Hi guys. So this month is Pride Month. I myself am Bi, so I though i’d try something different and interview the lovely Emma ( @InvincibleWomanOnWheels) and Shannon ( @Shannons_corner) to talk about their different stories in regards to coming out and life as a bisexual. I really enjoyed working with them both, and I hope you can both enjoy and gain something from this post. Lets get started.
- What age did you first come out, and how?
Emma says: I was probably around 18 or 19 when I first came out to that first person and said I was bisexual; I know it was early in my university life. The actual situation came about when I was talking to a couple of university friends and we were discussing relationships and sexuality. They discussed where they saw themselves on the sexuality spectrum and then asked me how I identified and I just said I was bi. I’m aware I’m lucky that my initial coming out story was so relaxed like that. I’d always had some kind of idea that I was attracted to men and women, but it hadn’t been something anyone had asked about that point or that seemed relevant at all (since I hadn’t dated anyone) so I’d never identified as bisexual before then.
Shannon says: I think I’ve been coming out since I was about 18/19. I never just came out to a lot of people at once, I just put it into conversations when talking about dating or thinking people were attractive. I found it easier with people my age such as friends and my sister because we’d naturally talk about potential partners and similar topics so it would come up quite naturally but not with older people such as my grandparents, that was harder.
2. How have people in your real life (or online) reacted to your coming out?
Emma says: In terms of reaction, which has mostly been from in person interactions like friends and family, there’s not really BEEN much reaction. I think this is again because they don’t really see my sexuality as relevant for their life. It only seems relevant when it comes to my relationships and dating, and since I’ve been single for the majority of the time I’ve been out as bisexual, it’s not really been something that’s relevant. What I have noticed is a slight shock or confusion sometimes when I mention that an actress or some girl I’ve seen is attractive and I think that’s because they just forget that I am actually bisexual. The other comment I get is a response that I’ve “not decided” when it comes to my sexuality and, regardless of the fact that sexuality isn’t a decision, bisexuality IS my sexuality and not just some stepping stone to being a lesbian or some exploration from being heterosexual. So, if there was a ‘decision’ to be made, I’ve already made it. I’m bisexual and that’s that.
Shannon says: I think I’ve been really lucky in this regard because it has been mostly positive. I don’t have any personal online presence but in person most people have been fine about it. I think because it just came out in conversation it was easier to just carry on the conversation rather than expect someone to react specifically to me coming out to them. It was nice for me because it made it more normal but I think on the flip side it allows people to just pretend you never said it which I think is something some people did, especially older family members.
3. Sometimes people unfortunately struggle to see past misconceptions of bisexuals. In some cases, were called greedy, or if we date someone were asked “oh, so you’re straight/gay now??” . How would you respond to this?
Emma says: On the misconception of greediness, I’d say that’s fundamentally misunderstanding bisexuality. Identifying as bisexual means I am attracted to men and women and would be in a relationship with men or women. It does not mean I suddenly want to date the entirety of humanity all at once and steal them from everyone else! In terms of the gender of the person I’m dating meaning I’m now either straight or a lesbian, I’d say no, that’s not how it works. I’m still bisexual, it’s the same as what I said about the above comment of bisexual meaning I have “not decided” about my sexuality. Bisexual is my sexuality, it’s not some fence I sit on and then jump off based on the gender of my current partner.
Shannon says: Oh, I hate this. It’s just pure ignorance and I cannot stand it. I just tend to be very straight forward and say it like it is. ‘No, I’m still bi, I just happen to be dating a male/female at the minute.’ For the others I tend to be a bit blunter and just say ‘no, I’m not’ which probably isn’t the greatest argument but I’d rather not engage in a conversation with them. I’m happy with my sexuality so I don’t feel the need to correct others if they are being ignorant
4. Is there any advice you would give to people who have come out, but are in a bad/dangerous situation because of this?
Emma Says: This sound like a bit of a cliché phrase, but I’d say find your safe space. Whether that’s places you can stay or people you can stay with (if the situation is to the point where the safest thing for you to do is leave where you’re currently living). Or at least find people you can trust and confide in about the situation so that you don’t have to carry the weight of living in such a situation alone. This might be talking to members of the LGBT society if you’re at university, and a university that has an LGBT society, or it could mean talking to anyone at all as long as you feel comfortable confiding in them about the situation.
Shannon says: Keep yourself safe. Of course, it’s important to be who you are but if you can’t get away from a dangerous situation then just keep yourself safe. Obviously, try to remove yourself from the situation but I know that is easier said than done so until you can get away from the situation and make plans to do that safely then just do what you need to do.
5. Some people may still be in the closet, too scared to come out. What advice would you give, in regard to this?
Emma says: I would say remember that coming out doesn’t have to mean telling the entire world. Start by just telling one person that you know, trust and feel comfortable confiding in, and be sure if you can that you know their views on LGBT people so you know that you’ll get a supportive response. It might be a good idea to come out to a fellow member of the LGBT community first as they’ll understand the emotional struggle behind coming out better than most, but of course who you come out to is up to you.
Shannon says:I think similar to the last question, if you’re scared because you know it’ll put you in danger, try to get yourself into a safer space before you do. If you’re scared because you’re just not sure how people will react just try to listen to what they say about other things. Are they generally a tolerable person? Are they normally reasonable even if they don’t agree with what is being said? That kind of thing can give you a good idea of what their reaction will be. Or you can do what I did which was just come out in conversation, because then if you’re scared about attention or their reaction it’s easier just to carry on the conversation instead of sitting in an awkward silence after an announcement.
6. Although this is a challenging time for some, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Name 1 positive thing that has come from coming out.
Emma says: I feel like I understand myself and my place in the LGBT community better. I’d always felt a little awkward attending LGBT pride events where I was known as an ally and not an LGBT individual myself. I always wondered if they were my events to attend as a straight ally. But it turns out I was just bisexual the entire time, so I guess that answers that question.
Shannon says: I feel less anxious, like I’m not carrying around this big weight. I used to get so anxious when people would talk about people they fancied or potential partners and now that people know I feel so much more relaxed and myself around them. It’s been very freeing.
That’s all guys, I hope you enjoyed this post! Please be sure to check out Shannon and Emma’s blogs! Their links are: https://shannonscorners.wordpress.com/ https://invinciblewomanonwheels.wordpress.com/
Now i’d like to know, what are you guys thinking about this pride?