Claiming My Bisexuality

Finally owning my bisexuality improved my marriage. (Image: Thinkstock)

Finally owning my bisexuality improved my marriage. (Image: Thinkstock)

This article originally appeared on The Good Men Project and has been republished with permission. 

If bisexuals do not begin claiming their genuine identity, then society will never begin to fully understand and accept that bisexuals exist.

I don’t particularly express and proclaim my bisexuality in unwarranted ways for special treatment. I claim my bisexuality for personal, significant reasons because it increases my confidence; decreases anxiety; improves my marriage, and increases bisexual legitimacy.

My Confidence Increased

My confidence hasn’t always been the best. Growing up, I was overweight, didn’t participate in sports, and spoke with a speech impediment. I was the nerdy, academic friend, son, brother, and student, so obviously I didn’t seem to be the most attractive to most young men and women. I was the best friend, fun, and the loyal one.

This continued throughout my childhood and into adulthood, and despite earning my bachelor’s and master’s degrees, marrying the partner of my dreams, and working for a university, my confidence still wasn’t sky high. It was because I was hiding a very important aspect of myself. Carrying the hidden fact that I was a bisexual man contributed to my confidence not being as strong. I had every reason to have the utmost confidence because I was a scholarly student, had many friends, had and created a loving family, valued excellent health, and exhibited strong faith.

At the ripe age of 30, I admitted to myself, and later my wife and family, that I was bisexual, and afterwards my confidence finally equaled my self-worth. I am confident now because I accept my authenticity and realize the gifts I have to offer my friends and family . . .  and the world!

Confidence is synonymous with security. Admitting my bisexuality allowed for me to be secure with myself and others. I finally was able to appreciate that others knew all of me and returned reciprocal kindness and love.

My Anxiety Decreased

With an increased confidence of being myself, the anxiety I carried decreased. No longer did I fear my family and friends discovering my long-held secret. I was finally not hiding from myself, either.

I had anxiety for a long time because I couldn’t fully accept and be honest with my attraction to women AND men, and that I was not the traditional, masculine man. Fearing prospective partners would not accept my authenticity and sexuality heightened my anxiety, along with thoughts of disappointing my family. In my mind, I was actually not the man others perceived.

Holding onto anxiety increases stress, is unhealthy, creates insecurity, and fuels fear. Fear and anxiety contribute to not living authentically. Claiming my bisexuality allows me to share my story and embrace an authentic life. I know now that others not only accept my authentic self, but respect me for finally acting courageously and owning myself. My apprehension no longer controls my life.

My Marriage Improved

Finally owning my bisexuality improved my marriage.

After revealing my bisexuality to my wife, she was able to accept what she had known for quite some time. My wife was relieved because I finally was not concerned about what others would and were think(ing), and I was acting in a way that makes me a happier person. Since I was happier, she became happier. My wife witnessed me finally embracing my life’s journey with myself and her, because I began accepting my authentic self and my authentic wife. No longer did I try to have our marriage be similar to the marriages of other couples, but I began being grateful for having a marriage uniquely our own and knowing that the marriage to my wife could withstand any challenge.

I finally realized my marriage would last eternally.

Bisexual Legitimacy

Bisexuality erasure is real.

Bisexuals are often ignored or dismissed for many reasons. Bisexual men and women are less likely to reveal themselves because they fear the backlash from  both the hetero- and homosexual communities. These communities often criticize bisexuals for being indecisive or in denial. This increases the chances of bisexuals remaining silent and not speaking publicly.

According to Fought (2014), “Bisexual erasure (also sometimes called bisexual invisibility) is ‘the tendency to ignore, remove, falsify, or re-explain evidence of bisexuality in history, academia, news media and other primary sources. In its most extreme form, bisexual erasure can include denying that bisexuality exists.’ Bisexual erasure is a form of biphobia, which is an aversion to bisexual people or pansexual people based on negative stereotypes and irrational fears.”

For these significant and personal reasons, I enjoy claiming my bisexuality when warranted opportunities arise. If bisexuals do not begin claiming their identity, to reveal that bisexuality is not just a phase but is genuine, then society will never begin to fully understand and accept that bisexuals exist. Sexuality is not always black-and-white. For some, sexuality is fluid, but many cannot understand the fluidity.

Instead of bi-erasure, bi-exposure is needed. Bisexuality could become understood, acknowledged, and supported more quickly. Bisexuality looks different to many bisexuals. The idiosyncrasies of bisexuality are more complex than those related to homo- and heterosexuality. For this paramount reason, among many others, it is critical for those that are bisexual to claim their bisexuality proudly. By informing society, bi-exposure begins and bi-erasure ends.

This is why I claim my bisexuality.

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