"Even if you may not have much experience with helping bisexual guys, I don’t know where else to turn to. My family is not very religious, so that isn’t the problem, but my dad is kind if conservative. Although bisexual, I see myself in the future with another guy. Should I come out to them as gay, because I fear that if I tell them I’m bi, they will focus towards the fact that I still have a chance with a girl, and ignore the fact that I like guys as well. Please help, I’m a junior in highschool"
- Question submitted by Anonymous
I think this is totally up to you and what makes you comfortable. I think if your parents want to believe you’ll end up with a girl, that will come REGARDLESS of how you identify. When people aren’t totally comfortable with someone’s identity, they tend to make excuses. They try to brush it off, ignore it, figure out when it will “go away,” and do just about anything they can to avoid actually having a conversation and changing their views.
I think if you come out as gay, and date some men, then end up with a woman, you’ll do a bit of damage to your own feels and identity. Because once you meet a woman, your parents might say, “see! it was just a phase!” or “we knew you weren’t really gay!” or “thank god THAT is over!” and all of those statements are super hurtful. They also completely erase who you are, which is a bisexual-identified guy.
I also think it completely sucks how often the bisexual identity is treated like shit. People INSIDE the LGBTQ community will be jerks just to be jerks and like… THE B IS IN THE ACRONYM PEOPLE. It’s not fair to tell someone to ‘choose,’ it’s not fair to erase someone’s identity, it’s not fair to make someone’s coming out even harder, when you are supposed to be the support system. Your parents may make it harder on you, the community may make it harder on you, but you know what? This is who you are, you are a bisexual dude who should feel comfortable coming out as such and should stick by your identity because the people who give you hell don’t know what they’re talking about.
Be proud of who you are, and don’t ever do something because you think it’ll be easier for someone else. Especially when it involves your coming out. This is YOUR coming out. It will be a process and it will be hard. It seems to me that you think it’ll be hard no matter what, so why not have a hard process and know deep down that you were completely honest and true to yourself.
Hooboy, can I identify with this question, and damn did Dannielle just totally shed more light on my own experience. I know this isn’t about me, Anon, but let’s walk this one together, shall we?
I came out to my parents, initially, as bisexual. I didn’t know what I was, really, but I just felt as thought I was attracted to all sorts of people, and girls were definitely included (annnnd kind of at the top of the list). Past that, I had no clue what to call myself, so I went with bisexual… and that word made things so goddamn difficult with my mom (mind you, they would have been difficult regardless).
The word bisexual, however, wouldn’t allow her to let go of the idea that I could still like boys and that if I just met one — if her prayers could be answered — everything would be okay again. So, after a short amount of time dealing with that nonsense I said EFF THIS, and I came out again as gay. Gay gay gay mom, I will never be with a boy, stop your dreaming, I am GAY. I just wanted her to shut up and stop hoping that I’d be someone that I wasn’t…
I still didn’t really know what I was (I still really don’t, but bless the word ‘queer’ to that end). All I knew was that I liked girls and I kept dating girls, so why not just say the word that might help my mom let go of her hope and start accepting me for who I was… right? Well, not really. It did help out a bit in the beginning, because the finality of my statement forced her to let go of some of the hoping… but ultimately I was exactly where Dannielle says that you may be: I was then horrified that I’d meet a guy and have my entire identity erased.
What’s more, my false declaration of my identity closed our conversation off in a place that wasn’t true, and it also closed off my mom’s understanding, for the time being, of the complexities of sexuality and identities.
Biphobia is a real and present thing in this world — and it’s by speaking out about our identities that we can shake the misconceptions and the bullshit away. That said, this is your identity and your experience — and so the right answer here is what feels right to you. At the end of the day, work as hard as you can to be true to yourself and remember that your mom has the capacity, over time, to understand that your sexuality (and all that goes with it) is far more complex than and either/or experience.
(Shameless plug alert: This is a Book for Parents of Gay Kids totally kicks this question right in its teeth. In the good way. <3)
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