Updated: Sep 29, 2018
I first admitted to myself that maybe I was bisexual one cold, wintry night in November 2016.
I'd sat Googling 'I think I might be bisexual' for the past hour as the room had slowly turned dark around me. I remember feeling lost and confused and slightly ashamed. My biggest problem was that I was in a relationship with a straight man at the time, I'd never had anything other than heterosexual sex and I couldn't think how I could realistically admit to people I had come to realise I was sexually attracted to women as well as men (this was before my bisexuality got more woke, and I realised it included mutliple gender identities, not just those in the binary). I felt like people would expect me to prove it, and how could I do that in a monogamous 'straight' relationship? I was worried about hurting my boyfriend at the time too, would he understand? Would this be the end of our relationship?
I sat on this new knowledge about my sexuality for months. It ate away at me. I hate harbouring secrets and I felt like I was lying to my then boyfriend (BF). I worried that maybe my feelings weren't real, that this sexual attraction I felt towards people of the same gender as me was, like I'd thought all the times before, just a 'girl crush'. I felt that it would be dishonest to say I was bisexual if I hadn't acted on any of my feelings, but of course I couldn't act on those feeling because I was in a monogamous relationship. I eventually admitted it to two friends months later on the journey home from improv class one day. It bubbled out of me like over-boiling milk in a pan. It was such a relief to say it to somebody, and not only that, but have my friends affirm my experience. It turned out one of them had gone through exactly the same thing: she was in a relationship with a straight man when she realised she was bisexual, and hearing that was a life saver. It made me realise this was real, and other people had gotten through it.
That night when I got home me and BF did our usual Sunday night ritual of watching First Dates. They always have really attractive femme lesbian/queer women on it and this particular episode there were two gorgeous girls on this date, flirting over their puddings, making really intense eye contact as they licked mousse off their spoons and I got this tingling feeling... you know that feeling, like the beginnings of a wide on? And butterflies in my stomach and that bubbling over again - the words erupted out of me once more: "I think I might be bisexual". Now, unfortunately, my nickname for BF was 'sausage' (don't ask me how it started because I honest to God do not remember but I can guarantee it was not penis related) which resulted in the following hilariously awkward exchange: BF: What? Me: I think I might be bisexual. BF: Oh. Does that mean you don't love sausage anymore? Me: (trying to supress a giggle) I think the whole point is I still love sausage, but maybe there's other things I like too. In the end it turned out coming out to him as bisexual was relatively easy, and I was like a pack of Pringles, once I'd popped I couldn't stop. I started telling more and more people and the more people I told, the more I found who had very similar stories to me (don't get me wrong, there were still people it was difficult to come out to and still people who don't get it, but I'll talk about that another time). One of the most affirming things I did was interview people with vulvas about their orgasms, for a theatre project 'ORGASM', where I encountered loads of bisexual women who told me all about their experiences and reaffirmed my own.
Those few months where I was closeted were really tough, and I'm so lucky that on coming out I found such a big, brilliant, supportive group of other bisexuals (of all genders) to talk to. Coming out as bisexual still has a load of stigma attached to it. There are the age old accusations of 'greedy' or 'can't make up your mind' or 'confused' or 'just a phase' (I'll go into this more in another post) which can all be incredibly damaging. Having a great bunch of people who are just like you around can make all the difference, and can really help you 'get bi' when your mental health is poor or you're feeling erased by the straight and queer community simultaneaously...
If you want to meet more bisexual people in your area, 'Biscuit' has a handy list of Local Bisexual Groups in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland.