Telling My Boyfriend I Was Bi Almost Gave Me a Panic Attack

Telling My Boyfriend I Was Bi Almost Gave Me a Panic Attack

Sexuality is on a spectrum, and right now I happen to identify somewhere in the middle.

I haven’t told many people that I am bisexual, including my own mother. So hi, mom. If you’re reading this, I am bisexual.

One of the main reasons I did not tell people I am bisexual is because I had the fear they would not believe me. My fear came true one Saturday night when I was with my college roommates and a few of our friends. We were drinking wine in our dorm room while sharing secrets and reminiscing childhood memories. I told them I was thinking a lot about my sexuality and I may identify as bisexual. I vividly remember my roommate cutting me off and scoffing “No you’re not.” I felt my cheeks starting to flush and my face becoming hot with anger and embarrassment.

“You can’t tell me what I am,” I quickly responded.

“Well, then prove it. What girls could you possibly like?” she asked.

I was humiliated and unsure how to respond. Was she really expecting me to give her a laundry list of all the girls I thought were attractive? I mean, I guess I could understand why my roommate was shocked. I do not fit the LGBTQ stereotype and have been in long term relationships that were only with men. However, it still didn’t give her the right to treat me with such disrespect. After that unpleasant night, I was extremely careful about who I opened up with.

Another reason I did not talk about my sexuality is because I am currently in a serious relationship with a man. I constantly asked myself, why do I need to tell people I’m bisexual if I’m happy with my heterosexual relationship? I had the idea ingrained into my head that my sexuality shouldn’t be public, as long as a female love interest never came into the equation. After a lot of rethinking, I’ve come to realize that it’s a part of who I am and I shouldn’t have to hide my sexuality.

I clearly remember one of my first conversations with my boyfriend about my sexuality. We were sitting in my car after a dinner date. I hesitated as I told him “I have to tell you something.” After a long pause, I started choking on my words. I built the conversation up to be a big deal; I even had a full-fledged panic attack.

After I told him, he responded with something along the lines of “That was it?” A weight was lifted from my shoulders and I thought about it for a minute. Why was I so nervous to tell him? The conversation didn’t change our relationship in any way. I was just sharing a piece of my identity with him, and I am thankful he was able to understand and appreciate that.

From my few coming out experiences, I’ve learned that we live in a society where we are constantly engaging in compulsory heterosexuality; the idea of assuming people are straight unless they say otherwise. I think homosexuality would be a lot more common (or at least more openly discussed) if there wasn’t already a “norm” of heterosexuality. I believe it’s important that we as a society need to create a safe space for people to feel comfortable to explore and reflect upon their sexuality as well as other aspects of their life.

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