Motherhood is a powerful time in a woman’s life when ideas around identity are often put into question. For a closeted bisexual mom living in a straight marriage, the whole identity erasure can be even more daunting. In this anonymous interview (we have changed the name to protect her identity), Katia tells us all about her experience and internal battle as a bisexual mom wanting to come out to her little girl.
As a closeted bisexual mom married to a man, I battled with the idea of coming out to our daughter since the day she was born. I often struggled with sharing my identity and to this day only a very small number of people actually know about my sexual orientation: my husband and a few trusted friends.
Growing up, there was never a doubt in my mind about the fact that I like both boys and girls, but it was certainly something that was not up for discussion in my lovely yet very closed-minded family. Despite living at a time when LGBTQ+ rights has been making incredible progress towards acceptance and equality, I have chosen, over and over again, to recede further back into my little closet out of fear of being misunderstood or rejected.
Now that my little girl is growing up and following all the recent world events, I have decided it is now time for me to start thinking about sharing my story. In our house, I have always insisted on teaching our daughter about the world’s diversity. We read books, we watch shows, we talk about different types of relationships, cultures, and food. We cover topics from sexuality and gender to race and culture. So as you can imagine, I feel like a fraud keeping my identity hidden so far back in the closet that I could be in Narnia.
I certainly do not want her growing up with the same fear I had and coming out would provide her with an open-minded understanding of the world around her and encourage honest communication. It would also help her to understand that love is love, no matter the gender or sexuality. On a more personal note, it will be a step in the right direction in combating a common misunderstanding of bisexuality and help my kiddo understand that bisexuality is not an abstract concept but an identity.
Of course, coming out to my daughter will also mean coming out to the rest of the family and friends which would mean facing the possibility of judgment and rejection. Am I truly ready for that? I battle with that fear every single day.
Adding to my personal struggles, there is also the fact that coming out for bisexuals can be an exhausting and constant process. You see, when you are in a relationship with someone of the same sex, people simply label you as gay or lesbian. When you are in a relationship with someone of the opposite sex, then you must obviously be straight.
When you are surrounded by people who do not really know you, you only really have two options: stay quiet and let people assume you are either one or the other, or the uncomfortable constant coming out and correcting people about their assumption. Neither one of these options is particularly pleasant or something I am actually looking forward to.
Moreover, there is the stigma bisexuals carry from the LGBTQ+ community itself. For straight people, we are often labeled as confused, opportunistic, and unable to make a commitment. Inside the LGBTQ+ community, we are often seen as privileged as we are able to avoid discrimination by simply entering into a straight relationship. This is why bisexuals are six times more likely to remain in the closet compared to gays and lesbians.
Biphobia and bi-erasure are real, and whether people like to admit it or not, there is major stigma and prejudice towards the bisexual and other sexually fluid communities. We are often seen as unfaithful as we like more than one gender or as an experimental phase until we settle on either being straight or gay or lesbian. This fear of being judged and rejected by our partners because of these stereotypes, ingrained into our society, is real and one of the reasons why bisexuals have a much lower coming out rate than gays and lesbians.
While I’m yearning to share my truth with my little girl, this double stigma continues to paralyze me. It feels like watching the kids go outside and play while I sit by my bedroom window.
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