“When I first allowed myself to acknowledge my bisexuality it was really exciting. It felt like I was being far more true to myself. I was still incredibly shy when talking to anyone about a relationship, but it was nonetheless a great time of feeling pride in my sexuality.
“And then I entered a relationship with a man. Suddenly, any confidence that I felt about going into our LGBT lounge in the students union plummeted. In everyone’s eyes I was straight, to the point where I questioned myself again. I was definitely not queer enough now, surely?
“In LGBT circles or in ‘straight’ circles, I was heterosexual and that was it. When bi-visibility is already so poor, I felt in no position to be able to argue my existence.
“How do you justify your bisexuality when you’ve only had experience of being in a heterosexual relationship?
“I knew very few people who were openly bi, so I didn’t have people to talk to about it. I felt like was a liar. I was told that I was just saying it be cool and to join another group. I was told ‘oh of course you are’ with a sigh and a snigger. From the LGBT group, a place where I had thought that I belonged, I was made to feel as though I’d be faking it.
“I know I’m straight passing, I’ve not heard the sneers; I’ve not seen the judgemental looks. Surely then I’m just whingeing? Just trying to join the cool kids, right?
“I remember Tom Daly coming out as bi and everyone’s response being ‘oh I always knew he was gay’. It was another example of bi-erasure, of not believing that someone could possibly like more than one gender. But the most disheartening thing was that it came not only both from the straight community, but from the gay community as well. Talk about a knock back – I couldn’t even talk to my friends about my own sexual preferences.
“Luckily, some fantastic people I knew set up at Bi+ group to come and meet other Bi people and their own space. A place where you didn’t have to provide evidence of the fact that you liked more than one gender!
“Are we really going to go back decades to ask the same questions again: are you sure? It’s probably just a phase though right? But do you really know? When are we going to learn just to accept how people identify themselves?
“I’m certainly not going to justify myself anymore.”
Photo credit: Paula Akpan
Photo editing: Ming Au