Singer Halsey received an Outstanding Music Artist award at GLAAD. She was unable to attend and sent a video where she talked about her experience being open about her bisexuality:
“I’m a young, bisexual woman, and I’ve spent a large part of my life trying to validate myself — to my friends, to my family, to myself — trying to prove that who I love and how I feel is not a phase; it’s not part of some confusion that’s going to change or could be manipulated.”
Halsey is a polarizing figure for some, the term ‘extra’ has been tossed around on the internet, but I enjoy her music a lot and how excited she is about trying to change the landscape of what bisexual women look like. And yes, I also understand side-eyeing anyone who would date G-Eazy, who looks like an alt-universe Jared Leto Joker. All that into consideration, Halsey’s point is valid. Bisexuality is still treated as false.
I have probably always known I was bisexual, but I didn’t act on those feelings until my later years in college. When I went to my all-girls high school, there was a lot of experimenting and while there were certainly girls I was attracted to, I did not want my business all over the small school so I basically just told myself “I think girls are pretty, but I like men” as I looked at the Emma Watson poster on my wall.
In college, I hung out with mostly gay women and so everyone assumed I was also gay and there was a lot of resistance on my part of allowing myself to fully embrace that part of me. Partly, because everyone was trying to label me, but also because I didn’t want to be gay. I was already black. I was already a woman. I didn’t need that. Then I fell in love with a woman and it was worth it to come out to my mom and some members of my family and I’ve lived my life since I was 20 (six years) as a bisexual woman.
When I dated a man, later on, I had to make it very clear that just because I was with him it didn’t mean I was not interested in women. Both to him and to others.
I remember once, when I was standing with him on a train platform, a woman came up to us and said that she used to be against couples like us (he was white) but she learned: “Love is love, I’m not okay with that gay stuff, but this is beautiful.”
Well, I’m gay! Screamed through my head, as I wordlessly turned and walked away. I realized at that moment that part of the reason so many bisexual people, women especially, feel the need to be loud about their label, is because if we don’t and we are in heterosexual relationships, people will do that. They will share their homophobia and bullshit with us thinking we are straight.
So many times I’ll encounter people or hear from friends how they would love to date other women, but some lesbian women do not want to date them because they are bisexual. When my girlfriend and I broke up, the first thing she said to me was that I was a faking being into women because I couldn’t get a man. Nevermind that I was out before her, but the idea that I would end up with a man after seemed to her like a betrayal, even when she was bisexual as well.
As a bisexual woman, if I was dating a straight cis man, there are queer places I would not go with them, simply because I believe in honoring what those spaces mean. Nor do I blame lesbians or other gay people for feeling like there is a sort of “privilege” to not always being seen as gay.
However, bisexual people are still part of this community. We still face oppression, we still deal with homelessness, abuse, and rape. We want to be here, we want to support the movement, but we also don’t want to be treated as if we are confused, or as if we are not serious about romantic relationships with same-sex partners.
We aren’t trying to hog the spotlight, we are just trying to be.
(via People, image: Screengrab)
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