Maybe you’re at home sitting on the couch when it happens. You’re minding your business casually watching How to Get Away With Murder; somewhere between a sexy Connor and Oliver love scene and Michaela showing up looking flawless in yet another designer dress, it hits you.
You look back at your life, thinking about all of the crushes you’ve had. It makes sense. You’ve always had a definite thing for Idris Elba, (who hasn’t?) and recently your love for Mindy Kaling has gotten out of hand.
So bisexual then. What now?
Soon after realizing that you swing multiple ways, many bisexuals start to consider the coming out process, looking at all sides of the issue and weighing the pros and cons. At least, that’s what myself and the vast majority of my bi and pansexual friends did.
See, a lot of the time, realizations of sexual fluidity come with a kind of doubt. We think that maybe having a more fluid sexual identity means that we don’t have to come out. We think that perhaps this newly discovered aspect of our persona doesn’t really matter until we enter into a relationship with someone of our own gender.
We believe until the time comes, we can live in a kind of limbo. Maybe we tell a close family member or our most trusted friend. But we think that the rest of the world can wait. In the meantime, we can go on living in a kind of gray area, passing for straight and forgoing the option to correct anyone who assumes we play strictly for Team Hetero.
I’m guilty of passing for straight. After realizing I was bisexual, I spent about a year playing the passing game. I didn’t want to do the official coming out thing, so I didn’t. I answered honestly if anyone asked, but I didn’t openly share it with anyone. Eventually, though, I grew tired of passing.
I wanted to be out. I wanted to share that part of myself with the world. It had taken me so many years to figure it out, and now that I had, I realized I wasn’t satisfied living my life with one foot still comfortably in the closet.
Of course, here is where I say that it’s perfectly fine to do that. Coming out can be overwhelming, filled with copious amounts of anxiety and doubt. It’s more than okay to take the process as slow or as fast as you’d like. Everyone’s different, and everyone handles things differently. You do you, babe.
But, in my experience, coming out in bits in pieces is a temporary relief. Hiding who you are, even just a little, has the potential to leave you feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled.
Coming out is an important process. It helps us queer people own our identities and take pride in who we are. So, while being bi means that we could potentially go on passing as straight, maybe it’s not the best move.
After all, passing as straight isn’t a privilege, and denying parts of ourselves can really only hurt us in the long run. So while us bisexuals/pansexuals/more sexually fluid people could easily go on living our lives without coming out, I tend to think that, in the long run, it’s much better not to.
It’s important to come out so that we can live a life free of doubt. It’s important to feel PRIDE.