Attracted to Both Sexes, Committed to One Person

 A bisexual woman, married to a man for nearly two decades, comes out on Facebook.

Last year I came out on Facebook. In the least creative way, on National Coming Out Day and by posting the picture shown above. I don’t know how I might have done it creatively. Maybe a Lady Godiva-style ride through the village with a rainbow sash.

When Geoff, my husband, posted the question You’re What? in response to my admission, it caused a kerfuffle. People speculated I might be having a mid-life crisis.

It’s not a mid-life crisis. Geoff was kidding, and he has always known.

 ♦◊♦

My least favorite reaction, when I do tell people—and maybe this is why sometimes I don’t tell people—is this one: But, you’re married.

That’s right. I’m married, and I’ve been married for a long time. Almost 17 years; we’ve been together since 1994. When we met, I was dating about 60/40 male/female. I’d been skeptical about him. Not because he was male, but because he was cool.

I got lucky. We belong together. Not because the government or the bible says so. Not because we are male and female. Because we are who we are. We are people who belong together. And for us, that was luck. It meant we could get married without a battle. It meant that when we decided we wanted kids, we had them. (Which is lucky on more than one count; plenty of heterosexual couples can’t, or have difficulty conceiving.) No one gave us a hard time.

But. It certainly wasn’t a choice based on ease. In fact, I’m not even sure it was a choice. People are given to you. You decide, or discover, by what. Me? I prayed to the Virgin for my people, for both my partner and my kids.

So why bother saying it? Let me ask you this, you who have been married or partnered a long time, who are straight but still look at, desire or think about the opposite sex: you do sometimes think about the opposite sex, right? Guys: I know you look at women. Girls: Come on. We had a fair debate over Channing Tatum versus Ryan Gosling. Your desire for other than your partner does not fade away to nothing because you have paired off. You are still your own sexual being.

And so am I.

I’ve had significant relationships with women. I’ve fallen in love with women, and I’ve fallen in love with men. Here’s one of my favorite quotes about it:

In itself, homosexuality is as liming as heterosexuality: the ideal should be to be capable of loving a woman or a man; either, a human being, without feeling fear, restraint, or obligation.  — Simone de Beauvoir

There’s me. Don’t put me in your box.

This article orginally appeared, in slightly different format, on Talk about the Pashion.

Photo provided by the author.

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About Jennifer Pashley

Jennifer Pashley was raised in Central New York by an accordion virtuoso and a casket maker.

Comments

  1. Melissa Y says:

    This is beautiful. Cheers to you, for knowing who you are and celebrating it.

  2. John Smith says:

    I am Bi and I clearly remember an ex boyfriend of my saying “How can you be Bi. You have to choose otherwise you will never be happy, always wanting a man when your with a woman and vice versa”. Oddly that relationship didn’t last long as he had no trust in me and got jealous of me talking to men and women…

  3. I wonder why so few people have commented, unless of course it’s because bisexuality may be more uncomfortable (incomprehensible?) to some than homosexuality. Or, as you say, it’s the fact that you’re married and your husband is aware of your sexuality.

    In a good marriage, isn’t that exactly what we would expect? Real knowledge of the other?

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