When I came out as gay a year ago, I confided to close friends that I still had some attraction to women but didn’t want to identify as bi as it’s not a 50/50 split for me and I disliked the connotations of the term. I hoped that being able to explore the gay side of myself would allow the lingering straight feelings to fade away while also serving as a safety net of sorts as even now the realities of gay life can feel overwhelming. While the past year has been one of positive changes overall, I’ve felt like I traded one closet for another.
Many told me that sexuality isn’t a big deal and that labels aren’t needed. But this has been an ever-present cause of imposter syndrome that’s seeped into other parts of my life. I was exposed to sex as a child and never properly given a chance to deal with the trauma or be mentored in basic courtship and relationships.
Sex has always been a source of shame for me and has kept me from pursuing intimacy (even hugs were uncomfortable for me until well into adulthood) and the pain it’s caused has never felt valid. This has also led me to never really putting much stock in any sort of pain I’ve had in life instead putting my energy into trying to fix the pain of others. My trauma wasn’t real trauma, my problems were not real problems.
This isn’t meant as a grand gesture to pick a new label as objectively I’m frustrated that our society requires such conceptual rigidity. But I now see that virtually no one is trying to make a grand gesture when talking about their sexuality. They’re attempting to be better understood by both the world and themselves. Rather than these labels being things to shape our identities around, they’re just terms that come closest to describing the identities we already have. Bi≠50/50 & connotations are BS.
I’ve recently realized that many of my experiences are common examples of internalized biphobia. Previously I’d shrug off such a term as ridiculous but now see how much power I’ve let it have over my life. Check out YouTube videos by @verityritchie on the topic if you’re curious.
To whoever needs to hear it, It’s ok to always feel out of place. I’m right there with you and so are many others.