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Bi Visibility Day (Advice Thread)

chubbydumplingchubbydumpling DurhamPosts: 392 Moderator
edited December 2019 in Gender & Sexuality
Hi guys! 

This Bi Visibility Day, we'd like to encourage you to share your experiences and struggles. 

Coming out as bisexual is often a lifelong process, marked by biphobia and bi-erasure. Bisexual women are five times as likely to experience intimate partner violence as heterosexual women. People who identify as bisexual are also disproportionately impacted by mental health issues, as well as discriminated against when it comes to their physical and sexual health. 

For more information, check out these great resources:

The Bisexuality Report 
Bisexuality: Stonewall health briefing
Stand Bi Me  

These issues can be very difficult to navigate, especially when it feels like you're all alone in dealing with them. The good news is, help is out there. @The Mix is home to plenty of bi folks with a wealth of knowledge, willing to lend a kind ear. If you’re struggling, or in need of advice, don’t be afraid to post here.

Feel free to comment with your questions, stories and resources! <3

Jade09tkdogLucy307

Comments

  • Jade09Jade09 EnglandPosts: 433 Moderator
     @chubbydumpling Both this thread and the casual one are awesome!  and thank you for sharing them resources, they will hopefully help a lot of people! 

    Jade x
  • chubbydumplingchubbydumpling DurhamPosts: 392 Moderator
    edited September 2019
    Thank you @Jade09 :3 I can't wait to see what resources everyone comes up with!
    Jade09
  • chubbydumplingchubbydumpling DurhamPosts: 392 Moderator
    Hey everyone!

    Feel free to post in this thread past Bi Visibility Day, if you're ever in need of advice <3
  • tkdogtkdog Posts: 83 Miniposter
    Yeah I dunno how do you come out if you are bi. I feel like it's harder although I know for some it is easier because you can like sort of still seem heterosexual.
    I'm confused personally, about myself I don't feel either way particularly but I think I am a little more homosexual perhaps. Sexuality is kind of fluid though and changes. I dont want to come out because it feels wrong somehow. But then again it would make it easier for me to do things.

    People always assume you are straight and it is really annoying but I feel like I can't outright deny that since it isn't like I am not partly. I can't use the im gay thing to put people off.
    For me attraction to someone starts with if they are at least somewhat feminine (as well as personality etc.) but when I start to say these things it is a lot harder to explain to anyone somehow and there are some pushy people out there who will do whatever to ignore what you day. I also do not like people who try to hold up gender roles tbh (like the limiting sort). 

    In addition I don't even really want a relationship with anyone because I enjoy being on my own and I don't want people hitting on me (and I hate pushy people).
    Yet there is pressure from others to do so to get into relationships. I only ever been in one so called relationship and that wasnt great, it was heterosexual.
    When I have had homosexual crushes it has almost always been on straight people though i have had very minor crushes on bi people but not so much.
    I know its probably stereotype but it always seems like straight people are hotter.
    It also doesn't help that such people who are not straight are rare or seem rarer and especially now im in an environment of mostly people of the opposite sex haha. I don't really want to spend time looking for people as I said not interested in relationship and rather do my own thing. But i do wonder if I should say something more or at least try something. But I dont want involvement with dodgy people, alcohol or doing things I don't particularly enjoy just to get to know people.  

    I tried dating apps just for fun but nobody even seemed like they wanted to talk and no one was particularly interesting to me plus im not attracted to people in pictures only real people where I can actually get to know someone. So it doesn't really do anything for me lol. Yet I am attracted to a straight person who is also taken and doesnt even like have time to be my friend so I wondered if I should do something to distract myself from her. But it wouldn't be right to use someone else just to hide that feeling. Idk it's confusing. 
    chubbydumpling
  • chubbydumplingchubbydumpling DurhamPosts: 392 Moderator
    Hi there @tkdog :) Welcome to the thread!

    Reading through your post I can see that you’ve thought a lot about this - I've experienced some of the same concerns myself - and I just wanted to say that I think your feelings are completely reasonable. Unfortunately, we live in a pretty heteronormative society (one that assumes “straight” is the default) and that makes "coming out" this big event that people assume all non-straight people have to go through in order for their sexuality to be valid. 

    Personally, I have never had an official "coming out". I accepted I was bisexual at a young age and never felt the need to come out to anyone with the exception of romantic partners. Coming out to my family is something I'm working on because being "straight-passing", like you've mentioned, is something I've become more and more uncomfortable with. 

    Coming out is a really unique, personal experience. Coming out as bisexual presents it's own challenges - it sounds as though you're completely aware of what those might be. You should absolutely go at a pace you feel comfortable with. If you don't feel comfortable identifying as bisexual straight away, you could always just tell people you're queer or questioning. Conversely, don't tell anyone at all! It's entirely up to you how you handle this information about yourself - no one has the right to it but you. 

    Sexuality is kind of fluid though and changes.

    You've absolutely hit the nail on the head here! Deciding how to label your sexuality isn't something that comes with a deadline. It can evolve from day to day, and over the course of your life. There are a lot of different facets to bisexuality; that could include being bi-romantic, demisexual, femmesexual, greysexual etc. You might find that one of those labels suits you better, or that none of them do. Either way, you are entirely valid. 

    Attraction will feel different with different people. Being more attracted to one gender over the other, or particular gender characteristics doesn’t make you any less bisexual if that’s how you choose to identify. You don’t need to pressure yourself to be attracted to anyone, or to start a relationship with someone just to prove to people that you subscribe to a particular orientation. 

    If you ever feel as though you're under pressure, take a big breath and give yourself permission to just be. You don’t need to worry if you are being bi enough, or gay enough. 

    It also doesn't help that such people who are not straight are rare or seem rarer and especially now im in an environment of mostly people of the opposite sex haha. I don't really want to spend time looking for people as I said not interested in relationship and rather do my own thing. But i do wonder if I should say something more or at least try something. But I dont want involvement with dodgy people, alcohol or doing things I don't particularly enjoy just to get to know people.  

    I really identify with you here <3 Despite being comfortable with my sexuality, it took me a long time to explore my identity and LGBTQ+ culture. For a long time, I didn't have anyone to talk to who understood the confusion and erasure associated with being bisexual. The good news is that there are plenty of meetups and events out there for people looking to build meaningful friendships. You could try reaching out to your local LGBTQ+ community group and see what they have on offer. You don't have to be looking for a relationship or do anything you're uncomfortable with. 

    You've mentioned a friend you're attracted to - would you like to talk about that some more? 
    tkdogcoc0mac
  • AbiAbi Posts: 57 Miniposter
    Brilliant thread @chubbydumpling. The awareness about the Bi sexuality is unspoken about especially in schools and college. Hopefully with more awareness things will change. Keep up with the awareness raising as I can clearly tell your passionate about this subject. 

    <3
    chubbydumplingButterfly23tkdogSandyDaze12
  • tkdogtkdog Posts: 83 Miniposter
    Hi there @tkdog :) Welcome to the thread!

    Reading through your post I can see that you’ve thought a lot about this - I've experienced some of the same concerns myself - and I just wanted to say that I think your feelings are completely reasonable. Unfortunately, we live in a pretty heteronormative society (one that assumes “straight” is the default) and that makes "coming out" this big event that people assume all non-straight people have to go through in order for their sexuality to be valid. 

    Personally, I have never had an official "coming out". I accepted I was bisexual at a young age and never felt the need to come out to anyone with the exception of romantic partners. Coming out to my family is something I'm working on because being "straight-passing", like you've mentioned, is something I've become more and more uncomfortable with. 

    Coming out is a really unique, personal experience. Coming out as bisexual presents it's own challenges - it sounds as though you're completely aware of what those might be. You should absolutely go at a pace you feel comfortable with. If you don't feel comfortable identifying as bisexual straight away, you could always just tell people you're queer or questioning. Conversely, don't tell anyone at all! It's entirely up to you how you handle this information about yourself - no one has the right to it but you. 

    Sexuality is kind of fluid though and changes.

    You've absolutely hit the nail on the head here! Deciding how to label your sexuality isn't something that comes with a deadline. It can evolve from day to day, and over the course of your life. There are a lot of different facets to bisexuality; that could include being bi-romantic, demisexual, femmesexual, greysexual etc. You might find that one of those labels suits you better, or that none of them do. Either way, you are entirely valid. 

    Attraction will feel different with different people. Being more attracted to one gender over the other, or particular gender characteristics doesn’t make you any less bisexual if that’s how you choose to identify. You don’t need to pressure yourself to be attracted to anyone, or to start a relationship with someone just to prove to people that you subscribe to a particular orientation. 

    If you ever feel as though you're under pressure, take a big breath and give yourself permission to just be. You don’t need to worry if you are being bi enough, or gay enough. 

    It also doesn't help that such people who are not straight are rare or seem rarer and especially now im in an environment of mostly people of the opposite sex haha. I don't really want to spend time looking for people as I said not interested in relationship and rather do my own thing. But i do wonder if I should say something more or at least try something. But I dont want involvement with dodgy people, alcohol or doing things I don't particularly enjoy just to get to know people.  

    I really identify with you here <3 Despite being comfortable with my sexuality, it took me a long time to explore my identity and LGBTQ+ culture. For a long time, I didn't have anyone to talk to who understood the confusion and erasure associated with being bisexual. The good news is that there are plenty of meetups and events out there for people looking to build meaningful friendships. You could try reaching out to your local LGBTQ+ community group and see what they have on offer. You don't have to be looking for a relationship or do anything you're uncomfortable with. 

    You've mentioned a friend you're attracted to - would you like to talk about that some more? 
    Thanks for reading, it was sort of just a flow of disorganised text but I wanted to try write something.

    Yeah i'm not always so sure of what I feel seeing as some of my feelings are more fleeting only that I am somewhat bisexual and prefer femininity. I thought about identifying as femmesexual but maybe some people wouldn't get that? At least outside certain communities. I still have the stereotype that bisexual is a greedy person who wants to get with everyone haha it's hard to rub off.
    I probably still will take my time a little over it, as it isn't really a priority of mine just something I want to know. Maybe take time to explore.
    Queer or questioning sounds reasonable thing though to tell someone so thanks. And yeah I think one of my fears of by saying i'm bi is actually people assuming im actually just straight and pretending.

    Yeah I do have a friend that I am attracted to who is probably completely unaware.. Overall I just wanted to be friends really even considering the fact i was attracted to this person almost the first time we met. I am aware they are unavailable. I was never overly touchy or anything towards this person lol or forced anything (ok, other than smiling and gazing) it was genuine between us, mostly equal in fact there were times where I felt like I didn't put enough into being friends and felt guilty, but then again they were kind of guilty of it also sometimes, I don't like to give more than I get back (probably sounds selfish but there are many other people I could give my time to otherwise and many people I lost out on). As a friendship it has been kind of chaotic and that might have been due to communication issues or that person being too busy. I am not always so great with people long term (short term I can be friendly and nice) so I wanted to at least show someone I could be a good friend or something. At first I just like the way she looked but didn't really take long for me to have feelings emotionally. I think it is often like that. The problem is the friendship is one of mostly disappointments, several promises to me to hang out or I ask them to do so and nothing has come of it. I feel like it's not hard to at least have an hour for coffee or something. Sometimes I question if I should try at all. They always say yes intially but it feels like yes is a new way of saying no.
    But on the other hand it wouldn't make sense for me to just let it go at least yet while the other person still wants to do things. It's probably less of a priority, but I can't forget someone I have feelings towards so easily.
    I've always been bad at getting people to hang out generally and it also seems that guys are much easier to get to hang out with and seemingly have more availability and communicate more clearly. All complete generalisations ofc and just maybe based on who I ended up talking to, more about luck and what kind of people I bring in. A lot of this isn't directly related I suppose but it kind of all influences my decisions on what I do and who I am with.
    At least the fact I liked someone of the same sex kind of confirmed how I feel a bit more and that's been all pretty good for me even if it is of someone who is not available and is assumably straight.

    I might reach out to some kind of group but I would only want to go if I could go at least mostly secretly i.e. with only a few people that i'm comfortable with knowing. 
    I dont like want to go to groups and people knowing so I didn't go to uni clubs as there are too many people I know at those sorts of things that would make me uncomfortable, they also often asked you to join their facebook group which didn't really make sense to me since i dont want people to knowm do have a gay friend might be able to help me just a little bit even if of the opposite sex.
  • chubbydumplingchubbydumpling DurhamPosts: 392 Moderator
    No problem @tkdog! Happy to help :3

    I think you’re sensible to take your time to figure things out. A lot of people assume that being bisexual means that you’re attracted to men and women equally which is definitely not the case. You can be bi and primarily attracted to people who are feminine. Just like straight people have preferences, so do we! Go ahead and use femmesexual if that’s the label that most aligns with what you feel, even if it’s just to yourself in private. Saying you’re queer or questioning is a perfectly acceptable thing to tell everyone else. 

    This idea that “Bisexual people are greedy” is a particularly insidious bit of biphobia. It’s such a common thing to hear that it’s no wonder we’ve internalised it. The Bisexual Index actually has a really accessible FAQ debunking the myths about bisexuality if you wanted to give that a look. 

    And yeah I think one of my fears of by saying i'm bi is actually people assuming im actually just straight and pretending.

    Hey, I’ve been here and it’s tough <3 Unfortunately, most people assume you’re straight by default, unless they are specifically told otherwise. It’s really ignorant and it sucks but it is getting better! It’s entirely possible for a bisexual person to never date anyone and still not be straight. Never acting on those feelings doesn’t make you straight, it just makes you a bi person who doesn’t want to date. 

    The problem is the friendship is one of mostly disappointments, several promises to me to hang out or I ask them to do so and nothing has come of it.

    It sounds like you’re pretty self-aware of the issues in this friendship. It can be really tough to maintain a friendship where you feel like you’re the one putting in most of the effort – it sounds like you don’t think a lot of that effort was reciprocated, is that right? Either way, it doesn’t seem like you’re getting much out of the friendship anymore. 

    If liking her has helped you discover something about your sexuality, that has value in and of itself. Sometimes, friendships just taper off and it’s no one’s fault. You don’t need to forget this person and the good memories you’ve shared but maybe distancing yourself and seeking out new friendships is the way forward. You’ve identified a lot of things about this friendship that you don’t like – maybe you can use that going forward into new friendships with people who are more available. 

    Reaching out to a LGBTQ+ group would be a good way to make friends with people who may have experienced similar worries. Community groups know the value of anonymity; you absolutely would not have to disclose your reasons for being there, or how you identify, you could even just sit in and listen. They may even have counsellors or peer support programmes that can help you with coming to terms with your identity and coming out, if that’s something you choose to do.

    These links might be helpful:

    Stonewall can point you in the direction of community groups in your area
    LGBT Foundation provide a wide range of support and run a great helpline. They also have some wonderful resources for bisexual people!
    The Bisexual Index has a lot of great information about bisexuality; coming out, stigma and links to other orgs in the UK. 

    I hope this helps! 
    tkdog
  • Lucy307Lucy307 UKPosts: 721 Incredible Poster
    Great discussion thread @chubbydumpling !

    @tkdog I totally feel your pain at the 'coming out'/'bi' process. I believe a lot of us are on a fluid spectrum in terms of sexuality (whether we know/like it or not) and so really empathise with your situation. I've never 'come out' myself as I don't really have a label for being on a spectrum but I like your 'questioning' answer :)  I tend to only choose to tell people if it's appropriate to discussion or if they ask. I think in my head it shouldn't be a big deal, although I know it probably would be if I ended up dating a woman as people would assume I was gay. A bit confusing isn't it!

    Completely agree with the above advice on speaking to some LGBTQ+ friends/groups - there are loads of people who feel similarly about bisexuality who you can share experiences and feelings with and, most importantly, know that you're not alone!

    Let us know how you're getting on <3

    - Lucy
    Treat yourself as you would treat a good friend
    chubbydumpling
  • tkdogtkdog Posts: 83 Miniposter
    Well now I'm considering actually coming out as Bi to my parents I dunno how though hmm. Did all that test the waters with talking about things in the news thing. It's kinda not enough for me to come out though. Its hard to bring up in conversation. 

    I kinda wanna come out cos I have someone I wanna meet, a potential gf maybe but I will see. Tbh without that I have no motivation to come out lol. I dunno I thought about trying those helplines kinda too scared to though and I rather not idk. 
    I wish I had a counsellor or something though. It's really difficult. I've known I liked people of the same sex for many years now even though I felt confused at times, and ya know I should say something at least. 
  • chubbydumplingchubbydumpling DurhamPosts: 392 Moderator
    Hey @tkdog it's great to hear back from you :)

    It sounds like you've made a huge amount of progress over the past few months! Coming out is a big step - it's okay to take your time with it and prepare yourself. When you've tested the waters by mentioning things that are going on in the news, how did your parents react? Do you think that they would be receptive if you decided to come out to them?

    I'm so pleased to hear that you might have found a girlfriend. Do you think that talking things over with her might help? It's totally understandable that you're not feeling able to use one of the helplines - I know how scary it can be talking to strangers about something so personal - but they really are a useful resource. 
    tkdog
  • tkdogtkdog Posts: 83 Miniposter
    Yeah definitely made some progress I think.
    As for coming out idk how they (my parents) be. There wasn't any negativity to LGBT but I feel it would still be a shock to hear and that pressure and drama is hard for me to deal with. I rather at least subtly come out but its hard to think how. I dunno if there is any other way to test the waters or make a joke or something. Maybe i should just continue to try things because coming out is way too hard for me.

    I ended up lying and meeting her anyway. The trouble is I kinda revealed her name and nationality while lying about the rest of the stuff to my parents so its gonna be more difficult for me to come out with the truth now. I'm uncertain how I feel about it and it's difficult to know how it will go on. I guess she knows I have difficulties and Ive discussed stuff before but idk really.  
    Jade09chubbydumpling
  • chubbydumplingchubbydumpling DurhamPosts: 392 Moderator
    Hi @tkdog :3

    That's great to hear! Well done for taking those first steps - I know it isn't easy. 

    I think it's a promising sign that your parents didn't display any negativity towards the LGBT community. It sounds as though your concern about coming out is feeling under pressure to be a certain way, does that sound right? 

    Given that you've only just recently discovered and explored your sexuality, it's totally understandable that you don't immediately want to jump into telling your parents about it. Coming out is a deeply personal, sometimes scary, thing. It's important to remember that it isn't necessarily about your parents, it's about you and what you feel comfortable sharing with them.

    It sounds like you want to keep testing the waters with them for the time being, and that's completely okay. This process is for you: you can take it at whatever pace you feel comfortable with. <3 
    tkdog
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