Late last year, I married another woman. She is beyond incredible, and more than I could have dreamt up when thinking about my ideal lover.
From the outside, it looks wonderful – we have just brought out first home together, we’ve started to make plans to expand our family and every July we celebrate pride together, rainbows and glitter. It looks like the perfect lesbian marriage. Except it’s not; because I don’t identify as a lesbian.
I have dated and been in love with both men and women.
When I first came out as bisexual, I was faced with a whole lot more discrimination and biphobia that I expected. The ‘straight’ community thought it was just a phase, and some within the ‘gay’ community refused to date me.
Around me, people who identify as heterosexual announced that I was ‘being greedy’ and just hadn’t met the right man yet. I was told more times than I can count that I was promiscuous or that I just wasn’t ready to admit that I was a lesbian just yet, or that I still wanted the opportunity to ‘pass’ as straight. There were people who identify as LGBTQ+ that told me that I was just confused and that I’d see that ‘the grass is greener on the other side’ soon enough.
Let me just dispell a few things for you; bisexual+ people aren’t ‘greedy’ and nor are we promiscuous [some people might be, but people that exist in all corners of society]. I’m also not ‘confused’ – in fact, I know myself so well that I can identify that I have attraction and romantic interest to all people, regardless of their gender. I’m also not transphobic, which has more commonly been coming up in conversations around bisexuality – for me, my bisexuality just means that I am attracted to more than one gender. I find love and connection in the hearts and minds of people rather than their gender identity.
When Kasey proposed marriage, and I said yes, there were people in my life that made comments about how I had finally made a ‘choice,’ and there were people in my life that assumed that our relationship was an open marriage just because I identify as bisexual.
From the outside, it felt as if my identity as bisexual was completely erased. Apparently, to some people around me, I had graduated to gay – which meant that I was no longer a bisexual.
Disclosing my sexuality isn’t something that I often do, it isn’t necessarily something that pops up in conversation. But, part of my heart breaks that my sexuality will never be questioned. The fight for acceptance with my family, friends and within queer spaces to have my identity as bisexual understood seems to have just amounted to nothing.
I married a woman, but my sexuality hasn’t changed.
I’m offended when people label my marriage as a ‘lesbian relationship,’ but sometimes the conversation to correct them just isn’t worth the trouble. It is a relationship with two women, absolutely, but I don’t identify with being in a ‘lesbian relationship.’
My silence has an impact on my mental health, and it has an impact on the mental health of others within my community; because my silence contributes to the bi-erasure that is so common within LGBTQ+ spaces, and the general community.
My silence makes it harder for other bisexual people [and people who identify outside of exclusively heterosexual or homosexual] to feel represented within society and it makes the fight towards acceptance just that little bit harder. My silence also makes it just that little bit harder for my bisexual brothers and sisters to speak up about their own story and their personal experience.
I’m proud to be a bisexual woman, happily married to another woman and you’ll find me at my local pride events waving that pink, lavender, and blue flag; proud of exactly who I am.
Cover Photography by Victoria Gold Photography