In the latest video from the LGBT story archive project I'm from Driftwood, bisexual activist Mike Szymanski reflected on his journey to being a proud bisexual man and pushing back on ill-informed challenges to his identity.
"I didn't really know what bisexuality meant ... because I came out as gay first, and I told my parents and it was a big deal [that] I came out as gay," Szymasnki explains in the video, published September 10. "And then I was sleeping around with a woman, and they thought that it was strange. I was living in West Hollywood, and we would go to gay clubs, but I was with a woman. And then I thought, 'Well, okay, maybe I'm bisexual,' and she introduced me as her gay boyfriend. Then my dad said, 'Well if you're bisexual, why would you choose the wrong way?'"
It's a question many bisexual people have heard, arguably because a lot of straight -- and gay-- people still believe that bisexuality is a choice. While individuals of any orientation can ultimately choose who they pursue a relationship with, the idea that someone can be attracted to more than one gender does not mean bisexual people can choose with whom they fall in love.
In the six-minute video, Szymanski reflects on the intimate parts of his life that led him to become a bisexual activist and to his husband, who he has been with for 18 years. "We're together and we both identify as bisexuals and that throws a lot of people off," Szymanski says in the video.
Ultimately, Syzmanski concludes with some advice for people of all sexualities: "Just be yourself, be comfortable ... and don't try to squelch your interest in whomever you're interested in. I think that's the best way to go about your life."
Meet Mike Szymanski in the video below: