "their marriage is a sham," or "why is this coming out now?"
At the end of the day, we love each other and that is what is important — happiness, fulfilment, and love.
Evan, 40, California: I want people to respect that just because I'm in a primarily sexual relationship with a woman almost half my age, it doesn't make me straight or a dirty old man, and it doesn't mean bisexuality encompasses only people who are highly sexualized.
Beth, 42, Minnesota: I’ve been with my partner for 16 years and counting. Our relationship is one of the best things in my life. We are monogamous and always have been. And yet we both continue to identify as bisexual, and it’s the only way we’ve identified our entire adult lives. We both acknowledge attraction to people regardless of gender, and we’ve never seen it as a threat to our relationship. In fact, we have somewhat similar taste, as it were, so we can enjoy talking about our mutual appreciation of, say, a beautiful person on TV or on the street or wherever.
But beyond that, being bi to me isn’t simply about attraction, sex, or relationships. It’s about challenging binaries in society — whether it’s the gender binary, the sexual orientation binary, or even a binary in another area, like race or politics or psychology. My reality is in many ways informed by my awareness of the spectrum of sexual orientation. It means I often have a very different perspective from people who identify as straight or gay or lesbian.
I just wish so many people didn’t think of bisexuals as a threat or as nonexistent. I’d like them to see us as people who are worth getting to know and learn from, and as equal members of the community. I wish we weren’t constantly erased or treated as invisible. It frustrates me that I’ve been out for more than 20 years and so little has changed — the B in LGBT is still frequently ignored, misunderstood, and disparaged. Locally, I have great community, but even here we’ve been ill-treated by supposedly inclusive LGBT organizations, and we still struggle to have enough resources to support each other and advocate for our issues. This isn’t some abstract thing — it affects my life and the lives of other bi folks in large and small ways. I hope all the work that bi activists and regular bi folks are doing will eventually make a difference. I have to have hope, otherwise things would look pretty bleak.
Jake, 26, Washington, D.C.: I am bisexual, but that doesn’t make me polyamorous. Currently, my boyfriend and I have agreed to have an open relationship in terms of physical sex. Sometimes I worry that having such an agreement has made me a stereotype — "greedy," "needs lots of sex with everyone to be satisfied," etc. — but in reality, my boyfriend, a cisgender gay man, takes advantage of it more than I do. Ultimately though, it shouldn’t matter, because it is our relationship, and we have decided what works for us. If I end up in another relationship, we may choose to be exclusively monogamous, and I would be perfectly fine with that too.