“It’s one thing to come out but it’s another to be shoved back into the closet”
BY KATE STRONG, IMAGE VIA PEXELS
Hi, you can call me Kit and I’m bisexual. That’s something I’d been made to feel was a dirty secret in a past relationship. It’s one thing to come out but it’s another to be shoved back into the closet, especially by someone who claims to love you as you are.
As I was beginning to discover myself, I started a relationship with someone of the opposite sex. It was a first for me and the concept of dating was entirely new, I was still feeling my way through the dark. He promised that he loved me for who I was, that he supported the LGBTQIA community and was a feminist. Had I finally found someone who accepted me?
This couldn’t be further from the truth, before I met his parents, I was looked in the eyes and told to hide my sexuality. “Don’t worry I accept you, they just won’t.” At the time this didn’t feel significant, he said he accepted me, right? I changed myself completely when I was around him, trying to dress “normally” which meant being more feminine than I usually portray myself and I let myself be moulded to other’s expectations.
I had to be the perfect girlfriend, by not embracing my usual androgynous alternative style, by keeping quiet about my views and by hiding my sexuality.
Luckily, with the support of family and friends I realised I was being kept in a box, that I had diluted my true self and it was making me miserable. It became clear that it wasn’t just my boyfriend’s parents that were the problem. It was him. It was every time he shot my opinion down. It was every time I was told a haircut I liked was too masculine. I always remember when I told him I was getting a piercing and he responded, “My girlfriend isn’t a pin cushion.”
After breaking up with him I was able to go back to being me and it was a truly liberating experience. Being able to express myself again was what set me on the journey to realising I was not only bisexual but also non-binary.
Before long I found myself a new partner, who at the time identified as a cis male. Initially, the fear crept up inside of me, I would have to become the “girlfriend” once again. But I was wrong. This time I was welcomed with open arms; it was overwhelming for me to feel accepted and loved by both him and his family. He enjoys going to LGBTQIA bars with me and he uses gender neutral terms when talking about me to others. I know he loves me for who I am and not who he wants me to be.
So why am I digging out my dating history book? Well, it is because it’s because it is important for us bisexual people to be able to express our queerness, even in a “straight relationship”. Who you are should never be kept a secret, you should be able to be loud and proud about who you are, and your partner should be accepting of that. Everyone deserves to be loved for who they are and should never be made to feel otherwise. In the words of RuPaul, “If you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love somebody else?”
DIVA magazine celebrates 28 years in print in 2022. If you like what we do, then get behind
LGBTQIA media and keep us going for another generation. Your support is invaluable.