Monday, March 18, 2019

I am bi and my friends keep invalidating my sexuality

"I’m bisexual and a lot/all of my really close supportive friends (who are also apart of the LGBTQ+ community) keep invalidating my sexuality kind of by saying “your just gay come on, you know it” in like a joking manner because I’ve only dated one guy and he’s really been my only male crush in the past 3 years but it’s honestly making me doubt my bisexuality even though I am attracted to both male and female people and I guess I’m wondering how I can deal with it."

Sadly, your situation is common for bisexuals. It is an experience we go through both within the LGBTQ community and when living among straight people.
I am sorry to hear you have to go through that but be reassured your bisexual family is always here for you, and it is a pretty huge family (though often hidden and invisible to the eye...because we are magical creatures, =p).

I am surprised there are no bi/pan people in your group of friends. We are the largest part of the LGBTQ community. I'm guessing some of them might not know they are bi/pan yet (some of us only realize it later on because of all the pressure put upon us to be either straight or gay), or some of them might be hiding because of those same remarks you are receiving. There probably are many bisexuals among those who are perceived as straight around you as well. 

In every group, the members of that group often try to rally others to their cause. It reassures them to know other people are like them, to form a bigger group. Even if it means erasing another person's identity. It is the same among us queers.

I know I have been guilty of this myself, labeling someone as bi when they were really gay because I perceived them as bi or because I really wished they were bi. But in the end, this is truly selfish. 
You being bi doesn't make you any less a member of the LGBTQ community than your friends. That's what they need to understand. We're all in this together. Being united is key. You might be bi, but you're still fighting for the same cause and you are just like them.

No matter what their feelings are, no matter how much they may want you to be gay, they need to understand that what they are saying is hurting you. 

Have you tried explaining to them how painful it is to you? 
It is the same as when someone tells them "Have you tried being straight?" or "Why can't you make the effort to be straight?" or "Don't worry, I'll find someone who can help and fix you."

You do not need fixing. You are perfect as you are. Your level of attraction to various genders doesn't change the fact that you're bi. You could like other genders much more than your own and still be bi. Or you can love your gender more than other genders and be bi. You could spend your entire life dating your own gender and still be bi. 
I have only ever dated men, and I can guarantee you I am very much bi.

It is not for other people to control your tastes. Not even you can control them.

If you haven't done it yet, I guess I would start by telling them how it makes you feel when they say that. The thing is to calmly make them understand that it is hurting you the same way homophobia or whatever kind of prejudice they're going through is hurting them. You can start by writing your thoughts down if it can help you process them more clearly to express them. 

Being a bisexual comes with a lot of doubts. After 15 years of knowing I am bi, I still go through doubt periodically. I also go through periods of not liking myself. 

Take care of yourself when that happens. You can listen to bi songs (Demi Lovato, Panic at the Disco!, etc...), read a bi book, watch bisexual Youtubers (my favorites are Courtney-Jay, Gaby Dunn, and Weird Norwegian), connect with other bisexuals to discuss how you feel. 

Trust me, you will eventually find friends who are bisexual, either in person or online. And it always feels good to have someone to vent to who understands you. I've found that if there is one thing the bi community is good at, it's understanding each other. 

Here is an interesting video about the bisexual spectrum that might help you. You will see a lot of these bisexuals feel more deeply attracted to their own gender than other genders.

I hope this helped. Don't hesitate to contact me again if you have other questions, encounter more issues, need someone to talk to, or for anything really.

Be strong! No one can tell us/control who we are even if a lot of people like doing so.

Thank you for trusting me with your concerns.

- Rowan

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Self-hatred and other queer problems

Self-hatred and other queer problems:

I have had a hard time dealing with my bisexuality these past two weeks, and I cannot quite pinpoint why, though I'll try... 

It could be the constant anti-queer propaganda around us. It could be that I'm having a hard time dealing with my attraction to women right now for some reason. Or it could be that I've been around a bunch of people forcing their heteronormative/cisnormative views on me, which is something that always takes a toll on me mentally. 

These issues hadn't happened for a while, and I hate it when it happens because it depresses me, and then I don't know how to get better for quite some time.

1 - Anti-queer propaganda:

I find that many people seem to think the LGBT community only deals with anti-queerness every so often in their lives. 
No, we deal with it every single day
It can happen any time we turn on our computer, turn on the TV, turn on the radio... There is always at least one person using gay slurs, making gay jokes, or downright talking about their hatred for us and how they want to take all our rights away, including our right to live. Don't even get me started on those of us who have homophobic families.

For example, I really wanted to watch some French comics on Youtube in the evening to relax and laugh... And I did try, but the problem was I quickly realized that many of them couldn't seem to be "funny" without including anti-gay jokes in their routines. 
Those don't make me laugh. I'm here trying to have a good time only to be faced with insults coming after our LGBT community. It's painful, and not my idea of fun. 

Because of that, I had to stop watching comics on TV unless they are actually queer people themselves, in which case I KNOW for a fact I am safe. I don't mind queer comics talking about the anti-queerness they go through every day. I don't mind it because them relating their problems makes me feel normal. But I do mind straight comics jibing at our community just to sell tickets and make money spreading painful hatred.

2 - My attraction to women:

There has never been a point in my life when I haven't felt shame over my attraction to women. 

Any time I see a beautiful woman, it comes with relief in knowing I am indeed queer (because bi-erasure so often makes me doubt myself that any confirmation I get makes me feel better), followed by self-hatred for wanting that same woman. And there are beautiful women everywhere, so let me tell you this happens a lot... 

The only times I feel okay with this side of myself is when I'm at Pride and women flirt with me because that makes me feel normal at last, or when my husband and I both joke about our common attraction to someone, which also normalizes my attraction to women. 

The rest of the time, I am dealing with self-hatred and shame. When I feel well, I tend to push it deep down and try to ignore it. But when I'm not well, it is right there under the surface trying to break free.

3 - Lack of understanding:

Have you ever been gaslighted when you were trying to talk about a problem in your life? Have your problems been treated as insignificant by other people only because they've never gone through that problem? Have you ever been told they don't want to hear about your issues because your problems bother them or trigger them?

I am sure you have... Everybody has in some way. Because our inability to relate to problems other than our own is huge. Most of us don't want to hear about other people's issues. It disturbs our perfect little lives. We read about those issues online, we think we're woke because we retweeted about the issues once or twice, and we move back to the comfort of our unchallenged lives. 

The thing is marginalized people don't get to move on... They can't move on because those problems are part of their lives EVERY SINGLE DAY!

I too would like to pretend that biphobia doesn't exist, that transphobia and homophobia don't happen every day... but I can't. I can't because those who hate people like us won't let us forget how much they hate us... I can't because people in my community are dying every day because of that same hatred. I can't pretend it isn't there no matter how much I wish I could. 

So when I try to explain my issues as a queer and I am told I've never truly suffered, or I am told my problems don't matter, or I am told by the person I'm talking to that they don't want to hear about my issues because my problems bug them or trigger them, THAT triggers me. 

And let me tell you the people telling me that are always people who've never had to deal with those issues. They don't like that I am here disturbing their perfect existence. It's truly disheartening. It saddens me. It makes me feel insignificant, worthless, like I am nothing, like I don't even matter—like our community as a whole doesn't matter. 

4 - Heteronormality and cisnormality:

Another reason why I've had a hard time being queer recently (and I mean queer, not just bi) is that since my pregnancy has started, some people around me have been pushing their heteronormality and cisnormality on me, regardless of my wishes. 

I am not talking about family. I am talking about random people who shouldn't have an effect on my life.

You see, those people have been OBSESSED with the gender of my child. 
I mean, truly obsessed. Some of them telling me which gender they want my child to be and why, pushing their gender stereotypes on my baby who isn't even born yet. They act like it will be a disappointment to them if my child isn't the gender they want. And I am sitting here trying so hard not to flip the bird in their prejudiced face. 

And all that feeds into my inability to fit in a society that simply does not understand me.

My child might be male or female at birth, but they might grow to tell me they were born in the wrong body. They might grow to tell me they don't have a binary gender. And the truth is I won't mind either way. All I am asking for is a human who is compassionate to others, kind, and loving. Their gender is absolutely irrelevant to me.

But any time some cishet person pushes their need for a certain gender on my child, it reminds me I simply do not fit in. It triggers the queer inside me. It reminds me I do not view life the way they do. And it makes me ache for those who are not cis, those who have to hear this bullshit every single day, those for whom those issues are truly personal, those whose lives are at stake and in danger because of such bullcrap.

And I sincerely believe this has been feeding into my depression lately. 

5 - How to comfort yourself:

Well, to comfort myself, the only solution I found was to surround myself with queerness. As much of it as I can get. If I could drown in it, I would.

I will watch queer shows, read queer books, listen to queer music, go to Pride. 
I am a firm believer that for the mental health of queer people, Pride should happen at least every trimester. Seriously, it's the one place I actually feel like I belong. I spend ALL YEAR waiting for Pride!

I also talk to other queers about my issues. They often feel the same way.

I also write. Writing is very therapeutic for me. It helps me deal with a lot of personal issues, and I recommend it to anyone. 

Finally, I try to remind myself that no matter how much other people hate us queers, we will ALWAYS have people who love us as we are too, either now or in the future, but it will happen for all of us. We just need to believe.
It has happened for me, and it will happen for you! :-)

Thank you for reading. 
Please feel free to message me if you need, or if you have issues you'd like to talk about.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

I think I might be bi. Do you have any advice?

I think I might be bi. Do you have any advice?

This question is really vague. Usually, what people want to know with this question is:
A- How can I tell I’m truly bi if I’ve never been with other genders?
B- Should I explore my sexuality with other genders to make sure and find out?
C- Should I come out?

A - How can I tell I’m truly bi if I’ve never been with other genders?

I’ve only been with one person in my entire life (a cis man), and yet I can guarantee you that I am bi. 
I know it the same way a person knows they’re straight even when they’ve never had sex or even kissed someone.

Being bi is difficult because a lot of people will insist there is no such thing as bisexuality, and when you’ve never been with various genders, you will often question yourself and wonder if you’re just a fake.
But only you know how you feel and who you are. 

If you are unsure, take your time to discover yourself and enjoy the ride. It can be scary, but do it at your own pace.
You can also find other bisexuals to help you.
I can guarantee you there is at least one bisexual in your life. You probably just don’t know it. Many of us are closeted.

B- Should I explore my sexuality with other genders to find out?

Not necessarily. A lot of people who are straight or gay know before they ever have sex or even kiss someone. It’s the same for bisexuals. You don’t need to have sex with various genders to know you’re bi.

Also, take into consideration that having sex with someone of a gender you’ve never been with before is like losing your virginity again. 
For the longest time, I couldn’t come to terms with wanting sex with women because I was not ready. I later realized I was not ready because it would be like losing my virginity all over again, and the thought of that was scary.
But everyone is different so you might be ready.

If you are unsure and just want to explore your sexuality with other people, please do be careful. You should be honest about your intentions or if you are not sure where it will go or how it will end. 
Remember that if you label yourself as bi (or even bi-curious), it reflects upon our entire community. If you are not sure you are part of that community, it is important to take into consideration the consequences for others who are. 
I’ve heard too many stories of people using the bi label just to try sex with gay people. That’s not cool. It is, in fact, harmful to the entire LGBT community. Please just be honest about your intentions.

C - Should I come out?

That is up to you. Only you know if you are ready.

Just know coming out is a personal choice, not an obligation or a due. 

If you are not sure you’re bi, I would advise you to wait a bit. Only because it’s hard enough knowing who you are without other people complicating things by asking you questions or making you doubt yourself. 
Also, be prepared for biphobia. People who have never experienced it don’t truly understand how personal homophobic/biphobic attacks hurt. Unless you are ready for the hatred that is sure to come your way, wait a bit and choose carefully those worthy of your trust.

Coming out is an act of trust and a gift to others. View it as other people being lucky to know that very personal secret about you. Some people simply do not deserve that trust. 

I hope this helped. Please remember I am no authority on the subject. Seek advice from other people in the community and see what helps you the most.

Thank you for reading.