On discovering your bisexuality.

Dear Coquette,

I just wanted to let this out. I was born and raised in a conservative Christian home. I attend a Christian school and most people here aren’t very open to any idea crossing a rigid gender binary.

I’m waist deep in sociology classes, and it has recently come to my attention that sexuality is fluid. Wow! Ok — some guys like guys AND girls. That explains me! But, Coquette, that’s scaring me to my inner core and I don’t know why. I thought I was the person who was open to freedom, I thought I was a brave person. But now I’m just staring at the wall feeling disgusted and defeated with it all.

I’m confused as to why I’m craving any sort of label. I also haven’t a clue why I’m judging myself ruthlessly. My mother is a homophobe and my brother uses the word fag as an adjective. To be honest my sexuality scares me, a lot. I don’t know what to do or when to do it. Should I ever act on these feelings? Considering I’d be judged ruthlessly and probably disowned by my family, I don’t want to be labeled either, and in reality, bisexuality is just another term for slut or whore, and if you’re a guy who likes both you’re just gay. I don’t want a label and I don’t want to deal with the overwhelming bigotry that WILL come on this college campus. I mean, it’s a common occurrence for those braver than me. I feel like such a hypocrite. Where do I start and how do I change?

Take a deep breath and relax. You’re fine, kiddo. You’re neither a hypocrite nor a fake, and there’s nothing wrong with being scared and confused about your sexuality. That kind of thing is perfectly normal regardless of your orientation, and there’s nothing about yourself that you need to change.

Quite frankly, the only thing that needs to change is your community’s ignorant belief system. It sucks that you’re surrounded by a bunch of Bible-banging bigots. They’re the ones who are wrong, not you.

They’re wrong to suggest that bisexuality has any relationship to promiscuity. They’re wrong to apply a double standard to bisexual men. They’re wrong to judge you for your sexual orientation. They’re wrong to label you in the first place. They’re all just plain wrong.

Of course, that doesn’t make it any easier for you to be right. You’re still faced with the tough decision about how to express your sexual identity, and you’re the only one who can do that. It’s entirely up to you how and with whom you choose to express your sexuality, and quite frankly, it’s no one else’s damn business but your own.

You’re not obligated to come out to your family or label yourself in any way. Still, you have to remain principled. You’re not a hypocrite for keeping your sexuality private, but you can’t remain passive to ignorance and bigotry despite knowing it’s wrong. It’s a fine line that you’ll have to walk for as long as you choose to be a part of this backward-thinking community.

Take your time with this process. Dig deep and don’t be afraid to discover yourself. You’re on a journey of self-exploration, and it’s one of the most important things you’ll take away from your college experience.

Good luck.


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