Bi erasure prevents me from coming out

I’ve been having a lot of conversations about my sexuality this month. Conversations that centre around bi-erasure as much as biphobia Not surprising, as it’s Pride month. And the more I talk about it, the more I’m sick of hiding who I am. I’ve been thinking a lot about coming out. Not just to my immediate family (they know I’m bisexual already), but also to my friends and my conservative parents and siblings.

I’ve imagined coming out to them. I’ve imagined what they’d say, how they’d react. I’m in my forties, I don’t need the approval of my parents anymore. I am who I am and I can’t change the fact that I’m bisexual. I don’t want to live a lie anymore. Most of my siblings would probably be supportive and it would be so good to just be myself.

So what holds me back? Based on my parents’ track record, they would have a lot of homophobic things to say. But I’m kind of past the point where I care about what they think. I don’t live in the same country as them, I don’t have to see them often, so if they need a few months to get their head around this, I wouldn’t really have to deal with it.

I mean yes, of course, part of what holds me back is their judgement and the fact that they might just decide to cut me out of their lives. But when I play the scenario of me telling them I’m bisexual in my mind, what terrifies me is not their judgement. It’s that they won’t even accept my bisexuality as a fact. I know what they’ll say. “You can’t be bisexual, because you’ve been happily married to a man for nearly twenty years.” Or maybe they’ll question how I even know I’m bisexual since I’ve never been with a woman.

Bi-erasure, not biphobia, is why I hardly ever tell anyone I’m bisexual. I’m straight-passing, in a heterosexual relationship and I’ve never had a girlfriend, much less had sex with a woman. So many people don’t understand bisexuality, so they brush it away. I’ve had reactions such as, “Oh, every woman is a little bicurious” or “How do you know if you’ve never been with a woman?”

I’ve spent more than twenty years realising that I’m bisexual. When I finally realised and acknowledged my sexuality, it was as if a huge weight had lifted. I finally fetl right in myself, if that makes sense. I felt I’d come home and everything that had bugged me for a long time just slotted in place. I’m not a man-hating feminist. I’m not a closet lesbian. I’m a bisexual woman married to a man.

Having to defend my sexuality is not something I’m comfortable with. And bi-erasure does just that: it tells you that your sexuality isn’t valid. And as bisexual people, we can’t win. If we’re in a relationship with a member of the opposite sex, we must be straight. If we’re in a same sex relationship, we must be gay/lesbian. There’s no winning for us.

I would love to be more out about my sexuality in my real life than I currently am. I have friends who I know wouldn’t be biphobic. My colleagues are all very open-minded and wouldn’t treat me any different. But what holds me back is the fear of bi-erasure. I don’t want to be challenged on my own sexuality. I don’t want to be questioned whether I’m really bisexual or whether I’m just attracted to women (as if that isn’t what makes me bisexual).

I’ve been gaslighted enough in my life. I don’t need people to challenge my sexuality. Or dismiss me like I know my parents would. As if I’m not a grown-ass woman who can make up her own mind about her sexuality. I shouldn’t have to prove I’m bisexual. How does one do that anyhow? Do I have to sleep with a few women and men before I can be considered bisexual enough? Oh, but not in university, right? Because that’s just “experimenting” and that’s what everyone else does.

So as Pride month comes to an end, I hope that maybe next year I can be confident enough to celebrate it in style. To really feel like I belong at Pride and that I can be outspoken about my sexuality without having to defend the validity of it.

 

SURRENDER IN THE LIBRARY

Hot librarian Rachel loves her job and the perks that come with it. When she is caught spying on a couple having sex between the bookshelves, that should mean the end of her job. However, Chris has other ideas. Instead of reporting her, he has a proposal for her. As Rachel enthusiastically embarks on a journey full of sex and depravity with Chris, it soon becomes clear that his mind is even more twisted than hers.

Can she endure everything he instructs her to do and can he succeed in making her his submissive?

A dark, twisted BDSM novella.

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